“IF I NEVER KNEW YOU” from POCAHONTAS (1995)
Pocahontas was a definitively emo Disney heroine—no one understood her, whether it was the haunting Grandmother Willow, her animal friends or her much older love interest who thought she was an ignorant savage (rude). Of course, now we know Poco’s origin story isn’t exactly based on reality, but way back in 1995, it was a tale as old as time (although that’s obviously reserved for Beauty And The Beast). The spoken word intro when John Smith (please disregard his voice actor, Mel Gibson) says, “I’d rather die tomorrow than live a hundred years without knowing you,” sounds like it could easily be used in a MCR song.
“SALLY’S SONG” from THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS (1993)
If you’ve ever shopped at Hot Topic in your life, it’s almost a requirement you considered buying a Nightmare Before Christmas tee. Tragedy, pessimism and general ennui abound in the early stop-motion masterpiece. “The worst is just around the bend,” could be used equally as lyrics in the early aughts or a recent song. “Sally’s Song” inspired plenty of covers from sad-eyed girls and boys wearing far too much eyeliner and dressed in all black.
“DO YOU WANT TO BUILD A SNOWMAN?” from FROZEN (2013)
If you don’t at least tear up when Anna asks, “Do you want to build a snowman?” it’s entirely possible you’re as frozen as Elsa’s heart. “Conceal it, don’t feel it, don’t let it show” is basically how all emo kids get through high school and life, anyhow. It does get a little lonely, whether it’s a mostly empty castle or adulthood, making it a millennial anthem for the ages.
“GOD HELP THE OUTCASTS” from THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (1996)
When Esmeralda spots Quasimodo inside Notre Dame, she cries out about the experience in a song worthy of high school choirs everywhere. A song about outcasts who just want to find their place in the world and feel like no one is listening or understands? Yeah, does it get more emo than that? . Everyone needs an Esmeralda to help them out when they feel like they’re hiding their true self by sitting upstairs in their room.
“GOTTA GO MY OWN WAY” from HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 2 (2007)
Not to be confused with Fleetwood Mac’s rock anthem, “Go Your Own Way,” this High School Musical classic is from a simpler time, when the world had yet to see Zac Efron’s roided out body and Corbin Bleu was the next big thing. While High School Musical isn’t as emo as The Little Mermaid, Gabriella’s love for Troy is eternal even with space, just like all high school romances at their peak. Plus, Troy certainly had the emo swoop down perfectly.