Frozen was a phenomenon. Even if you weren’t a Disney fan, you couldn’t have missed its all-conquering merchandise armada, box office haul, and the earworm to end all earworms with ‘Let It Go’, which currently sits at just under 1 billion views on YouTube. So with Walt Disney Animation’s (very good) follow-up Moana about to hit cinemas, all eyes - and specifically ears - are focused on Lin-Manuel Miranda, one of the movie’s composers and the musical brains behind Broadway smash Hamilton.
Unsurprisingly, his team has smashed the movie’s lead song out of the park, with ‘How Far I’ll Go’ (covered for the mainstream by zeitgeist-y pop warbler Alessia Cara) sure for chart success.
The fact that it makes you want to sing your heart out on the beach of some tropical paradise with a wind machine off to the side is probably a good indicator of its catchiness.
But while many people hark on about the classic songs from Disney movies of yore, there are a host of other 21st century toe-tappers that ensure Disney’s kept its musical legacy burning.
Tangled (2010) - I See The Light
Tangled was Disney’s best animated film in yonks, throwing a modern twist on its tropes of old, with Rapunzel thrown into a love/hate relationship with scoundrel Flynn Rider - a relationship that pivots towards the former during this beautifully animated and performed fire lantern scene. IT’S SO PURTY.
Enchanted (2007)- That’s How You Know
Arguably the smartest, most knowing of Disney’s live action musicals, Enchanted acknowledged all of the studio’s musicals cliches, and then embraced them with a wry smile. This number in particular, with Patrick Dempsey’s cynical suitor Robert trying to kill the lunacy of Amy Adam’s Giselle breakout number throughout, is the movie’s highlight.
The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)- Perfect World
While it’s not one of the studio’s all-time classics, 2000’s The Emperor’s New Groove doesn’t really get the adulation it deserves. Take this opening number for example, with an afro-bequiffed Tom Jones belting out an enjoyably self-congratulatory jazz number.
Tron: Legacy (2010) - Theme Song
Not all Disney soundtracks have to consist of twee harmonies and colourful heroes. Daft Punk’s soundtrack to Tron: Legacy was a masterclass in moody, pulsating synths. The theme song is pretty bad-ass.
The Muppets (2011) - Man or Muppet
We heart Bret McKenzie quite a bit here at Virgin Movies. It was a love affair that exploded all the harder when he signed up to write the soundtrack for The Muppets’ reboot movie. And it was no surprise when this surprisingly eloquent ode to muppet-iness won the Oscar for Best Original Song.
Muppets Most Wanted (2014)- Something So Right
Miss Piggy’s the biggest diva on the planet. So we’re happy that Bret McKenzie wrote a song that complimented her pipes. And we suppose if Celine Dion has to attempt some scene-stealing with the harmonies, that’s not too shabby either.