10 Best Family Movie Songs

Wednesday, February 23 by Mason Kaho

Because of the genre’s wide appeal, many family movies are musicals, and the list of the 10 best family movie songs includes some of the most popular ditties ever written. Good songs, when used appropriately, make any movie even better, using music to help tell the story and set a certain mood. Broadway-quality music lends itself well to light movies, such as animated family stories, and there is no doubt that you can hum a few bars to nearly every song listed here, dominated, of course, by Disney.

  1. "Under the Sea." Perhaps one of the most catchy Disney tunes ever, this is one of the best family movie songs ever written. It is the theme from “The Little Mermaid,” and has a great calypso sound to it. The song is presented with a great “dance” sequence of hundreds of sea creatures, and is led by the great Sebastian.
  2. “Be Our Guest.” As with “Under the Sea” this song serves as a theme for a movie, 1991's “Beauty and the Beast.” This song was nominated for an Academy Award and in the film serves as Belle’s official welcome to the castle, brought to her by…the dishes!
  3. "Hakuna Matata." One of the best family movie songs ever, Elton John and Tim Rice teamed up for this tune from “The Lion King.” Sung by pals Timon and Pumbaa, the song famously means “no worries,” and is their anthem for life.
  4. "You've Got a Friend in Me." This song, from “Toy Story” (and its sequels) and sung by Randy Newman, is one of the best family movie songs you’ll hear. Nominated for an Oscar, this simple song tells the story of friendship, kindness, and what it means to be there for those important to you.
  5. "A Whole New World." Another Alan Menken masterpiece for Disney, this song is from the rollicking “Aladdin.” It is a ballad sung between Aladdin and Princess Jasmine, as they eventually fall in love with each other during a ride on his magic carpet.
  6. "Kiss the Girl." Also from the “The Little Mermaid,” this song again features Sebastian the Crab—sung by Samuel Wright—and is the tune the creatures of the water sing as they subtly attempt to get Eric to kiss Ariel, helping her to become a real woman.
  7. "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." One of the most classic songs of all time, few Americans don’t know at least a few lines of this. It is Dorothy’s lament in “The Wizard of Oz,” as she despairs of boring life on a rural farm and dreams of far-away lands. Little does she know that she’ll get her wish.
  8. "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious." This song of simple silliness is from “Mary Poppins,” and is sung the off-kilter nanny herself, along with chimney-sweep Bert. It’s a song you sing when you don’t have a lot to say, they tell the children. Of course a rousing dance number accompanies the song.
  9. “When you Wish Upon a Star.” This great tune, one of the best family movie songs ever, is from “Pinocchio,” sung soulfully by Jiminy Cricket. In addition to being a great movie song, the song has been adopted by Disney in marketing campaigns, using it to sell the fantasy, dream-like aspects of their parks.
  10. “Heigh Ho.” Certainly one of the best family movie songs, this song from “Snow White” has been sung incorrectly by probably everyone in the country—it’s “home from work I go,” not “off to work.”  This catchy tune, with whistling included, from the dwarves is one of the most memorable from the movie.
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