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10 Things You Didn’t Know About These Classic Disney Songs

After watching a Disney movie, it’s not uncommon to have one of its songs stuck in your head for a whole week; they’re just that catchy. They fill us with joy, love, sadness, and are always entertaining. Whenever we hear one of the classics, every emotion we had the first time we listened to it always comes rushing back. Even if this is the case for you, and you feel like you know every line of every song, do you know how most of them came to be? If not, we’ve got a list of fun facts about classic Disney songs you might not have known. Enjoy!

1. “When You Wish Upon a Star” was the first Disney song to win an Academy Award.

ins_trivia_disneymagic_1200 Pinocchio and blue fairy

Leigh Harline (composer) and Ned Washington (songwriter) also took home the Oscar for Best Original Score that year. Other songs to win the prestigious honor include: “Chim Chim Cher-ee” from Mary Poppins, “Under the Sea” from The Little Mermaid, “Beauty and the Beast” from Beauty and the Beast, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from The Lion King, “Colors of the Wind” from Pocahontas, “Let it Go” from Frozen, and more.

2. A famous singer came out of retirement to sing the title song of The Aristocats.

The Aristocats First Date

After being approached by the Sherman brothers, French actor/cabaret singer Maurice Chevalier decided to leave retirement to perform “The Aristocats” (the first song in the movie). It was his final contribution to the film industry.

3. Phil Collins wrote most of “You’ll Be in My Heart” at a party.

Tarzan and Kala You'll Be In My Heart

Speaking of Academy Award-winning songs, the bulk of the touching Tarzan song “You’ll Be in My Heart” was written in one night. Collins felt inspiration while he was playing piano at a Christmas party. To ensure he didn’t forget the tune he had in mind, he wrote everything down on a piece of wrapping paper.

4. The melody for “Second Star to the Right” was originally written for another film.

Peter Pan Michael

The tune was first written for a song titled “Beyond the Laughing Sky” from Alice in Wonderland. Unfortunately it (along with about 30 other songs) were never used. It’s hard to imagine the classic song any other way. We’re glad it found a loving home!

5. “Be Prepared” is sung by two actors.

Villain-Spotlight-Series-Scar-from-The-Lion-King-Prepared

Though the bulk of the song is sung by Jeremy Irons (the voice of Scar), Jim Cummings (the voice of Ed—as well as a slew of other Disney characters including Winnie the Pooh) had to step in towards the end because Irons blew out his voice. Bonus fact: The song was originally titled “Thanks to Me,” and was going to be used later in the film, after Scar had taken over Pride Rock.

6. “Part of Your World” was almost cut from The Little Mermaid.

Ariel A Part of Your World Little Mermaid

After an early screening, filmmakers almost decided to cut what would later become one of the most loved Disney songs (and sequences) of all time. Luckily they reconsidered and kept it in the movie!

7. “Feed the Birds” was Walt Disney’s favorite song.

Feed the Birds from Mary Poppins

According to Richard Sherman (One of the songwriters behind the song), the Mary Poppins track was one of Walt’s favorites. In fact, the Sherman brothers would often play it upon request when they visited Walt’s office.

8. Four of Disney’s Academy Award-winning songs were composed by Alan Menken.

Quiz Which Disney Heroine Are you - Pocahontas

“Colors of the Wind” (from Pocahontas), “A Whole New World” (from Aladdin), “Beauty and the Beast” (from Beauty and the Beast), and “Under the Sea” (from The Little Mermaid) all scored Alan Menken an Oscar in the Best Original Song category. Of the four wins, Menken shares two of the Oscars with famous songwriter Howard Ashman.

9. “The Bare Necessities” is the only song from The Jungle Book not written by the Sherman brothers.

the-bare-necessities-from-the-jungle-book

It was actually written by Terry Gilkyson, the songwriter who was on the project before Richard and Robert Sherman had signed on to write the music. Filmmakers loved it so much that they decided to keep it in–and we’re glad they did because the sequence is iconic!

10. “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo” was originally presented to Walt Disney as a demo.

Cinderella_Fairy-Godmother

Al Hoffman, Mack David and Jerry Livingston—who were all members of the Tin Pan Alley group in New York—asked Ilene Woods (who voices Cinderella) to record a demo of the song so they could present it to Walt. Incidentally, that’s how the actress ended up with the lead role. Both “Sing Sweet Nightingale” and “So This is Love” were included in the batch of demos presented.

What was your favorite fact? Let us know in the comments!

Posted 5 years Ago
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