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Monday, May 9, 2016

Disney Animated: Favorite Songs Countdown Part 2 (Top 20)

Part 1: Top 30-21 Here

20. Lilo & Stitch - Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride
This song was written for the film and has become one of Disney's most beloved songs.. For good reason! The song opens with an affectionate greeting in Hawaiian, which it totally feels like! This song feels like a warm invitation to what it would be like to live on the beautiful Hawaiian islands. It captures the innocent and fun tropical attraction. This song is so playful and uplifting, it definitely makes you want to get up and move, even if you don't like to surf! Another thing I love about this song is how it kind of describes the film because the film is somewhat of a Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride, you go through ups and downs with Lilo and Nani as well as with Stitch, all to the gorgeous backdrop of Hawaii: A Hawaiian roller coaster ride! For those curious minds out there, the chorus translated to English is: "Hurry up, don't dally. Bring your surfboard Broad waves are rising The ocean is surging. Let's lay out in the warm sun With the sea softly lapping at the dunes Come on, let's go (Hawaiian roller coaster ride)!"

19. Cinderella - Oh, Sing Sweet Nightingale
Even though we have to hear Drizella (singing) and Anastasia (playing the flute) completely butcher this song (surprised Lady Tremaine is so talented on the piano yet her daughters have no musical talent) before even Lucifer runs for sanctuary away from the noise, Cinderella's voice is so gorgeous and soothing that it makes it worth it. Cinderella's voice is so breathtaking that you hardly notice that her voice carries the track more than any soft music does. I only wish that this song were longer so we could hear her voice a bit longer.

18. 101 Dalmatians - Cruella De Vil
One of my favorite things about the songs from this era of Disney is the sheer cleverness made obvious in the lyrics. This was a time when Disney didn't rely as much on repetitive or simplistic lyrics and actually did their part in teaching vocabulary to children. The result was incredibly creative lyrics that you can't help getting stuck in your head! The music behind this track does a great job creating the creepy and uncomforting atmosphere of Cruella DeVil. Again though, the lyrics in this song just really take the cake on wit and humor!

17. Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs - Whistle While You Work
I love how this song shows Snow White's positive and genuine nature. I have heard her described as "manipulative" but I don't see that at all, I think she's a very good and decent person who does not try to exploit others to get what she wants. (Her plea for help to the Dwarfs was simply that, a plea from a young maiden who knew that this was the safest place for her and she offered to do her part to stay.) Whenever I am cleaning myself, I always tend to hear this song. Work has to be done and it's best done with a positive attitude.

16. Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs - With A Smile And A Song
Although admittedly Snow's voice is not one of my favorites, I think her voice works perfectly with this song! The lyrics to this song are so beautiful and optimistic and hopeful - just like Snow's personality! I love how she encourages the power of positivity with lines like "There's no use in grumbling, when raindrops come tumbling. Remember, you're the one who can fill the world with sunshine." One of my favorite things about Snow White, which shows greatly in this song, is her sense of accountability. Even before the song starts, she says "You don't know what I've been through, and all because I was afraid. I'm so ashamed of the fuss I've made!" Despite what feminists and Disney Princess haters say, Snow White is such a strong young woman and this song does a great job at exemplifying her inner strength.

15. Princess And The Frog - Almost There
I love Tiana's confidence in this song, towards her goal to open up her own restaurant. I love, respect and admire the fact that she doesn't just expect things to fall into her lap, she is willing to do the work to reach her goal. She doesn't let "trials and tribulations" bring her down because she is stronger than that and chooses not to be a victim. I also love the fact that she stands out in her town. She describes the people in New Orleans as being more laid back and easy going, as mentioned in the line "This old town can slow you down, people taking the easy way But I know exactly where I'm going, I'm getting closer and closer every day." This determination and ambitious spirit is displayed beautifully in this song and I love the nod to her father in it as well. 

14. The Little Mermaid - Poor Unfortunate Souls
This has always been such a great villain song to me - the best, in fact, until just a couple of years ago. I love the way Ursula delivers it as well as the specific words she chooses. The lyrics were really brilliant in exposing Ursula's psychology to us. (She reminds me a lot of my ex-Stepmom, especially when she sings this song.) This song really shows off how villainous and manipulative Ursula is, as well as why she is so effective as a villain (and why she's one of Disney's best and most fleshed out villains). Although she is never really marketed as a she-Devil, Ursula is the perfect embodiment of it and this song does a very good job doing all it can to convince you of that. (It even includes the signing of a contract - like signing a deal with the Devil!) In addition, Ursula's voice in this is just an absolutely perfect fit!

13. Tangled - Mother Knows Best & Reprise
This song has been growing on me ever since the first time I heard it! I love it so much as I can really relate to it. I think this song perfectly captures the manipulation and deceit of Mother Gothel - the first song to do as good a job at describing the villain as "Poor Unfortunate Souls". I love how Mother Gothel plays the "Merchant of Doubt" by saying things like "One way or another Something will go wrong, I swear". The line "Me, I'm just your mother what do I know? I only bathed and changed and nursed you" shows just how insanely manipulative she is. None of that stuff means anything because that's her job yet she's trying to make Rapunzel feel indebted to her for being alive. (Personally, this song reminds me of my actual mother as she is similar to Mother Gothel so I find this song to be brilliantly realistic and accurate.)

The reprise to this song is actually what gives it the bump above "Poor Unfortunate Souls". The reprise does a fantastic job showing the desperate side of Mother Gothel's manipulation and how there is no level too low for her to sink to. Resorting to a message as repulsive as telling your own daughter "Why would he like you? Come on now, really? Look at you! You think that he's impressed?! Don't be a dummy..." is about as sick and twisted as any Disney villain has ever gotten. While it's true that Mother Gothel is not really Rapunzel's mother, Rapunzel doesn't know that and has to listen to all of these lines coming from what she perceives to be her mother. That, in itself, makes this entire song so much darker, as well as presents Gothel as a much more effective villain. I highly commend Disney for actually being willing to go this far with a female villain, they did a brilliant job - Bravo!

12. Hercules - Go The Distance & Reprise
This song does an absolutely beautiful job at capturing the angst of belonging that Hercules is feeling. It does a wonderful job of marrying a youthful confidence with a mature sense of reflection. The lyrics are so powerful and compelling, telling such a hopeful story of a young man searching for his place in life. I also love how it captures the starry element of Hercules keeping his chin up with a soft yet powerful piano melody. (Side note, I LOVE the shooting star that he sees here,;which he will see again later when he's falling in love with Meg in the garden, which is symbolic of him finding the place where he belongs!) I also love how the song picks up just as Hercules sets off on his journey, picking up in hope and confidence. Furthermore, I think the lyrics here are completely inspiring.

The reprise is even more uplifting! I love the overall epic feel that it provides. It does a great job giving you the same confidence that Hercules expresses.

11. Beauty And The Beast - Belle & Reprise
I love this entire song! I love all of the lyrics and I love how well it explains so much about Belle's character. The fact that she went through hardship, that she is misunderstood, that she finds solace in reading, that she has big dreams for herself, and that she is a classic beauty in her town yet doesn't use it to her advantage or rely on it to exploit others. I even love all of the lyrics sung by various townspeople in it!

I absolutely love and adore the reprise even more! I can't get enough, it is stuck in my head all of the time. I love how it's distilled to the core of what Belle wants: Adventure away from here more than anything else. It reminds me of the song "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place" by The Animals. I just love the concept behind this song. (I come from a dockworker town so I definitely understand the desire to get out of the small town one is born in and wishing to see the world beyond it.)

10. Mulan - I'll Make A Man Out of You
I love how this is such a great little masculine song thrown into a Disney Princess film! I think it was an excellent diverse song from the lovely more feminine songs. I think the lyrics have a very fun and poetic kind of feel to them - which is fitting since the story of Mulan is based on a poem! The music also has quite a catchy element - or perhaps I just think it's catchy because it gets stuck in my head so much! Either way, this has become a big favorite among Disney fans for good reason. This song has a very inspiring feel to it and it definitely conveys the transition that Mulan undergoes throughout.

9. Beauty And The Beast - Something There
I love how this song shows Belle & the beast starting to fall in love. It's so sweet and sincere. I think it also very accurately shows how true love plays out from a budding friendship. At some point you just realize that there's "something there" that's more than friendship, the chemistry becomes undeniable. The initial judgments/perceptions are gone and a love has started to develop in it's place. This song does a beautiful job not only by telling this story through the lyrics but I think the music does a very talented job of matching the feel as well! 

8. Mulan - A Girl Worth Fighting For
I love how flattering this song is! These men are marching off into war to face some cruel and merciless enemies and protect everyone in their country and the only thing they hope for in return is to find a girl, a love, who makes it all worth it. Some say this song is not romantic at all but I completely disagree. Although I am a woman, I think this song coming from men and their point of view is incredibly romantic. They are willing to face almost certain death with the hopes that a woman will love them, appreciate them and respect them for all of their hard work and effort to keep them going. Plus, what they ask for is no where near unreasonable (specific beauty traits, appreciation of battle scars, cooks well, praise and adoration and laughs at his jokes). They also don't just want a girl by force or circumstance, they want to impress and woo her. I love, appreciate and respect this song. I also appreciate and respect the horrible things that lots of males willingly choose to face as well as their uncanny protection and accommodation for females and children (usually strangers) so that they don't have to deal with the "ugly work". I also love that the song ends abruptly with the reality of exactly why it is these men need these kinds of hopes, for the horrible things they do face and deal with. Catchy too.

Honorable Mention: Thumbelina - Marry The Mole
This song is another one that - you guessed it - is too clever to not love! This song is a lovely kuttke diddy! The lyrics in this are so witty and creative! The music is totally awesome. I love how melodic it is, even Thumbelina couldn't help but want to dance around while listening to it! I don't agree with the message - but you're not supposed to! Nevertheless, I think this song is so entirely entertaining, it became one of my favorites even as a child before I understood how witty it was and only knew how catchy it was! I'm a bit embarrassed to say that it took me a little time before I realized that Ms. Fieldmouse and Thumbeline were spelling "M-O-L-E" at the end, it went above my head the first time as a kid! haha

7. Cinderella - So This Is Love
This stuck always stuck out the most to me from Cinderella, even as a child. It was so beautiful and romantic as well as so pure and innocent. I love the way it accurately resembles love. It accurately represents love to be transcending and heavenly. Definitely will always be a beautiful and heartwarming classic for me.

6. Mulan - Honor To Us All
I rank this so highly because I catch myself singing it all the time! I think it is so cute and catchy! I also love the dynamic it shows between Mulan and her mother. I also love the "recipe for instant bride" and find it to be fairly accurate. I also love that it does mostly match up with what the men say they want from women. I just feel like women don't really understand men as well as they used to and I don't think enough mothers give their daughters honest and straight-forward advice despite what feelings it may trigger like they used to. I love that Mulan's mother does this for her in this song though. I have the highest respect and appreciation for good mothers and wives so I personally really respect and appreciate this song and the way it holds that role in such high esteem. I see children as the future so I think good parenting is absolutely prime and necessary; One of the most important jobs in society. I still value families as they are still the best environment for children growing up and I love how this song speaks to that. 

5. The Little Mermaid - Part Of Your World & Reprise

Nostalgia, nostalgia. Not just for the film but for when I felt just like Ariel and I was "ready to know what the people know, ask them my questions and get some answers". I always wanted to explore and learn new things and have been very curious about other cultures. I think the concept behind this song is so beautiful and inspiring. I also think Ariel's voice is so powerful and feminine at the same time, sometimes it gives me goose bumps. I adore Ariel's voice completely, it's so gorgeous. I think the music behind the song is equally gorgeous. A timeless classic that I sing/listen to often.

I love how beautiful and emotional Ariel's voice is in this. It's kind of heartbreaking for me. She sounds so sincere, so passionate with such longing. I think this song is just gorgeous, musically and vocally. This scene/song used to make me cry because of Ariel's conviction and how gorgeous the song is musically. 

Honorable Mention: Anastasia - Once Upon A December
Beautiful, somewhat haunting and completely mesmerizing! I have never forgotten this song since the first time I heard it as a child. This song has such an epic feel to it - likely thanks to the talented use of the choir. The lyrics perfectly convey the feelings of a lost life with memory serving as the only faint reminder. "Things my heart used to know, things it years to remember." The stunning and gorgeous voice of Liz Callaway also does a fantastic job matching the beauty of the song. I have always felt that this song did a wonderful job creating the enigmatic atmosphere that Anastasia feels when singing it.

4. The Lion King - Can You Feel The Love Tonight?
It's funny because when I was a kid, I actually thought this song was so boring! I was still in the cootie stage. haha Now that I am older and have a husband of my own, I can't help but hear this song in a completely different manner. When I hear this song now, I think it is so beautiful and heartwarming. (Though let me also say that Elton John and talented music in general has grown A LOT on me since I was a kid. I have much more musical appreciation today than I ever did before.) I think this song is brilliant. It captures the magic of love so beautifully, phonically and lyrically. The fact that this song talks about harmony is a lovely coincidence because the song itself is so harmonious. I love the way it describes love as "the world for once, in perfect harmony with all it's living things". I can definitely feel the love - and the magic of love - in this song!  

Honorable Mention: Thumbelina - Soon
Okay so if I haven't yet said this, Jodi Benson has my absolute favorite voice of all of the Disney Princesses and characters overall! Her voice as Thumbelina is my absolute favorite though, even over Ariel. I just think she has the most perfect voice, I love how innocent and gorgeous yet powerful it always sounds. Her voice is truly magical. This song is so beautiful and sounds like a lovely lullaby. My favorite line is "After the rain goes, there are rainbows. I'll find my rainbow soon." This song does such a beautiful job at capturing Thumbelina's sweet and tender optimism of finding her happy ending as well as her "sure and strong" yearning and calling for love. This song blends the spirit of Snow White with the romanticism of Aurora in the most perfect, mesmerizing way. The song is just as magical and gorgeous as Jodi Benson's voice in it is. She is so talented, she always knows how to make you feel her conviction and get you to feel what she's feeling inside. Per-fec-tion. 

3. Hercules - I Won't Say I'm In Love
Another song on this countdown that I have absolutely loved and adored since I was a child! I always loved this song and it always stood out to me - phonically and lyrically. I think the music is so beautiful and does such a great job at balancing Meg's parts with the parts of the muses. Lyrically, I think this song is just genius! I love how the banter goes back and forth between Megara trying to deny her feelings and the muses being as candid as they can with her - did I mention that I appreciate candidness? The struggle for Meg to admit her feelings because of her past are explained beautifully in this song - as well as the foolishness of denying love. "Face it like a grown up, when you gonna own up that you got it bad?" In addition, Susan Egan's voice as Meg knocks it right out of the park! That girl sure can belt those notes - which is awesome because it adds so much feel to the song! Since Meg's character is modeled after 1940's screwball comediennes, it makes it that much more effective when we see her getting all vulnerable when she thinks she's alone. 

2. Aladdin - A Whole New World
My all-time favorite Disney duet (animated)! I have always loved this song since I first heard it as a little girl and still find it to be such a romantic and magical feeling song. I love the way it describes young love to be so exciting and full of adventure and mystery. This is also one of my favorite Jasmine scenes where she finally stops being so aggressive and just lets herself be happy. I love how this song highlights the wonders and splendor of love, and how it opens up your life to "a whole new world" with a "new, fantastic point of view". One of my favorite things about this song is that it shows how liberating and empowering love is (when done right). The "indescribable feeling" of love is so perfectly conveyed in this song as well as how love changes your life and you "can't go back to where [you] used to be". The lyrics in this song are just so beautiful and properly representative of what it's like to find love. Even when I was a child and before I understood what being in love was like, I thought this song was stunning. Now that I do know what being in love is like, I just appreciate it that much more. ❤ (PS Lea Salonga's voice in this is absolutely gorgeous, mesmerizing and perfectly princess-like as well!)

1. Pocahontas - If I Never Knew You
I remember this song being in the movie and playing when Pocahontas goes to see John Smith while he is being held captive. That was when I watched in on VHS as a child though. Now when I see the movie on Blu-Ray, it's not played until the credits. I do love the version at the end with the credits though it's by Jon Secada and Shanice, rather than Judy Kuhn and Mel Gibson, I think it's done so beautifully. Anyways, I always thought this was one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard in my life, especially lyrically. This song really shows the power and beauty of love; how fragile and precious it is. Definitely this song has even grown on me over the years since I've matured, perhaps because I feel the same way about my husband. There's a saying that "It's better to have loved and lost then to have not known love at all" and I think this song embodies that perfectly

Honorable Mention: Anastasia - Journey To The Past (Movie & Album Versions)
Outside of child animated films, this is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard. A lot of thought and effort was clearly put into the making of this song. Not only is the singing so gorgeous here, but the lyrics are so powerful and moving! "Home, love, family. There was once a time I must have had them too? Home, love, family. I will never be complete until I find you!" This is so accurate of how an orphan would feel. I love how accurately this portrays the feeling that every child/person has of belonging. Liz Callaway does a very awesome job conveying the right emotion in her voice when singing this, elevating it to a higher level of beauty. Even though this song has some element of sadness, there's so much more hope that it actually makes the song very inspiring. Truly gorgeous song. 

It is my personal opinion that Aaliyah is one of the most underrated singers of our time. Unfortunately, I think this is a result of her dying before her time. (RIP Aaliyah.) Truly talented beyond current recognition, Aaliyah also does an absolutely stunning job conveying the right emotions in this song, despite growing up in a home quite opposite of an orphan. The urban drum beat is an interesting remix to this song but I love that for the most part, it remains true to the original version. Aaliyah's vocal remix is really what keeps this song so gorgeous-sounding more so than the remix to the actual music. Aaliyah's voice can definitely hold up to the talent of Liz Callaway, an opera singer, which is quite impressive. Not only is Aaliyah's voice incredibly talented, which we are fortunate enough to hear in this track, but it's also incredibly gorgeous as well, in my opinion.  

Honorable Mention: Thumbelina - Let Me Be Your Wings; Reprise (Sun); Reprise (Finale)
I used to watch this movie over and over and over as a kid, just as much if not more than the Disney Princess films. Now that I am older, I believe it's because the message in this was just so powerful and timeless. I think this is a classic for animated films. That being said, this song is definitely the most memorable from that movie and for good reason. I love each and every single version of this song! Jodi Benson's voice is flawless and the lyrics in this song are completely romantic in the absolute best ways. "Everyday I'll take you higher and I'll never let you fall!" What a declaration of love! Cornelius' voice in this has such a beautiful balance of being just masculine enough without being too masculine - afterall, this is a child's film. "We'll see the Universe and dance on Saturn's rings!" I just love when romantic songs talk about seeing the world, so yes there is a bias for the lyrics here! "Get ready for another world of wondrous things!" "Wondrous things are sure to happen!" The duet here is so absolutely gorgeous! I have to admit that this duet actually beats "A Whole New World" for me because the voices here are just a little better and the lyrics and music are just a little better and more romantic too. This song is just too beautiful to not be a classic. I love all of the subtle changes in the music to this song, it's so talented and creative! I just love how those little parts capture the "fluttering effect of love", conveying the feel of flying. I have never forgotten this song and have always loved it as a child but even into adulthood, this song has only grown on me more and I appreciate it even more now than I did as a child. 

Some people might not consider the "Sun" Reprise to be a reprise but I am for the sake of eliminating repetition. Just as I have never forgotten the original version of this song, so I have also never forgotten this little reprise of it. Not only is it absolutely stunning and unforgettable musically, which I did appreciate as a child, but the lyrics are much more poetic than I realized as a child. "Once there was the sun. Bright and warm and wonderful. Shining like the love within my heart.This line is so poetic and romantic and gorgeous and timeless! "And although it's dark December, forever, I'll remember sun." The absolutely beautiful symbolism of the sun representing her love for Cornelius is stunning here. I just think this little reprise is so brilliantly done, like so many of the other songs in this film. It's absolutely gorgeous and completely memorable. 

You may have guessed it! Yes, this finale reprise was equally memorable to me as the original version and the sun reprise! How can it not be? I LOVE the music behind all of these versions and I think Jodi Benson's voice is flawless. The emotion behind the finale reprise really makes it stand out to me as well. I love the banter between Thumbelina and Jacquimo, how they sing back and forth as he tries to keep her hopes up and she is torn. I also love how Jacquimo comments on how gorgeous Thumbelina's voice is, I agree! I also love the slight change in this version and how Thumbelina is singing it to Cornelius about the promises he made to her, and how that doesn't take away from the romanticism of it at all! I love how just when Thumbelina is about to lost all hope, "Everyday you'll take me higher- Let's be practical. This isn't the vale of the fairies! And Cornelius is never coming back!" Cornelius comes in to finish her lines and satiate all of her fears, "And I'll never let you fall!" Even the way Thumbelina reacts, "You! It's you! Cornelius, you're alive?!" just before the music takes over for her singing is so heartfelt that it's hard not to get completely excited with her. The music that takes over for her singing in this part is also done perfectly and conveys her excitement incredibly well. This finale is every bit as epic and romantic as it could have been and needed to be. It was done just perfectly. 

Honorable Mention: Anastasia - At The Beginning
Written for the film and initially introducing the soundtrack - though not performed in the movie until the credits - this song is my favorite song ever associated with an animated film. Musically, this song is gorgeous and stunning and talented. The music definitely captures the romantic feel of the song. The wafty-sounding voice of Donna Lewis pairs so beautifully with Richard Marx's smoother and more consistent voice. It's an absolutely beautiful pairing that just adds to the overall beauty of this song. The lyrics, however, are on an elevated level. The entire concept of love being the beginning of a new chapter is always welcome in my opinion. I love how this song captures the unexpected start of romance, both in general but also specifically between Anastasia Romanov and Dimitri in the film. The chorus is so poetic and romantic, I adore the analogies made! "And life is a road that I want to keep going. Love is a river, I want to keep flowing. Life is a road, now and forever, wonderful journey. I'll be there when the world stops turning, I'll be there when the storm is through. In the end I wanna be standing At the beginning with you." And going back to the beginning, I absolutely adore the lines "Unexpected, what you did to my heart. When I lost hope, you were there to remind me, this is the start." This song has all of the epic journey, love, romantic and just magnificent feel. Epic is the best word to describe every part of this song... Epic, gorgeous, classic and timeless... Of all of the animated songs that I know, I think this is the absolute best, which is why it's my absolute favorite. "Nothing's gonna tear us apart!" 

So what did you think of Part 2? See any of your favorites?

Monday, May 2, 2016

Disney Animated: Favorite Songs Countdown Part 1 (Top 30-21)

I really love Disney's music, especially by the team of Alan Menken and Howard Ashman. Disney has a really spectacular way of creating fun and memorable songs that capture their respective scene or film really well. Sometimes the lyrics are very inspirational or creative and they often have positive messages too. I love all of these things about Disney music and therefore end up loving a lot of Disney songs. That being said, I was able to narrow my list down to a Top 30 Favorite Disney Songs Countdown! For the sake of avoiding repetition, I did not count any "Reprise" as separate tracks.
*Note, I am only counting down my favorite songs from Disney's animated films. I have also added in some honorary mentions from non-Disney animated films that I also grew up on. Those songs are placed where they'd rank if they were included in the countdown.*

30. Hercules - The Gospel Truth
I love the use of gospel in all of these Hercules tracks. I think this was such a clever way to use the music to tell parts of the overall story, catching us all up to speed on the events of the film. This song has always left an impression on me for how incredibly fun it is and how much it makes me want to dance. This was such a fun introduction to the movie and I thought the entire concept was incredibly clever, resulting in a very catchy final product.

29. The Princess And The Frog - Dig A Little Deeper
One of the better songs from this film, it's really the powerful positive message that allows it to rank so highly on this list. I do find the beat to be quite fun sometimes but it's really the lyrics of this song that make it such a powerful Disney track. I see it as a good follow up to "When You Wish Upon A Star", because while it is important to have a dream/goal in life; I also think it's very important to not lose those qualities that make us human. Compassion, understanding, open-mindedness and most importantly, an open heart to other people. I love the emphasis here on the difference between what a person wants and what a person needs. This is one of the best anti-greed songs that I have ever heard.

Honorable Mention: Anastasia - In The Dark Of The Night
This track does such a good job of painting the terror that awaits in the dark. It's amazing how catchy a haunting melody can be, but this is definitely a catchy yet haunting melody. This song also does a fantastic job of conveying this villain's sole focus, destroying Anastasia and completing out his curse.

28. Sleeping Beauty - I Wonder
I love how gorgeous Aurora's voice sounds. I also love how this song represents Aurora's docile and innocent nature as well as her romantic and idealistic personality. She is so pure and graceful and I think it really comes through in this song. The only way she knows of finding love is the same way as the birds: Through song. Normally I am not a fan of opera; However I am normally a fan of great talent, which Mary Costa undoubtedly has.

27. Beauty And The Beast - Gaston & Reprise
I am intrigued myself by the fact that I do not agree with the message of this song, as it portrays the worst stereotype of masculine men, yet I think the lyrics are absolutely brilliant and far too clever to not love. I find myself singing to this song quite often, even memorizing the lyrics much easier than I'd think. The song is just too catchy to ignore and too fun to condemn. I find this song to be incredibly entertaining and uplifting, for how much it makes me laugh. So while I do not think Gaston is any kind of role model for any boy out there, I couldn't blame anyone - boy or girl - for finding this song to be a total blast of fun!

The reprise is even more witty and clever than the original song, and Gaston's lines are brilliant! What a clever and intelligent way to make fun of a buffoon and expose his silliness!

26. Hercules - Zero To Hero
Hercules is one of my favorite Disney films because it is also one of the most witty of Disney films. All of the songs in this film are perfect examples. I love how these songs don't shy away from delivering so much information to the story, whether with lyrics or concepts, quite oppositely it packs a ton every time! In addition, the beats are incredibly fun! I love how Disney incorporated gospel into these songs, they create such a lively atmosphere and I also think it's a really clever concept to have the muses singing gospel about Hercules. This song is as clever and witty as it is fun, a rare find! (And in fact, it's the very clever wit that does make it so fun!)

Honorable Mention: Fern Gully - Batty Rap
I am not normally a fan of rap music, but again I am a sucker for wit! I love how this song starts off with the creepy Dracula sound but immediately blends that into a funky rap beat - how incredibly unique! It almost reminds me a bit of the band Goblin, which I love. (If you are familiar with the films Suspiria or Deep Red, Italian horror films by Dario Argento, then you know what I am talking about! They do a phenomenal job of blending jazz/funk with haunting, horror sounds.) The lyrics here tell a great message about what we do to nature and nature's creatures and how we have been losing respect for non-humans. I commend this song for finding such a unique and fun way to convey a somewhat darker message that is meant to make us reflect on ourselves and our behavior as a people.

25. Pocahontas - Steady As The Beating Drum
As I have mentioned earlier, I love drum beats in music! Ever since I was a little girl, I always thought this song was so beautiful and powerful! It always caught my attention with the utmost interest. I don't find the lyrics to be quite as stunning or positively distracting as the music though I do think the singing flows along nicely with the beat overall. While this isn't exactly like anything I have ever heard at a pow-wow growing up, I still can't help but think it's a pretty talented track, so I don't hold that against it.

Honorable Mention: Thumbelina - Yer Beautiful, Baby
I just always remembered this song because it started off with a nice groovy beat that was very catchy despite the awful voice of the beetle singing it before it derails into a completely humiliating scene for poor Thumbelina. While I always remember this scene as being sad and upsetting when I was younger, I still have to admit that the lyrics were clever (as all of the songs in this movie are) and the beat was still groovy aside from the humiliation show. Musically, this song is really good and I can see why it would be the big hit at the "Beetle Ball".

24. Sleeping Beauty - Once Upon A Dream
I love classical music and I absolutely love Tchaikovsky! Ever since I was a little girl I always liked classical music and I loved this song. It always feels like a dream, sweeping me off my feet and making me want to do Piqué turns etc. all over the room. It certainly sweeps me off my feet and I can definitely see why it swept Aurora off of hers as well. It embodies grace and beauty to me. 

23. Aladdin - One Jump Ahead & Reprise
This is just one of those songs that all of my Renaissance peers all knew the lines to, making it an incredibly fun sing-along. I love the quick nature of this song, which perfectly conveys how Aladdin's life is spent so much on the run and struggling for survival, that he never really gets to enjoy the pleasures of life. In addition, like so many of my favorite Disney songs, the lyrics are so clever and witty here, really conveying concepts that likely go over the heads of smaller children. It's those concepts that make me love this song so much more though. I think Disney is at it's best when it uses intellectual humor, as opposed to just relying on low-grade potty or vulgar humor.

The reprise to this song is even better, in my opinion, as it is much more beautiful and shows the vulnerable side of Aladdin, and how he lives the life he does out of circumstance; not choice.

22. Lilo & Stitch - Aloha O'e aka Farewell to Thee
This song is just as short as it is sweet. Even though it's only about a minute long at best, it is so soothing and gorgeous-sounding. When you do not understand the lyrics and the source of this song, it comes off like a sweet-sounding lullaby almost. When you do understand the lyrics and source, it becomes so much more. This song comes from the last Queen of Hawaii, Queen Liliuokalani, who was unable to protect her country and sang it as an apology for not being able to uphold her duty as Queen. The translation is "Farewell to thee, farewell to thee. The charming one who dwells among the bowers. One fond embrace, before I depart, until we meet again." Nani sings this song because like the Queen, Nani is unable to protect Lilo and thinks she will be losing her very soon. Knowing this, makes this song so much more beautiful and sad. Nani has so much conviction to raise Lilo, even if she's in over head with it, and that love and devotion really comes off in this song, with or without translation.

21. The Sword In The Stone - That's What Makes The World Go Round
Probably one of the most intelligent Disney songs in the history of the company. Although this song mainly consists of a bunch of aphorisms, I also love the clear emphasis on balance. For every positive, there is a negative and that really is what makes the world go round! It sounds like a simple, silly little song with simplistic lyrics yet it is actually tackling the bigger concepts of life and the world around us. It really touches on the basic concepts of science and existence, that everything has a counterpart or it can't exist. I have always emphasized the importance of balance, so I can't help but completely love, respect and appreciate this song for the message it is trying to convey. Furthermore, it's not just a message about how the world works, but also how to be successful in it. On top of it all, the little melody behind the lyrics is very pleasant and sweet-sounding, letting the message take the spotlight.

So what did you think of Part 1? See any of your favorites?

Part 2 Link Here