In the world of film, there is no higher honor than receiving an Oscar from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Over the years, Disney films have racked up an impressive number of the golden statues. And when we think of our favorite Disney films, we tend to remember the songs. It turns out that a great number of those famous tunes were also Oscar winners:
“When You Wish Upon a Star” – Pinocchio
“When You Wish Upon a Star” was originally performed by Jiminy Cricket (Cliff Edwards) over the end credits of Pinocchio. It has gone on to become the de facto theme song for the entire Walt Disney Company.
“Chim Chim Cher-ee” – Mary Poppins
Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke teamed up on this catchy hit, as Mary Poppins and Bert. The song came to prominence again when the Mary Poppins stage musical hit Broadway in 2006.
“Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” – Song of the South
South of the South has famously been banned by the Walt Disney company in the United States. It features outdated racial stereotypes and other offensive material. Nonetheless, “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” has continued to be used in Disney materials and marketing throughout the years.
“Under the Sea” – The Little Mermaid
Sebastian the crab implores Ariel to stay with her ocean friends with the famous song, “Under the Sea.” It has gone on to become synonymous with The Little Mermaid.
“Beauty and the Beast” – Beauty and the Beast
Angela Lansbury’s haunting performance of this romantic ballad was recorded in only one take. It brought the entire studio to tears and continues to do so to audiences around the world.
“A Whole New World” – Aladdin
Princess Jasmine and Aladdin perform a duet with this classic song from composer Alan Menken and lyricist Tim Rice. The powerful song speaks about the literal world opening up before the princess’ eyes and the blossoming love between the two.
“Can You Feel the Love Tonight” – The Lion King
It’s literally impossible to even read the title of this song without hearing Elton John’s booming voice belting out the words. Just one of the many reasons that some consider The Lion King to be the best animated movie of all time.
“Colors of the Wind” – Pocahontas
The moment when Pocahontas (Judy Kuhn) performs “Colors of the Wind” is a defining moment in the film. Most people, however, remember Vanessa Williams’ version of the song from the end credits.
“You’ll Be in My Heart” – Tarzan
Musician Phil Collins wrote and performed a number of great songs for the Tarzan soundtrack, but it’s the heartbreaking “You’ll Be in My Heart” that took top honors at the Oscars that year.
“If I Didn’t Have You” – Monsters, Inc.
Ironically, a lot of people don’t remember Monsters, Inc. even featuring any songs. That’s because this Randy Newman song actually appears during the end credits. It’s a duet between Sully (John Goodman) and Mike (Billy Crystal).
“We Belong Together” – Toy Story 3
This is another end credit song that most people don’t recall (probably because they turn the TV off after that tearjerker ending). “We Belong Together” was written by Randy Newman again, but this time performed by him as well.
“Let it Go” – Frozen
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last three years, you’re surely aware of this catchy ballad from Queen Elsa (Idina Menzel).