[tldr_position]Among their wide range of beloved songs, Disney offers a number of songs about love. From romantic love to love between friends and family, Disney’s love songs remain among the greatest and most quoted not just within the House of Mouse fandom, but in popular culture today. today.
Many of these love songs are often sung by the main protagonist, their love interest, or the two together as a duo when they realize they are falling in love with each other. However, this is not always the case. In fact, some of Disney’s best love songs aren’t sung by the main character at all, but by a supporting character or non-diegetic singer.
“Love is a Song” (Bambi)
While arguably not the most renowned Disney film when it comes to songs, the animated classic Bambi has some rather notable songs to its name. One is “Love is a song”.
This is the film’s opening song, sung by Donald Novis over the opening credits, and it picks up at the end just after Faline gives birth to twins and Bambi takes over as Grand Prince of the forest. The lyrics are simple yet poignant and powerful, accompanied by a beautiful, slightly haunting melody. It’s not just a great Disney love song, but rather understated.
“You will be in my heart” (Tarzan)
One of the greatest things about Disney Tarzan is the outstanding soundtrack by Phil Collins. Rather than the characters singing, Collins performed all of the film’s non-diegetic songs. But there is a notable small exception with “You’ll Be in My Heart”.
Gorilla matriarch Kala sings the first line of the song to soothe baby Tarzan before Collins takes over and performs the heartwarming song, which in this case is about motherly love. It’s such a beautiful love song, especially after what happened to Kala’s child and Tarzan’s parents, and it’s enough to bring tears of joy to even the hardest of hearts.
“You’ve Got a Friend in Me” (Toy Story)
Pixar toy story has always put the power of friendship first, with romance being a minor subplot at best. This is shown right from the opening of the very first film, with the now iconic opening song “You’ve Got a Friend in Me”.
One of the songs written and performed by Randy Newman, “You’ve Got a Friend in Me”, is about love and loyalty, especially in friendships. As a result, it’s the main theme of the entire franchise, whether it’s Woody’s loyalty to Andy or his friendship with Buzz, Jessie and the other toys. Toy Story 3 even gave fans a slightly faster Spanish version at the end.
“Love” (Robin Hood)
Interestingly, Robin Hood’s romantic relationship with Maid Marian takes a step back in the film. However, after defeating Prince John in an archery tournament, Robin and Marian finally get some alone time together, which takes the form of a romantic evening walk in the woods.
This beautifully animated moment is accompanied by the non-diegetic song simply named “Love”, performed by Nancy Adams. It might not be the most standout song in the movie, but it’s a lovely, soothing piece that fits the moment perfectly, especially after all the previous action. It’s definitely one of Disney’s most underrated love songs.
“Katrina” (The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad)
The second half of The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad is Disney’s retelling of the classic gothic story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The segment is narrated by Bing Crosby, who also brings his singing talents to the piece.
One of the standout songs is “Katrina”, which is when the audience is introduced to Katrina Van Tassel and Ichabod falls in love with her. Although it’s a great love song, it’s also a rather hilarious and ironic love song, as Katrina likes to chain men up and leave them dry “once she has amused”. She has no interest in Ichabod other than pitting him against Brom Bones.
“Ma Belle Evangeline” (The Princess and the Frog)
There may not be a more romantic Disney character than Ray the Firefly from The princess and the Frog. Upon meeting him, Ray talks about his sweetheart Evangeline, who soon turns out to be a star. When Evangeline is first introduced in full, Ray begins to serenade her with “Ma Belle Evangeline”.
This ends up being when Naveen teaches Tiana how to dance, and the two begin to fall in love. With jaw-dropping bayou effects, and Ray’s romantic declaration to his Evangeline ultimately becoming a metaphor for love (“She’s my Evangeline” is easily one of the best quotes in The princess and the Frog), it’s arguably one of the most romantic scenes in Disney history.
“Kiss The Girl” (The Little Mermaid)
The little Mermaid has some of Disney’s best songs to date, two of which are sung by Sebastian the Crab. One of them is an unforgettable classic of Disney love, which is “Kiss the Girl”.
In order to get Eric to kiss Ariel, Sebastian creates a romantic setting and sings “Kiss the Girl” with the help of local wildlife. It’s one of Disney’s most rhythmic and catchy romantic songs, and even Scuttle’s gruesome but funny attempts to sing along don’t dampen the mood. In fact, the song would have worked if Flotsam and Jetsam hadn’t interfered.
“Bella Notte” (Lady and the Tramp)
A list of legendary Disney love moments wouldn’t be complete without the Lady and the Tramp. In one of the most iconic Disney movie scenes of all time, Lady and Tramp eat spaghetti while restaurant owner Tony and Chef Luigi serenade “Bella Notte.”
Not only is the scene one of the most distinct in popular culture, but the song is utterly romantic. After Tony’s rendition, it switches to a non-diegetic chorus singing the melody. Accompanied by a stunning animation sequence, it’s a hugely enchanting and magical moment in one of Disney’s non-magical films.
“Can You Feel the Love Tonight” (The Lion King)
The resounding success of Disney The Lion King boasts that each of its songs can be considered a masterpiece in its own right thanks to the legendary team of Elton John and Tim Rice. The great love song of the film is the unforgettable “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”.
The song opens with a cynical vocal from Timon before switching to non-diegetic vocalists accompanying the sequence between Simba and Nala. It’s understandably one of Disney’s best romantic songs, with even Timon and Pumbaa’s bawling at the end rounding out the song in a hilarious way. John’s version of the song is also a brilliant piece and definitely worth listening to.
“Beauty And The Beast” (Beauty And The Beast)
No Disney love song compilation, no matter who sang it, would be complete without the eponymous love song by The beauty and the Beast. From the iconic costumes from Beauty and the Beast to the magically animated ballroom, this whole sequence has a crazy movie story in its own right.
“Beauty and the Beast” is sung not by a nondiegetic singer but by beloved supporting character Mrs. Potts, voiced by Angele Lansbury, as she watches the couple in support. Lansbury brings extra charm and love to an already brilliant song and sequence, complete with silently sending Chip to bed. It’s hard to imagine anyone else singing the song.
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