Wednesday, September 11, 2013

My Top 10 Disney Songs Sung By Males

I recently watched this YouTube video over on the Geek and Sundry vloggers channel, ranking the top 10 male-sung Disney songs, and all I could think was, "Well, that was a predictable list." But it did inspire me to write my own! And maybe I'll follow it up with a list of favorite female-sung Disney songs next week.

These are my 10 favorite Disney songs performed mostly or exclusively by male characters.

It's such a simple melody, but such a catchy one. I love the combination of light and dark when it's introduced in the film. On one hand, it's a pretty light-hearted villain song, especially given that the actual singer is just teasing his wife about her awful friend all the way through. On the other, the dogs are clearly genuinely afraid of her (as they should be, of course). Cruella herself treads this light/dark line, as she's often over-the-top and campy and comedic, but at the same time a truly horrifying, cruel creature. The song is great, I love how it's used in the film, and it easily belongs in this #10 slot.

I'm not much of a fan of the Aladdin movie, but the music itself is pretty great. This is easily the best song from the movie, a tremendously exciting, adventurous song that really shows off Aladdin's happy-go-lucky personality. The pace speeds up as the song goes along, all leading to the awesome final verse, where he very nearly gets caught and just manages to escape for good. "Adventure" is really the very best word to describe why this song is so much fun.

And I am definitely not a fan of A Goofy Movie, but I think its soundtrack is seriously underrated. (In fact, it might just make another appearance on this list.) This song itself is sweet, but there's just something about the melody that really appeals to me. Every time it shows up on my iPod it makes me smile. There's nothing really that special or noteworthy about it, I just really, really enjoy it.

Beauty and the Beast is my very favorite Disney movie, and it killed me a little bit to not have enough space for Be Our Guest and The Mob Song on here, but this is (right now, anyway) my favorite song from the movie. It's a boisterous, rollicking drinking song, and every minute of it is great fun. I especially love how Gaston himself eagerly starts singing his own praises after just a minute or two.

And can I say, Gaston himself is one of the reasons I really love the whole movie - it's one of the first Disney fairy tales where the villain is meant to be better-looking than the hero. Gaston has the (slightly exaggerated) physique of the typical Prince Charming, and while that's apparently enough to captivate Ariel, Cinderella, Aurora, and Snow White, Belle sees through all that to the monster he is inside.

Another good song from a not-very-good movie. There are also a few sections where a female joins in this song, but it's still primarily male-sung, so I'm counting it. The lyrics are ever so dated, but that just makes me smile and love it more. It's just a cheerful tribute to the joys of jamming out to good music with a group of friends. The song has next to nothing to do with the actual plot of the movie, but it's absolutely the best part of it.

This movie almost was quite good. Take out the talking gargoyles and the happy ending, and the parts that focus on the actual story of Quasimodo, Frollo, and Esmeralda are gorgeous and compelling. As it is, the soundtrack is still amazing - thank you, Stephen Schwartz. This whole song is a captivating one, from the beginning when Frollo insists he stay inside, to the very last note Quasimodo sings, both hopeful and desperate to spend some time among the people he can only watch. It's a beautiful and touching song about isolation and loneliness.

When I first wrote this list, this was down at #6, but upon listening to it again, I thought, "Nope. Nope. Bump it up." The vlogger who inspired me to write this blog included Hakuna Matata and I Just Can't Wait To Be King from this movie, which, sure, are fun and cute, but how can you exclude this song? IMHO, it's the best Disney villain song of all time. Jeremy Irons may not be a terribly impressive singer, but the instrumentation and the truly masterful use of a chorus more than make up for it. The scene is visually astonishing in the movie as well. Everything from the marching hyena army on just sends chills up my spine. So, so good.

Who knew Disney could give us such an inspiring battle song? Its context in the movie is a little ridiculous, going from fail montage to "TA DA WE'RE GREAT AT FIGHTING NOW" kind of out of nowhere, but the song itself is awesome and inspirational. Listening to this makes me feel like I can take on the world and win. Once again, not a great movie, but an awesome song.

I've long held the opinion that this is perhaps the best musical animation of all time (the visuals that go along with this - dang!), but it's also a really good song just on its own. Everything in this song is just infused with joy and delight, and it's absolutely infectious. It's completely impossible for me to listen to this without feeling a little cheered up. The fact that it's #2 speaks not to its weaknesses, but to how much I love the top one.

This was probably not a surprise to anyone who knows me well, as you probably know that I freaking love this song with all my heart. It's got a couple girls singing throughout, but the primary singer is Max, so I felt OK including it on this list. I think this is one of the best songs that has ever appeared in any Disney movie, ever. The sense of joy and triumph and "I'm gonna make it!" pervading the entire song makes absolutely everything in my life feel better. While on the surface it's about the last day of school, it's also (for Max) about the fact that he's about to do something big and hopes that his whole life will change if he follows through with it.

There have been so many times throughout my life where this has been my theme song - "If I can just make it through today and what I need to do today, EVERYTHING WILL BE AWESOME." It's just not possible to overstate my love for this song. I've loved it since I first heard it years and years ago and I love it today. One of my top feel good songs, and, by far, my favorite male-sung Disney song.

Honorable Mention: Not In Nottingham from Robin Hood, The Bare Necessities from The Jungle Book, and Strangers Like Me from Tarzan, all of which I love a lot... just not quite enough. Also, as mentioned above, Be Our Guest and The Mob Song.

What are your favorite Disney songs sung by men? Are there any on my list you just can't stand? In general, do you think the guys or the girls in Disney movies get better songs?


  1. Be Prepared is one of the best songs by a Disney villain. That's a good pick! I saw a gif today that changed the lyrics of the song Gaston sang to something ridiculous, but I forgot how funny that song is on it's own.

    1. Disney has some great villain songs, but Be Prepared is just stellar. Every so often I watch foreign language versions of it on YouTube, because it doesn't matter if you can understand the lyrics or not, the entire song still sounds so *ominous*.

  2. Yes, I'd definitely put The Bare Necessities near the top of my list. I just love the vibe.

    Except you didn't say Disney *animated* movies, so maybe I can pick something from Mary Poppins. "Let's Go Fly a Kite" is a great celebration of a father rediscovering how much he loves his kids. It's exuberant and wonderful.

    1. I debated including something from Mary Poppins as well but couldn't think of anything I really loved well enough, much as I love the movie. I really like "Let's Go Fly a Kite" in the context of the movie, but really it's *only* in that context. By itself, I'm uninterested in it.

      Bare Necessities tends to jump in and out of my favorites list, depending on whether I've gotten bored with it lately. But it is a really great song.

  3. I forgot about Cruella De Ville! That sequence always makes me laugh because of how unashamedly obnoxious Roger is playing the trombone and stomping on the floor.

    1. Roger's one of my favorite Disney characters specifically because of that kind of thing. He's hardly in the movie, but when he is, he's great fun.