It's Throwback Thursday again, and this week, we're reflecting on something a little more innocent than times we almost died in moshpits. We're throwing it back to our own personal Disney worlds, remembering the soundtracks we loved then and still know all the words to now.
A huge part of my childhood was sitting around the house with my three siblings and popping in old, clunky VHS tapes of all the great Disney cartoons. In that long list of films, Aladdin always seemed to be the top choice. When I was turning 5, I even had an Aladdin-themed birthday cake that featured the Agrabah thief himself and his unmistakeable whacky, blue friend. The movie has everything: a magic carpet, a smokin’ hot princess, a ridiculous genie that still leaves me dying of laughter and, most importantly, songs that ring out of my lungs to this day. There's a huge list of unforgettable tracks that have been in my life for as long as I can remember, and I often find myself singing horribly out-of-tune duets with my brother as we attempt to re-create our childhood favorites like “Prince Ali,” “Arabian Nights” and, of course, “A Whole New World,” but the one song that will always be, by far, the best is Genie’s debut track “Friend Like Me.” I’ve always had a blast singing along in all the different voices with my siblings, and that song has become one of the most memorable parts of my childhood for that reason. Thanks for the memories and a lifetime of laughter, Robin Williams, RIP. —Nick Major
A Goofy Movie
A Goofy Movie has achieved somewhat of a cult status. I saw it over a decade past its release (and target audience) and still loved it. It's sort of like the Rock Star of the Disney catalog, with cosmic-clad pop star Powerline playing a crucial role in the movie's plot. One soundtrack highlight, “Eye To Eye (I-2-I),” is an adorably upbeat '90s R&B pop single brought to life by the kooky characters. Goofy's “perfect cast” dance at 1:45 makes us suspect he used to be a hardcore kid. —Brian Kraus
While “Disney soundtrack” is mostly synonymous with cartoon classics for my fellow millennials and I, once upon a time, the House Of Mouse also had the market cornered on live-action song-and-dance films as well. One such classic, Mary Poppins, stands as not only one of Disney's most-beloved films of the '60s, but also possesses one of its most memorable soundtracks. Between Julie Andrews' and Dick Van Dyke's unforgettable performances of songs like “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” “A Spoonful Of Sugar” and, of course, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” Mary Poppins' soundtrack delivers delightful, generation-transcending sing-alongs, and, half a century after its release, never fails to put a smile on my face. —Philip Obenschain
Holy shit, I bet you didn’t remember you didn’t remember how good this soundtrack was. Not only was Pocahontas a great movie—and one that would be eventually ripped off by James Cameron’s Avatar—teaching you everything about race, but the score is phenomenal. Some of the choruses are just so fucking huge (“I LOOK ONCE MORE just around the riverbend!”) and the rhythmic vibes are so catchy (“They’re savages! Savages! Barely even human!”). The obvious choice for an album highlight would be Judy Kuhn’s “Colors Of The Wind” (“Can you sing with all the voices of the mountain?”), but glorious sing-along “Mine, Mine, Mine” gives it a good run for its money. Mel Gibson adventurously sings, “Hundreds of dangers await/And I don't plan to miss one.” There are literally too many classic lines from this soundtrack to list (“Steady as the beating drum?/Should I marry Kocoum?”), and the lyrics can actually be quite horrible while sounding upbeat: “We’ll kill ourselves an injun!/Or maybe two or three!” Bravo, I say! —Matt Crane
It may not be “classic Disney” like The Lion King and Aladdin, but Tarzan is still top-notch Disney. You've got your cute but troubled male lead with a heart of gold, your adventurous heroine who has no problem traipsing through the jungle petticoats and all and your loyal best friends who, in this case, are a wise cracking gorilla named Terk and the slightly OCD but completely loveable Tantor the elephant. I'll be honest: I only purchased the movie's soundtrack because 'NSYNC were on a song. (I was 11, give me a break.) However, it didn't take long for me to learn all the words to “Son Of Man” (which is a straight-up jam, by the way) and “Two Worlds.” And I would be remiss not to mention the album's standout track, “You'll Be In My Heart.” If you don't get a little misty-eyed when Tarzan's adopted gorilla mom, Kala starts softly singing the song to a crying baby Tarzan—who she has just found abandoned in the jungle after his parents were killed by a leopard—then you just don't have a heart. —Brittany Moseley
The musical score to Toy Story has become more than just a soundtrack, or a handful of songs thrown together for the sake of just simply being there because it has to. It has become iconic; a landmark of sorts that takes the listener back in time to when the film was most relevant in their life. Whether it be witnessing the film debut in theaters or the seemingly endless times watching it on a VHS player, the amount of nostalgia captured in the score by composer Randy Newman is unparalleled. Just a few seconds of “Strange Things” and you’re instantly taken back into Andy’s room, where Woody is getting “replaced” by the new toy in town, Buzz Lightyear. Or perhaps the instrumentals of “Infinity And Beyond” have you on the edge of your seat, just as you were the first time you saw the film, hoping more than anything that Woody and Buzz somehow find a way to escape the clutches of deranged teenager, Sid and make it back to Andy. Maybe this writer simply spent too many days as a child watching Toy Story, but the music that serves as a backbone for this film is more than just filler – it’s the definition of evocative. —Tyler Sharp