I personally spend a little too much time listening to Disney (Children’s) Radio on Pandora, and as any normal person does, there are just those few songs that either make me scream or bawl while attempting to complete homework.
While the characters and stories themselves speak volumes, the soundtracks to our beloved Disney films are what I would consider the most critical component to their success. Would Frozen really be the box-office giant it is without the expression of Elsa’s anxiety through the lyrics of Let It Go? Would The Lion King be as touching without the brilliance of the Circle of Life? The reality is these songs add an irreplaceable magic to the Disney movies. That being said, the songs that I inexplicably can’t seem to learn to handle are:
1. I Wan’na Be Like You
You can’t expect anything less than fabulous from the jungle VIP. King Louie is unmistakably the perfect balance of erratic and eccentric, and this song captures both of those fundamental elements of his personality. Not only that, but The Jungle Book has always been my father’s favorite movie, and this song reminds me how much I love everything about him.
2. Prince Ali
Okay, but the guy has ninety-five white Persian monkeys.
3. Be Prepared
I’m not the villainous type, but I remember having a Lion King tape that I made my mom play 24/7 in the car at the age of five. It’s such a dramatic song, and incredibly catchy at that.
4. I’ll Make a Man Out of You
The entirety of the Mulan soundtrack is astounding, but this is one of those songs you find yourself mumbling during a final exam and can’t seem to help it. From the opening lyric, to the incredible character-building this song provides for Mulan’s alter-ego Ping, I’ll Make a Man Out of You makes me feel like I’m about to take down the Huns, Mongols, and Xiongnu at once, by myself, with a stick.
5. I See The Light
There was that one moment in time when I was leaving Magic Kingdom just as Celebrate The Magic began. I heard the first few notes of I See The Light and I think my body just froze, ears perking in recognition while I slowly turned around in the middle of Main Street. My vision was flooded by the sight of the castle, fully illuminated by floating lanterns escaping to the sky. I was incapable of movement until my mother prodded me, asking, “Are you… crying?”
Needless to say, I can’t listen to this song and drive.
6. Love Is an Open Door
Hans may have attempted murder, but at this point in the film, I was sold. I still find myself hyperventilating when this song plays because I can’t get over how incredibly happy it makes me.
7. Gonna Take You There
You can’t help but love it when Tia, Naveen, Louis, and Ray get together. On an eight hour drive to Virginia, I think my cousin and I spent the whole trip screaming, “Going down the bayou!” from the backseat.
Perhaps it’s not just simply that I love the songs for their incredibly well-written and memorable lines, but more-so the fact that they remind me of the millions of experiences I’ve shared with my family. Over time, things become a part of who we are… and I have grown up surrounded by the most supportive, loving people that are a part of my own little kingdom.