Once upon a time, I came across the following image on Twitter, in which some of the biggest titles (and a handful of the lesser-sung ones) in the Disney animated feature songbook go to head-to-head in a showdown of March-mad proportions.
My immediate response:
My follow-up response: This post, in which I will pit these famed and, in many cases, personally beloved songs against each other, pair by pair, until the last one standing reigns musically supreme! Because why even have a blog if I can’t occasionally detour deep into opinion pieces centered ‘round my childhood cartoons? (See “10 Lessons We Can Learn from “The Magic School Bus”)
So seat belts, everyone, for down memory lane we drive…
“Be Prepared” vs. “Hellfire”
Hmm… The former is more fun; the latter, more disturbing. It takes both to make a great villain song, and neither of these is my fave. But I’ll give this one to “Hellfire”, if for no other reason than it contains chants in Latin.
“Beauty and the Beast” vs. “A Whole New World”
NO FAIR! Both of these beautiful ballads fill me with joy! Bu-u-ut one is Aladdin’s duet, and I am nothing if not a sucker for Aladdin, so “A Whole New World” it is.
“Friends on the Other Side” vs. “What’s This?”
No contest for me. “Friends on the Other Side” is a bop of the fun and mildly disturbing variety. Plus it reminds me of the man. (What man?) The man with the power…
“Part of Your Word” vs. “Let It Go”
Though I can more strongly identify with the character of Elsa (and, quite frankly, should really learn to let some things go), Ariel’s ‘I want’ number plays my heart strings like only a true siren song can. (Gant-o’-the-Lute seconds the motion, and until the day I know how to out-vote him, that’s the end of that.)
“Bare Necessities” vs. “Hakuna Matata”
I have a longstanding mini-crush on the voice of Phil Harris, so Baloo’s philosophy-set-to-music takes the win.
“You’ll Be in My Heart” vs. “Baby Mine”
I mean, if it were just about making me cry, “Baby Mine” might have it in the bag. But based on which of the songs I bothered to load into my old off-off-off-brand mp3 player, it’s clear my preference lies with the Phil Collins original. (What is it with me and singing Phils?…)
“Kiss the Girl” vs. “I See the Light”
Sorry, Sebastian, but not only was your song not particularly romantic, it didn’t even produce the desired result (i.e., the girl getting kissed). Whereas Rapunzel and Flynn’s duet had romance in spades, and if you’re looking to “create da mood”, a world alight in floating lanterns is tough to beat.
“Go the Distance” vs. “How Far I’ll Go”
Toughie! I nurture some nostalgia for the Hercules number, after listening to it on replay during many a babysitting night. On the other hand… Lin-Manuel Miranda and Auli’i Cravalho. *dither, waffle, shillyshally*… Nostalgia tips the balance. I’m voting “Go the Distance”.
“You’ve Got a Friend in Me” vs. “Remember Me”
*guiltily searches “Remember Me” on YouTube, because has yet to see “Coco”, because fail* Hmm. I’m not especially in love with either song, just now, but only one of them comes without memories of having to sit through 3-to-4-hour dance recitals. (Baby Sister, were you in that particular dance? …I ask like you have ever once read my blog. <_<) So I guess I’ll hand this one to the latest Oscar ® winner.
“Poor Unfortunate Souls” vs. “Gaston”
No villain song (as in none; zero; not a one) embodies fun and disturbing like “Poor Unfortunate Souls”. I bow to Queen Ursula and her show-stopping solo. #Goals for days.
“I’ll Make a Man Out of You” vs. “Dig a Little Deeper”
Let’s get down to business!
Need I say who’s won?
Only one song’s swift as a coursing river, with all the force of a great typhoon, and all the strength of a raging fire; mysterious as the dark side of the moo-oo-oon! It’s practically an anthem of my generation. (Plus, vocals by Donny Osmond!)
“Friend Like Me” vs. “You’re Welcome”
D’arrgh, I wanna give this one to Genie so bad (because ALADDIN! And Robin Williams, RIP). But Maui’s song is so fun and catchy, it hasn’t left my head since the first time I heard it. So what can I say, except…
“Heffalumps and Woozles” vs. “Pink Elephants on Parade”
Okay, first of all, what weird, pachyderm-hallucinating glue was Classic Disney sniffing? “Pink Elephants” was a bigger part of my childhood, so I’ll go with that, but ye gads all around.
“Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” vs. “Bella Notte”
Another toughie. Not to call out Sebastian again, but each of these is a better love song than “Kiss the Girl”. And “Bella Notte” is bella indeed, but methinks the “Lion King” number has more going for it – comedy… angst… that dual POV setup it seems I tend to favor… *awards victory to the lions*
“Why Should I Worry?” vs. “Eye to Eye”
*has also never seen “A Goofy Movie”, so back to YouTube* Oh, heck yes, groovy. Can’t get into anything “Oliver & Company” at all, including this sluggish, weirdly messy (albeit worry-free) song. “Eye to Eye” it is.
“A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” vs. “When You Wish Upon a Star”
Sing it, Cinderelly. I salute your lovely voice and resilient optimism in the face of cruelty.
“Hellfire” vs. “A Whole New World”
Aladdin takes it in a landslide!
“Friends on the Other Side” vs. “Part of Your World”
Aw, mannn… I don’t wanna choose… But “Part of Your World” is just better music, so it gets the win.
“Bare Necessites” vs. “You’ll Be in My Heart”
Oh no! Phil vs. Phil! One song so pretty, the other so… completely opposed to my more Bagheera-esque personality. Even so, I’m going with Mowgli’s jungle jam over Tarzan’s.
“I See the Light” vs. “Go the Distance”
Giving it up for the love duet.
“Remember Me” vs. “Poor Unfortun—”
—ATE SOULS, YES, IT WINS.
“I’ll Make a Man Out of You” vs. “You’re Welcome”
Do I need to start singing about the dark side of the moon again? We have our winner.
“Pink Elephants” vs. “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?”
I’m certainly feeling little enough love for elephant nightmares. *more leonine victory*
“Eye to Eye” vs. “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes”
While I enjoyed my just-now-first-time listen to “Eye to Eye”, I’m too much of a dreamer not to go with Cinderella’s song.
“A Whole New World” vs. “Part of Your World”
…Rude. The Aladdin love duet wins, of course, but how dare you.
“Bare Necessities” vs. “I See the Light”
Each makes a different part of my heart smile, so it’s a little bit apples vs. oranges for me, but… Another win for a love duet.
“Poor Unfortunate Souls” vs. “I’ll Make a Man Out of You”
…R.U.D.E. “Poor Unfortunate Souls” forever, but HOW DARE YOU.
“Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” vs. “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes”
…Shoot. Okay, gotta remember, it’s not “CYFtLT” vs. this particular “ADiaWYHM” Disney channel stars remake, just song vs. song… Looks like the lions take it again.
“A Whole New World” vs. “I See the Light”
No hesitation. No prisoners. My ultimate love duet* flies on a magic carpet of triumph.
*(I say “ultimate love duet” like I wouldn’t have to think twice were this song up against Odette and Derek’s in “The Swan [Non-Disney] Princess”.)
“Poor Unfortunate Souls” vs.—
It don’t matter. Nothing left on that side of the chart can compete.
And now for the cruelest Disney-song-related question I’ve ever typed.
Which is better:
“A Whole New World” … or “Poor Unfortunate Souls”?
I … *sobs* … have to award … *wails* … the win to … *sucks it up and belts it out*
POOR! UN! FOOORTUNATE SOOOOUUUULLLSSS!
Not even the most beautiful, nostalgia-filled, crush-saturated love duet can overcome my tentacled inner sea diva witch. More than simply the best villain song of all time, this might just be the most satisfying song Disney ever gave me. For that, it wins it all.
Mic’s on you, fellow Disney fans! Where do you think I got it right, and which of my picks make you want to pound me over the head with your competing fave? Perhaps more importantly, which Disney song is your all-time number one? Holler it all in the comments!
Edit, Apr. 25/18: You guys, I finally saw “Coco”, and it was FANTASTIC. Brilliant. Stunning. It blew my mind and feelings all over the ceiling. 10/10 – strongly co-recommended by Will Scarlet (cuz humor and story) and Allyn-a-Dale (cuz the power of music and dead family). My pick for Best Song Ever still stands, but Best Pixar Movie Ever may have a new winner!