Since Encanto came out, I’ve heard the soundtrack all over the place, from the radio to Spotify to little kids in the grocery store. And while I love “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” and “Surface Pressure,” I’m getting a bit tired of hearing the same songs. It’s like reliving “Let It Go” all over again.
Billboard has a list of catchy but underrated Disney songs. However, I disagreed with a few of their entries, so I wanted to make my own list. Let’s talk about some of the Disney songs that have gotten shoved aside by another piece from the same movie. And no, there won’t be any Encanto songs on this list because they’re all too popular to be considered underrated.
“The Gospel Truth” from ‘Hercules’
I never knew I needed five sassy Muses in my life until this song introduced us to Hercules. I wish the Muses could narrate my life in a song as they did for Hercules and Megara. But anyway, let’s talk about the song.
Before the Muses took over, we had a normal narrator who was making the movie sound “drab,” but the five lovely ladies made it exciting and fun. I never hear anyone talk about this song, but we always hear about “Go the Distance” and “I Won’t Say I’m In Love.”
“Mother Knows Best” from ‘Tangled’
If there’s ever a movie soundtrack with no skips, it’s Tangled. And when I say that, I literally mean I have never wanted to skip a song from the movie. That includes “Mother Knows Best” and the reprise later in the film. Gothel may be evil, but she sure can sing a (manipulative) song.
The full-length version has a tone and melody that contradicts the lyrics and meaning behind Gothel’s song. But when we get the reprise, she seems to be showing her true colors to Rapunzel. Regardless of which version you like more, this is really fun to sing when you’re in the car.
“If I Never Knew You” from ‘Pocahontas’
I’ll be honest, this is not as catchy as “Just Around the Riverbend” and “Colors of the Wind,” but I love this song with all my heart. “If I Never Knew You” is a heartbreaking yet heartwarming song that John and Pocahontas sing while he awaits his execution.
The song tells how John wouldn’t be who he is now if Pocahontas hadn’t opened his eyes to the beauty of nature around him. So next time you’re making a playlist of nostalgic songs, make sure to add this one.
“Ma Belle Evangeline” from ‘The Princess and The Frog’
While I’m on heartbreaking and heartwarming songs, let’s talk about “Ma Belle Evangeline.” Ray the firefly tells the story of his love, Evangeline, and how she became a star in the night sky. It’s also the first time we see Tiana and Naveen falling for each other.
I kid you not; I cannot watch this scene in the movie without bawling. Listening to it is no problem, but watching Ray pine after a star while Tiana and Naveen dance together and fall in love–that’s just too much for me. I just want more songs like this from Disney.
“One Jump Ahead” from ‘Aladdin’
We always sing “A Whole New World,” “Friend Like Me,” and “Prince Ali” all the time. But the other songs from the animated Aladdin get swept under the rug. “One Jump Ahead” is full of fun moments, fast beats, and excellent lyrics.
While the animated version is great, the live-action scene just gives me life. Mena Massoud is perfect as Aladdin, and I couldn’t imagine loving this song more if anyone else had sung it. Even better, “One Jump Ahead (Reprise)” is just a beautiful addition to the movie.
“A Girl Worth Fighting For” from ‘Mulan’
I know Mulan 2 doesn’t quite live up to the standards set by Mulan, but you have to give credit where credits are due. The songs in this song are so good, and nobody ever talks about them. “I Wanna Be Like Other Girls” and “Lesson Number One” were two of my favorite songs when the movie came out.
But nowadays, I can’t stop thinking about “A Girl Worth Fighting For” sung by the warriors that served alongside Mulan and Shang in the first movie. Yao, Ling, and Chien Po’s idea of their “perfect girl” is just so cute to see because they end up finding just that with the princesses in the movie.
“On My Way” from ‘Brother Bear’
When I think of underrated Disney songs, “On My Way” didn’t come to mind right away. But after listening to it again, I realized that it needs to be on my list. This might be the most popular song from Brother Bear, but we don’t talk about it enough.
Koda is so cute, and his little voice is just the perfect way to introduce this song. Phil Collins also has a fantastic voice, and I don’t think there’s a song of his that I don’t love. I just wish they’d kept Koda’s voice for his lines in the soundtrack version so I wouldn’t have to go to YouTube for it.
“Son of Man” from ‘Tarzan’
Phil Collins just doesn’t miss. Every single song in Tarzan is a bop, but I only ever hear about “You’ll Be in My Heart.” It’s about time we start listening to the rest of the soundtrack. In addition to “Son of Man,” there’s “Trashin’ the Camp” and “Two Worlds.”
Though all of the songs are great, “Son of Man” is one of my favorites of all time. It’s upbeat without being too crazy and has some fun melodies. Throughout the song, we see Tarzan grow up, learn survival skills, and make friends with the jungle animals.
“When She Loved Me” from ‘Toy Story 2’
This Toy Story 2 song always makes me tear up. Even though I haven’t watched this movie in years, I still remember the images that accompanied the ballad. And I just know Pixar wanted all of us to cry when they included this song in a children’s movie.
I can’t think of any Randy Newman song that doesn’t hit the heartstrings, but this one takes the cake. When I think of Toy Story, the first song that comes to mind is “You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” but “When She Loved Me” has just as much nostalgia for those of us who grew up on these movies.
“God Help the Outcasts” from ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’
I’ll be honest, I didn’t watch The Hunchback of Notre Dame until 2019. But when I did, I fell in love with Esmeralda’s song “God Help the Outcasts.” It was so beautiful, and the symbolism in the movie while she sings it is breathtaking.
The song fits perfectly in the movie, and I can’t imagine a better piece to show Esmeralda’s personality. She’s a selfless person, and this song showcases her kindness. And while I love listening to the film version, there are plenty of covers out there, including one by Jodi Benson (Ariel from The Little Mermaid).
“Gaston” from ‘Beauty and the Beast’
Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite movies, but I have to admit, I only ever listened to the Belle-centric songs growing up. It wasn’t until the live-action movie came out that I started listening more to the villain’s songs, specifically “Gaston.”
I can’t stand Gaston, but I will concede that he’s got a good song. To be honest, pretty much all of the Disney villains have great songs. But I can’t get the melody of “Gaston” out of my head no matter how hard I try. I’m literally humming it as I write this list.
“Lost in the Woods” from ‘Frozen 2’
After the success of “Let It Go,” Disney had to step up a notch for the Frozen sequel. Frozen 2 gave us so many songs that I’ll still be singing ten years from now, like “Into the Unknown” and “Show Yourself.” But while there were some popular songs, it was also chockful of underrated gems.
One of those is “Lost in the Woods,” sung by Kristoff and the reindeer. With the reindeer backup singers and dancers, Disney gave us a Broadway-style production of Kristoff’s heartbreak anthem. Even if you don’t watch the scene, you can still sing along to it while watching raindrops race down your window.
“I’m Still Here (Jim’s Theme)” from ‘Treasure Planet’
To finish out this list, we’ve got a song nobody talks about from a film nobody talks about. Treasure Planet was a bit of a flop, but you’ve got to admit there were some pretty good songs in it. “I’m Still Here” was the best of them (at least, it was my favorite).
I honestly completely forgot about this song until I recently rewatched Treasure Planet around Thanksgiving. But when I heard the song, it took me back to the first time I watched the movie. I still have the song stuck in my head. I will always belt this song out when it plays on my phone.