Since the first Disney films, love songs set to romantic sequences have been an essential part of movies. Here’s our pick of the best Disney love songs.
Listen to a playlist of Disney’s greatest love songs.
One day my Prince will come, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
Disney’s first great love song remains a standard to this day, having been covered by artists like Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Barbra Streisand, and Anastacia. It was written by composer Frank Churchill and lyricist Larry Morey and sung by the voice of Snow White, Adriana Caselotti. The song’s swooning beauty leaves Snow White’s audience of woodland creatures and her tiny roommates with pink eyes as the young girl sings her wish to find the prince, whom she has only met once. time. The song is picked up at the end of the film, as Snow White and her prince set off into the sunset.
He’s a tramp, The Lady and the Tramp (1955)
This playful and jazzy number, sung with great audacity by the great Peggy Lee (in the character of a dog named Peg) is a love song with a twist – it’s a tribute to the playful charms of a former partner. Additionally, the song helps the protagonist (Lady) recognize that she might have romantic feelings for the dog (Tramp) in question. The song became an American Film Institute favorite and was named one of the top 100 songs of 20th century American cinema in the American Film Institute’s AFI’s 100 Years…100 Songs list. This is just one of Lee’s contributions to The Lady and the Trampthe singer-songwriter voiced four characters in total and co-wrote six songs for the film with Sonny Burke.
Once upon a time there was a dream sleeping Beauty (1959)
The radical romance of “Once Upon A Dream” was based on the “Grande Valse Villageoise” (or “The Garland Waltz”), from Tchaikovsky’s 1890 ballet The Sleeping Beauty. Composer George Burns adapted the timeless tune, and lyricists Sammy Fain and Jack Lawrence sprinkled in some Disney magic. The result became one of Disney’s best-loved ballads, sung by Mary Costa as the young Princess Aurora. After being cursed by the evil fairy Maleficent as a child, Aurora hides in the woods with the three good fairies – Flora, Fauna and Merryweather. We find Aurora on her 16th birthday, singing “Once Upon A Dream” in front of an audience of animals, unaware that the dashing Prince Phillip has heard her and is immediately smitten.
To like, Robin Hood (1973)
There’s even room in the cape and dagger Robin Hood for a little romance. “Love” is a bucolic ballad sung by Maid Marian (here voiced by Nancy Adams) to her lover, the charming outlaw Robin Hood, who can be heard humming the melody earlier in the film. We see the two foxes boating in the moonlight as the sweet song, written by George Bruns and Floyd Huddleston, reminds us of the power of love. The song was nominated for Best Original Song at the 1974 Academy Awards, where it was performed by Jodie Foster and Johnny Whitaker.
kiss the girl, The little Mermaid (1989)
Having made a pact with the sea witch Ursula, Ariel the mermaid has three days as a human to make the handsome Prince Eric fall in love with her. A major stumbling block for Ariel is that Ursula took her voice. Fortunately, Ariel has a few friends to help her out – Flounder the fish, Scuttle the seagull, and Sebastian, a reggae-loving crab. Sebastian helps set the mood by humming “Kiss The Girl,” a sweet, persuasive rock-style track for lovers by Howard Ashman (lyrics) and Alan Menken (music). It nearly worked, but the young lovers are interrupted at the last minute by Flotsam and Jetsam, a pair of slippery eels sent by Ursula.
A whole new world, Aladdin (1992)
The romantic centerpiece of Disney’s early ’90s hit Aladdin finds the film’s hero winning the heart of Jasmine, Princess of Agrabah, by taking her on a flying carpet over her kingdom. Although she has all the wealth she could possibly need, Jasmine has never really seen the “amazing sights” around the world. Alan Menken and lyricist Tim Rice’s hit ballad was matched by the vocal talents of Brad Kane and Lea Salonga and won the Oscar for Best Original Song, Grammy for Song of the Year and Golden. Globe for Best Original Song, among others.
Can you feel the love tonight?, The Lion King (1994)
Elton John and Tim Rice’s stadium-sized ballad “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” was a huge hit on its own, reaching number four on the US Billboard chart, winning the Oscar for Best Original Song and winning John the Grammy Award for Best Male Vocal Performance. Yet in The Lion King, it’s a less direct and more interesting proposition – a song about estranged friendships and the uncertainty of young love, sung by four characters. It begins with Timon the meerkat and Pumbaa the warthog noticing that their pal Simba’s relationship with the young lioness Nala is so much more than just friendship…and realizing it could mean the end of their friendship as they know it. The second verse allows us to hear each of the inner thoughts of the adolescent lions. And the grand chorus sounds like everyone in Pride Rock is singing in approval of young love.
When she loved me toy story 2 (1999)
Who knew the emotions of toys could be so touching? Randy Newman’s “When She Loved Me” was about the deep connection Jessie, a toy cowgirl, felt with Emily, her original owner. Jessie recalls the sense of belonging that came from needing (“When she was alone, I was there to comfort her / And I knew she loved me”), before recalling the sadness she felt as Emily grew and moved away. The third verse details the moment Emily found Jessie while cleaning her childhood bedroom (“She smiled at me and held me like she used to / Like she loved me / When she loved”), showing Newman’s mastery of bittersweet melancholy. Sarah McLachlan gave voice to Jessie’s memories with a heartbreaking voice that brought adults and children to tears.
I see the light, Tangled (2010)
For 18 years, Rapunzel had watched the annual lantern-lighting ceremony in the Kingdom of Corona from the room in Mother Gothel’s tower in which she was imprisoned. When dashing thief Flynn Rider takes refuge in Rapunzel’s tower, she blackmails him into taking her to see her 18th birthday ceremony. Along the way, the pair develop feelings for each other. The spectacular sequence as they arrive at the ceremony is accompanied by the beautiful and lilting ballad by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater, sung by Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi.
Listen to a playlist of Disney’s greatest love songs.