Last night I posted the top ten songs from Disney animated films as sung by the characters in the films. Tonight it's my top ten songs from those films sung by pop singers. Some of the songs on the list are the official versions from the end credits and some are covers. They were all fun to listen to again. I might need to make a play list.
10. Beyond the Sea (Finding Nemo – Robbie Williams) – This is a total cheat because it's not really a Disney song. It played over the end credits of Finding Nemo but it's originally a Bobby Darin song. It's such a great song, though, and Robbie Williams does a great job with it. So it's on the list.
9. I've Got No Strings (Pinocchio – The Gypsy Kings) – This is from Simply Mad About the Mouse. I usually hate songs sung in other languages. The Spanish version of What It Feels Like for a Girl and this song are the two exceptions. It might be because I never much cared for this in English.
8. You've Got a Friend in Me (Toy Story – Randy Newman) – This probably could have been on either list. It's not sung by a character, but that's because they intentionally didn't have the characters in Toy Story sing because it was a buddy movie rather than a musical. I don't even like Randy Newman, but it's virtually impossible to not like this song – especially if you've seen the movie.
7. Colors of the Wind (Pocahontas – Vanessa Williams) – Who knew when those pictures surfaced in Penthouse in 1984 that Vanessa Williams would end up having such a nice little career. Disgraced beauty queen becomes a Disney princess (sort of). I can't wait to see the movie of her life.
6. A Whole New World (Aladdin – Regina Belle / Peabo Bryson) – This came just after Beauty and the Beast and before Can You Feel the Love Tonight, but it's not even in the same league. It doesn't help that Regina Belle is no Celine Dion. There is also a Nick Lachey / Jessica Simpson version on Youtube. That one's barely in a league at all.
5. Someday My Prince Will Come (Cinderella – En Vogue) – After the Supremes and before Destiny's Child, there was a minute when it seemed like En Vogue was going to be huge. Funky Divas was beginning-to-end great. They had a bunch of number one hits on the Billboard R&B chart, but then it was five years between Funky Divas and their next album, EV3. They recorded this for Simply Mad About the Mouse. I had no idea how good this song was until I heard them sing it.
4. Circle of Life (The Lion King – Jennifer Hudson) – If it weren't for this performance on American Idol by J-Hud, this song would not have been on either list. She totally made me like it against my will. It's also worth watching just to see how immensely different she looked back then.
3. Kiss the Girl (The Little Mermaid – Soul II Soul) – When Disney made The Little Mermaid, they hadn't really figured out the whole “Disney song as top forty hit” thing. If they had, this probably would have been recorded by a pop star right away. Instead we had to wait for Simply Mad About the Mouse to be recorded. It was totally worth the wait. For the record, the version from the movie is also incredibly good. It almost could have been released just that way.
2. Beauty and the Beast (Beauty and the Beast – Celine Dion / Peabo Bryson) – This is one of only two songs that Celine Dion sings I can even listen to. I have to admit though, she does a brilliant job with it. Check out the video. It might not be as drastic a change as Jennifer Hudson's, but if you saw this Celine next to the current Celine, you'd probably only think they were sisters.
1. Can You Feel the Love Tonight (The Lion King – Elton John) – I had this second behind Beauty and the Beast until I listened to it. Then I remembered how ridiculously awesome this song is and how great Elton John sounds singing it. I'm going to just walk right out on the edge of this here limb and say two things: it's the best Elton John song after 1980 AND it's the best song from any Disney animated feature ever.