April 16, 2016

"The good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful, the unforgettable, the forgettable, the racist, the sexist, the silly, the enthralling..."

"... it's all here, in this list of every Disney song, ranked from worst to best. (Click here to start the list; here's the top 10; and [you might have trouble getting all the embeds to load!] here's the whole thing on one page.)"

A Metafilter discussion, started by my son John. Lots of comments over there. John also put this up at Facebook, where he said "The two I immediately thought of are #1 and #5." And I said: "I immediately thought of #1 and then it took me a while to come up with another one, but, like you, I thought of #5." And:
I just told Meade, who's not on Facebook, about this post and asked what he thought would be at the top and he just started singing "When you wish upon a star...." Why do you think that song so immediately asserts itself as the best? I asked Meade and he said "I don't know, Jiminy Cricket..."
Hey, who is that beautiful voice, anyway, that Jiminy Cricket who does "When You Wish Upon a Star" (which I can't embed)? It's Cliff Edwards — "Ukelele Ike" — and here's some non-Disney thing I found. "It's Magic":



Here's a little video bio of Cliff Edwards. It's a little sad! And this is as beautiful as possible: "Paper Moon."

48 comments:

Jack Wayne said...

This ordering is BS. And the commentary on each song isn't worth reading.

Mark said...

Things I never really much cared for -

*Disney cartoons
*classic (hand-drawn) Disney animated movies
*modern (computerized) Disney (and Disney knockoffs) animated movies
*Disney live-action post 1980 or thereabouts
*the Three Stooges
*Laurel and Hardy
*effing slide-show websites where you have to click through page after page to go through a simple list

khematite said...

"Best" and "worst" are so subjective. For actual impact on a generation (in this case, mine), I'd have to go with "The Ballad of Davy Crockett." There were three different versions of it on the Billboard charts in 1955.

Bob Ellison said...

I like "A Girl Worth Fighting For" from Mulan.

Also, all of the music in The Princess and the Frog is excellent-- not just the songs, but the score in general. It flows properly from scene to scene, where some musical animated features, like Beauty and the Beast, just seem to lurch from mediocre song to mediocre song.

Paddy O said...

A different list, though also subjective, is the "Disney (children's)" Pandora station. I know it well because 3 or 4 nights a week I dance with my 4 year old daughter to the songs. Much more weighted, though not equally, to the last 30 years.

The Frozen phenomenon for the under-10 girls crowd can hardly be overestimated.

Big Mike said...

This one didn't make the top ten? I demand a recount!

Big Mike said...

And only raw racism can account for leaving this song off the top ten list.

MikeD said...

I didn't bother to click through but, I wonder if any of the songs from the Disney movie nobody under the age of 60 or older has seen were included. I speak, of course, about "Song of the South" otherwise described as "Tales from Uncle Remus"?

fivewheels said...

The crappy power ballads do pretty well on this list. And yet none of them is as good as the parody of such songs sung by Satan in the South Park movie.

My favorite came in at #59, probably because it's not the main song from the movie, which wasn't one of the more popular movies ("I Won't Say I'm in Love" from Hercules).

Cath said...

How can "Feed the Birds" not be in the top 10?

Mary Beth said...

Is that Jimmy Durante at the beginning of the embedded video?

Laslo Spatula said...

I miss the song from "Uncle Tom's Georgia Jungle Book"

The South is the place that welcomes you warm
And all the cabins throughout the farm
Plantations, Lamentations,
We see the Cotton grow
Thanks to the work of the humble Negro

Humble Negro, the plants are ready,
Humble Negro, keep your back steady,
What you pick keeps the plantation alive,
Harvest is not the Time to Shuck and Jive

There are cats and there are mouses
Running through the Master's houses
Plantations, Lamentations,
We see the Cotton grow
Thanks to the work of the humble Negro

Humble Negro, the plants are ready,
Humble Negro, keep your back steady,
What you pick keeps the plantation alive,
Harvest is not the Time to Shuck and Jive

Work hard and you stay alive
One hard-working nigger beats a lazy five
Cotton is our Lives' Flora
Keep on picking for the sweet Miss Laura

Then the dancing Disney crows and monkeys come in.

I am Laslo.

Birches said...

I love "A Girl Worth Fighting For" too. My millennial spouse and I didn't think of When You Wish Upon a Star. I love all the songs from Beauty and the Beast

Birches said...

A Mary Poppins song should have cracked the top ten.

Ann Althouse said...

It is only the animated movies, so no Mary Poppins and no Song of the South, despite some animated things in them.

Oso Negro said...

I dropped acid in Hollywood in 1980 and went to see "Song of the South" at Mann's Chinese. I was singing Zip a Dee Doo Dah for weeks afterward.

madAsHell said...

I know it's movie magic, but I was really fascinated by the girl pulling out all the lit cigarettes.....and I'm not really sure how they did it.

rcocean said...

The Commentary - worthless
"Racist"? Yawn.

Top 10 has too many Broadway show tunes.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

That list is way too hard to view. My computer laughed at me when I tried to get it to load that as one page.

coupe said...

Cliff Edwards... What a tragedy he was. How he made it to age 76 is a "top 10" medical wonder.

I never understood why a singer would smoke?? It's like a guitar player who sets his guitar on fire every couple of minutes.

Sooner or later you are going to lose the thing that pays your keep. Alas, it's too bad he didn't find heroin, as he could have ended it all at age 50 and not suffered.

grimson said...

Didn't much care for the list (I agree with fivewheels about the crappy power ballads, and with Cath about "Feed the Birds," Walt Disney's favorite), but I did appreciate the links about Cliff Edwards. He was a distinctive talent, and distinctive talents have become very rare now that we have mass media.

Birches said...

I noticed the animation only after we started at the beginning. We couldn't load it as one page either. It would be interesting to see what the rankings would be with Mary Poppins and Picard stuff. I actually hate Feed the Birds. That part of the movie is always when I got bored as a kid.

Big Mike said...

@rcocean, please learn to recognize sarcasm when you read it. You will be a much happier individual.

AReasonableMan said...

Oso Negro said...
I dropped acid in Hollywood in 1980 and went to see "Song of the South" at Mann's Chinese. I was singing Zip a Dee Doo Dah for weeks afterward.


This is a well spent youth. These kids today, chasing scholarships and internships, what are they going to have to talk about when they are old?

Birches said...

Pixar, not Picard

campy said...

Linda Ronstadt did an outstanding torch-y cover of "When You Wish Upon a Star."

AReasonableMan said...

Many years ago I saw an ad for the local photography shop headlined: 'Someday my prints will come'. For some reason, this remains funny to me. Perhaps because it was such an unexpected source of humor.

Sydney said...

My favorite has always been The Johnny Appleseed Song

rcocean said...

@rcocean, please learn to recognize sarcasm when you read it. You will be a much happier individual.

Comment wasn't directed at you. Surprised you thought it was.

tim in vermont said...

Kiss the Girl is a top 10 song any day.

Paul Snively said...

Jesus Jumped-Up Christ in a sidecar, the preening, smug moral superiority in these vapid "reviews" is intolerable. I get it: you're a cultural-historically addled millennial who landed a writing gig at this online rag, and you've drunk the Jon-Stewart-brand-snarky-one-liner-masquerading-as-intelligence kool-aid, except you can toss in "shitty" every other sentence because "internet" and "edgy." God willing, you'll grow up before you hit 40.

Leigh said...

The obit is a little sad? It was heart-breaking!

@Big Mike -- did you happen to notice the actor who plays Carson, the Downton Abbey butler, in your Lion King Awards clip? It made me wonder if he ever goes out of character. I only noticed him because the expressions and reactions of the people in the audience were almost as entertaining as the show itself.

William said...

Once upon a time you saw Disney cartoons at a certain age and you bonded with the songs in those cartoons, not because those songs were especially better than other Disney songs but because you heard them during your age of enchantment. A feature length Disney cartoon was a big and infrequent event when I was a kid..........Nowadays, the past happens all at once. Kids get to see dozens of Disney cartoon features before they even start school. Perhaps they're more selective. They certainly have more songs to choose from......Ukekele Ike lived at just the right moment. That's not a voice to front a heavy metal band, but his voice sounds just right with a ukelele.....Of course, if he were a rock musician his broken marriages, drinking problems, and bankruptcies would be the stuff of legend and not of tragedy. It's hard for a ukelele player to achieve mythic status. Still though, his interpretation of When You Wish Upon A Star will last forever. Bing Crosby's White Christmas, Judy Garland's Over the Rainbow, and this Cliff Edward rendition are uncoverable and part of your life's soundtrack.

Laslo Spatula said...

Mary Poppins: Communist Claptrap.

Proletariat chimney sweeps.

"Now, as the ladder of life 'as been strung
You might think a sweep's on the bottommost rung
Though I spends me time in the ashes and smoke
In this 'ole wide world there's no 'appier bloke"

Evil overlord bankers:

"A British bank is run with precision
A British home requires nothing less!
Tradition, discipline, and rules must be the tools
Without them - disorder!
Catastrophe! Anarchy! -
In short, we have a ghastly mess!"

Socialist economic teachings:

"Come feed the little birds,
Show them you care
And you'll be glad if you do
The young ones are hungry
The nests are so bare
All it takes is tuppence from you
Feed the birds, tuppence a bag
Tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag
Feed the birds," that's what she cries
While overhead, her birds fill the skies"

A Spoonful of Sugar helps the Socialism go down.

I am Laslo.

tim maguire said...

As is nearly always the case with these lists, it is weighted too heavily towards the modern.

Ann Althouse said...

"My favorite has always been The Johnny Appleseed Song."

That's not a full-length movie, so it wasn't counted on the chart.

I love that too and I did a post about it.

gilbar said...

that girl seemed nice; but she sure smokes alot

Ron said...

I had read somewhere that Cliff Edwards near the end of his life, hung around the Disney studios and when they found how who he was, they had him live on the lot for awhile....until they found him stealing art from animators and selling it. But Walt Disney had an arrangement with LA area hospitals that if he were to show up there, Walt would pay the bills.

Tommy Duncan said...

Reince Priebus sings for Madonna?

Jeff said...

Under The Sea. The music is bouncy and fun, and the lyrics are laugh out loud clever. One of those songs that is too good for mere children to appreciate.

Ironclad said...

That site crashes on google chrome on an iPhone. And it sticks a nasty only close if you push here ad up too. ( had to kill and restart the app multiple times just to beat it to kill the page).

Sorry. Dodgy site warning

Fernandinande said...

Oso Negro said...
I dropped acid in Hollywood in 1980 and went to see "Song of the South" at Mann's Chinese. I was singing Zip a Dee Doo Dah for weeks afterward.

"Deliverance" in Phoenix. I was just glad to have gotten out alive, but later tried to play the banjo.

Ironclad said...
Sorry. Dodgy site warning

Yes. FF didn't like it much.

Christopher said...

Thank you for this post Althouse. I never would have been aware of this guy--what a trip back in time and yes a sad one too. Turns out there's a fair amount of his music available on Amazon, I'm definitely going to add some of his work to my collection.

Bill said...

I stopped scrolling at the appearance of "Let It Go", the very thought of which makes my gorge rise.

I'm down with #1, though, being a fan of Cliff Edwards. Sterling Holloway had one of those heavenly voices, too.

Bill Peschel said...

Count me in as one of those whose firefox browser crashed HARD trying to load this. Not that I apparently missed anything.

The Cracker Emcee said...

" Blogger AReasonableMan said...
Oso Negro said...
I dropped acid in Hollywood in 1980 and went to see "Song of the South" at Mann's Chinese. I was singing Zip a Dee Doo Dah for weeks afterward.

This is a well spent youth. These kids today, chasing scholarships and internships, what are they going to have to talk about when they are old?"

I feel you, ARM. I find myself encouraging my son to lighten up and have a few beers. Whaddaya want, a meaningful career and 120K/year or some of these dank edibles?

AReasonableMan said...

The Cracker Emcee said...
I find myself encouraging my son to lighten up and have a few beers. Whaddaya want, a meaningful career and 120K/year or some of these dank edibles?


This is what fatherhood is all about, tempering the impetuousness of youth with the sage wisdom of the ages. There will always be a crappy job and a mortgage, some ungrateful kids and a distant, resentful spouse waiting for you. Why rush into things?

sarah lee said...

Never pick a fight with an ugly person, they've got nothing to lose. See the link below for more info.

#ugly
www.ufgop.org