Top 50 Credits Songs from Animated Films

This article is dedicated to those artists who, sadly, are no longer with us – R.I.P. Aaliyah (1979-2001), Robert Goulet (1933-2007) and Whitney Houston (1963-2012), all taken too soon, and always remembered through the wonderful music they’ve left us

In the 1980s, a new trend began in animated films – for the first time, songs with lyrics started appearing over the end credits, replacing the usual instrumental pieces. Until the 1970s, production credits were rarely played at the end of a film; if there were any credits at all, they’d usually be at the opening. As this began to change in the world of live-action films, gradually, animated films began doing the same. The first Disney film to feature end credits was The Black Cauldron in 1985, but that still featured an instrumental track – it wouldn’t be until 1991 that a Disney film had a song with lyrics playing over the credits. Don Bluth was largely responsible for starting the trend with some of his 1980s films, but it soon spread throughout the animation world and now, here we are, with over thirty years’ worth of excellent music to look back on.

At first, I was planning to make this a top ten list, but as I began to explore the many, many, many songs from across the last three decades, I knew I couldn’t possibly pick so few. I increased the list to twenty, but I still couldn’t exclude so many great songs, so I finally settled on a top fifty! It might seem like a lot, but there are plenty more that I’ve had to leave out. The songs range across a huge variety of different styles, from pop and R&B to folk rock, swing and soul, with dozens and dozens of talented artists featuring in them. Most of the songs have proved to be very successful; the Academy Award for Best Original Song has been won by eight of them, and seven more were nominated for it, in addition to a whole slew of Grammys and other accolades. (There’s a reason credits songs are sometimes referred to as Award Bait!)

I’m sure you’ll find many nostalgic favourites in here, and perhaps even a few new ones to enjoy too. So here are my personal top fifty favourite “end credits” songs from animated films; I hope you enjoy them!


 

50. You’ll Be In My Heart – Phil Collins, 1999 (Tarzan)

Tarzan_(1999_film)_-_theatrical_posterGenre: Pop rock / Soft rock

To start us off, we have this popular hit from the soundtrack of Tarzan by Phil Collins, who also did many of the other songs in the film. I have to admit I’m not the biggest Phil Collins fan, but that aside, You’ll Be in My Heart is genuinely good, and it won the 2000 Oscar for Best Song, so clearly a lot of people agree. It’s quite a versatile tune; the version sung in the film is a lullaby, which is hard to believe when listening to this rock-inspired credits version. Phil Collins was obviously popular at Disney, as he later provided several songs for the Brother Bear soundtrack, too – although let’s be honest, the standout there was Tina Turner! Phil Collins took over from Peter Gabriel as the lead singer of the progressive rock band, Genesis (see below), then later began a solo career in the 1980s, leading to great success with over 150 million records sold worldwide. Collins is currently in the middle of his sold-out Not Dead Yet tour, featuring a five night residency at the Royal Albert Hall in London and his biggest ever solo show in Hyde Park.

49. Who Let The Dogs Out? – Baha Men, 2000 (Rugrats in Paris)

Genre: Soca / Junkanoo / CalypsoBaha_Men_-_Dogs_single

If you’re over twenty-two, I’ll bet you remember this one. There was no escaping this song in the early 2000s. Much like Let It Go (yes, that’s on the list too), Who Let the Dogs Out? has been widely criticised over the years for being annoying – and it is, a little – but I think the main problem people have with it is that it was overplayed. It was originally created for the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival season of 1998, before being recorded as a single for the soundtrack of Rugrats in Paris (the Rugrats films always had very contemporary soundtracks). As annoying as the chorus can be, it’s still hard not to dance to this when it comes on the radio; it is a calypso song at heart, albeit with a heavy pop influence. The Baha Men are still going today, but this song remains their most enduring one. They’re also known for various covers they did for the DisneyMania album series and for their cover of Elton John’s hit Crocodile Rock for the 2002 Steve Irwin vehicle, Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course.

48. Parents Just Don’t Understand – Lil’ Romeo, 3LW and Nick Cannon, 2001 (Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius)

Genre: Pop / Hip-hop

Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius is one of the two films on this list that I haven’t actually seen; I stumbled across this while looking up Lil’ Romeo’s other credits song, 2-Way, from Hey Arnold!: The Movie (2002). It’s apparently a cover of a 1988 hit from DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince (aka Will Smith) and features Nick Cannon, as well as early-2000s girl band 3LW (which included two future Cheetah Girls; Adrienne Bailon and Kiely Williams). The song’s pretty funky, but I’ve mostly included it for nostalgia factor – it’s very “of its time,” with a storyline about Lil’ Romeo being bought embarrassing clothes by his mother (he describes them as being from “1993,” oh the horror). He’s the youngest artist (at the time of the song’s release) on this list, barely twelve when it came out – the members of 3LW are only fifteen to eighteen themselves. Truly a song by kids, for kids. Lil’ Romeo (now known as Romeo Miller) enjoyed a high-profile career for a few years as a kid, largely thanks to Nickelodeon, who went so far as to give him his own show, the three-season Romeo! (2003-2006). 3LW were kind of like a poor man’s Destiny’s Child and were at their peak around the time they appeared on this track; they were featured as part of a supergroup of talented artists on the Michael Jackson track What More Can I Give (2001), to honour the victims of the 9/11 attacks, but the song never got an official release for reasons still unknown. Two of the group’s members, Williams and Bailon, went on to find greater success in the Disney group, The Cheetah Girls. Nick Cannon, meanwhile, is probably best known for his acting and rap careers, and more recently, as the ex-husband of Mariah Carey.

47. If I Didn’t Have You – John Goodman and Billy Crystal, 2001 (Monsters Inc.)

Genre: Funk / Jazz

This is the only song on the list performed by actors, rather than singers – neither John Goodman nor Billy Crystal have much musical training. In spite of this, they deliver a wonderfully warm and comic performance in-character as Mike and Sulley, bantering back and forth with the lyrics as the song progresses (“For years I have envied…” “You’re green with it!”) and perfectly encapsulating the spirit of the kooky pair’s friendship. Their performance was good enough that this song actually won the 2002 Oscar for Best Song – it’s a shame Crystal wasn’t hosting the ceremony that year (he’s done so nine times to date), as they could have made a great gag of him presenting the award to himself! John Goodman has done a lot of voice work for animation; outside of Monsters Inc., he also reprised his role as Sulley in Monsters University (2013) and played Pacha in The Emperor’s New Groove (2000). His other well-known films include Raising Arizona (1987), The Flintstones (1994), The Big Lebowski (1998) and The Artist (2011). Billy Crystal’s best known role was opposite Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally… (1989); he apparently turned down the role of Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story (1995), a decision he later came to regret!

46. Down To Earth – Peter Gabriel, 2008 (WALL-E)

Genre: Soft rock

WALL-E is a quiet, thoughtful film, so it needed a quiet, thoughtful song like this for its credits. Peter Gabriel’s Down to Earth has a great melody to it, and the credits animation it plays over is lush and inspired, mirroring the rebirth of human society after their return to Earth by showing them drawn in various artistic styles from history, beginning with cave paintings and running all the way up to the electronic age. The song was nominated for the 2009 Oscar for Best Song, which is encouraging, as credits songs usually have to be big, powerful pop ballads to even have a chance. Peter Gabriel rose to fame as the original lead singer in Genesis (one of his bandmates at the time was Phil Collins). As a soloist, he counts six Grammys among his many accolades, and is the cofounder of the WOMAD music festival and OD2, the latter one of the first online music download services. For his various humanitarian efforts, including work with Amnesty International, he was awarded the Man of Peace prize in 2006.

45. My Funny Friend and Me – Sting, 2000 (The Emperor’s New Groove)

Genre: Pop / R&B / Blue-eyed soul / GospelGrooveposter

Seriously, how did Disney get Sting? The Emperor’s New Groove is not a musical, but as it was an established trend by 2000 to use end credits song like these, My Funny Friend and Me was created for it. It’s a mellow, gospel-influenced pop ballad which, while very nice, doesn’t really fit in with the film’s jazzy score and seems a bit random – I feel like it would have fit in better had the film remained “Kingdom of the Sun,” the title it had when it was going to be a more serious, ‘90s style coming-of-age story. Ah well, c’est la vie – it’s still a great piece, and it was even nominated for the 2001 Oscar for Best Song. Sting started out as the frontman and principal songwriter of The Police, one of the first new-wave rock bands to achieve mainstream success in the 1970s. As a soloist, his popularity continued, and he was eventually inducted into the Rock and Roll and Songwriters Halls of Fame, receiving multiple accolades including three more nominations for the Best Song Oscar. And of course, for any Friends fans out there, I’m sure you’ll remember the episode where Phoebe goes to great lengths to try and meet him – she doesn’t manage it, but she does meet his real-life wife, Trudie Styler, who plays herself in the episode.

44. So Long – Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward, 2011 (Winnie the Pooh)

Genre: Folk pop

So Long is classic Zooey Deschanel – simple, sweet and folksy, with a catchy tune to it that sticks in your head. Not all of Winnie the Pooh’s songs are standouts, but Deschanel’s contributions to the soundtrack add a great deal to it, and the young kids that this film is aimed at will surely love singing along to this one at the end of the film. It’s a shame traditional animation has faded out of the Disney canon in recent years; this was their most recent 2D effort, and it ended up being crushed by the last part of the Harry Potter franchise. Let’s hope they bring it back soon – hopefully with more enjoyable end credits songs like this! Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward make up the indie duo She & Him, and were nominated for a Grammy for this song. Deschanel’s film career is well-known, with multiple popular roles in films like Elf (2003), Bridge to Terabithia (2007) and (500) Days of Summer (2009).

43. Le Festin / The Feast – Camille, 2007 (Ratatouille)

Genre: Chanson

It might sound funny, but this song always makes me hungry! Playing over the credits of Brad Bird’s Pixar hit, Ratatouille, that’s probably not surprising; the film features gourmet Parisian cooking at the heart of its plot, and the animation of the food is enough to make anyone’s mouth water. The song’s title actually translates to The Feast! Camille is well known in her native France, and this song is a good example of her usual chanson style of “street-singing,” a sweet and delicate lyric-driven song entirely in French. It’s actually quite funny when you listen to it in English, as it’s entirely about a hungry customer dreaming of the banquet they’re about to enjoy.

42. My Getaway – Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, 2000 (Rugrats in Paris)

Genre: R&B / Hip-hopT-Boz-MyGetaway

“T-Boz” was the lead singer of the popular group TLC at the time this song was made, and My Getaway features a lot of their hip-hop and R&B style, with a funky, synthesised beat underlying Watkins’s soothing vocals, creating a perfect summery hit which has almost nothing to do with the plot of Rugrats in Paris – but that doesn’t matter. It’s a great early-2000s song that whisks me straight back to my childhood, back when Nickelodeon was still good and R&B was still contemporary. Watkins has four Grammys to her name thanks to her work with TLC, and is a spokesperson for the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, having suffered with the effects of sickle cell anaemia since her childhood.

41. I Thought I Lost You – Miley Cyrus and John Travolta, 2008 (Bolt)

Genre: Pop rock

“Who shall we get to sing I Thought I Lost You,” said the Disney producers, when making Bolt. “Hey, here’s an idea – how about John Travolta and… Miley Cyrus!” How they came up with a combination like this I’ll never know, but then again, Miley wasn’t having the same kind of image problems as she has been lately, still starring in the popular show Hannah Montana at the time. She actually beat out Chloe Moretz to be the voice of Bolt’s owner, Penny (even after Moretz had already been cast and begun to record lines; I think she dropped out due to scheduling conflicts, but she does still appear as young Penny in an early scene). She and Travolta lend this song a soulful country style and work pretty well together; Miley has quite a mature voice that blends well with Travolta’s. Cyrus was less than sixteen when the song was recorded, and I should know: we were born on the exact same day! Her post-Disney career has proved successful, if controversial, with numerous chart-topping singles like Wrecking Ball and The Climb. Travolta, of course, is a household name thanks to his various high-profile film appearances, in such classics as Grease (1978), Pulp Fiction (1994) and Hairspray (2007).

40. Something That I Want – Grace Potter, 2010 (Tangled)

Genre: Pop rockTangled_poster

As we enter the top forty, we have this lively tune from Grace Potter which is featured over the credits of Tangled. The clapping rhythms of the percussion and the folk guitar backing are bound to get you out of your seat; the beat is infectious. Just try not to sing along to this! The animation the song accompanies is also a lot of fun, featuring the characters of the film in an artsier, “cut-out” style. Potter herself is the founding member of rock band Grace Potter and the Nocturnals and an active philanthropist, championing the Alzheimer’s Association and regularly supporting fundraisers and music festivals (she even co-founded Grand Point North in Vermont).

39. Gift Of a Friend – Demi Lovato, 2009 (Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure)

Genre: Pop rock

I don’t know how to explain the fact that I’ve seen this film (I think my cousin made me watch it), but I’ll defend this credits song, whatever anyone says. One of the two Demi Lovato tracks on my list, Gift of a Friend is a touching and Celtic-flavoured ode to friendship, showcasing Lovato’s powerful voice and bringing the film to an emotional close. It’s no surprise that Disney later returned to her for the credits version of Frozen’s Let It Go (which I’ll get to later). The girl really knows how to deliver a good power ballad. Demi started out as a Disney star, appearing in popular productions like Camp Rock and Sonny With a Chance, before a stint in a treatment centre to deal with various personal demons. Upon her return, she began a successful solo career and has released five Gold certified albums to date.

38. When Can I See You Again? – Owl City, 2012 (Wreck-It Ralph)

Genre: Dance-pop / Synth-pop

Wreck-It Ralph was an unconventional film for Disney, focusing as it did on video games, and its various credits songs are similarly diverse. The first (and best, I think) is Owl City’s When Can I See You Again?, an energetic dance tune with a strong beat and an “electric” vibe, fitting in with the film’s technological themes. Owl City did another credits song for a DreamWorks film the year after this, appearing with Malaysian star Yuna on the track Shine Your Way from The Croods. After this song, Wreck-It Ralph also features Sugar Rush, a J-pop song by AKB48, and a sort of theme song, Wreck-It, Wreck-It Ralph by Buckner and Garcia.

37. Green Tambourine – Robert Goulet, 2001 (Recess: School’s Out)

Genre: Psychedelic rock / Psychedelic Pop

I doubt this would appear on many other people’s lists, which is a shame; Robert Goulet’s rich and sonorous cover of this 1967 hit by The Lemon Pipers is a lot of fun. Goulet provided Mikey with his distinctive baritone singing voice on Recess, and with such a talented artist involved with the show, it was inevitable that he’d be their choice for the credits song. Accompanied by the voice actors of the other kids, Goulet provides a deliciously melodic cover of the psychedelic ‘60s song, with lots of tambourines and groovy guitar riffs – in the actual credits sequence, you can see the kids playing the instruments while dressed in a selection of ‘60s fashions. Goulet sadly passed away in 2007 of pulmonary fibrosis, just shy of his seventy-fourth birthday. I don’t mean to take away from his many other achievements (the most notable of which being his star turn as Sir Lancelot in Camelot on Broadway), but for me, he’ll always be Mikey Blumberg’s amazing singing voice.

36. Beyond the Sea – Robbie Williams, 2003 (Finding Nemo)

Genre: Pop / Swing

To close Finding Nemo, with its sublime Thomas Newman score, we get this swing-style cover of the 1946 Jack Lawrence classic, Beyond the Sea, by Robbie Williams (interesting choice). The old-time brass and cabaret style piano melodies create a laidback, relaxed atmosphere which complements the rhythms of the overall score nicely, and helps this to stand out as one of the great Pixar credits songs. Robbie Williams is of course famous as a solo artist, as well as for his two stints in the British pop group, Take That – to date, he is the bestselling British soloist artist in the UK, and has received a record eighteen Brit Awards.

35. Into a Fantasy – Alexander Rybak, 2014 (How to Train Your Dragon 2)

Genre: PopInto_a_Fantasy

The first How to Train Your Dragon featured Sticks and Stones over its end credits, a peaceful and understated tune by Icelandic singer Jónsi from the band Sigur Rós. For the sequel film, we have this uplifting piece from Alexander Rybak, a Belarussian artist best known for winning the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest. If you’re American, you might never have heard of that contest or Rybak, and indeed, you probably haven’t heard this song, as it only featured on the European versions of How to Train Your Dragon 2. I recommend giving it a listen; it has a great Nordic feel to it and features Rybak’s famous violin skills, so I’m sure you’ll enjoy it if you’re a fan of the film.

34. Try Everything – Shakira, 2016 (Zootropolis)

Genre: Pop

I’m not certain whether I agree with the message of this song (trying everything could lead a kid into some serious trouble without a bit of clarification), but this still makes for a fun and peppy addition to the list, performed with evident joy by Lebanese-Colombian artist Shakira for the soundtrack of Zootropolis (or Zootopia). The “oh, oh, oh, oh, oh” refrain is bound to get stuck in your head after a few listens! The song is notable for being worked into the world of the film, by having Shakira (as fictional pop star “Gazelle”) perform it in concert at the end of the film, while the end credits appear on screens around the arena. (The tiger backup dancers are so funny, although I don’t think they’re supposed to be!) Shakira is known for her many hit singles, including Hips Don’t Lie (2006), eventually certified Triple platinum as one of the bestselling singles of the 21st century, Beautiful Liar (2007), a popular collaboration with Beyoncé, and Waka Waka (This Time For Africa), a collaboration with South African band Freshlyground for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which became the highest selling World Cup song of all time and is also one of the most watched YouTube videos.

33. Immortals – Fall Out Boy, 2014 (Big Hero 6)

Genre: Pop rock / Electronic rock

Fall Out Boy aren’t usually my thing, but with this song, it’s different. To describe it in a word, it’s cool. With a powerful, rock-influenced guitar and drum beat accentuated with some creative percussion, the song suits Big Hero 6’s edgier, grungier style (for Disney anyway), as well as its superhero theme. It’s the kind of song that would leave you feeling awesome when you walked out of the cinema as a kid – too bad I couldn’t have seen this film when I was younger! The music video is one of the most minimalistic ones of all, focusing simply on a vinyl disc designed to look like Baymax’s face being played on a jukebox – it gets almost hypnotic after a while. Fall Out Boy’s breakthrough album was From Under the Cork Tree (2005), which went Double platinum and turned bandleader Pete Wentz into a superstar.

32. Faith – Stevie Wonder and Ariana Grande, 2016 (Sing)

Genre: Pop / R&B

This is the newest song on the list, debuting in late 2016 as the credits song for the Illumination film Sing. This is the other film from the list that I haven’t actually seen (nor do I plan to), but given that it features music so prominently, I assumed it might have a good credits song – and I wasn’t wrong. Ariana Grande and Stevie Wonder might make for a bit of a strange combo, but it works surprisingly well – their voices play well off one another, with Grande’s trademark soprano notes soaring above Wonder’s jazzy R&B-style melismatics, all backed nicely with a gospel choir. There’s some fun animation in the music video, too, with Ariana “dancing” with some of the film’s characters, who have been re-done here in the form of city graffiti. A rising star, Grande first came to prominence on the Nickelodeon show Victorious, and has recently begun to crop up on tracks by a wide variety of artists like Nicki Minaj, Jessie J and Iggy Azalea. She also recently held a benefit concert to aid and honour victims of the Manchester Arena bombing (which occurred at one of her own shows), called One Love Manchester, which ultimately raised an incredible £10,000,000.

31. Here I Am – Bryan Adams, 2002 (Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron)

Genre: Rock / Pop / GospelBryan_Adams_-_Here_I_Am

When I heard this song after my first viewing of Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron many years ago, it had me hooked. I still love Bryan Adams’s soundtrack, but my love for this particular song has worn off just a little over time. I still enjoy it; it fits nicely with the western style of the film, but I think there are some better songs from the film which might have worked better over the credits, like You Can’t Take Me. The music video is one of the strangest on the whole list – what’s with the giant cowgirls striding about all over the desert? Still, if you like pop-country music, you’ll probably love this one – and I feel like there’s a Bryan Adams fan on the staff of Moana, because the image of a woman lying down and turning into a mountain near the end of the video reminds me strongly of Te Fiti. Bryan Adams is something of a national treasure in his native Canada, having been awarded the Order of Canada and the Order of British Columbia, as well as being inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame, Broadcast Hall of Fame, and Music Hall of Fame. With global record sales in excess of 100 million, it’s fair to say that he’s a pretty popular dude.

30. Can You Feel The Love Tonight – Elton John, 1994 (The Lion King)

Genre: Soft rock

Okay… am I the only one who finds this song a bit overrated? Don’t get me wrong, Elton John’s cool – I loved his song Some Other World from the end of FernGully: The Last Rainforest, two years earlier – but this one never really got to me in the way it did with everybody else. I’ve really only put it this high on my list in acknowledgement of the love other people seem to have for it. Clearly, it’s just a matter of personal taste; the song was popular enough to win the 1994 Oscar for Best Song and is up there with Hakuna Matata as one of the best known pieces from The Lion King’s soundtrack. As you would expect from Elton John, there’s some exquisite piano work here, but the video is a bit weird, featuring a flickering “ghost” version of John superimposed onto scenes from the film, mixed with clips of him at the piano and a few others from the film. Sir Elton John’s career spans five decades and is one of the most illustrious in all of music; he has sold a staggering 300 million records worldwide, making him one of the bestselling artists in history, and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll and Songwriters Halls of Fame. He has always been a close friend of the British royal family, dedicating his bestselling single (Candle in the Wind 1997) to the late Princess Diana, and was knighted in 1998 in recognition of his contributions to music and various charities. He is also a champion of LGBT rights and has long been heavily involved in the fight against AIDS.

29. Go The Distance – Michael Bolton, 1997 (Hercules)

Genre: Pop

Just being honest, this has always been one of my least favourite pop ballad credits songs from the ‘90s Disney films. I prefer the less sappy version of the song performed in the film; but that’s not to say this one’s awful. Michael Bolton is an undeniably talented singer and lends the song a cool soft rock vibe, supported by a typically simple music video set in what looks like a museum filled with Greek artefacts. Go the Distance was nominated for the 1998 Oscar for Best Song, but lost out to My Heart Will Go On from Titanic (as did another song further down the list). Michael Bolton started out, surprisingly, in hard rock and heavy metal, turning to pop rock ballads like this one only after a stylistic change in the 1980s. He has sold more than 75 million records worldwide to date.

28. How Far I’ll Go – Alessia Cara, 2016 (Moana)

Genre: Pop

How Far I’ll Go was basically Disney’s attempt to recreate the success of Let It Go (see below), but it stands strong on its own as a solid Disney “I Want” song. Alessia Cara’s version might be a little less passionate than Auli’i Cravalho’s, but it does have a strong hook, fits nicely over the credits of Moana (I’m glad they opted for this rather than a Shiny cover) and helped get the song nominated for the 2017 Oscar for Best Song. The music video looks good, with the usual clips from the film interspersed with footage of Cara alone on an idyllic beach. Cara is also the youngest performer on the list, just shy of twenty-one at the time of writing – like another popular Canadian artist, she was initially “discovered” via her YouTube song covers, a refreshingly “ordinary” route to success which seems to be becoming more and more common in this media-driven time.

27. Let It Go – Demi Lovato, 2013 (Frozen)

Genre: Pop rockFrozen_(2013_film)_poster

I know, I KNOW. You hate this song, I get it, the world itself is sick of hearing this after nearly four years of overplay on radios, and I suppose I can’t blame it. But the thing is, when you strip away all the hype, it’s actually not a bad ballad. Performed by Idina Menzel in the film, I personally prefer Lovato’s less bombastic version, which features charming piano accompaniment and a crisp music video of her singing it in an old mansion, which she proceeds to spruce up as the song goes on. Let It Go won the 2014 Oscar for Best Song, and it did deserve it, even if they have been rubbing it in our faces ever since! I urge you, try to forget the haters and just listen to this with an open mind, because at the end of the day… it’s overplayed for a reason.

26. Itsumo Nando Demo / Always With Me – Youmi Kimura, 2001 (Spirited Away)

Genre: Japanese pop

This is perhaps the most unusual and obscure inclusion on the list, so I’m happy to bring to your attention Youmi Kimura’s gentle, lilting Itsumo Nando Demo (roughly translated as Always With Me) from the credits of Spirited Away. With a composer like Joe Hisaishi behind many of its scores, Studio Ghibli doesn’t usually need to bother with hiring singers for their credits – the instrumentals are more than good enough on their own. This is thus the only Ghibli film to feature on the list, but for good reason. The song is about finding inner peace, meshing well with the film’s theme of Chihiro’s discovery of her inner strength, and Miyazaki listened to it obsessively throughout the film’s production. Kimura first came to his attention several years earlier, after she wrote to him in admiration upon viewing Princess Mononoke and created Itsumo Nando Demo for a film he was then working on. That project was eventually scrapped, but he came back to her song for Spirited Away, and Ghibli fans are all very glad he did. The simplistic, Japanese song is performed with delicacy by Kimura using only a lyre for accompaniment, and provides a perfect poetical ending to an artistic masterpiece of a film.

25. True To Your Heart – 98 Degrees and Stevie Wonder, 1998 (Mulan)

Genre: Pop / R&B

One of the two credits songs for Mulan, this one is unusual in that it begins playing before the credits actually start – it’s so funny (if anachronistic!) to see the Ancestors boogying to this in the film’s final scene. With a terrific cheesy 1990s video featuring the boyband 98 degrees singing alongside Stevie Wonder as they all attempt to woo a vaguely Asian-looking girl (of course), this is one song that you’ll be humming for literally weeks after you hear it. It’s bright and upbeat, and like pretty much every song on the Mulan soundtrack, it’s very catchy and easy to learn. 98 Degrees were one of the better boybands of the ‘90s, forming independently (rather than being assembled or “manufactured”) and getting picked up by a label later. Stevie Wonder’s career speaks for itself; signed to his first record label at the age of just eleven, his artistry spans more than five decades and has led to record sales of over 100 million, not to mention twenty-five Grammy Awards and the creation of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (which his Happy Birthday campaign in 1980 strongly influenced).

24. Burning Love – Wynonna Judd, 2002 (Lilo & Stitch)

Genre: Pop rock / Country

This feistily performed cover of the Arthur Alexander / Elvis Presley classic from 1972 is the first of two credits songs for Lilo & Stitch (the other being the far less memorable A-Teens version of Can’t Help Falling in Love). Elvis songs feature heavily throughout the soundtrack as Lilo is a huge fan, so the film benefits from having a lot of good music in it. Wynonna injects the song with her characteristic country flavour and is clearly having a great time performing it, as you can see in the accompanying music video, which features her recording it in the studio and performing it live on stage. With its rocking drums and guitar backing, I dare you not to dance to this one – it’s impossible! Wynonna Judd is best known as one half of the country duo The Judds, the other member being her mother Naomi. The pair released seven albums together, achieving fourteen number one hits from them. As for me, prior to Lilo & Stitch, the appearance I knew Wynonna for was from a 1998 episode of Touched by an Angel, which also featured Céline Dion!

23. Always Know Where You Are – John Rzeznik, 2002 (Treasure Planet)

Genre: Pop rockTreasure_Planet_poster

Treasure Planet is so underrated – there, I said it. People always pick on it for the space-punk design and its massive failure at the box office, but there’s so much more to it than people give it credit for. One of its many good points is the soundtrack, which features a couple of outstanding songs from Goo Goo Dolls frontman, John Rzeznik. This one, Always Know Where You Are, plays over the credits and ties in well with the film’s themes of family bonds and friendship – even the animation of the final scene leading into it suggests the idea of Jim singing it to Silver. It’s a fun pop rock track with a slamming guitar backing and some strong vocals from Rzeznik, the perfect end to one of Disney’s hidden treasures. John Rzeznik is noted for his songwriting abilities and has been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, as well as winning the Hal David Starlight Award.

22. Never Knew I Needed – Ne-Yo, 2009 (The Princess and the Frog)

Genre: Neo soul

The Princess and the Frog is usually said to be the film that kicked off Disney’s “new Renaissance,” and Never Knew I Needed is a perfect accompaniment for such an important film. The New Orleans-themed video looks great, reflecting the setting of the film, and the smooth tenor vocals by Ne-Yo fit the romantic themes of the film nicely. This is a song that’s better listened to than described, so I recommend checking it out! Ne-Yo is a popular R&B artist (at a time when there aren’t that many left) and has a number of platinum-certified albums to his name, as well as songwriting credits for such artists as Rihanna, Beyoncé, Céline Dion and Leona Lewis.

21. Somewhere Out There – Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram, 1986 (An American Tail)

Genre: PopSomewhere_Out_There

Somewhere Out There is the original – the oldest song on the list. An American Tail was one of the first (perhaps the first) animated films to have an end credits song, so every other piece on this list owes a debt to this song. It’s suitably epic and pop ballad-y in style, with some stirring vocals provided by James Ingram and Linda Ronstadt (who has sadly lost this incredible voice to Parkinson’s in the years since – though thankfully she herself is still with us). The song was nominated for the 1987 Oscar for Best Song, and I can see why – it’s become a classic and one of the most recognizable of all these credits songs. The video is also delightfully 1980s, with lots of leather and multi-coloured lighting, and features the two leads singing to each other while posing as animators, sketching characters from the film. Linda Ronstadt has enjoyed a long and successful career in America, with eleven Grammys and an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but this success didn’t translate as well in the UK; her only hit single here was a cover of Blue Bayou in 1977. James Ingram has two Grammys himself, and like Ronstadt has had a long career studded with hits.

20. At The Beginning – Donna Lewis and Richard Marx, 1997 (Anastasia)

Genre: Pop

To open the top twenty, we have the first of three credits songs for Anastasia. At the Beginning is a very 1990s pop ballad which doesn’t seem to have as much to do with the film as the other two, which were direct covers of songs sung by the characters. That said, it has all the usual charm of songs of this type, with some lovely harmonies produced by the two leads and a bit of electric guitar backing at times. The video is simple, featuring Lewis and Marx in evening dress, performing the song in a fancy house over clips from the film. There’s not a lot more I can say about it, but I didn’t rank it this highly for no reason – give it a listen! At the Beginning remains the best-known song from both artists; Welsh-born Donna Lewis’s other big hit was I Love You Always Forever (1996), which was prevented from topping the charts by the Macarena, of all things (how ‘90s), while Richard Marx is perhaps best known for co-writing Dance With My Father (2003) with Luther Vandross.

19. Journey To The Past – Aaliyah, 1997 (Anastasia)

Genre: Pop / R&B

Ah, poor Aaliyah. Less than four years after this song was released, and just as her career was beginning to blossom, she was tragically killed in a plane accident at the age of just twenty-two. Her promising career began at the age of just ten, when she performed with Gladys Knight on Star Search. From there, she was signed with Jive Records at twelve, where she was assisted by her mentor R. Kelly before eventually moving over to Atlantic – the label she was with at the time of Anastasia. Journey to the Past was a pop cover of a song from within the film, and another one of the three featured over the credits (the last was Deana Carter’s version of Once Upon a December). Although Aaliyah’s cover received some criticism (unfounded, in my opinion; she does a terrific job with it), it was good enough to be nominated for the 1998 Oscar for Best Song – she took to the stage that night to perform it aged nineteen, the youngest performer to do so at the time. Of course, as mentioned earlier, the winner that year was My Heart Will Go On – the ultimate credits song, which took this down along with Disney’s Go the Distance from Hercules.

18. Car Wash – Christina Aguilera and Missy Elliott, 2004 (Shark Tale)

Genre: Hip-hop / R&B

Here we have another cover, this time of a Rose Royce original from 1976 – Car Wash. Now, I don’t have a lot of good things to say about Shark Tale… goodness knows it’s the biggest pile of tripe DreamWorks has ever put out, and that’s saying something. But this song, man! It’s fantastic. The thumping beat and jazzy backing just makes you want to get up and dance – preferably while washing your car. This is the first appearance on my list by Christina Aguilera, but it’s not her last. Missy Elliott was at the peak of her career at the time, and she remains the best-selling female rap artist in Nielsen Music history with record sales in excess of 30 million and five Grammys to her name. I remember being obsessed with this song when Shark Tale came out; my friend had a portable CD player (ah, the early 2000s) and I had the single, so we used to listen to it on a loop all the time, until I lost the disc. (Whoops).

17. Unforgettable – Sia, 2016 (Finding Dory)

Genre: Pop / R&B

This one is the highest-ranking cover song I have on my list, as well as one of the newest. For the Finding Dory soundtrack, Australian vocalist Sia delivers an incredibly powerful cover of Nat King Cole’s 1951 song, Unforgettable –I think the title accurately describes this rendition of the song, and it also perfectly suits the film’s central character. Pixar films aren’t usually known for their songs (they’ve yet to make a musical like the ones Disney are known for), but they do sometimes have some amazing songs over the credits of their films, and this is probably the best yet. The melody is supported here by lots of glossy brass and strings, but Sia’s soaring vocals are the real highlight. Sia’s career is just beginning to take off, with recent collaborations involving artists like David Guetta, Rihanna and Flo Rida, and she is also known for a series of music videos starring child dancer Maddie Ziegler.

16. Father And Daughter – Paul Simon, 2002 (The Wild Thornberrys Movie)

Genre: Folk rock

Paul Simon’s laidback folk-style song Father and Daughter is featured twice in The Wild Thornberrys Movie; as well as appearing over the credits, it also plays over a key scene early in the film where Eliza is being reluctantly shipped out to boarding school. It’s a bittersweet tune with a gentle guitar melody which captures the feelings of a father watching his daughter grow up, and I can’t think of a better pair of characters to use it for than Nigel and Eliza Thornberry. Nigel was one of the best dads in TV animation, warm, funny and loving, and the sadness he feels as he’s forced to send Eliza away is tangible. Apparently, Simon dedicated the song to his own daughter, and it was nominated for the 2003 Oscar for Best Song – not bad for a film made outside of the main animation studios. Paul Simon is best known as one half of the folk rock duo, Simon and Garfunkel, for which he wrote nearly all of the songs. Among the most well-known are The Sound of Silence (1964) and Bridge Over Troubled Water (1970). Since their split in 1970, Simon has found great success as a solo artist and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

15. Love Survives – Irene Cara and Freddie Jackson, 1989 (All Dogs Go To Heaven)

Genre: Pop

This was a rather late inclusion, as I haven’t seen All Dogs Go To Heaven in many years, but I’m so glad I rediscovered this beautiful song when preparing this list. It’s very powerfully performed by Irene Cara and Freddie Jackson, making for a very moving theme over the credits – but the impact is heightened enormously when you learn that it was dedicated to Judith Barsi. Barsi was a young actress favoured by Don Bluth as a performer in his animated films. In 1988, shortly before the premiere of The Land Before Time (which she also appeared in) little Judith was cruelly murdered along with her mother at the hands of her father, who burned their bodies and then committed suicide. She was just ten years old. Once you know that, it’s impossible to listen to this without sobbing your eyes out.

Irene Cara is best known for her lead roles in the films Sparkle (1976) and Fame (1980), while Freddie Jackson has recently been making something of a comeback, appearing alongside artists like Jeffrey Osbourne, Peabo Bryson, Melba Moore and Stephanie Mills.

14. I Will Get There – Boyz II Men, 1998 (The Prince of Egypt)

Genre: R&B / gospelPrince_of_egypt_ver2

I Will Get There is one of the two credits songs played in The Prince of Egypt (look out for the other further down), and it features one of the most popular groups of the 1990s (I refuse to call them a boyband), Boyz II Men. The song fits in nicely with the film’s religious themes, featuring a video of the group performing interspersed with clips of a child learning to overcome the trials of bullying (okay, it’s a pretty loose connection, but Moses is kind of being “bullied” a bit too). The harmonies of the vocalists really make this song what it is – no other group could match Boyz II Men when it came to creating a pitch perfect musical blend of voices. It’s an uplifting, gospel-influenced piece and never fails to pick me up when I’m down. Boyz II Men are among the music industry’s elite, having broken Elvis Presley’s decades-old longevity record with their 1992 hit End of the Road, which topped the Billboard Hot 100 for thirteen weeks. (They later broke their new record again – twice!)

13. If We Hold On Together – Diana Ross, 1988 (The Land Before Time)

Genre: R&BIf_We_Hold_on_Together

A classic tearjerker, If We Hold On Together is one of the older songs featured on the list. The song’s melody is woven throughout the score of The Land Before Time (a fantastic piece of work by the late James Horner), and this vocal version by Diana Ross plays over the credits, by which time you’ll already be in pieces after the emotional rollercoaster the film takes you on. There’s none of the ‘90s synth and R&B influence here, which is kind of a nice change of pace (we’ll be seeing a lot of that further down the list, but I do love it really – otherwise I wouldn’t rank those songs so high). Don Bluth really knew what he was doing with these ‘80s credits songs! Diana Ross was a pioneer for African-American recording artists; her success with The Supremes (one of the best-selling girl groups in the world) opened the door to mainstream success for many black soul and R&B artists later on. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, her solo career soared with a number of hit albums, as well as ventures into acting and philanthropy. She even has a playground in Central Park named after her, the creation of which she funded herself after holding two well-attended free concerts there.

12. Where the Dream Takes You – Mýa, 2001 (Atlantis: The Lost Empire)

Genre: Pop / R&B

There weren’t originally going to be any songs in Atlantis: The Lost Empire, but by 2001, having a sparkly power ballad over the end credits had become a sort of Disney tradition, so they insisted one was included. The result was this lovely piece by Mýa (an artist who’ll be cropping up again higher up the list). Surprisingly, the song was criticised at the time for being generic and uninspired, and Mýa herself was criticised for being too inexperienced to handle it. She may have been young (around twenty-one), but I think she does an exquisite job, handling the song with a tender, soulful R&B feel and performing some impressive melismatics towards the end. It’s a very relaxing song, perfect for a slow dance – you shouldn’t always take the words of the critics as gospel. (Says a critic, I know). Mýa’s career was at its peak at the time this was released; she had just found wide success as one of the featured artists on the hit single Lady Marmalade, as well as with her solo work, including hits like Case of the Ex (2000) and It’s All About Me (1998).

11. Colors of the Wind – Vanessa Williams, 1995 (Pocahontas)

Genre: Pop / R&B

Keep an ear out for that gentle synth; there’s a lot more of it in the top ten! This pop ballad by Vanessa Williams is a cover of the main song from Pocahontas, one of two credits songs for the film, and it features all the usual hallmarks of a popular 1990s credits song – expert vocals, synth and percussion, with a “sweeping” sort of feeling to it to guarantee maximum nostalgia power. If I’m being honest, while I do like this version a lot (hence my putting it this high), I do slightly prefer the film version. This one does feel just a little bit generic – but then, it managed to win the 1995 Oscar for Best Song, so what do I know? Vanessa Williams’s career truly began with the infamous Miss America scandal, in which she was forced to relinquish the title to Suzette Charles just weeks before the completion of her year’s reign in 1984, due to a scandal involving unauthorized nude photographs published in Penthouse magazine. However, she still stands as the first African-American recipient of the title, and served as head judge for the Miss America 2016 pageant. She has also enjoyed a career as an actress, though she has been frequently confused with the similarly-named Vanessa A. Williams, with the latter even having to return a check meant for Williams after an appearance in a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!

10. Little Wonders – Rob Thomas, 2007 (Meet the Robinsons)

Genre: Pop rock

To open my top ten, I’ve made a rather unusual choice. People don’t often think of Meet the Robinsons when it comes to great Disney music – admittedly, I don’t usually myself – but this song is a real gem. Performed with great emotion by Rob Thomas, the gentle guitar chords sweep you off in a flood of nostalgia, going well with the main themes of the film, which focus on the importance of family. The music video is simple, filmed on city streets and briefly at a baseball ground (tying in with a scene from the film). Those final notes accompanied by the quote from Walt Disney himself (in the film version) always put me in a better mood. Technically, this only just barely qualifies as a credits song; it actually plays over the film’s final scene and leads into the credits, but I think that’s close enough to count it! (The actual credits song is technically The Future Has Arrived by The All-American Rejects, which is also a great track). Rob Thomas is probably best known as the frontman of the American rock band, Matchbox Twenty; as a soloist, he was awarded the first ever Hal David Starlight Award by the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

9. A Whole New World – Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle, 1992 (Aladdin)

Genre: Pop / R&BAladdinposter

At number nine, we have our first appearance from Peabo Bryson (he’ll be back again further on!). He and Regina Belle performed this dazzling version of A Whole New World for the end credits of Aladdin, winning Disney its second Oscar for Best Original Song in a row, in 1993. Featuring a themed video of the performers singing outside a Bedouin tent, interspersed with clips of the film, the song is far more dramatic than the film version – perhaps even a little over-the-top – but that’s what makes all these old ‘90s songs so great; the passion and energy put into them. With more of that “sparkly” synth and a touch of electric guitar, there’s no denying the spell this song works on any Disney fan – you’ll be enraptured in no time. Bryson and Belle are still best known for this song today; as well as winning the Academy Award, it also became the first (and only) Disney song to win the Grammy for Best Song of the Year.

8. Still Dream – Renée Fleming, 2012 (Rise of the Guardians)

Genre: Operatic pop

The newest entry in my top ten, and the highest ranking song not to be purely pop or R&B, Still Dream is a gentle, operatic ballad by famed soprano Renée Fleming for the Rise of the Guardians soundtrack. It’s a little surprising to hear this playing over the credits the first time you watch the film, but I really admire Alexandre Desplat (the composer) for choosing to use a less standard style of music. The theme of Still Dream is woven throughout the rest of the film’s enchanting score, but it is this performance that really sells it – the feelings of childlike wonder and nostalgia come flooding in after the first few notes. Renée Fleming is phenomenally talented, with a repertoire that includes “Richard Strauss, Mozart, Handel, bel canto, lieder, French opera and chansons, jazz and indie rock,” according to Wikipedia. In addition to English, she speaks fluent French and German (plus a little Italian), and has also performed music in Czech and Russian. Conductor Sir Georg Solti has even compared her to the late, great Renata Tebaldi, a beloved Italian soprano.

7. Reflection – Christina Aguilera, 1998 (Mulan)

Genre: Pop / R&BMovie_poster_mulan

Reflection is sung by the heroine during Mulan, but the version that got everybody talking was this credits rendition by a very young (not quite eighteen) Christina Aguilera. Just a few years on from her Mickey Mouse Club days, she was looking to branch out and start a solo career, and this was the perfect opportunity to show potential labels what she could do. She got the gig by performing a Whitney Houston track for the producers, and after its release, it did well enough that she was offered a record deal by RCA. No surprises there; it’s a soaring, powerful ballad with some truly astonishing vocal work by Aguilera, although the video is a bit cheesy – I love the choppy version of “the Rachel” haircut that she’s sporting in it. Aguilera has since gone on to enjoy a glittering career as a pop idol of the 2000s with global record sales in excess of 50 million, five Grammys (and one Latin Grammy) and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She is also a UN Ambassador for their World Food Programme and has served as a judge on the hit American reality show, The Voice.

6. Eye to Eye – Tevin Campbell, 1995 (A Goofy Movie)

Genre: Pop / R&B

Every Disney fan knows this one. A deliciously ‘90s dance track in the style of a Prince song, Eye to Eye (or I-2-I) was performed by young R&B artist Tevin Campbell, both in the film as Powerline (where he’s joined by Rosie Gaines) and over the end credits. There’s a great electric guitar solo at one point, and Campbell’s melismatic vocals at the end send chills down your spine. It’s a popular choice for covers by YouTubers, some of whom even re-enact the whole performance, complete with costumes and choreography! Tevin Campbell began his career at the age of twelve with Warner Bros. Records, going on to produce a debut album that was certified platinum, followed by a second that went Double platinum. He also had a minor acting career in the 1990s; outside of A Goofy Movie, he was in Prince’s Graffiti Bridge and made guest appearances on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Moesha.

5. If I Never Knew You – Jon Secada and Shanice, 1995 (Pocahontas)

Genre: Pop / R&BIf_I_Never_Knew_You_Single

To open our top five, we have this soothing pop ballad by Jon Secada and Shanice, the second credits song from the Pocahontas soundtrack. The song was originally supposed to be sung by the titular heroine with John Smith in the film itself, but had to be cut as it messed up the pacing (it has since been animated and added as an extra option on newer home releases of the film). I wonder why so many of the music videos for these pop ballads are set in random cities? Shanice in particular stands out on this track, hitting a beautiful whistle note towards the climax, but Secada’s performance is certainly worth noting, too – they complement one another beautifully. Cuban-American Jon Secada has won two Grammys since his English-language debut in 1992, while Shanice made her debut at the age of fourteen and has produced a number of hit R&B tracks, as well as covers of notoriously difficult classics like Minnie Riperton’s Lovin’ You, which made full use of her five-octave vocal range. (She also made an appearance in a KFC commercial alongside none other than jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald, at the age of just nine – how random!)

4. Someday – All-4-One, 1996 (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)

Genre: Pop / soul / R&B

Ah, the 1990s were truly the golden era of pop ballads. Much like the previous entry, this one was originally intended to be sung in the film it’s a part of, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, but was cut for various reasons. Thankfully, it was retained for the credits – and what a song it is. The vocals from All-4-One are outstanding, filling you with the same kind of hope that you feel while watching the film and making for a perfect ending. The video features the group performing under a very CGI-looking cloudy sky in a city, while clips of the film play around them. All-4-One were known as the “Dukes of R&B” in their heyday, and have gone on to see global record sales of over 22 million. Member Delious Kennedy is also a co-founder of the prestigious Catalina Film Festival, which has become known as the west coast’s version of the Cannes Film Festival.

3. Beauty and the Beast – Peabo Bryson and Céline Dion, 1991 (Beauty and the Beast)

Genre: PopBeautybeastposter

This gentle pop ballad was Disney’s first end credits song – and it won them the 1992 Oscar for Best Song right out of the gate! Of course, that’s no surprise; in addition to a second appearance on the list by the excellent Peabo Bryson, we also have here a young Céline Dion, before she was famous. Interestingly, Linda Ronstadt (see above) was the first choice for the song, but when they couldn’t get her, Céline was chosen. Coming as she did from the French-Canadian province of Quebec, she had had little experience in English-language music; this song played a big part in boosting her career in the US, and is still one of her signature songs today. It’s a gorgeous rendition, very 1990s in style, with lots of romantic synth and powerful vocals from the two singers. The music video, like most of the others, features the two simply singing to one another over clips of the song. Céline is a pro at songs like this; as you read above, her 1997 song My Heart Will Go On from Titanic managed to take the Oscar for Best Song out from under the feet of two other credits songs, going to number one worldwide and becoming one of only a handful of singles to sell over 15 million copies. More recently, she delivered the wonderful ballad How Does a Moment Last Forever for the decidedly less-wonderful 2017 remake of Beauty and the Beast.

2. When You Believe – Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston, 1998 (The Prince of Egypt)

Genre: Pop / R&BWhen_You_Believe_Mariah_Carey

In second place, we have this dramatic, sweeping ballad performed by two of the most exceptional women in the music industry for The Prince of Egypt. Seriously, it’s a wonder that the fledgling company of DreamWorks was able to get both of them to perform on this! Quite rightly, it was another winner of the Best Song Oscar, in 1999. It’s accompanied by a simple music video, featuring both singers dressed in black and performing for a small audience while film clips play behind them. Despite reports to the contrary, Whitney and Mariah apparently got along famously and greatly enjoyed recording this masterpiece together. We’ve already established what an impressive soundtrack this film had; the other credits song was by Boyz II Men! (See above). Mariah Carey was one of the most successful singers of the entire 1990s, and is one of the bestselling music artists of all time.

So too was Whitney Houston, who began her career with MTV and rose to tremendous heights, influencing a whole new generation of African-American artists with her music and becoming the first female artist to have two number one Billboard 200 Album awards on the Billboard year-end charts (she was only the second person to achieve this, after Elton John). Her tragic death in 2012 from drowning caused by drug intoxication shocked the world, and rocked the music industry to its core. There will never again be another singer with a voice quite like hers. RIP Whitney, you truly were a voice in a million.

 

And at the top of the list, we have…

 

  1. Take Me There – Blackstreet, Mýa, Blinky Blink and Mase, 1998 (The Rugrats Movie)

Genre: R&B / rap

My number one pick goes to this sweet, nostalgic R&B song from The Rugrats Movie, led by Mýa and Blackstreet. Damn, 1998 was a good year for credits songs! Something about this song just perfectly captures the best of the 1990s – from the fashions and dance moves in the (wonderfully cheesy) music video to the clips from the Rugrats. It has a fun, toy-box percussion beat and makes me yearn to go back to a simpler time… This was one of the first animated films I saw in cinemas (as a six year old), so Take Me There was one of the first credits songs I ever heard. Maybe that’s why it’ll always be my favourite. In addition to Mýa, Blackstreet have also done collaborations with artists such as Janet Jackson, Jay-Z and Dr Dre, while Mase has appeared with Mariah Carey, Puff Daddy, Brian McKnight and Brandy Norwood. Blinky Blink’s career has been less prolific, with Take Me There remaining his best-known single to date.

 

Well, there we go – fifty of the best end credits songs from animation history. It’s quite a ride, through the various decades and musical styles; there’s something out there for everyone. What’s your favourite? Let me know in the comments below if you think there are any good ones that I’ve missed!

References

If you want to read more about songs like this, check out the TV Tropes page for “Award Bait Songs” – http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AwardBaitSong – many of the songs I’ve talked about fit this style!

By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=43063846 – credit for When You Believe

By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=53807637 – credit for If I Never Knew You

By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=53457662 – credit for If We Hold On Together

By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=53306708 – credit for Somewhere Out There

By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=51575918 – credit for Into a Fantasy

Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10219828 – credit for Here I Am

By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24716157 – credit for My Getaway

By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31542932 – credit for Who Let the Dogs Out?

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3 Replies to “Top 50 Credits Songs from Animated Films”

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