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Songs from Animated Movies That Go Hard

Do you also have these songs from animated movies on repeat like us?
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Have you ever watched a movie and just fallen in love with the music that plays in the background of big scenes? I’m notorious for listening to full albums on repeat from films and shows for weeks after watching them – especially songs from animated movies. Sometimes, though, there are some songs that just go hard and make you want to dance and sing along. Here are 15 songs that I will never be embarrassed to love.

“Kingdom Dance” from ‘Tangled’

There is not one song on the Tangled album that I would skip, and this instrumental song is no exception. “Kingdom Dance” takes over TikTok every spring – there’s no better time for an upbeat and bouncy dance song.

In the movie, “Kingdom Dance” is what plays when Rapunzel and the others in the kingdom dance in a circle after she has her hair braided. It represents the happiness she feels from her newfound freedom and shows that both Rapunzel and Flynn are opening themselves up to each other.

“Test Drive” from ‘How to Train Your Dragon’

I can tell when this song comes on after just five beats. In the entire How to Train Your Dragon franchise, only one other song comes close to the nostalgia I feel when I hear “Test Drive” – “For the Dancing and the Dreaming” from the second movie.

“Test Drive” is the song that plays when Hiccup and Toothless go on their first flight together to test out the first new tail Hiccup created. Even just listening to the music gives me chills and makes me want a dragon all over again.

See related: Ranking ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ Movies and Shows

“Hello Hello” from ‘Gnomeo and Juliet’

I know Elton John’s voice has been in several animated movies, but I can’t skip over underrated Gnomeo and Juliet’s “Hello Hello.” And you’ll probably recognize another voice in the song: Lady Gaga. Who knew the world needed a duet between these two iconic singers?

Now, I can’t stand the original Shakespeare play this movie is based on, but this song really took me out of that feeling. “Hello Hello” was also nominated for a Golden Globe, a Satellite Award, and a Critics’ Choice Movie Award, so you know the song is bound to make you dance in your seat.

“Still” from ‘Over the Hedge’

While the previous songs have been mostly happy, “Still” doesn’t give off that feeling. It’s a sadder song, but it’s still amazing. “Still” captures the feeling you might have if you feel like you let someone down or weren’t giving your all to something.

We don’t talk nearly enough about Over the Hedge. While it didn’t live up to the expectations set by other DreamWorks movies, it was still good – it’s like DreamWorks’s Treasure Planet or Atlantis. The songs really made up for the semi-okay plot.

“Happy” from ‘Despicable Me 2’

You’re probably going to hate me for saying this, but “Happy” is one of the best songs in any Despicable Me movie. And no, I will never change my mind on this. Yes, it’s overplayed even after several years, but can you blame people for wanting to clap along and dance around to Pharrell’s song?

Another song from Despicable Me 2 that I would add to an upbeat playlist is Pharrell’s “Just a Cloud Away”. It’s slightly less lively but still has that inspiring feeling to it that makes you believe today is going to be a great day.

“Strangers Like Me” from ‘Tarzan’

You hear those first two beats, and you immediately know what song is on. “Strangers Like Me” is one of my favorite songs from Disney – actually, the entire Tarzan album is one of the best Disney has made of all time.

Phil Collins put his heart and soul into this album, and it paid off. Tarzan and Jane bond in the movie while this song plays, starting off their beautiful love story. I wish Disney would hurry up and make a live-action adaptation of this already so I can get another version of this song.

See related: 9 Best Non-Princess Disney Heroines

“I Won’t Say (I’m In Love)” from ‘Hercules’

While I’m on the subject of Disney live-action adaptations that need to hurry up, I can’t wait to find out who is going to sing “I Won’t Say (I’m In Love)” as Megara. The song has been on nearly every “Top Disney Songs” playlist I’ve come across.

This song brings in Megara’s cynical stance on love with the Muse’s hyping up of the couple. Combining Meg and the Muses with the beautiful backdrop and choreography that ends with Meg finally admitting her feelings to herself is one of my favorite scenes in animated cinema.

“Life is a Highway” from ‘Cars’

Cars is a franchise that has yet to have a song I dislike. That said, “Life is a Highway” is my favorite, and I will sing along to it no matter where I hear it (even in the grocery store). Rascall Flatts sang the song, and I couldn’t imagine a better band for it.

“Real Gone” by Sheryl Crow from Cars is also a top song from the franchise. It perfectly matches Lightning McQueen’s need for speed at the beginning of the movie. Just be careful listening to either of these songs because it will make you want to race on the highway.

“How Bad Can I Be” from ‘The Lorax’

I remember when The Lorax first came out, people didn’t like it but talked about it because of the cast. But I loved it. I wanted a Lorax to just show up at my house and live with me, growing Truffula trees in my yard.

And yes, there were some better songs from the movie, but “How Bad Can I Be” is by far the catchiest. It’s in no way a masterpiece, but I can’t stop singing “how ba-a-a-ad can I be?” to myself as much as I do the lyrics from “We Don’t Talk About Bruno.”

“Hot Wings (I Wanna Party)” from ‘Rio’

I have never seen Rio 2, but I could easily listen to every song on Rio’s album enough to make up for it. There may be only one song that I would skip (the score), but I will never stop singing along to “Hot Wings (I Wanna Party).”

Will.i.am. was the main vocalist, and it felt like I was just listening to the Black Eyed Peas. And the scene it accompanied made me want to party in Rio even though I was a child. If this ever comes on in public, I’m going to dance without any shame whatsoever.

“Accidentally in Love” from ‘Shrek 2’

The opening to Shrek 2 is iconic – maybe second only to Shrek. “Accidentally in Love” plays as Shrek and Fiona go on their honeymoon after they married in the finale of the first movie. Counting Crows did a fantastic job, and I wish there were more movie openers that were this catchy.

“Accidentally in Love” is about falling for someone and your entire life-changing course because of them. No matter what age you are, this song is relatable and a bit inspiring. I can’t imagine this song ever not being popular and nostalgic.

See related: Nostalgic Animated Movies That Aren’t Disney

“Immortals” from ‘Big Hero 6’

I’m not kidding when I say this song haunts me. Big Hero 6 came out when I was in high school, and at the first pep rally after “Immortals” came out, the cheerleaders already had a dance routine to it. And then the few times I actually listened to the radio, it came on.

I can’t get away from it, and it’s still stuck in my head eight years later. I love Fall Out Boy’s music, and while this song is fantastic, “Immortals” is too catchy for its own good. On the other hand, it’s the perfect song to add to your workout playlist to pump you up.

“Sunflower” from ‘Into the Spider-Verse’

Every recent Marvel movie has some song that will always be associated with that movie. For Into the Spider-Verse, it’s “Sunflower” by Post Malone and Swae Lee. It’s so catchy that even if you just hear a snippet of the song, you’ll remember the movie in vivid detail.

Sony described the song as “heroic and emotional.” And they couldn’t be more right. Miles Morales and the other Spider-Men (and Spider-Women and Spider-Pig) have tragic backstories that made them the heroes they are, and the song perfectly captures that.

“U (English Version)” from ‘Belle’

Though the English dubbed Belle was just recently released, we already had snippets of some of the songs and a full-length version of “U”. And let me just say, this song came to me through a TikTok and shocked me by how powerful the singer was.

If this song is any indication of how great the movie and other songs are, I think I might have just found a new favorite movie. And maybe – just maybe – “U” will knock “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” out of my head for a few months.

“Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing” from ‘Sing’

This song might not have been written for this movie like most of the other songs on this list, but it’s one of the best I’ve heard from a non-Disney film in a long time. It’s also one of the best covers of the song I’ve ever heard.

Tori Kelly’s rendition quite literally brought the house down in Sing. It’s the first time her character, Meena, sings in public and gets the credit and admiration her voice deserves. Even after watching it five times in the last year, I still tear up watching it.