It might not be to everyone’s taste, but ever since childhood there has been something magical about Disney animations, and the soundtracks that accompany them. Whilst I think Disney are heading for overkill on the teen musical front, their animations, particularly the classic ones, continue to delight people of all ages. Here then, is a look back at some of my favourite Disney songs/soundtracks; see if you can find your favourite among this selection!
This was one of the first Disney films I remember watching, and although being young, my attention span for classical music wasn’t great. However, I was quite entranced by the music for this film, particularly the ‘Nutcracker Suite’ and ‘Sorcerers Apprentice’ pieces. The soundtrack recording was conducted by Leopold Stokowski and featured the Philadelphia Orchestra. It dates back to 1940.
2. Beauty And The Beast
A beautiful story, with a soundtrack to match, the highlight of which has to be the title song ‘Beauty and The Beast’. The song is a moving and soulful ballad, depicting the growing love between Belle and The Beast. The song features when Belle and The Beast are dancing in the Ballroom, and over the closing credits of the film, where it’s sung by Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson. It’s a perfect song to include in the film, or as a stand alone single. Another highlight of the film is the ensemble number ‘Be Our Guest’, a rousing choral and orchestral explosion, performed by comical talking teapots, clocks, and a full dinner service! An engaging mix of moving ballads, and novelty songs to accompany a great Disney film.
3. The Lion King
One of the best film scores written for a Disney picture, featuring instrumentals by Hans Zimmer, and songs composed by Elton John and Tim Rice. My favourite has to be the ballad ‘Circle Of Life’, although I also enjoyed the fun filled ‘Hakuna Matata’ and ‘I Just Can’t Wait To Be King’. All in all the soundtrack reflects all the poignant, dark, fun, and moving moments of the film. The quality of the music is superb, and rightly deserving of all its many accolades.
4. The Little Mermaid
This is another magical film, packed full of delightful animated underwater characters. It really comes alive during the musical moments. There was a mix of instrumentals and full songs to accompany various scenes in this film, the most memorable of which were the delightful ‘Kiss The Girl’, and all the sea life singing ‘Under The Sea.
5. The Jungle Book
I mention this film soundtrack, because for me, it’s the ultimate sing-along for children (and maybe adults too). Who could forget the cheeky, chirpy, ‘Bare Necessities’ and ‘I Wanna Be Like You’!
This is just five of a large selection of animations and accompanying soundtracks that have been produced over many decades by Disney. They are some of the classics, and rightly so. Their soundtracks are award winning, and will no doubt continue to be so for many generations to come. I love the Disney magic, and have enjoyed watching the films, and listening to all the songs over the years. I’m sure many of you have too, so my closing question is, what’s your favourite Disney film/song?