Disney(ish) Songs That Don’t Get Enough Credit

Lists

We all have our favorite Disney songs. Heck, most of us know at least one complete song by heart. But, I feel like we often play favorites with our animated musical repertoire. Maybe it’s because they don’t highlight the main characters. Maybe it’s because they aren’t love-songs. Who knows? Regardless, there are many brilliantly written and beautifully scored songs that are often overlooked, under-appreciated, or forgotten completely. This post is dedicated to the songs that I find irresistibly amazing, even if they are on the bottom of the animated musical totem-pole.

1. “The Mob Song” – Beauty and the Beast (Disney)

Lyrical Highlights:

“It’s a beast! He’s got fangs,
Razor sharp ones!
Massive paws, killer claws for the feast,
Hear him roar! See him foam!
But we’re not coming home ’til he’s dead.
Good and dead!
Kill the beast!”

“It’s a beast! One as tall as a mountain,
We won’t rest ’til he’s good and deceased,
Sally forth! Tally ho!
Grab your sword! Grab your bow!
Praise the Lord and here we go!”


Hands down the best song in the entire movie. HANDS DOWN. If you ever are anywhere near me when this song comes on the radio (songs like this come on my radio all the time…), be warned. I will not only be able to quote the entire song by heart, but I’ll simultaneously turn into a crazed villager with hand motions and all. Yes, this song is borderline violent (well, okay, not so borderline), but the heart-pounding rhythm and incredibly clever lyrics make me want to up and join a mob. Or maybe The Occupy Movement.

2. “Be Prepared” – The Lion King (Disney)

Lyrical Highlights:

“I know that your powers of retention,
Are as wet as a warthog’s backside…”

(I don’t know what this means, but I love it.)

Scar ranks as my #1 favorite Disney villain. Oh, stop crying about Mufasa already. Get over it. Scar is clever, manipulative, heartless, and spends his extra time in an elephant graveyard. He even managed to turn a bunch of idiotic hyenas into a fully functional, well-oiled machine–with great shadow dancing skills. But, what makes him the most fabulous villain of all? His impeccable vocabulary:

“I know it sounds sordid,
But you’ll be rewarded,
When at last I am given my dues,
And injustice deliciously squared,
Be prepared!”

3. One Jump Ahead – Aladdin (Disney)

Lyrical Highlights:

“[Random Citizens:] Oh it’s that Aladdin’s hit the bottom.
He’s become a one-man rise in crime.
[Lady:] I’d blame parents except he hasn’t got ’em.”

“[Aladdin:] Let’s not be too hasty.
[Ugly Lady:] Still I think he’s rather tasty!”

Alan Menken is a lyrical genius (and is responsible for most of my favorite Disney lyrics). He even manages to fit in the phrase “nom de plume” in this song – that takes talent! This, too, is another song that will have me reenacting running through the streets of Agrabah. And believe me, when on a road trip, that can be pretty entertaining.

4. “In The Dark of The Night” ­– Anastasia (Non-Disney)

Lyrical Highlights:

“I can feel that my powers are slowly returning!
Tie my sash and a dash of cologne for that smell!
AS the pieces fall into place
I’ll see her crawl into place!
Dasvidanya, Anya, your grace, farewell!”

Non-Lyrical Highlights: The adorable demon-bugs.

I don’t care what you say; this song is awesome. I want my own bug-chorus. A Broadway musical adaptation of this movie is in the works, which I’m very excited about. However, I’m a bit curious how they are going to pull this scene off. Regardless, I’ll be first in line to wear a girly, demon-bug costume.

5. Mine Mine Mine – Pocahontas (Disney)

Lyrical Highlights (there are far too many, but here’s a few of them):

“Oh, with all ya got in ya, boys,
Dig up Virginia, boys”

“Hey nonny nonny,
Hey nonny nonny!”

My dear friend, King Jimmy,
Will probably build me a shrine

(Probably.)

Although Radcliffe is a lame villain and rivals Rasputin for the ugliest, he has several one-liners in this song that get me every time. Side note: apparently, my Mayflower-pilgrim ancestor (whose relation to me may or may not be real) makes an animated appearance in this song. So there’s that. Side side note: Radcliffe is uncommonly nimble for such a top-heavy man. And he rocks the color purple. Side side side note: John Smith is played by Mel Gibson. Mel Gibson sings in this. Another reason why I love him.

6. This Is My Idea – The Swan Princess (Non-Disney)

Lyrical Highlights:

“[Derek:] She tries to talk me into playing dress-up,
She’s always flirting with the castle guards.
[Bromley:] I think you really sorta like her, ‘fess up,
[Derek:] I’d like her better if she’d lose at cards.”

“[Chorus:]At least we’d get a holiday to rest our ploughs and axes…
…And with some luck their marriage may result in lower taxes.”

This movie is one of the older non-Disney animated musicals (in the same group as Thumbelina and The Pebble and The Penguin). Although, I can say with confidence that this movie is not nearly as fun to watch now as it was when I was little, it still holds a special place in my heart. Plus, watching young versions of Princess Odette and Prince Derek go through the perils of puberty is highly entertaining. Add in the ridiculous political ideals of the parents and a frustrated citizenry and you’ve sold me.

These songs may not Academy Award-worthy, but they are all definitely Haley’s iPod-worthy.

What’s your favorite underrated Disney(ish) song?

Disney Rant 2

Rant

I just don’t see how a world that makes such wonderful things could be bad. –Ariel (Little Mermaid)

It seems that whenever Disney pops up in my posts it’s so that I can tear the corporation apart. Believe me, I love myself some Disney (I was basically raised on it), but every so often I realize that some of their messages are a tad questionable. There are tons of blogs and videos explaining that it creates unrealistic expectations of love for young girls and then of course, there is the overwhelming representation of broken households, but few stop and look at the lyrics of the well-loved classics. Don’t get me wrong, the songs are fabulous and deserve every award they have received (I even own the Disney Greatest Hits volumes 1, 2, and 3). It hasn’t been till recently that I have actually started looking at the messages within the lyrics (thanks to @disneywords). And despite their uplifting and inspiring nature, sometimes Disney is just plain wrong.

Let’s correct Miss Ariel. Sorry, Honey, but plenty of places that make good things are bad and bad for you. Take China for example. They make almost everything you buy – that’s pretty good – but, then again, they’re constantly a military threat. #2: The people that do the advertising for the Dove Campaign for True Beauty could be considered good people, promoting real beauty of all shapes and sizes. However, the agency also does ads for Axe for Men which promotes the objectification of women. Finally, Roman Polanski makes wonderful films – award winning films – but he is no longer allowed in the United States due to his questionable activity with a young woman.

Looking back on my small list, I realize I probably picked the most egregious examples to attack little miss Ariel. I just wanted to point out that she is naive. Then again, I guess Disney likes to celebrate that sort of idealist youth who believes in the good in everyone. That’s pretty cool. But Ariel would have kept her voice a little longer had she known the truth.