Has there ever been an album more universally loved than Disneymania? Ever since we first heard Aaron Carter and Christina Aguilera, among other famous artists, covering our favorite classics circa 2002, we haven’t been able to get enough of Disney song remakes.
Unsurprisingly, given the longstanding affiliation between Disney and Hot Topic, alternative spins of our favorite show tunes have been popping up with increasing frequency since the first appearance of pop stars on Disney Channel. From pop punk to metal and everything in between, here are the best covers for your most magical playlists.
Boy Hero – “How Far I’ll Go” (Moana)
As if the original version from Moana by Auli’i Cravalho isn’t demanding enough of a singalong, the pop-punk backing makes it straight-up anthemic. The best part? The lyrics align perfectly with that “get me out of this town” theme we’ve all come to know and love—only references to pizza and Warped Tour could make it seem any more relevant. Side note: Are those unbothered seagulls standing in the backdrop of the performance not the most Disney thing you’ve ever seen?
Jonathan Young – “Hellfire” (Hunchback Of Notre Dame)
Petition to back all Disney villains with metal tracks going forward because this rendition of the Tony Jay original from The Hunchback Of Notre Dame is nothing if not visceral. That’s hardly a surprise coming from Jonathan Young, though, whose extensive list of covers ranges from Disney to the Skyrim “Dragonborn” theme and includes rock, pop punk and metal varieties. (If you ever wished for a hardcore version of “The Greatest Show,” he’s done that as well.)
New Found Glory – “Let It Go” (Frozen)
There are countless variations of Idina Menzel’s Frozen power ballad floating around the internet. It’s only the most-streamed Disney song on Spotify. But we’d be remiss in not recognizing New Found Glory’s spin as a standout. If the translation from show tune to something fit for a classic pop-punk album isn’t impressive enough, their ability to perform in roller skates and princess dresses is certainly worthy of recognition. You can’t say these guys do anything half-heartedly.
Dreamhouse – “Part Of Your World” (The Little Mermaid)
If there’s any Disney princess fit to be an alt girl, it’s Ariel from The Little Mermaid. Bright red hair and teenage angst aside, she’s got the right kind of energy down pat. It’s no wonder that Dreamhouse’s rock adaptation of her wistful number, originally voiced by Jodi Benson, feels like a natural extension—and perhaps an even more emotive one at that. If you like this variation, be sure to check out the entirety of Ghost Killer Entertainment’s Disney Goes Hardcore collection.
D-METAL STARS – “Disney Medley”
What’s better than one metal Disney cover? Six metal Disney covers blended seamlessly, including the likes of “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo” and “Winnie The Pooh.” This track diverges a bit from the others on the list in that it’s part of an official Disney-sanctioned album, but don’t think that makes it any less aberrant. If you’re a fan of this short sampler, do yourself a favor and listen to the rest of the Metal Disney album for heavy spins on “Mickey Mouse March,” “Under The Sea” and more.
Suburban Legends – “Colors Of The Wind” (Pocahontas)
You wouldn’t expect ska to go hand in hand with Pocahontas, let alone with what is arguably the most moving song of the film, but Suburban Legends successfully add danceable energy while still maintaining the heart behind the original Judy Kuhn version. Other covers on their EP Dreams Aren’t Real, But These Songs Are, Vol. 1 are less staggering in comparison, such as “Kiss The Girl” and “You’ve Got A Friend In Me.”
PelleK – “Be Prepared” (The Lion King)
If the Jeremy Irons original wasn’t your favorite singalong from The Lion King, did you really have an emo phase? PelleK expands beautifully on this menacing call to action, pairing deep, theatrical vocals with a metal backing that’s sure to put some shivers down your spine. But if his performance of Scar isn’t enough to wow you, just wait until he starts transitioning in and out of the hyena parts. Truly, it’s a wonder that he hasn’t made a Broadway appearance by now.
The Vandals – “Heigh-Ho” (Snow White)
This song has been getting stuck in our heads since 1937, so it’s really no surprise that it’s so well suited for a high-energy punk cover. The Vandals’ rendition employs an air of aggression that turns the charming show tune into something more reminiscent of the plight of the working class, which is painfully relevant to 2020. With a live-action Snow White due in 2022, we can only hope the dwarves take on a similar edge.
Caleb Hyles – “The Mob Song” (Beauty And The Beast)
It shouldn’t be so easy to align with an angry mob dead set on taking down our beloved Beast. But Caleb Hyles puts a rage-rousing spin on this already sinister ensemble piece from Beauty And The Beast. As perfect as the 2017 live-action movie was, this performance leaves us wishing for a modern-day remake following a group of punk kids as they hunt down the town monster. Or is that too close to Stranger Things? If you want more, watch him take on the role of LeFou alongside Jonathan Young in a “Gaston” duet.
Kimmi Smiles – “Kiss The Girl” (The Little Mermaid)
Let’s call back to our vision of Ariel as the poster child of a modern alt girl because Kimmi Smiles has spun this classic into a pop-punk daydream that’s as danceable as it is reminiscent of our favorite 2008 albums. If the song itself doesn’t leave you feeling bouncy and cheerful for the rest of the day, we dare you to watch the music video and not be overwhelmed with warm, fuzzy feelings.