I’ve been wanting to do a list like this for a while now but I always start planning it and struggle to narrow it down, so here is another attempt! I’m going to try and keep it varied but don’t be surprised if you find a couple of Disney entries on here because of the genius that is Alan Menken. I’m going to try to stick with original soundtracks for this rather than soundtracks that feature songs from various artists, otherwise it would just take too long to narrow down.
As always, in no particular order…
La La Land
Score: Justin Hurwitz, Lyricists: Pasek and Paul
I know, I know. Who saw this coming what with how loved this film and it’s songs are since the film’s release in 2016, but seriously! I haven’t been able to stop singing all the songs from this film! If you haven’t seen the film or heard any of the songs, the soundtrack does sound like a typical musical but there’s something so nice about hearing actors who don’t have a musical background taking on musical songs, I’m a fan of Emma Stone’s voice!
Composer: Bruno Coulais, A song featuring They Might Be Giants
Now for a soundtrack that I picked for it’s score rather than it’s songs. If you’ve seen Coraline, you know how spooky this film is so of course it needed a spooky soundtrack to accompany it! This score does a great job at creating tension, honestly it’s up there with horror movie scores.
Beauty and the Beast
Composers: Alan Menken, Howard Ashman, Tim Rice, Mitchell Leib
Okay so both the original score/songs from the 1991 animated version of Beauty and the Beast and 2017’s live action film are amazing however I’ve chosen to focus on the 2017 live action film as it includes the original soundtrack and more! Again, I was surprised that they kept character songs in this live action (sorry to keep reminding regular readers but click here to read my opinions on the Disney live action remakes) remake as they hadn’t in previous live actions, that and as far as I’m aware the cast in 2017’s live action Beauty and the Beast don’t all have musical theatre backgrounds, but I was pleasantly surprised by Emma Watson singing as Belle and Dan Stevens singing as Beast. I also really enjoy the newly added songs in this version.
How To Train Your Dragon
Composer: John Powell, A song featuring: Jónsi
Now this soundtrack has the strange ability to make me sentimental over just a few seconds of listening to it. This score does an amazing job at translating life on Berk through music, it has a real viking feel to it! and there’s a song that plays during the credits by Jonsi, lead singer and guitarist of Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós! great job at keeping it Nordic guys!
Composer: Alan Menken, Lyricist: David Zippel
Another Alan Menken entry on this list! I said that he’d pop up a lot, this time though for Hercules! “If there’s a prize for rotten judgement, I guess I’ve already won that…” I’m just making sure that I Won’t Say (I’m in Love) is firmly planted in this list before I begin, or how about “I am on my way, I can go the distance…” if not then surely this one will stick; “From zero to hero in no time flat, Zero to hero just like that…” What I’m trying to demonstrate here is how catchy and great the Hercules soundtrack is! I’m telling you, you can’t beat Alan Menken.
Composers: Mark Mancina & Phil Collins
I may be wrong here but I feel that as a Disney film, Tarzan is a little underappreciated, it’s actually a great film! one of my family’s favourites in fact and the soundtrack really backs that point up! The songs were recorded and composed by famous singer, songwriter and producer; Phil Collins. I believe the song; You’ll Be in My Heart which is performed by Glenn Close in the film and Phil Collins on the soundtrack actually won an academe award for best original song! So that proves even more how great this soundtrack is!
Composers: Alan Menken, Glenn Slater
…Yes, it’s another Alan Menken soundtrack, I’m not doing this on purpose, he’s just that good. As well as having one of the most romantic Disney musical numbers ever, the Tangled soundtrack also has a great score, If you’re a Kingdom Hearts fan, listen up now; I’m convinced that the song Kingdom Dance would make great field music for a Tangled themed world, I’ll link the song below. Another song that I adore from this film is actually a song heard during the credits and not written by the composers of this film, it’s actually written and performed by singer/songwriter; Grace Potter and is called Something That I Want
Composers: Christophe Beck, Bret McKenzie & more
When you start to research this soundtrack, it’s difficult to note down all the various song writers so in this entry, I’m talking about the original songs eg; Life’s a Happy Song, Me Party, Man or Muppet & Pictures in My Head all of which I will link below. Again, some of these songs definitely have a musical song structure to them but they’re also written as comedic songs in true Muppet fashion, I think that’s why I’m such a fan! This film is like a not so serious musical! This film also features my favourite classic Muppets song; Rainbow Connection, aw.
Composer: Jerry Goldsmith, Song Writers: Matthew Wilder, David Zippel
Let’s get down to business… the soundtrack for Mulan is amazing (see what I did there?) Like can anyone not get psyched up for battle when hearing Short Hair? a friend of mine once said that he used to use I’ll Make a Man Out Of You as his work out song and I understand but if it were me, I’d run out of air so quickly trying to sing everyone’s part of this song; “I’m never gonna catch my breath_”, “Say goodbye to those who knew me_”, “boy was I fool for cutting gym”, “this guy’s got us scared to death_” “hope he doesn’t see right through me_” “now I really wish that I knew how to swim!” okay, I’m done but if you know the song, you know the part I’m talking about and do I even need to mention Reflection? The answer is no, because everyone knows how great that song is.
Lilo & Stitch
Composer: Alan Silvestri, Songwriter: Mark Kealiʻi Hoʻomalu
I know, any excuse I have I mention Lilo & Stitch but this really does have a good soundtrack and score! even though this film actually only has 2 original songs, it does also feature 5 Elvis Presley songs as well as 3 Elvis covers re-recorded by; American singer Wynonna (“Burning Love”), British singer Gareth Gates (“Suspicious Minds”) and Swedish group A*Teens (“Can’t Help Falling in Love”).
The Neon Demon
Composer: Cliff Martinez
Another creepy film with a creepy soundtrack; The Neon Demon, i chose to include this soundtrack as I really like that it’s techno instead of the usual orchestral score used in film. I actually have great memories of seeing this film at the cinema so when I hear the intro song; Neon Demon that is heard during the opening credits, I start to remember all the nervous but excited anticipation I had going into this film. I’m just going to warn you now, this film isn’t for everyone, it has an 18 rating for a reason, don’t go into it blindly, you can enjoy the soundtrack regardless though! Sia also released a song for the film which can be heard during the end credits.
Big Hero 6
Composer: Henry Jackman
Yet another Disney soundtrack, I know but Big Hero 6 has something special about it. Similar to The Neon Demon, this soundtrack, to match with the film has an electronic score more than an orchestral one. It also had a song; Immortals by the pop punk band Fall Out Boy featured in it which helped gain attention for the movie, however my favourite tracks in this soundtrack all come from Henry Jackman, I will feature my favourites below.
Composer: Gregg Alexander, Danielle Brisebois, Nick Lashley, Rick Nowels, Nick Southwood, Glen Hansard
The Begin Again soundtrack received mixed reviews, however I really like it. It’s a mix of pop, folk, indie??? and most songs are performed by Kiera Knightly who (similar to Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Ryan Reynolds and Emma Stone) I don’t think has a musical theatre background, I don’t suppose she needed one for this role though as the songs aren’t exactly musical songs, they’re more of the acoustic singer songwriter type that suit her small mid range voice. If you haven’t seen Begin Again, it’s a fantastic film focusing on musicians and record labels.
Composer: Michael Giacchino
If you’ve read my Pixar Moments That Never Leave My Mind blog post, you’ll notice that I mention The Incredibles soundtrack there too! and there’s a reason for it! Michael Giacchino is great! he also recently scored 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. I’ll try not to repeat myself too much from the post I reference this soundtrack in before but I really do find myself humming the score to this film all the time, I have the score for Life is Incredible Again in my head right now! The score manages to fit in with the 1960’s setting of this film whilst still sounding like an incredible superhero film.
Composers: Christophe Beck, Songwriters: Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez.
I’m sure everyone has had enough of hearing Let it Go but I haven’t alright, so it’s on the list. Not only has this film got some of the best award winning songs and a great score to go with it, the deluxe soundtrack also included some demo songs that didn’t make it into the film which I adore! I always find myself singing More Than Just The Spare, probably more than I sing Love is an Open Door! which for me, really means something. I’ll include my favourite demo links below.
Stand out tracks: Elsa and Anna, Coronation Day, Heimr Àrnadalr, For The First Time in Forever, Love is an Open Door, You’re You (Outtake), Life’s Too Short (Outtake), More Than Just The Spare (Outtake)
This list should have been called ‘Great Disney Movie Soundtracks With A Couple Of Other Film Soundtracks Thrown In So It looks Like I Watch More Than Just Disney Films’ I don’t think that’s quite as catchy but you get it, maybe I’ll do another list soon of my favourite Alan Menken songs or my favourite Disney songs or something as I feel like I missed a lot out here. Thank you for making it all the way through this list and if you’re actually here because you’re more of a soundtrack/music fan than a movie fan then take a look at my friend’s music/vinyl blog, who knows! it could be exactly what you’re looking for!