Updated: Mar 9
Disney has been a major part of pop culture for the last 50+ years. As they continue to expand and absorb other companies and gain the rights to more franchises, they’re becoming bigger than ever before. Beyond their films, TV shows, and legacy characters, they’re a brand. But at their core, to so many people, they are an important part of their childhood.
I was raised on Disney movies. My mom made sure we had a big stack of Disney movies on VHS to choose from. If you’re a 90s or 2000s baby, you probably remember the ones. They weren’t just a cardboard sleeve. They had a full plastic covering that opened and closed like a storybook. These cases must have been pretty well made for how often I pulled them off our shelves to play The Little Mermaid and Sleeping Beauty over and over.This is all background to let you know, I’m a Disney person. I wouldn’t classify myself as a “Disney Adult” by any means, but I hold a lot of nostalgia for the movies. So, I thought to myself, why not try to rank a bunch of Disney songs?
The classic VHS tapes. Photo by Paul Sableman sourced from Flickr
Looking at this title you’re probably wondering how in the world I’m going to rank 100 Disney songs, and how it’s going to fit in one blog post. The short answer: it’s not. To make this more digestible, I’m going to break it up, and make this into a 5-part blog series. We’ll start from the bottom 20 I’ve chosen and work our way up to the final 20 (A.K.A.: my Top 20 Disney Songs).
I’m hoping some other Disney fans can find some enjoyment in this blog series because it’s definitely going to be fun for me.
Here are some set parameters/caveats I want to put out there before we begin:
In ranking these, I listed out songs from the included 31 Disney movies. Here are the movies included.
From the movie lists, I went through and determined which tier I’d want to place them in. A-tier being my favorites, B-tier being great songs, C-tier being solid tunes, and D-tier being meh/forgettable songs. From there, I separated all the songs into their respective tiers and ranked the songs from each section. This made going from #1 to #100 A LOT easier.
I chose songs I actually knew, and I couldn’t choose every single song, or this ranking would be much longer. I curated this list with songs I know as best as I could, but some songs might be missing, and it’s likely intentional to keep this at 100.
Just because a song is ranked low and you might love the song, please know that my personal ranking is not any sort of personal attack. If you love this song and would rate it far higher, that’s great! I’m happy for you. Since this is just my personal ranking and there are so many great songs to choose from, some must be at the bottom, even if they’re decent songs. That’s just the way ranking goes.
Some lower-ranked songs on this list might wind up there because they’re not that memorable for me. You’ll notice from this bottom 20 that a lot of them are from newer movies. This does not mean the movies are bad. It just means the songs didn’t resonate with me.
With all that out of the way, let’s take a look at which Disney movie songs are ranked in the bottom 20.
Disney Song Rankings #100-81
100) “What Made the Red Man Red” – Peter Pan
This is a song that just hasn’t aged well AT ALL. Peter Pan came out in 1953, so it may give context to why a song so racist could get greenlit and stuck in a kid’s movie. With its exaggerated and problematic stereotypes, it belongs at the bottom of this list.
99) “Mine Mine Mine” – Pocahontas
One villain song is enough, and Pocahontas has two. And this one just doesn’t hit for me. It’s probably the song I remember least from this movie. Also, a whole song about stealing from Native Americans just isn’t one I find myself singing along to years later, for obvious reasons.
98) “Topsy Turvy” – The Hunchback of Notre Dame
While my mom got me a lot of Disney VHS tapes growing up, The Hunchback of Notre Dame was surprisingly not one of them. I know I saw this movie as a kid, but I honestly forgot this song completely, so for that, along with just being a meh song, it’s going at the bottom.
97) “Mother Knows Best” - Tangled
While Tangled is a great movie, this villain song from it is forgettable and cheesy. It’s not something worth replaying on your own time outside of the movie. It sets up the plot, establishing Rapunzel’s situation, but it’s not that catchy of a song.
96) “Out There” – The Hunchback of Notre Dame
As I established, The Hunchback of Notre Dame isn’t one of “my” movies, so a lot of the songs are forgettable to me. While “Out There” has a nice melancholy tone, it isn’t one you’ll find on any of my playlists.
95) “Show Yourself” – Frozen II
Frozen II was a solid movie, but in my opinion, the songs didn’t hit as hard as the songs from the original. And of all the songs from the sequel, I find this one the weakest. Idina Menzel has a great voice. There’s no denying that. But the song is forgettable.
94) “What Else Can I Do” - Encanto
Encanto is one of the most recent Disney releases that leans heavily on music to drive the story. And most of the songs are great. This isn’t a bad song, but it pales in comparison to the other songs in Encanto. And it’s not one I go searching for, and I often skip it if the album is playing.
93) “Into the Unknown” – Frozen II
This was supposed to be the next “Let It Go” and was the main track of Frozen II. It’s an okay song, but it’s leagues behind “Let It Go.” For that, it’s getting ranked pretty low. Sequels rarely surpass the original, but the songs in the sequel just weren’t as effective as the ones from the first film.
92) “The Unbirthday Song – Alice in Wonderland
I think this is the only Alice in Wonderland song from the movie, and while the movie is a lot of fun, it’s not one known for its song. This song really isn’t that memorable. I can only remember one line from it. So, I’d say that makes it pretty forgettable.
91) “I’ve Got a Dream” - Tangled
The scene that this song is featured in is a fun one. But there’s something about it that doesn’t work for me on its own. Without the corresponding scene, this song is just meh. We meet a whole bunch of characters for this song, and then we move forward with Rapunzel and Flynn’s journey, and they’re forgotten, much like this song.
90) “Love Is an Open Door” - Frozen
I know I said Frozen songs are better BUT if I may backtrack. This is in my opinion, the weakest Frozen song. It’s still a fun one, but it’s not one I find myself replaying on its own. And the song is sung partly by *spoiler alert* the guy who betrayed Anna, so that makes it meh too.
89) “Go the Distance” - Hercules
This is another movie that I didn’t have a VHS of. At least, not that I can remember. I definitely saw the movie a handful of times, but it just isn’t one of my top Disney movies, and of all the Hercules song, this is the one I see as the weakest.
88) “For the First Time in Forever” - Frozen
Look, I get it. Frozen songs are cool. To have a bottom 20 however, some songs need to go there. This song is fun, but it doesn’t come before a lot of other songs I like. It’s a meh song for me because it’s not one I go out of my way to listen to outside of the movie.
87) “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” – The Lion King
This is probably a hot take, but I think this is the weakest The Lion King song. As a kid, I just didn’t get it. Beautifully sung, but even now, I don’t go out of my way to seek it out. Sorry Lion mating song. You’re just not for me.
86) “Friend Like Me” - Aladdin
Looking at this bottom 20, you can get an idea of the movies that weren’t my favorites or in frequent rotation. That doesn’t mean they’re bad movies. They just weren’t as big of a part of my childhood. That’s the case with Aladdin. I know I’d seen it once or twice, but I didn’t really know the story that well. I know people love Genie and Robin Williams is a big part of that. He makes the character so great. I hate to break Aladdin lovers’ hearts, but I just think this song is meh. I can only remember part of the chorus. So, for that it had to go into the bottom 20.
85) “Bells of Notre Dame” – The Hunchback of Notre Dame
This is another song from Hunchback of Notre Dame, which I already mentioned wasn’t one I saw often as a kid, so it’s here in the bottom 20. On top of that, this is also way too long of a song that isn’t very replayable on its own in my opinion.
84) “Some Things Never Change” – Frozen II
Another Frozen II track that just isn’t one I seek out. To me, it’s just an average song meant to drive the plot along. I’m not knocking the vocals. It’s more so the average lyrics and lack of replay value.
83) “Hail to the Princess Aurora” – Sleeping Beauty
I had to put my own nostalgia aside for this one. While I myself used to march around chanting this as a kid, looking back on it as adult, it’s really not that special. The first thirty or so seconds is decent, but it runs too long after that. Don’t believe me? Give the Spotify version another listen. It’s also not the type of vibe I’m apt to seek out, really.
82) “Steady as the Beating Drum” - Pocahontas
This one fits into the meh category for me because it’s not a song I remember much of aside from part of the chorus. Forgettable songs have to go near the bottom, even if the movie they come out is pretty cool. Pocahontas has better songs.
81) “Trust in Me (Python’s Song)” – The Jungle Book
This song when paired with the clip from the movie is pretty creepy. Outside of that, it isn’t one I would say I like. I definitely don’t like it enough to listen to it outside of The Jungle Book. Kaa’s voice always sounded like Winnie the Pooh to me, so that made him a little less scary as a villain too.
With that, the countdown has begun! These are the bottom 20 Disney songs in my ranking of 100. I’ll be ranking 80 more throughout this series, working my way up to my top 20. If you haven’t seen a song you love, that’s a good thing! It means we might share the same favorites. To find what those are, keep checking out this blog series as I rank 100 Disney songs in 20 song increments. The next blog will feature #80-#61. Will your favorite Disney song rank that low in my personal ranking? Check out part two to find out. Until then, just keep swimming! Thanks for reading.
Written by Kristen Petronio