News - Radio 2: Ultimate Animated Movie Song

BBC Radio 2 has launched a listener vote to discover the Ultimate Animated Movie Song from the past 50 years. Here's the shortlist...

Press Release

The vote opened at (BBC login required) from 7am on Monday 18th July and closes at 12pm on Friday 8th August. 

The results will be revealed by OJ Borg in a countdown show on Radio 2 from 2-5pm on August Bank Holiday (Monday 29th August), and available for 30 days on BBC Sounds. OJ will be celebrating these family favourite songs and finding out what makes them so loved, as he is joined by guests who’ve written and sung some of these classic tracks and hears from listeners who voted.

OJ Borg says: “We've all loved watching animated films through our lives, and enjoyed the songs that have been in them. These are the songs we loved when we were kids and, when we are grown up, we start to get our own children into them. It's just a joy every time you hear one. You realise you know every single word, and it brings back the childhood innocence, that joy of belting them out on car journeys with family and friends. But just what is the greatest of all the animated movie songs from the last 50 years?”

The shortlist has been created by BBC Pop Radio’s resident movie critics – Radio 2’s James King - who appears weekly on Jo Whiley’s evening show and regularly on The Zoe Ball Breakfast show, Rhianna Dhillon – movie critic on Lauren Laverne’s 6 Music Breakfast show, and Radio 1’s Ali Plumb. From all the incredible songs in the animated movies of the past 50 years, they have selected a shortlist of the 50 songs they believe are the ultimate songs, and now it’s up to listeners to decide which one will be crowned the nation’s favourite.

James King said, “Choosing this shortlist was tough, but so much fun too. Some of the biggest songs of the last few years have been from animations and so many are just part of the fabric of pop culture. It was also great to revisit a few I’d forgotten about. Now it’s over to the brilliant Radio 2 listeners to choose their favourite!”

Rhianna Dhillon added “As we all did, I grew up with animated movies and their songs are woven into countless happy memories I have as a child. There is nothing more joyful than being able to recite every single lyric to your favourite songs from those films, which is why I’m delighted to be involved alongside my fellow radio movie critics. We’ve all been reminiscing about the best magical, musical, movie moments, but had to make some extremely tough decisions about which should make the shortlist. Hopefully, you’ll find your favourites in our shortlist and also discover some new ones too!”

Ali Plumb also said, “I might want to say that Lawrence Of Arabia or Pulp Fiction or Citizen Kane might be the film I've watched most in my life, but for all of us, it's most likely to be a Christmas movie or animated film! Songs from these movies are heard over and over again, not just in the cinema or on TV, but in the car, on the bus, wherever we are! There's just something about them that bonds them close to our hearts, so it was a real pleasure to be part of the panel selecting the very best catchier-than-catchy animated movie earworms from the past half a century. Even I'm amazed how many of the lyrics just tumbled out of my head as if I'd heard them only yesterday!”

The shortlist of 50 songs to vote for are [scan down to the bottom for Susan's top five* - Ed] – 

Artist(s) / song title (film it features in):

Carmen Twillie / Lebo M - Circle Of Life (The Lion King, 1994)
Nathan Lane/Ernie Sabella/Jason Weaver/Joseph Williams - Hakuna Matata (The Lion King, 1994)
Elton John - Can You Feel The Love Tonight (The Lion King, 1994)

Auliʻi Cravalho - How Far I'll Go (Moana, 2016)
Dwayne Johnson - You’re Welcome (Moana, 2016)
Jemaine Clement - Shiny (Moana, 2016)

Angela Lansbury / Jerry Orbach - Be Our Guest (Beauty And The Beast, 1991)
Angela Lansbury - Beauty and the Beast (Beauty And The Beast, 1991)
Paige O'Hara / Richard White - Belle (Beauty And The Beast, 1991)

Judy Kuhn - Colours Of The Wind (Pocahontas, 1995)
Judy Kuhn - Just Around the Riverbend (Pocahontas, 1995)

Robin Williams - Prince Ali (Aladdin, 1992)
Robin Williams - Friend Like Me (Aladdin, 1992)
Brad Kane / Lea Salonga - A Whole New World (Aladdin, 1992)

Kristen Bell, Agatha Lee Monn, and Katie Lopez - Do You Want to Build a Snowman? (Frozen, 2013)
Idina Menzel - Let It Go (Frozen, 2013)

Idina Menzel - Into The Unknown (Frozen 2, 2019)
Jonathan Groff - Lost In The Woods (Frozen 2, 2019)

Billy Crystal and John Goodman - If I Didn't Have You (Monsters, Inc, 2001)

Samuel E. Wright - Under the Sea (The Little Mermaid, 1989)
Samuel E. Wright - Kiss The Girl (The Little Mermaid, 1989)
Jodi Benson - Part of Your World (The Little Mermaid, 1989)

Randy Newman - You've Got a Friend in Me (Toy Story, 1995)

Danny Elfman - What's This? (The Nightmare Before Christmas, 1993)

Adassa Beatriz, Mauro Castillo, Rhenzy Feliz, Carolina Gaitán, Diane Guerrero & cast of Encanto - We Don't Talk About Bruno (Encanto, 2021)

Benjamin Bratt - Remember Me (Coco, 2017)

Donny Osmond - I'll Make a Man Out of You (Mulan, 1998)
Harvey Fierstein, Matthew Wilder, Jerry Tondo & Lea Salonga - A Girl Worth Fighting For (Mulan, 1998)
Lea Salonga - Reflection (Mulan, 1998)

Sarah McLachlan - When She Loved Me (Toy Story 2, 1999)

Peter Gabriel - Down To Earth (Wall-E, 2008)

Birdy / Mumford & Sons - Learn Me Right (Brave, 2012)

James Ford Murphy / Kuana Torres Kahele / Nāpua Greig - Lava (Inside Out, 2015)

Donna Murphy - Mother Knows Best (Tangled, 2010)
Mandy Moore - When Will My Life Begin (Tangled, 2010)

Anika Noni Rose - Almost There (The Princess and the Frog, 2009)

Roger Bart - Go The Distance (Hercules, 1997)
Sound Of Blackness - Zero To Hero (Hercules, 1997)

Shakira - Try Everything (Zootropolis, 2016)

Billy Joel - Why Should I Worry (Oliver & Company, 1988)

Fall Out Boy - Immortals (Big Hero 6, 2014)

Tegan and Sara ft. The Lonely Island - Everything Is Awesome (The Lego Movie, 2014)

Pharrell Williams - Happy (Despicable Me 2, 2013)

Justin Timberlake - Can't Stop the Feeling (Trolls, 2016)

The Shins - They'll Soon Discover (The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, 2004)

Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston - When You Believe (The Prince of Egypt, 1998)

Jerry Williams and The Boppers - Sun Do Shine (Rock-a-Doodle, 1991)

Elton John - Someday Out Of The Blue (The Road to El Dorado, 2000)

Jonsi - Where No One Goes (How to Train Your Dragon 2, 2014)

Sia - Rainbow (My Little Pony: The Movie, 2017)

* with a caveat that the absolute best animated movie songs have been omitted because there's no Robin Hood on the shortlist, [HOW DARE THEY!! It was 1973 so within the 50 years! - Ed] Susan's Top Five is:

5 Remember Me - Coco
4 Happy - Despicable Me 2
3 Under the Sea - The Little Mermaid
2 You've Got a Friend in Me - Toy Story
1 Hakuna Matata - The Lion King

Get ready to sing along...

Image & info - BBC Radio 2

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