I've put up a Top Ten Favorite Disney songs, so here's a Top Ten Favorite Disney Scores!
10. Kingdom Dance
Composer: Alan Menken
This song is played when Rapunzel and Eugene are in Corona together for her birthday, ending with the Kingdom Dance. This is a fun song and it’s fun to watch. Rapunzel is running around like she’s in Disneyland (something I’m pretty sure the writers were going for) and any time I’m going somewhere exciting like Disneyland or a convention this song plays in my head and I feel like Rapunzel. There’s times where I listen to this song and when the kingdom dance part comes up I feel like joining Rapunzel.
9. Married Life
Composer: Michael Giacchino
This song is played during the Ellie and Carl’s married life scene at the beginning. It’s a simple sounding song, not as overwhelming as some of the others on this list but that’s the thing, to me it sounds like a simple song but it ends up fitting so well with Carl and Ellie’s life together. Their married life looks so simple; going to work, going on picnics, doing daily regular stuff together. To most people that sounds and looks boring but Ellie had plans when she was a kid to go on adventures like her hero Charles Muntz. She and Carl even painted Paradise Falls on their living room wall and tried to save up money to go several times but then things kept coming up. This was a person who had big plans to go on adventures and explore unexplored territory but she was still perfectly happy with the adventure of married life. When I was a kid I was a lot like Ellie and even now I dream of doing some big things. But for now I’m happy being with my husband and one day I’m going to put together an adventure book full of photos of us like Ellie did and surprise my husband with it.
8. I Was Just Trying to Be Brave
Movie: The Lion King
Composer: Hans Zimmer
This song was played during the scene Mufasa reprimanded Simba for disobeying him and they talk about the Great Kings of the Past. Something I really liked about this song is at first it’s almost exactly like the score played when Sarabi was summoned by Scar during the climax of the movie. I like to think it’s a nice parallel between Mufasa and Scar on what kind of kings they were to their subjects. Simba was summoned by Mufasa to be reprimanded and though Mufasa was stern he spoke calmly and barely yelled. Scar, on the other hand, spoke down to Sarabi, yelled at her, and even hit her.
7. Remember/Remember Who You Are
Movie: The Lion King
Composer: Hans Zimmer
This song was played during the scene Simba met Rafiki and Mufasa appeared in the clouds to tell Simba to remember who he was. This is one of my all-time favorite scenes in a Disney movie and I’m so glad this scene had an amazing song to go with it. Another reason I love this song so much is the fact that it sounds so similar to the ending of I Was Just Trying to Be Brave. One of the last moments Simba and Mufasa have together is spent with Mufasa telling Simba of the Great Kings of the Past, about how they will always be there to guide Simba when he’s alone, and someday so will Mufasa himself. Now here’s Simba, alone and needing guidance and Mufasa appears and tells him to remember who he is.
6. Nemo Egg/Main Theme
Movie: Finding Nemo
Composer: Thomas Newman
This song is played throughout the movie, mostly during soft moments; when Marlin finds Nemo’s egg after the barracuda attack, when he starts to lose hope while in the whale, and after the fisherman scene when Marlin was scared Nemo died and we see that part in the beginning again where Marlin made his promise to Nemo that nothing would happen to him. This is a song that gets me crying no matter how many times I hear it. I still remember how shocked I was when eleven-year-old me saw this movie in theaters and saw that Marlin’s entire family was killed except for Nemo. Even after seeing Mufasa, Bambi’s mom, and Littlefoot’s mom dying this felt so much harder to watch. Even though Coral and the other eggs didn’t have as much screen time as the parents I mentioned it was still a shock to see that not only was the mother killed off, but also the babies. I know they were eggs but it was still so horrible, especially after Marlin finds Nemo’s egg and Nemo looks so scared. Even though I consider this a really sad song, there’s been times where I listen to this song to help me calm down.
5. The Egg Travels
Composer: James Newton Howard
This song was played after a carnotaurus attack, leaving Aladar’s egg the only surviving egg in the nest. The egg is then picked up by another dinosaur who wants to eat it only to drop it while fighting with another dinosaur. The egg is then carried down a river and gets picked up by pteranodon who carries the egg to her nest but it’s dropped on lemur island before it gets there. This song and the scene was used for the trailer and it’s because of them I wanted to watch this movie so bad when I was a kid. At the time of this movie’s release I was really into dinosaurs; watching the heck out of Land Before Time and the sequels, begging my parents to get me dinosaur toys, and reading books about them. So when I saw the trailer featuring this song and scene in it I was immediately hooked. I like to think that even if I wasn’t so obsessed with dinosaurs at the time I know I would still love this song and scene because they fit so well together, especially when the egg is carried through the air and we’re flying with it and seeing all the different dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes. The song sounds so adventurous and this is a song I could see being played for a movie like Indiana Jones or The Lion King or Jumanji.
4. Raptors/Stand Together
Composer: James Newton Howard
This song is…wow. Okay so first off, the Raptors part of the song is played when Aladar and the lemurs run into the raptors and have to get away from them. The beginning of it feels like I’m listening to something out of a horror movie and it fits well with what happens in the movie. Aladar and the lemurs have never seen raptors before, living on an island their whole lives, so when they follow one only to be suddenly surrounded by others, it gives this sense of foreboding. The raptors don’t talk like our heroes can so there’s no lying or trickery involved, they’re all just surrounding Aladar and the lemurs looking harmless until one shows its fangs and gives a snarl. That’s when Aladar and the lemurs have to run with the raptors on the chase before they run into the herd. The song where the raptors are chasing Aladar and the lemurs is exactly like the start of the song Stand Together when the carnotaurus corners the herd and is running to attack when Aladar gets the herd to “stand together” and get the carnivore to back off. The song continues through the climax of the movie when Aladar saves Neera and kills the carnotaurus and ends with the herd making it to the Nesting Grounds.
3. One Family
Composer: Mark Mancina
This was played right after Tarzan’s fight with Kerchak after showing Jane, Professor Porter, and Clayton the nest. Kala shows Tarzan the treehouse his parents died in, the place were she found him. As Tarzan explores the treehouse you can hear a rendition of “you’ll be in my heart” playing. Like Nemo's Egg/Main Theme, this is a song that, no matter how many times I listen to it, gets me tearing up. Even as a kid this song would get me close to crying, mostly when Tarzan tells a crying Kala that no matter where he goes, she will always be his mother and she tells him he will always be in her heart. We’ve seen in this movie that Tarzan and Kala had this incredible bond and just seeing them together you could see how much they loved each other. I can only name a few movies where I can see a parent and child love each other and really feel that love and this movie was one of them.
Movie: Beauty and the Beast
Composer: Alan Menken
Okay this song might not be entirely instrumental since there’s narration included but on a lot of sites it’s labeled as score so I’m including it anyway. This song is played at the very beginning of the movie, telling the story of the Beast and the curse. I really wish there was a version of this song without the narration because the song itself is so beautiful. Do not get me wrong, I absolutely adore David Ogden Stiers and his voice work was one of the very best, it just would be so nice to listen to this song on its own. The piano played in this is so memorizing and calming. If you were to play the first few seconds of this song I would be able to recognize it immediately.
1. Mulan’s Decision
Composer: Jerry Goldsmith
This song is played when Mulan makes the choice to take her father’s place in the army. I know I keep saying this but this song fit so freaking well with this scene. This is supposed to be an epic scene in the movie and so the song itself is epic. It’s not even just me who thinks this, many fans of this movie have agreed that this song is as badass as the scene itself. This is another song I’ve loved since I was a kid and this is another Disney scene I love the most. In fact, I’m listening to this song as I’m writing this article because it gets me so amped up.