Friday, May 1, 2009


In my opinion, Disney has always been the animation studio that led the way for the music of Hollywood entertainment. There's no doubt about it; the tunes composed for the cartoon shorts, the animated features, and the theme parks are fun, clever, and some have even become staples in everyone's lives.

There are even some songs buried deep within the very fibers of Disney's history that you wouldn't even remember unless they were reminded of it, but once you do, it all starts coming back to you. But which of these songs are the most fun? The very catchiest? Or even the most "oh my god, this song WILL NOT LEAVE MY HEAD!!"? Today's post aims to find out. It's...

The Top 12 Catchiest Disney Songs!

Little April Shower

To start off, I've just gotta mention that this song literally comes out of nowhere! In a movie that could hardly even be considered a musical, Little April Shower is a random song about the simplest of all things: rain. It's out of nowhere, it's not exciting, and it's light as a feather. But boy is it catchy.

Even some of the animals in this musical interlude look a little confused as to why this random song about woodland precipitation is playing! But oh well, I love it. Drip, drip, drip!

The Ballad of Davey Crockett

This country favorite was part of the early Disneyland TV show, and it has definitely made its mark on the world since then. Davey Crockett and his coonskin cap were on the minds and heads of every kid of the baby boom era, and I'm sure the catchy theme song helped!

The Three Caballeros

Donald Duck, Jose Carioca, and Panchito Pistoles make up the trio of The Three Caballeros. With clever lyrics, zeppy pacing, and incredible animation lead by Ward Kimball, I can't say enough good things about this. It's simply one of the zaniest and best in Disney's musical history, hands (and pistoles) down!

Casey Jr.'s Theme
from Dumbo

Here's a interesting song, because there are two different versions... a short melody in the Dumbo film, and then a much longer song with extended lyrics in the form of a Casey Jr. train-ride attraction at the Disneyland theme park. So as both versions can be considered one song, I have to say that this is one tune that is stuck in my head forever once it chugs along through it.

This song actually gets me excited for some guy named Casey Jr. to come to my town and set up circus grounds. Once you give this tune a listen, you won't argue that it's the greatest one ever made for the track. Casey Jr.'s back!

Minnie's Yoo-Hoo

It's really funny how often this video clip keeps popping up on my blog. Regardless, it's still one of my favorite Mickey moments, as well as a pretty awesome song. It's also a very strange one. It's clearly not Mickey's usual voice, and the animation (especially in his mouth and lip sync) is way too bizarre and crazy for Disney! You'd think someone at Warner Bros. might have had a hand in it. While we may never know for sure, this is one finger-snapping yoo-hoo tune that won't ever leave our brains!

Yo-Ho, Yo-Ho
Pirates of the Caribbean

A pirate's life for me! Before Johnny Depp, there was a boat-ride attraction with the catchiest song that you've ever heard come out of a theme park. That song belongs to, of course, Pirates of the Caribbean. This 42-year old ride is still floating along, and the song's popularity is no exception.

What's interesting is that for a song that's so popular, not many people know the full lyrics to it. In fact, "Yo, ho! Yo, ho! A pirate's life for me!" are the only words that most people know from it at all! So check out the video above and try to finally memorize those lyrics! And even if you can't, merely listening to this treasured pirate shanty will have it on your mind for days.

I Wanna Be Like You
The Jungle Book

With big thanks to jazz artist Louis Prima, the immortal voice behind King Louie, this has got to be one of the biggest and best songs out of all the Disney features. The timing, pace, animation, is all genius.

As you listen to this, can you just imagine the real Louis Prima band playing this song and going absolutely nuts in the Disney recording room? You can really sense how much fun this was to record, because you simply cannot help but tap your foot to this beat. Believe me, I've tried.

The Merrily Song
The Wind and the Willows

Starting off this film on the right foot, Mr. Toad and his new best pal Cyril enjoy a destructive ride through the countryside, merrily on the road to Nowhere At All. This song is ENGRAVED into my brain, it is THAT much fun to listen to. Hear for yourself!

The music is whimsical, the lyrics are fantastic, and the mere listening of it makes you wanna leap up and join the characters on their infamously wild ride. And any song that grabs you and sucks you in that much is more than eligible for this list's #5 spot.

Song of the South

You'd think a song with a title that's just random gibberish wouldn't catch on and become tiresome after a while, but nope, Uncle Remus' happy country-side melody has become one of the most famous songs in the world.

Even though the Disney studios of today have done everything they can to sweep the actual "Song of the South" film under the rug and away from public knowledge, this song still comes out on top by being one of the most recognizable tunes from the studio's history. What other phrase can you say to describe it besides.. Zip-a-dee-doo-dah!

The Humphrey Hop
In the Bag

This song from the extremely small series of 1950's Humphrey Bear cartoons was so catchy that it actually became its own hit record single! And why not? GOOD LORD, IT'S CATCHY AS HELL.

I cannot be more serious in saying that I can't stop thinking about this song once it enters my mind. It will never, ever, ever leave. I mean how do you even make a song about picking up garbage catchy? I have no friggen idea, but if anyone can do it, it's definitely Disney.

It's A Small World After All

Yyyyup. Love it or hate it, the feature song during the It's A Small World attraction at Disneyland is not only one of the simplest, catchiest songs you've ever heard, but its power is enough to drive even the strongest of minds insane.

I'm serious, this song can drive someone CRAZY.

This song is so irritating, so incredibly cheerful, so never-ending that we aren't sure what to feel when we hear it. Does it do it's job at portraying the children of the world, and uniting the countries and cultures of Earth as one? Who the hell knows? But one thing's for sure; it definitely deserves one of the highest spots on this list of memorable Disney tunes.

and the #1 catchiest Disney song is...!!

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?
from The Three Little Pigs

Undeniably the most popular and important song to ever come out of the Disney studio. As soon as movie-goers looked at the Big Bad Wolf as a symbol of the Great Depression that was happening around them, this song literally took America by storm.

Toys, games, lyric books, record singles, kitchen appliances- you name it, the Big Bad Wolf song was on it. And exactly how often can a song actually help DEFINE a time period in America's history? Not. Bloody. Often. So if you ask me, Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf has the history and the power all in it's own to deserve the #1 spot on Disney's Catchiest Songs list.

Thanks for reading, and especially for listening!


Kali Fontecchio said...



no Peco's Bill? No Tiki Room?


Nico said...

Yeah, I'm gonna get a lot of "What? Where's the _____ song??" comments in this post. But there's only so many songs I can include in a top 12 list! Namely, 12.

Along with "Grim Grinning Ghosts" from the Haunted Mansion and "My, What A Happy Day" from "Mickey and the Beanstalk", Tiki Room and Pecos Bill are definitely runners up. Also, I didn't have access to any Pecos Bill videos. :(

Kurdt said...

Have you heard of the album Stay Awake? It's a bunch of modern interpretations of classic Disney tunes by artists like Tom Waits and The Replacements.

Emily said...

Nice post.

Little April Shower is definitely one of my favorites, and in attempt to exorcise it from my mind I play the melody on my piano quite constantly.

Anonymous said...

Great post, Nico!!

Honestly, I've never even thought about this subject....

So these are now my Top 12, too!


Molly said...

Great list! I must admit I was unfamiliar with some of these, but agree that they're all quite catchy!

I hope you're enjoying the records!

Jessica said...

These are all fantastic!

#12- Too adorable. It has it all: tiny mice and baby quail!

#11- My dad sings this more than I would like to admit.

#10- A little necessary latin flair.

#9- Must learn. Sing to husband. Drive him insane.

#8- Those expressions! Bone chilling!

#7- Thank you for finding the karoke version! Off to the Unicorn I go!

#6- Racist AND jazzy.

#5- Damn I love that toad's outfit.

#4- Could be the best part about Splash Mountain. Also racists/so Disney!

#3- Currently playing in my head. Those dancing bear butts made my day.

#2- Please make it stop.

#1- How topical! We are going through a recession AND swine flu. This song may be made for 2009!

My two cents, "Under the Sea." Perhaps my fav.

Niki said...

I remember as a tyke singing "Davy Crocket" for my school presentation thing!

Zach Bellissimo said...

"I Wanna Be Like you" is on my Top 25 most played in my itunes haha. Probably only cuz I love monkeys too much but still, its my favorite Disney song from my favorite Disney movie.

The Bing Crosby song from the Legend of Sleepy Hallow is hella sweet too.

Marc Deckter said...

hey hey hey - nice post buddy, good tunes. Jungle Book has to take the cake though - what a great soundtrack.

Yes - good times at IHOP - pumpkin pancakes and fried eggs on top of cheeseburgers - uh oh I'm getting hungry now...

Nico said...

Kurdt- Haven't heard of that! Interesting. :)

Emily- Aw, so cool! I wish I could hear you play it sometime!

Darby- No probz. Many more top 12 lists to come.

Molly- So far I'm enjoying the booklet that came with the records! But I'm waiting for a night when both Kali and I have some good free time at home, and we'll play the crap outta them records!! Thank you and Carl again for such an amazing gift!!! <3 <3 <3

Jess- YAY, I love your short analysis of each ranking!! Thanks for writing. "Under the Sea" is fun too! Upon further inspection, I've realized that it's pretty much impossible to cover all of Disney's greatest in only 12 spots. Consider this post an epic fail!

Niki- Aww! I'm building a time machine now so witnessing this event can be possible.

Zach- Yep, "I Wanna Be Like You" is freaking epic if you ask me too. Aw Zach, you and monkeys! This guy, I swear!

Marc- Hey-ho buddy! Thanks! OH DAMN, you mentioned the IHOP bacon and egg cheeseburger. Let's grab a couple together soon. So bad for you that it's good. It's a curse, really.

Benjamin Anders said...

I have to say, I didn't know many of these. Love Grim Grinning Ghosts the most and it didn't make it! Oh well.

Such a fun post!

Jenny Lerew said...

Brilliant list, Nico. Couldn't do better myself.

Shawn Dickinson said...

Great list!!!

I agree with Kali though...The Tiki Room song!!! Where's the Tiki Room song?

I like "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah" lately. I just got a bootleg of Song of the South on DVD--what a great movie! Probably my favorite Disney movie of all time. It's really a shame that it's banned. My favorite song from Song of the South is the "How Do You Do" song. It's also the main song on the Splash Mountain ride at Disneyland. Gotta love it!

Tinker Ramone said...

This is an AWESOME entry! I agree with them all, but I feel like the one that gets stuck in my head the most was left out. The Little John and Robin Hood hopping through the forest song. As I am typing in the lyrics it is getting stuck. hah.

Great post.

Ardy said...

I'm late to the party I think, but if you like that jungle book song, I think you'd like this remix by keatonkeaton999.

Max Ward said...

That Humphrey Bear song gets stuck in my head for about a month everytime I hear it

Nico said...

Ben- I honestly tried for about an hour to organize and fit Grim Grinning on here, haha! I love it too. Ultimately I figured any more than 2 Disney park attractions would be kinda overkill since it's a more a list for the shorts and features, so yeah. It's one of the runners up though, for sure.

Jenny- Holy crap, Jenny! Thank you! That means so much to me that you visited my blog! :)

Shawn- Totally, I put Zip-A-Dee as #3, but what I actually mean is just Song of the South. Like, the entire movie. Every song in it is pure awesome to me. It's also on my top 5 favorite Disney movies, too.

Tinker- Thanks!! Yeah, there's another one that didn't make the cut. That song has gotta be my brother's favorite Disney song, he knows it by heart and can sing it at 2x the speed- without messing up!

Ardy- Haha, pointless insertion of an f-bomb. Interesting!

Max- Same here, haha. To me, it could just be the catchiest to be honest. Maybe it should have been my #1.

Brian Goss said...

My Disney favorites...catchy too.

- Some Day My Prince Will Come

- When You Wish Upon A Star

Anonymous said...

We ask it millions of times, and we never get an answer: exactly who IS afraid of the Big Bad Wolf (whistles)?

(Oh, and thanx for including "I Wanna Be Like You"! Love this list!)