Throwback: 90s Disney Songs

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Why are Disney songs so catchy? 

According to Rich Randall, an associate music professor at Carnegie Mellon University, music is something our brains are programmed to like. Certain patterns can get our endorphins pumping whether we are ready or not.

Furthermore, “It hits the reward center that’s activated when we predict where something is going to go. But music can also hit that pleasure center when something happens in a song that is unexpected.”

Disney has certainly found the magic sauce to keep us humming along for years after each movie release. In fact, I dare you not to sing along as we go through this epic list.

 

Is there a more iconic song from the movie? Okay, maybe Hakuna Matata deserves that label, but you have to admit, this is one of the first songs that pop up when you hear the words, Lion King.

Since there’s now a live-action remake, a lot of 90s kids probably re-watched the 90s animated version. Surely, this is one of those Disney movies that anyone can watch and re-watch again and again. It’s probably because of the catchy songs. This one, in particular, is memorable.

The song doesn’t sound so promising at first, but it picks up around this part: “No one’s slick as Gaston, no one’s quick as Gaston! Finally, let’s not forget this memorable line that probably grossed out lots of kids: “And every last inch of me’s covered with hair!”

This is such a sassy song and it deserves a mention in our list. Check out the lyrics:

If there’s a prize for rotten judgement
I guess I’ve already won that
No man is worth the aggravation
That’s ancient history, been there, done that!

Who’d’ya think you’re kiddin’
He’s the earth and heaven to you
Try to keep it hidden
Honey, we can see right through you
Girl, ya can’t conceal it
We know how ya feel and
Who you’re thinking of

No chance, no way
I won’t say it, no, no
You swoon, you sigh
Why deny it, uh-oh
It’s too cliche
I won’t say I’m in love

A bit of trivia: When Mulan sings Reflection in her father’s shrine, the writing on the temple stones is the names of the Disney animators who worked on the film, written in ancient Chinese.

Another song bagged the “Best Original Song” Oscar in 1992, but this one deserves to be remembered since it’s such a sweet song that perfectly encapsulates a budding romance.

This song has a lot of covers but the original one, which is recorded by Randy Newman will always hold a special place in Disney lovers’ hearts. 

If you didn’t already know, this song about exploration is from Pocahontas. Think of this song as another version of Belle’s Little Town song wherein she yearns for a different kind of life. 

Donny Osmond is the voice behind this classic Disney song. Moreover, movie critics not only liked Mulan, but they also liked this song in particular. This song has three covers in different languages: Mandarin, Cantonese, and Spanish. It’s important to note that she finds her place in the army, not by being as strong as her fellow soldiers, but by using her natural talents and intelligence she outperforms the others.

Lastly, A Girl Worth Fighting For. You may remember that Mulan is based on an actual historical figure. This song is such a great reminder of how all cultures still fall back on old habits. Her standout verse is:

Uhh, How ’bout a girl who’s got a brain,
Who always speaks her mind?

The lines are a fantastic representation of the ‘real’ Mulan’s mindset. After all, it would take a woman of unique self-confidence and a revolutionary world view to see herself as more than a commodity in that day and age. This is also part of what makes her special. Everything about her defies the limiting roles set for women, in her time, in ours and most princess stories.

Did we list one of your favorites? 

Tell us in the comments what lyrics you remembered and what songs we should include next time!

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