Is there anything better than a good love story?
Actually, yes. But for the sake of this introduction, imagine that a romance is the epitome of good story-telling.
Love stories are something which are prevalent in most mediums. Even Speed, the quintessential explosion-packed action movie starring Sandra Bullock, knew that a romance was the best way to engage an audience on an emotional level. I find that it’s particularly evident in animated movies because of their shorter duration time.
Recently, my best friend did a list of her favourite villain songs. Well, not one to be out-done, I decided to follow suit. For every Poor Unfortunate Souls, there must be a Kiss The Girl. So this is my list of Top 5 Love Songs from an Animated Movie. This list is not spoiler free.
5. This Day, from the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic movie, A Canterlot Wedding.
I’m already cheating slightly. A Canterlot wedding is the two-part season two finale, but I had to have in my list. At this point, we discover that Princess Cadance, the mare about to marry Twilight Sparkle’s brother, was really a fake. Twilight finds the real princess in the crystal caves and they race to stop the wedding, while both the princesses sing about the day they dreamed about.
The song is an aria, a traditional form of music from operas. You already know that it’s going to be an epic song. I suppose I like it so much because it’s so different to the other styles of songs that the show had done to this point. This Day is loud, dramatic and passionate, exactly as an aria should be.
It is both a villain’s song and a love song. While the fake princess sings about how her plan has come to fruition, the real princess’s only concern is that the man she loves will marry someone evil. It’s a short song with a reprise later by the villain, but what it is, it’s perfect.
Best Lyrics: I’ll be lying if I say that I don’t care if may lose him, to one who wants to use him, not care for, love, or cherish him each day.
4. Let Me Be Your Wings, from Thumbelina
Back during the Disney Renaissance, everyone was trying to mimic the winning Disney formula. Don Bluth was not above that, and thus he rewrote the classic Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, Thumbelina. The song comes after Thumbelina laments being the only little person in the world. Enter Cornelius, the prince of the fairies, who is instantly taken with Thumbelina. He takes her flying, and this is their love song.
What I love most about this song is that the message is undermined in the end when Thumbelina magically gets her own wings. I know that the wings that Cornelius promises to provide are metaphorical, but the fact that she gets her wings in the end ruins the sincerity of his promise.
The animation is gorgeous, the singing is beautiful (thank you, Jodi Benson), and the swell of the music is so perfectly 90s love song that for nostalgia alone, I had to include it.
Best Lyrics: Anything that you desire, anything at all. Every day I’ll take you higher, and I’ll never let you go.
3. Something There, from Beauty and the Beast
It’s my favourite Disney movie. Naturally, it’s on the list. I love it. Though not the headlining love song of the movie, Something There is a song that I feel is more identifiable to the average person. Not everyone has experienced the orchestra-accompanied moment of true love, but most have met someone who took them by surprise.
This song comes after Belle runs away from the castle and is attacked by wolves. The Beast saves her, but is injured in the battle. She takes him back to tend to his wounds, and they have their first real conversation. Cue Something There.
Beauty and the Beast is, to me, the magnum opus of all Disney movies. The soft backgrounds juxtaposed with the harsh Gothic architecture of the castle makes for a domestic tale of love with a beast. The love between Belle and the Beast is flawless. Yes, Belle is odd, and yes, the Beast is spoiled, but they learn to overcome that, until Belle feels at home with him, and he learns to control his temper. It’s a tale as told as old as time, brought to a satisfying peek as we get to see the characters like and then love each other.
Best Lyrics: But there’s something in him that I simply didn’t see.
2. I See The Light, from Tangled
Another Disney song that somehow managed to beat my favourite. Though Tangled is not traditionally animated, the technological advances made since Beauty and the Beast provide a platform for stunning backgrounds, realistic uses of light, and the perfect sequence to an already gorgeous song.
I See The Light comes at the end of Rapunzel’s one day of freedom, as she and Flynn sit in the boat awaiting the start of the lanterns. Rapunzel says that she’s worried what happens once her dream is realised, and Flynn comforts her. Then comes the softly playing strings, and my heartstrings stand no chance.
The scene is beautiful to watch, the singing is sweet and perfect… and you tell me that their love isn’t purer than whatever Snow White has going for her. The composition is traditional love song, and it only narrowly missed out on being my top love song. See for yourself why.
Best Lyrics: All at once, everything is different. Now that I see you.
1. Finale, from The Nightmare Before Christmas
Again, not conventional animation, but I don’t care. Though I won’t claim that Tim Burton is a directing god, I will admit that The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of my favourite movies. I’ve always had a thing for the Gothic and the macabre, and it was interesting to see new creatures of horror that managed to outshine the menagerie that the movie offered as townspeople. I love the homages to classic films, the literary references, and I just adore Sally and Jack. This song is the top of my list, rightfully and unapologetically.
Often referred to as the reprise to Sally’s Song, Finale naturally comes at the end of the movie. After Sally tried to save Santa and ended up in trouble, and Jack swoops in to save the day, we’re left with the townspeople finally understand what Christmas is about. The only hanging thread to the happy ending is Sally’s love for Jack, and how she finally got him to notice her. The song is a short, sweet number, where my shipping heart burst at the seams.
The composition is pure Danny Elfman, with slow and sensual violin layered over twinkling harpsichord. It’s the ethereal ambiance of a music box that I love. It was a unique sound for a unique movie. And really, it wouldn’t look as beautiful were it not for the details in the stop motion. The characters have emotional depth and physical depth, to the point where you really believe these characters are there and sincere in the moment.A snowy confession of love and affection is almost romantic to me, and you could say that the pair were made for each other. Even the weird ones get love in the end.
Best Lyrics: For it is plain, as anyone can see, we’re simply meant to be.
And that was it! My top five. It was harder than I anticipated, but I hope you approve.
And so, dear readers, we reach the end of another blog post.
Now I want to hear from you! What do you think of my list? What are your top five songs? And do you have a soft spot for love songs?
Let me know your thoughts!