51 Best Disney Songs EVER

Best Disney Songs

Since Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Walt Disney Pictures has been the studio to go to for breathtaking animation and catchy songs.

Whether you’re looking to expand your playlist, relive your childhood, or introduce your kids to Disney music, here are the best songs from Disney movies.


“Circle of Life” by Carmen Twillie and Lebo M.

Song Year: 1994

Composed by the legendary Elton John, “Circle of Life” opens The Lion King with a bang. The song is about appreciating life and the beauty of nature. It plays over Simba’s ceremony, where every animal of the Pride Lands gets to see their future king for the first time.

“Circle of Life” received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song, which it lost to “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.” “Circle of Life” was later used in The Lion King’s Broadway adaptation and the 2019 CGI remake.

“Part of Your World” by Jodi Benson

Song Year: 1989

“Part of Your World” is Ariel’s power ballad, partway into The Little Mermaid. Ariel sings to Flounder how badly she wants to experience the surface world and escape her father’s grasp.

Ariel humorously uses the wrong words for human items throughout the song, including “whozits,” “whatzits,” “gizmos,” and her twenty “thingamabobs.”

Interestingly, despite being called “Part of Your World,” Ariel sings “that world” instead of “your world” in every chorus. “Your world” isn’t used until the song’s later reprise.

“How Far I’ll Go” by Auli’i Cravalho

Song Year: 2016

“How Far I’ll Go” is Moana’s anthem in Moana, written by Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda. “How Far I’ll Go” became an instant classic, having been certified platinum in both the US and UK.

The song is about Moana confronting her dream of traveling the sea. Her dream conflicts with her responsibility to her island and her family.

“How Far I’ll Go” received a reprise later in the movie and a pop cover by Alessia Cara over its credits.

“A Whole New World” by Brad Kane and Lea Salonga

Song Year: 1992

The only Disney song to ever win “Song of the Year” at the Grammy Awards, “A Whole New World” is a stunning ballad from Aladdin and definitively one of the best Disney songs of all time.

The number features a magic carpet ride between Aladdin and Jasmine. Jasmine finally experiences the freedom she’s so desired and both heroes are overwhelmed by their feelings toward each other.

Lyricist Tim Rice cleverly added a nod to Bill Furry’s song “A Wondrous Place” in the final chorus.

“Reflection” by Lea Salonga

Song Year: 1997

“Reflection” is a tragic solo from the beginning of Mulan. Mulan sings about how she doesn’t feel like she lives up to her family’s expectations, or even her own reflection.

Being unsure of yourself is one of the most universal human emotions, and “Reflection” expresses this perfectly. This song is what drives Mulan to make the impossible choice to leave her family, join the army, and entirely change her reflection.

The song was later covered by Christina Aguilera — the artist’s debut single.

“Almost There” by Anika Noni Rose

Song Year: 2009

Written by Randy Newman, “Almost There” was one of two songs from The Princess and the Frog to be nominated for an Oscar.

In the song, Tiana sings about how close she is to successfully opening her own restaurant — a dream she’s carried since losing her father.

Interestingly, “Almost There” is both somber and exciting. While Tiana is very thrilled to fulfill her dream, there’s also a level of sadness in not being “there” yet — and knowing she may never be.

“We Don’t Talk About Bruno” by La Gaita, Mauro Castillo, Adassa, Rhenzy Feliz, Diane Guerrero, Stephanie Beatriz, and the Encanto Cast

Song Year: 2021

Encanto was the first Disney soundtrack to have multiple songs reach Billboard’s Top 10, and “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” was the main performer in this feat.

“We Don’t Talk About Bruno” occurs almost halfway into Encanto’s runtime, opening a can of worms about Bruno and the entire rest of the family. The song reveals some of the deepest grudges, desires, and resentments of the Madrigal family.

“Let It Go” by Idina Menzel

Song Year: 2013

Arguably the most recognizable Disney song in the modern-day, “Let It Go” was an instant hit from Frozen. The song follows Princess Elsa finally breaking the chains that have held her back and embracing her true self.

In the original plans for Frozen, Elsa was intended to be the main villain. However, after husband-wife duo Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez wrote the first drafts for “Let It Go,” the rest of the movie was rewritten to make Elsa a hero.

“Let It Go” reached No. 5 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and was certified platinum in the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, and Japan.

“Show Yourself” by Idina Menzel and Evan Rachel Wood

Song Year: 2019

Following the success of Frozen’s “Let It Go,” it was clear that Frozen II’s soundtrack would need to be just as good, if not better. Fortunately, the Lopez’s did not disappoint.

Frozen II features two songs sung primarily by Elsa. “Show Yourself” follows Elsa exploring the mysteries of Ahtohallan, not only learning the truth about her parents but the truth about herself.

“Show Yourself” is an incredibly emotional and moving song, followed almost immediately by Elsa’s apparent death.

“Belle” by Paige O’Hara, Richard White, and Chorus

Song Year: 1991

“Belle” is the iconic opening number of Beauty and the Beast. Movie and music critics alike praised “Belle” for its musical way of introducing audiences to the story’s hero, Belle.

The song winds Belle around town, demonstrating her love for reading, the town’s judgy opinions, Gaston’s unquenchable lust, and ultimately Belle’s naivety. And did we mention you’ll never be able to get it out of your head?

Outside of the live-action remake starring Emma Watson, “Belle” has gone on to be recreated in parody and as a lasting trope. Notably, the feature-length South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut parodies “Belle” with the song “Mountain Town,” and Encanto carries on the song’s legacy with “Family Madrigal.”

“Colors of the Wind” by Judy Kuhn

Song Year: 1995

The anthem of Pocahontas, “Colors of the Wind” is a beautiful song about respecting and appreciating nature. This pop ballad took inspiration from indigenous cultures to draw analogies like a wolf crying to the moon and the strength of Sycamore trees.

“Colors of the Wind” was a moderate hit, reaching No. 4 on Billboard’s Hot 100. The song also won an Oscar, a Grammy, and a Golden Globe, earning its place as one of the best Disney songs.

“When You Wish Upon a Star” by Cliff Edwards

Song Year: 1940

Originally sung by Jiminy Cricket in Pinocchio, “When You Wish Upon a Star” went on to become the Walt Disney Company’s signature song.

The song’s meaning is quite simple and in line with the Disney brand: those who dream will see their dreams answered, so long as you dream with all your heart.

Originally, “When You Wish Upon a Star” was not meant to be sung by Jiminy Cricket. Jiminy’s voice actor, Cliff Edwards, had done a temporary recording of the song during development, but Disney decided to keep his version after Jiminy was made the narrator.

“You’ll Be in My Heart” by Artist

Song Year: 1999

Tarzan brought English singer/drummer Phil Collins onboard to write their soundtrack. “You’ll Be in My Heart” was without a doubt the strongest song from Tarzan, winning Best Original Song at the Oscars.

Despite being upbeat, “You’ll Be in My Heart” is a rather melancholy song. The lyrics are about two people with a close relationship who know they will soon be apart — but also know they’ll never be apart.

“You’ve Got a Friend in Me” by Randy Newman

Song Year: 1996

“You’ve Got a Friend in Me” is the main theme of Toy Story, Pixar’s first feature film. It’s a slow-paced and comforting song about Woody and Andy’s friendship.

“You’ve Got a Friend in Me” received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song, which it lost to “Colors of the Wind” from Pocahontas. A Spanish cover of “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” plays over the credits of Toy Story 3.

“Nobody Like U” by 4*TOWN

Song Year: 2022

Written by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell, “Nobody Like U” is the most popular song by 4*TOWN, the fictional boy band in Turning Red. Eilish and O’Connell were first contacted to write the songs for Turning Red in 2016.

The song’s lyrics are straight cheese, complimenting the audience and trying to make them feel as special as possible. Despite its lyrics, “Nobody Like U” is an absolute bop that’s near impossible to get out of your head.

“I’ll Make a Man Out of You” by Donny Osmond

Song Year: 1998

“I’ll Make a Man Out of You” occurs about halfway through Mulan and quickly became the fan-favorite song of this movie musical. The song is sung by Captain Li as he attempts to train his inexperienced army to face the Huns.

The irony of “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” comes from the movie’s plot — Mulan is not a man. Mulan actively fights against misogyny but also struggles to live up to the unrealistic expectations of what a man should be.

By the end of the song, Mulan has not been “made a man,” but she’s on par with her fellow soldiers regardless. “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” is one of the best Disney songs for workouts.

“Zero to Hero” by Tawatha Agee, Lillias White, LaChanze, Roz Ryan, Cheryl Freeman, and Vanéese Y. Thomas

Song Year: 1997

Sung by the Muses themselves, “Zero to Hero” celebrates the titular hero of Hercules. The song takes place shortly after Hercules defeats the mighty Hydra and becomes a celebrity in Greece.

The Disney team decided “Zero to Hero,” along with other songs on the Hercules soundtrack, should be written and performed in a gospel style. They saw gospel music as “music for God,” so it seemed fitting for a movie about gods.

“Into the Unknown” by Idina Menzel and AURORA

Song Year: 2019

“Into the Unknown” is Elsa’s first glass-shattering solo of Frozen II. The song follows Elsa’s subconscious longing for adventure.

Though Elsa is content and happy with her new family, she still feels a piece of her that needs to be let go. Only by listening to this part of her soul can she truly be happy.

The song prominently features a mysterious siren call performed by Norwegian artist AURORA.

“The Bare Necessities” by Phil Harris

Song Year: 1967

The most iconic musical number from the original Jungle Book, “The Bare Necessities” is an upbeat jazz song sung by Baloo the Bear and Mowgli.

“The Bare Necessities” was one of two songs that were used in the 2016 live-action remake. Bill Murray performed the number, but not to the extent it was sung in the 1967 animated film.

“Be Our Guest” by Jerry Orbach and Angela Lansbury

Song Year: 1991

The most recognizable song from Beauty and the Beast, “Be Our Guest” is an explosive musical number about midway through the movie. The song follows Lumière and the rest of the houseware putting on a true dinner and show for their first guest in years.

“Be Our Guest” was set in a Broadway-musical style. Fittingly, Beauty and the Beast went on to become a Broadway musical, with “Be Our Guest” being its most notable number.

“I See the Light” by Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi

Song Year: 2010

“I See the Light” is Tangled’s romantic ballad, plunging the love story between Rapunzel and Eugene forward.

Throughout the movie, the Kingdom of Corona’s floating lanterns had symbolized Rapunzel’s desire to see the rest of the world. Only now does she understand why.

“I See the Light” was nominated for both a Golden Globe and an Oscar. It lost the latter to Toy Story 3’s “We Belong Together.”

“Remember Me” by Gael García, Gabriella Flores, and Libertad García Fonzi

Song Year: 2017

“Remember Me” is the Oscar-winning song featured numerous times in Coco. “Remember Me” was first introduced as one of Ernesto de la Cruz’s many hit songs but was later revealed to have been a lullaby stolen from Grandma Coco’s late father, Héctor.

By the end of the movie, the story’s hero Miguel returns the lullaby to his family and reawakens old memories in Grandma Coco that would’ve been lost forever. A pop cover of the song plays over the movie’s credits.

“Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” by Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke

Song Year: 1964

Should you ever not have a word to describe your emotions, a certain nanny has just the vernacular for you! “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” is the most upbeat and unforgettable number from Mary Poppins.

The word “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” was the one keepsake the children were allowed to take with them from the magical world they had explored, making this more than just a fun song.

“Be Prepared” by Jeremy Irons, Whoopi Goldberg, Cheech Marin, and Jim Cummings

Song Year: 1994

“Be Prepared” is Scar’s song in The Lion King, explaining his evil plans to kill Mufasa and take over the Pride Lands. He is accompanied by the hyena chorus as he feeds them lies.

A deleted reprise of “Be Prepared” featured the unseen banishment of Nala after Scar had taken over Pride Rock.

“Under the Sea” by Samuel E. Wright

Song Year: 1989

Written in both a Calypso and Reggae style, “Under the Sea” is the Oscar- and Grammy-winning musical number from The Little Mermaid.

“Under the Sea” is performed by Sebastian, King Triton’s crab servant, as he tries to convince Ariel not to become part of our world. “Under the Sea” is one of the best Disney songs to brighten your mood.

“He Lives in You” by Lebo M.

Song Year: 1995

“He Lives in You” is the gorgeous opening number from The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride. The lyrics sing about our ancestors being alive in all of us, setting up the expectations and support on Simba’s shoulders as the new king and a new father.

“He Lives in You” was originally recorded for The Lion King’s follow-up album Rhythm of the Pride Lands. The song was also featured in the Broadway musical The Lion King as “They Live in You” and in the credits of the 2019 remake of The Lion King.

“Friend Like Me” by Robin Williams

Song Year: 1992

Sung by the legendary Robin Williams himself, “Friend Like Me” is an absolute hoot of a song from Aladdin.

“Friend Like Me” features the Genie demonstrating the exciting extent of his powers for his new master. It’s complete with outrageous choreography and pop culture references the Genie should have no way of knowing.

The 2011 Broadway adaptation of Aladdin featured a near-eight-minute performance of “Friend Like Me,” perfectly translating the movie’s animated antics on-stage.

Will Smith performed “Friend Like Me” in the 2019 live-action remake, with rap sections added.

“When She Loved Me” by Sarah McLachlan

“When She Loved Me” by Sarah McLachlan

Song Year: 1999

“When She Loved Me” is Jesse’s ballad from Toy Story 2, introducing her tragic backstory. Jesse’s first owner, Emily, seemingly loved Jesse with all her heart, but one day left her beloved toy in a box on the road.

The song instantly draws a parallel to the first Toy Story, establishing that Jesse is what Woody would’ve been had Andy permanently chosen Buzz over him. The song was nominated for an Oscar, which it lost to Tarzan’s “You’ll Be in My Heart.”

“In a World of My Own” by Kathryn Beaumont

Song Year: 1951

Alice in Wonderland is stuffed with a variety of silly songs, from “The Walrus and the Caterpillar” to “The Unbirthday Song.”

“In a World of My Own” is the song that best represents Alice. Alice’s lyrics make it clear that she truly is the most imaginative person around and that she fantasizes about leaving this land for one of more wonder.

“Surface Pressure” by Jessica Darrow

Song Year: 2021

The only other Encanto song to break Billboard’s Hot 10, “Surface Pressure” is Luisa’s reggaeton-style musical number written by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

“Surface Pressure” establishes the mental anguish caused by the expectations Luisa carries on her shoulders as a middle child. It’s the first song to play into the movie’s theme of toxic family expectations.

“A Cover is Not the Book” by Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Pixie Davies, Joel Dawson, and Nathanael Saleh

Song Year: 2018

“A Cover is Not the Book” is a zany song from midway through Mary Poppins Returns. Mary Poppins and Jack recite stories from P.L. Travers novels through song.

“A Cover is Not the Book” is performed in front of an audience of all cartoons, plus the three children, at the Royal Doulton Musical Hall.

“Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” by Joseph Williams, Sally Dworsky, Nathan Lane, Ernie Sabella, and Kristle Edwards

Song Year: 1994

Winning a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Golden Globe, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” is The Lion King’s insatiable love song. It follows the reunion of Simba and Nala, along with Timon and Pumbaa’s response to their destined romance.

“Can You Feel the Love Tonight” was the most played song on the radio in the United States in 1994. Despite its success, Elton John insisted “Circle of Life” was more deserving of the awards.

“For the First Time in Forever” by Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel

Song Year: 2013

“For the First Time in Forever” is a duet between Elsa and Anna early in Frozen, though the sisters are never together when singing it. The song takes place before Elsa’s coronation, with both sisters being anxious in radically different ways.

Interestingly, “For the First Time in Forever” was added to Frozen only a few months before production, and its reprise was added even later.

A line from the song, “I hope that I don’t vomit in his face,” was removed from the final cut and replaced with a line about chocolate instead.

“Heigh-Ho” by Roy Atwell, Otis Harlan, Billy Gilbert, Pinto Colvig, and Scotty Mattraw

Song Year: 1938

“Heigh-Ho” is the first song sung by the dwarves in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. It peaked at No. 4 on Your Hit Parade.

The song is split into two parts: a staccato “digging” riff while they mine and the iconic “heigh-ho” march as they head home.

“When Will My Life Begin” by Mandy Moore

Song Year: 2010

“When Will My Life Begin” is essentially Rapunzel’s “Belle” song, but instead of being able to take us around town, Rapunzel takes us across the entire ~15 ft of her tower.

Despite being upbeat, “When Will My Life Begin” is a tragic song. Rapunzel has things to occupy her but is clearly miserable due to being cut off from the rest of the world.

“Dos Oruguitas” by Sebastián Yatra

Song Year: 2021

“Dos Oruguitas” is the heartbreaking ballad of Encanto’s third act. It plays over a flashback, revealing the demise of Abuelo Pedro and the birth of Abuela Alma’s miracle.

The Spanish lyrics tell the story of two caterpillars who must be separated to live their lives as butterflies. An English adaptation of the song plays over the movie’s credits.

“Ev’rybody Wants to Be a Cat” by Scatman Crothers, Phil Harris, Robie Lester, and Chorus

Song Year: 1970

“Ev’rybody Wants to Be a Cat” is an upbeat number led by Scat Cat and Thomas O’Malley in the Aristocats. The song is set in a scat style and receives a reprise later in the movie.

“Ev’rybody Wants to Be a Cat” is a celebration of all felines, gradually rising in energy until it sees the cats dancing into downtown Paris.

“Hakuna Matata” by Nathan Lane, Ernie Sabella, Jason Weaver, and Joseph Williams

Song Year: 1994

“Hakuna Matata” is Timon and Pumbaa’s motto and anthem in The Lion King. The Lion King team learned the phrase from a Swahili tribe while doing research for the film.

The song follows Simba learning the worry-free ways of his new warthog and meerkat companions and gradually growing up. “Hakuna Matata” replaced another song that was written early on in the process called “Warthog Rhapsody.”

“Try Everything” by Shakira

Song Year: 2016

“Try Everything” is a song from Zootopia performed by the in-universe character Gazelle (Shakira). It’s an upbeat melody about making the most of your life.

The song plays recurringly throughout the movie before playing over the end titles during a concert. “Try Everything” was certified platinum twice in the United States.

“You’re Welcome” by Dwayne Johnson

Song Year: 2016

“You’re Welcome” is Maui’s unforgettable musical number from Moana. Taking us on a journey across his tattoos, Maui’s catchy melody introduces us to his incredible feats and, most prominently, his ego.

Songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda took inspiration from “Gaston” and “Friend Like Me” when writing “You’re Welcome.”

“Go the Distance” by Roger Bart

Song Year: 1997

“Go the Distance” is Hercules’s solo number in Hercules. Before he was the buff hero on the poster, Hercules was a young boy with only a dream and the blood of Zeus to push him on.

“Go the Distance” received a pop cover by Michael Bolton. Beloved singer/songwriter Ricky Martin also sang “Go the Distance” in the Spanish version of the movie.

“I Wan’na Be Like You (The Monkey Song)” by Louis Prima and Phil Harris

Song Year: 1967

“I Wan’na Be Like You” is King Louie’s jazz musical number from The Jungle Book. King Louie is the first animal Mowgli meets that actually wants to be a human like him, carrying on Mowgli’s impossible choice of staying in the jungle or joining the human world.

King Louie was based almost entirely on legendary singer/trumpeter Louis Prima, including his name and his iconic dance moves.

The Disney animation team filmed Prima dancing to “I Wan’na Be Like You” in black-and-white footage to learn how to properly animate him.

“Kiss the Girl” by Samuel E. Wright

Song Year: 1989

“Kiss the Girl” is Sebastian the crab’s second song in The Little Mermaid. While on a romantic boat trip, Ariel and Eric are influenced to kiss by a variety of undersea creatures.

“Kiss the Girl” was nominated for an Oscar, which it lost to “Under the Sea.” Covers of this song were done by Peter André, Ashley Tisdale, Stellar Kart, Little Texas, Soul II Soul, and Brian Wilson.

“Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” by Kristen Bell, Agatha Lee Monn, and Katie Lopez

Song Year: 2013

Frozen’s iconic opening number, “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” gives us a general introduction to Anna and Elsa.

It follows their childhood after Elsa has learned about her powers. The two sisters are forced to be apart and eventually lose their parents at sea.

According to Nielsen SoundScan, “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” is the second best-selling digital holiday song of all time. The first best-selling holiday song is Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”

“A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes” by Ilene Woods

Song Year: 1950

Often considered the sister song of Pinnochio’s “When You Wish Upon a Star,” “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes” is a pleasant melody Cinderella sings to her animal friends.

The lyrics say if you continue to dream and believe, your dreams will one day come true. “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes” is also strikingly similar to Sleeping Beauty’s “Once Upon a Dream.”

“Lost in the Woods” by Jonathan Groff

Song Year: 2019

“Lost in the Woods” is Kristoff’s solo song from Frozen II. Feeling abandoned by Anna, Kristoff teams up with a chorus of reindeer to find his lost love and prove that they are on the same path.

In the first Frozen, Kristoff had practically no singing lines, despite his voice actor having a prominent music career. “Lost in the Woods” was written to finally teach Kristoff how to deal with his emotions through song.

“Poor Unfortunate Souls” by Pat Carroll

Song Year: 1992

“Poor Unfortunate Souls” is Ursula’s villainous song from The Little Mermaid. Seeing Ariel’s desperation, Ursula gives the poor, unfortunate mermaid an offer she can’t refuse.

One line about holding your tongue is a reference to the original fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, in which the little mermaid had to cut out her own tongue to become human. Ursula notably drops a tongue into a potion during this line.

“What Else Can I Do?” by Diane Guerrero and Stephanie Beatriz

Song Year: 2021

“What Else Can I Do?” is Isabela’s song from Encanto, accompanied by Mirabel. After accidentally growing a cactus for the first time, Isabela is suddenly overcome with everything she can make and do.

Songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda took inspiration for “What Else Can I Do?” from 90s Spanish rock music.

“When Can I See You Again?” by Owl City

Song Year: 2012

Set in a synth/dance-pop style, “When Can I See You Again?” plays over the credits of Wreck-It Ralph. The song was written and performed by the band Owl City, who are best known for their song “Fireflies.”

The song is optimistic in nature, tying into the movie’s themes of prioritizing friendship and not letting go of what makes you happy.

“Love Is an Open Door” by Kristen Bell and Santino Fontana

Song Year: 2013

“Love Is an Open Door” is Hans and Anna’s romantic duet early in Frozen. The pair sing their interpretations of love and conclude that they are perfect for each other because they both seek love.

Despite the lyrics’ naivety and Hans’s ulterior motives, “Love Is an Open Door” is a bop. It’s hard to find a better Disney karaoke song for duets than this one.

“Gaston” by Jesse Corti and Richard White

Song Year: 1991

The villainous theme song of Beauty and the Beast, “Gaston,” is a song with the sole intent of enlarging Gaston’s already massive ego.

“Gaston” is styled as a drinking song primarily led by LeFou. The official soundtrack featured a section where LeFou tries and fails to spell Gaston’s name. This segment was removed from the animated movie’s final cut but returned in the 2017 live-action remake.

Top Disney Songs, Final Thoughts

With over 60 animated classics to date, it’s difficult to narrow a near-infinite list down to the very best Disney songs.

How do beautiful songs with deep meanings like “You’ll Be in My Heart” compare to record-smashing hits like “Let It Go” or songs that continue to be recreated like “Belle”?

Whether they make us dance or make us cry, there’s no shame in loving a good Disney tune.

What do you think are the Best Disney songs?

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