One of the most enjoyable aspects of watching Disney animated films is their music. Music is essential to Disney’s animation brand. Often, original songs were written for the films to help tell the stories and convey the moods of the characters better.
Are you working on a shot with a music number and not sure where to start? Or are you feeling a bit stuck in your animation work right now? Listen to the 11 happy tunes below, chosen from Disney and it subsidiary, Pixar, to get some inspiration. They will definitely brighten up your day.
A YouTube and Spotify playlist can be found at the bottom of the page, feel free to copy, add and create your own happy songs list.
Here is my Happy Disney Songs List:
1. In Summer (Frozen)
“Put me in summer and I’ll be a – happy snowman!”
This song makes me happy every time I listen to it. Performed by The Book of Mormon’s Josh Gad, it’s funny to watch a snowman imagining what it is like to be in summer and singing a happy tune to it. The witty play on words such as “cooler in summer” and the unspoken word “puddle” made the song so much more hilarious.
2. Friend Like Me (Aladdin)
“You ain’t never had a friend like me.”
Nominated for the Best Original Song in 1992 Academy Award, this song is written by one of the greatest duo in animation music, Alan Menken and Howard Ashman. This comedic number is packed with lots of action and animation within the short 2.5 minutes. Not to forget that this song is performed by the late Robin Williams.
3. Be Our Guest (Beauty and the Beast)
“Be our guest! Be our guest! Put our service to the test.”
Again, written by the great music duo, Alan Menken and Howard Ashman. this song is also nominated by the Academy Award for the Best Original Song in 1991. If you love Broadway music as much as I do, then you should absolutely add this catchy, French-inspired music to your playlist.
4. Under the Sea (The Little Mermaid)
“Under the sea, under the sea.
Darling it’s better, down where it’s wetter . Take it from me.”
I didn’t pick these songs based on who wrote them. But yet again, this song was written by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman. This reggae-like, fun song won the Best Original Song in the Academy Award in 1989. I haven’t watched The Little Mermaid before, but this song is so popular and catchy, you cannot NOT know this song.
5. Hakuna Matata (The Lion King)
“It means no worries for the rest of your days.
It’s our problem free philosophy, Hakuna Matata”
This catchy and upbeat song is written by Elton John and Tim Rice, and was nominated for the Best Original Song by the Academy Award in 1994. Hakuna Matata means “no worries” and this phrase has been popularized by this song. Even the musical, The Book of Mormon, made a parody out of it.
6. You’ve Got a Friend in Me (Toy Story)
“You’ve got a friend in me, you’ve got a friend in me“
Not an upbeat and funny song, but this light-hearted song puts a smile on your face. Written and recorded by Randy Newman, this song was also a nominee for the Best Original Song in 1995’s Academy Award. This song was also used for the theme song for all the Toy Story sequel.
7. If I Didn’t Have You (Monsters, Inc)
“I wouldn’t have nothing, if I didn’t have you“
Same as You’ve Got a Friend in Me, this song was written and sung by singer-songwriter, Randy Newman. Even though this song has a similar vibe as the Toy Story theme song, it’s still a nice, heart-warming song that makes you happy. Plus, it helped Randy Newman won his first Oscar, the Best Original Song in the 2001’s Academy Award.
8. When We’re Human (Princess and the Frog)
“If I were a human being, I’d head straight for New Orleans”
This is another song composed by Randy Newman. Although not as popular as the other animated features, Princess and the Frog has quite a number of good jazz, blues and gospel songs. I almost visited New Orleans in 2013 when I went to US for a vacation because of the music in this animation.
9. When Will My Life Begin (Tangled)
“Just wonder when will my life begin?“
This mid-tempo rock song is composed by the talented Alan Menken again and this time he collaborated with lyricist, Glenn Slater. There are a lot of great songs in Tangled. I choose this song because it represents the start of life, the start of the movie and the start of a new adventure. Starting afresh is always fun and exciting.
10. Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo (Cinderella)
“Salagadoola mechicka boola bibbidi-bobbidi-boo
Put ’em together and what have you got“
One of the nominees for the Best Original Song in the 1950 Academy Award. This song has nonsensical lyrics, but it’s still fun to sing along with it. Life doesn’t have to be taken too seriously.
11. The Bare Necessities (The Jungle Book)
“Look for the bare necessities, the simple bare necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife“
Nominated for the Best Original Song in 1967 Academy Award, I didn’t know about this song until I was researching for this list. A simple, happy song that helps you forget about your worry and stress. Watch how the boy (Mowgli) tries to learn the way of life from the bear (Baloo) in the jungle.