Editorial: The 5 Worst Disney Songs.
A while ago, we did our Top 10 Disney Songs, celebrating the best songs that Disney has put out, over a range of films - and since Disney has so many musicals, stretching over such a long period of time, we were unable to keep it down to just five, resulting in one of the longest and most musical editorials I've ever written.
But there is a flip side to that: With so many songs in so many musicals, it's inevitable that Disney would put out some songs which aren't great, and it's only natural that we should talk about them some. For that reason, here's out 5 Worst Disney Songs.
5. Let It Go, Frozen.
Ah, Let It Go, the song on which an entire film swiveled. Oversaturation may have coloured my opinion of this song, but for the big blow-out song of a blockbuster Disney film, it's startling mediocre, and not especially memorable.
Sung by Idina Menzel, whose work I usually adore, it comes off less as its own song and more of a cut-price Defying Gravity, as literal ice queen Elsa sings about how she doesn't care what people say or think, she's going to be true to herself - and also let the blizzard that's destroying her kingdom rage on, which is a rather less worthy message.
But, hey, she does build herself an awesome ice palace, that's pretty cool, right? So many of your subjects are going to die, Elsa.
4. We're All In This Together, High School Musical.
Okay, so here's the thing: Everyone in High School Musical can sing. It's true, they can, I've listened to some of the cast's various covers of other songs - they're never going to be pop sensations (disregarding that some of them have actually been pop sensations for short periods of time), but they're all perfectly adequate.
Knowing this, I can only presume that they were deliberately instructed to sing badly for this song. As they dance their boy band chic dance moves with wide, rictus grins pasted onto their faces, they alternately drone or warble some terrible, atrocious lyrics about how everyone at school is 'in it together' and how despite all their differences, they're all part of one big team, which is a lie easily seen through by anybody who has ever been to a school.
Are all the songs in High School Musical like this? I've never actually seen the film, but it seems to have a considerable fan following, so I can only presume they're not.
3. A Guy Like You, The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Obviously, I had to rewatch these songs to write this editorial, and I couldn't actually make it through this one.
It's one of a couple of comic relief songs in the film, but it stands out from the others in that it's sung by three absolutely terrible singers, with a joke that seems to be mostly 'Quasimodo is ugly har har but they're trying to make him feel better about it', which just isn't a very funny joke when you consider that a considerable amount of the film revolves around the boy's social ostracisation.
It also comes at the most baffling moment: Paris is burning and Esmeralda has been taken prisoner - both things referenced in the song - and after the song is finished, the film returns immediately to a dark, somber tone, leaving it as this one strange bright spot in the darkest act of the film.
2. I'm Looking Out For Me, Aladdin: The Return of Jafar.
Oh god, what is this?
One of the earliest songs in the films, and probably one of the big reasons why people don't tend to make it very far into the story, I'm Looking Out For Me sees parrot Iago, voiced by Gilbert Gottfried, singing about how he's only interested in himself and how from now on he's just going to do what's best for himself.
Only Aladdin and Jasmine got voice actors specifically for their songs in this film, so this is an entire song of Gilbert Gottfried, a man with no singing training or experience and a voice that could most adequately be described as 'charmingly grating', singing an entire song.
It's torture on the ears, and it's not helped by the fact that the song has one of the most irritating tunes ever put into a Disney song.
1. You've Got A Friend In Me, Toy Story.
You've Got A Friend In Me is the song I imagine serial killers playing as they prepare to cook a bound and gagged man. It just kind of - drones. It's this long, irritating, maudlin country tune that seems to never end, never changing except to get progressively worse as time goes on.
I don't want to say that Randy Newman's singing sounds like a drunk Texan attempting to explain how he got third degree burns on his tongue, but it does. It does sound like that. The other singer on the track, Lyle Lovett, is moderately better, but not enough to save what is in every respects an atrocious song, especially as he seems to start losing his ability to hold a tune towards the end of the song.
This is the iconic song of the whole Toy Story franchise, which is the saddest indictment of a trilogy of films I've ever had to write, because if this song was your only exposure to those films, you'd probably come out of it thinking that they were about a trucker who's slowly going insane.