Pics have been added and updated!!
So here is the Part 2 to my musical countdown: Scores. I love Disney music and I honestly love the scores over the songs. They have all of the "magic Disney" feel that I absolutely adore. Also, I love how the scores can provide a blend of the different songs from it's respective films as well as stir up all of the emotions and/or memories from it's respective scene(s). For those reasons, this list was much harder for me to make than Part 1: Songs, but I managed to finish! As I mentioned before, I cannot get enough from the musical team of Alan Menken and Howard Ashman (RIP) so you will definitely see the reflection of that in this countdown. Additionally, I really like and listen to classical music from time to time so you will most likely see the reflection of my favorite classical composers as well. (Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Beethoven, Saint-Saens, Chopin, Wagner, Vivaldi, etc.)
20. Fireworks- The Little Mermaid:
I think this perfectly captures the "awe" that Ariel feels when she first notices the ship as well as compliments the splendor of the fireworks.
19. River's Edge- Pocahontas:
I love how soft this track is and I love the blending of "Virginia Company" with the more natural instruments to show the collision (and foreshadowing the unity) between Pocahontas and John Smith. Such a beautifully done track.
18. Coronation Day- Frozen:
I think this does a wonderful job at capturing both the eagerness of Anna as well as the anxiety of Elsa and blends them beautifully. Although it is played just before the coronation, it still gives a great intro to the feel of both characters.
17. West Wing- Beauty and the Beast:
I love how this track captures the enticement of Belle's curiosity as well as the mystery of the west wing itself. It's a bit dark and haunting but absolutely beautiful. I also think it portrays how fragile the beast is behind his image as well as how enchanted he is. The track has an overall "enchanted" feel but you can even tell which part Belle discovers the "enchanted rose" at. This is track is completely memorable and epic to me, especially with the wolf attack and beast's heroism in the finale.
16. Jig- The Little Mermaid:
Normally I'm not a big fan of this type of music but it's so fitting for the scene, so pleasant and memorable. I love how it's slightly lively and upbeat yet slow enough to capture the feel of Ariel slowly falling for Eric as she watches him interact with Max on the ship. It also perfectly captures Eric's laidback yet royal/noble personality. I think it's so sweet and endearing with some cute playfulness, just like the scene it plays in.
15. Merida's Home- Brave:
I love how soft and sweet this track is without losing the powerful element. I think it very nicely represents the balance that Merida is looking for: true to herself but also trying to reach beyond herself to be more mature and controlled. I also think it does a great job at conveying the joy of the return to stability. Overall a beautiful piece with a nice traditional feel that is "just right".
14. Grandmother Willow- Pocahontas:
I have always found this track to be so peaceful and relaxing. Absolutely perfect for stretching or meditating etc. It has such a great natural feel to it with a touch of mystery and splendor that I think fits the introduction of Grandmother Willow absolutely beautifully. I always listen to it as an intro to "Listen With Your Heart" as well because it works perfectly that way.
13. Skirmish- Pocahontas:
I love how it starts with a soft hint of the "spinning arrow" music into "If I Never Knew You" and then picks up to greatly show the clash of love and hate (jealousy) so poetically. It perfectly captures the peak of love in the kiss between Pocahontas and Smith as well as the peak of hate in Kocoum's immediate subsequent attack on Smith. Pure poetry.
12. Overture- Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs:
This track perfectly captures the feel of Disney magic to me, and it should being that it's 100% Walt Disney-approved! I love the medley of "One Song" into "Someday My Prince Will Come" . I find it to be so sweeping, romantic and just overall grand. A truly classic and timeless piece that I always associate with all of the spectacular feel of "Disney magic".
11. Winter's Waltz- Frozen:
So sweeping, peaceful and beautiful! This track has the feel of snowflakes of falling onto a gorgeous Winter Wonderland. I know Anna and Hans are dancing during this tune but it is still a romantic score nonetheless. Very elegant, romantic, sweeping and I love it! It makes me want to waltz around...
10. Tour of the Kingdom- The Little Mermaid:
I absolutely adore the elegant feel of this track! I think it perfectly captures the tingling excitement that Ariel is finally experiencing for the first time. I especially love the part where Eric lifts Ariel while they are dancing in the accompanying scene. I think this track does such a beautiful job showing off Ariel's feminine and romantic spontaneity as well as her newly found contentment. This lovely track has always stood out to me since the first time I saw the film. Great use of the horns.
9. The Beast Lets Belle Go- Beauty and the Beast:
It starts off with what feels like remnants of "Beauty and the Beast" and it perfectly conveys the conflict within the beast. He loves Belle in a way that he has never experienced love before and just as he is realizing this, he also realizes that he must let her go because of the fact that he loves her. The music perfectly captures his emotional pain with this decision. It is so sad and heartbreaking yet bittersweet because his sacrifice is an act of true love
. Such a powerful and emotional track to fit a powerful and emotional scene.
8. The Kiss- Aladdin:
I love how soft, sweet, simple and romantic this track is. I think it perfectly captures the feel of a "fresh new love" blossoming. I also think it does a wonderful job at capturing the tenderness, shyness and excitement of a "first kiss". Very beautiful and content feel overall.
7. Maleficent's Frustration- Sleeping Beauty:
One of the all-time greatest Disney villains ever, in my opinion, but certainly the best villainous score. This track fits Maleficent perfectly: incredibly creeping and haunting without the slightest bit of corny. Her dark and mysterious character is embodied in this track, as well as the suspicious vibe all around her (as though you never know her next move but you do know to dread it).
6. Pocahontas- Pocahontas:
I really love how this track perfectly captures the many aspects of Pocahontas' personality. From her quiet and deep contemplativeness to her energetic spirituality to her bold daringness to her sneaky bit of "prankster" to her subtle beauty; She is completely covered in this track. I always think of her on top of the cliff, surrounded and embraced by nature and her mother's spirit whenever I hear this.
5. Awakening- Sleeping Beauty:
I adore the slow build up in this track, so fitting of Aurora softly and gracefully awakening from her sleep/curse. I love the medley of the fairies (blue or pink) to "hail to the princess Aurora" to the grand trumpet announcement and into the sweet-sounding medieval melody. I think this perfectly conveys the soft and feminine as well as majestic and graceful qualities of Aurora, such a true princess. It was also very fitting of the reuniting of Aurora with her parents, King Stefan and Queen Leah. A perfect score for a perfect princess!
4. Transformation- Beauty and the Beast:
Incredibly touching symphonic piece to melt the heart. It is just so beautiful and powerful. I love how it conveys all of the magical feel of the spell breaking and the transforming of the beast back to his human form. In the scene, magic seems to come down with the rain and the track captures that feel perfectly. I think it's very epic and it captures the entire ending arc of the film, beautifully. From the sadness of the beast dying to the splendor of the magic changing everything around to the romantic grand celebration at the end, this score fits it all in wonderfully. (You can even tell which part Chip makes his little joke/question and Maurice & Mrs. Potts have a chuckle.) Additionally, I think the fact that it ends with notes and the choir from "Beauty and the Beast" gives it the perfectly sweet and romantic ending it deserves.
3. Magical House Cleaning/Blue or Pink- Sleeping Beauty:
I have always loved this bouncy, feminine and optimistic melody! This track has always stood out to me as capturing the "Disney magic" feel that I love. To me, this track feels a lot like Disneyland/world itself. I love the magical "fight" scene this accompanies and I love the finale musically! This track makes me want to skip around happily and get things done, perfect blend of energy and optimism. Perfect "Disney" feel. This score always makes me think of magic and the fun of magic! (I always wished I could clean, bake and sew the way the fairies do in this scene!)
2. Main Titles- The Little Mermaid:
It's not just nostalgia with this one, it's a genuine, timeless and classic piece to me. Talk about absolute perfection to hook people in! I find that this track is perfect at capturing all of the magic and splendor of seeing Atlantica for the first time, as well as the mermaids within it. I am not the least bit surprised that this was the film that triggered Disney's Renaissance period. Everything about this track is grand, captivating and epic to me. Of course, I also really love the incorporation of "Part of That World" in it, which only assists in making it such a grand piece. I don't mind the subtle vocalizing towards the end either. An epic, splendid and absolutely captivating track that is completely fitting of the splendor of introducing the audience to the magic beneath the sea
. Timeless classic to me.
1. Execution- Pocahontas:
The most beautiful and symphonic track of all, in my opinion. Whenever I hear this, I almost feel like I can actually feel the wind embracing and dancing around me because of how well done this track is. I cant get over the harmonious blend of "Colors of the Wind" into "If I Never Knew You"... I think this track is done so beautifully that it's even better than both of the songs it incorporates and I love both of those songs! Just an absolutely gorgeous and captivating score that overwhelms in the best possible way....
So there you have it! My top 20 favorite DP Scores. Thanks for taking the time to read this!