Last updated on May 26th, 2023 at 01:23 am
Disney movies are well-known for their theme songs. “Let It Go” from Frozen, “A Whole New World” from Aladdin, and “Hakuna Matata” from The Lion King live rent-free in the minds of millions of children and adults. But what are the best Disney theme songs? Read on to find out.
“Let It Go” – Frozen
Massively popular Disney film Frozen was released in 2013. The story of Princess Anna’s search for her sister Elsa, with the help of Olaf the snowman, Kristoff the mountain man, and Sven the moose, has warmed the hearts of millions worldwide.
Frozen is the fifth highest-grossing film with $1.28 billion worldwide box office revenue. A big reason for that success was its theme song, “Let It Go,” which takes the top spot on many lists of the best Disney theme songs.
The already legendary song was written by Robert Lopez and Kristen-Anderson Lopez, a husband-and-wife songwriting team that previously worked with Disney on Winnie The Pooh (2011).
“You’ve Got a Friend in Me” – Toy Story
Toy Story is one of Disney’s most popular kid’s movies. For the few who don’t know, Toy Story depicts the fanciful life of a young boy’s toys when nobody is looking. The main focus is on the relationship between the toy cowboy, Woody, and the space cadet, Buzz Lightyear.
The franchise’s first film begins with one of the best Disney theme songs, “You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” establishing the bond between Woody, Buzz, and their owner, Andy.
Randy Newman, the writer of the track, created the lyrics of this masterpiece in only one day. “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” helped the first Toy Story reach $365 million worldwide in box office earnings.
“We Don’t Talk About Bruno” – Encanto
Disney animated film Encanto was released on November 24, 2021. It made over $256 million worldwide in theaters and saw further success when released on Disney+. The movie tells the twisting and turning story of the Madrigal family.
Encanto is beloved for many reasons, but one is undoubtedly its soundtrack, which has had a strong presence on social media, particularly TikTok. Many Gen Zers likely consider it one of the best Disney theme songs.
In “We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” the members of the Madrigal family sing about their distant uncle Bruno Madrigal, whose supernatural ability to predict the future has been wrongly linked to misfortune.
The song was created by Encanto mastermind and Hamilton visionary Lin-Manuel Miranda.
“Beauty and the Beast” – Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast debuted on November 13, 1991. The movie received overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics and viewers, grossing more than $424 million at the box office worldwide.
The song “Beauty and the Beast,” written by lyricist Howard Ashman and composer Alan Menken, is about the relationship between the film’s two main characters, Belle and the Beast. It describes how the couple has learned to accept their differences and help change each other for the better.
“A Whole New World” – Aladdin
Musical action-adventure movie Aladdin, directed by John Musker and Ron Clements, hit theaters on November 25, 1992. It was the most profitable movie of that year, making more than $217 million in domestic revenues and $504 million worldwide.
The movie, adapted from The Book of One Thousand and One Nights’ story of Aladdin and the Magic Lamp, is about a young “street rat” in the realm of Agrabah who uses the abilities of a shape-shifting genie to win the affection of Princess Jasmine. Unknown to them, Jafar, the Sultan’s advisor, plans to use the genie to seize control of the country and destroy their love story.
The movie’s theme song, “A Whole New World,” is performed by Aladdin and Jasmine as they travel on a magic carpet and sing about the many places they will see together as their love grows. Its uplifting message makes it one of the best Disney theme songs.
“The Bare Necessities” – The Jungle Book
The Jungle Book, released on October 18, 1967, was directed by Wolfgang Reitherman. It earned over $73 million in the United States and $378 million globally.
In the movie, a wolf family adopts and raises young Mowgli after he is abandoned after an accident. When the baby grows up, Bagheera, the panther, decides it’s time to return him to the nearby man-village where he was raised. On the other side, Baloo the bear has a different viewpoint, advising Mowgli that it is best to live in the jungle.
The movie has several well-known songs, including “The Bare Necessities.” In the movie, Baloo sings the song to Mowgli to describe life as a bear. Their friendship develops and serves as the emotional center of the film.
“Un Poco Loco” – Coco
Computer animated movie Coco was created by Pixar Animation Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. It was co-directed by Adrian Molina and Lee Unkrich, who both developed the original concept. Coco made its international debut on October 20, 2017, and eventually earned over $807 million worldwide, making it the 11th highest-grossing movie of 2017 and the 15th highest-grossing animated picture of all time.
The story follows Miguel’s aspirations to become a successful singer despite his family’s baffling, long-standing ban on music. Miguel eventually finds himself in the Land of the Dead, desperate to show his talent. Hector, whom he encounters along the road, joins him as they journey to discover the truth about Miguel’s family history.
The soundtrack’s songs, particularly “Un Poco Loco,” are a big part of why everyone loves this movie. Miguel and Héctor sing it while trying to win an invitation to Ernesto’s party at a music competition in the Land of the Dead, not realizing that Pepita had assisted the Riveras in tracking them down. It’s one of the more contemporary additions to the list of best Disney theme songs.
“Hakuna Matata” – The Lion King
The Lion King was released in January 1994, with positive reviews praising the movie’s soundtrack, plot, themes, and animation. It ended its theatrical run as the highest-grossing movie of 1994 and the second-highest-grossing movie of all time, with an original worldwide gross of $763 million.
The plot revolves around a lion prince named Simba, who must overcome the loss of his father and the plotting of his evil uncle, Scar, to succeed to the throne of the Pride Lands.
Easily one of the most recognizable and best Disney theme songs of all time, “Hakuna Matata” brings even an important emotional element to the film. In the song, Simba’s friends Timon and Pumbaa try to comfort him because he blames himself for his father’s death. The song is intended to encourage Simba and everyone else to cut loose, relax, and enjoy life without worry.
“Under the Sea” – The Little Mermaid
One of Disney’s most beloved films, The Little Mermaid was released on November 17, 1989. It grossed over $100 in America alone and won the Academy Award for Best Song for “Under the Sea.”
The story of The Little Mermaid centers on a young mermaid named Ariel who is captivated by the surface. Drama ensues, as an evil sea witch attempts to thwart her ambitions.
In the wildly popular Alan Menken song “Under The Sea,” Sebastian, a crab, begs Ariel to fight her urge to become human so that she can live her entire life with Prince Eric, the man she has fallen in love with. Sebastian expresses the advantages of a carefree life underwater while also expressing the challenges of human life. His appeal is ignored, though, as Ariel flees before the song is finished.
“Almost There” – The Princess and the Frog
The Frog Princess by E.D. Baker inspired the American film The Princess and the Frog, which debuted in theaters on December 11, 2009. It did very well at the box office, taking first place on the North American opening weekend and earning over $271 million globally.
The story revolves around Tiana, a dedicated waitress who aspires to own a restaurant. Following a kiss with a prince that is changed into a frog, Tiana is forced to go on a journey in search of a voodoo priestess to break the enchantment.
The movie is incredibly uplifting, which is why people worldwide adore it. “Almost There” serves as a reminder that “all of your dreams can come true, if you have the courage to pursue them.”
Did we miss any of the best Disney theme songs? Which ones would you add? Let us know in the comments!