Category Archives: Soundtracks

The Hunchback of Notre Dame “Out There” (1996)

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The Hunchback of Notre Dame “Out There” (1996)

Quasimodo has one of the most dysfunctional and abusive upbringings in the Disney canon (even worse than Rapunzel’s, because while it’s true Mother Gothel kidnapped the princess and mentally abused her so she’d stay in the tower, she didn’t kill either of Rapunzel’s parents). After causing the death of Quasimodo’s mother, Judge Frollo (Tony Jay) nearly drowns her baby before the Archdeacon of Notre Dame stops him and orders him to raise the child as his own as penance for what he has done. Frollo translates this to keeping Quasimodo (Tom Hulce) locked up in the bell tower for the next twenty years, raising him to believe he is a monster that his mother abandoned.

As a young man, Quasimodo spends most of his days observing the residents of Paris (when not ringing the church bells) as they go about their daily lives, longing to walk among them. He especially wants to participate in the annual Feast of Fools and his friends the stone gargoyles encourage him to go. When Frollo learns that the bell-ringer tried to leave (again), he reminds Quasimodo that he is a monster and if he goes outside he’ll be reviled as such. The only way he can remain safe is to stay in the tower and do exactly as Frollo says. While Quasimodo acquiesces to his master’s wishes, his desire to experience life outside the cathedral remains and this is the theme for “Out There.”

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Safe behind these windows and these parapets of stone
Gazing at the people down below me
All my life, I watch them as I hide up here alone
Hungry for the histories they show me
All my life, I memorize their faces
Knowing them as they will never know me
All my life, I wonder how it feels to pass a day
Not above them
But part of them

And out there, living in the sun
Give me one day out there, all I ask is one
To hold forever
Out there, where they all live unaware
What I’d give
What I’d dare
Just to live one day out there

Out there among the millers and the weavers and their wives
Through the roofs and gables I can see them
Every day they shout and scold and go about their lives
Heedless of the gift it is to be them

If I was in their skin
I’d treasure every instant

Out there, strolling by the Seine
Taste a morning out there, like ordinary men
Who freely walk about there
Just one day and then, I swear
I’ll be content
With my share

Won’t resent
Won’t despair
Old and bent
I won’t care
I’ll have spent one day out there!

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Quasimodo expresses the wish of many Disney heroes and heroines: “I don’t like how my life currently is, but if I can just do this one thing I will be happy forever.” The song is practically a staple in Disney musicals but that isn’t a bad thing if it’s done properly and “Out There” is one of my favorite Disney songs. During the scene, Quasimodo clambers all over Notre Dame, letting you see the beautiful sculptures and architecture that make the cathedral so famous. The animators took a special trip to Paris to sketch the building and it really shows throughout the film.

Of course, if you’ve been keeping up with Disturbing Disney then you know Quasimodo’s first trip into the outside world will end badly. Despite that, it’s so easy to feel for the bell-ringer as he sings; to be that close to a bustling medieval city that you’re not allowed to visit would leave anyone feeling lonely and depressed (it’s amazing that Quasimodo grows up relatively well-adjusted).

What do you think about “Out There”? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

The Hunchback of Notre Dame “The Bells of Notre Dame” (1996)

The Hunchback of Notre Dame “Topsy Turvy” (1996)

The Hunchback of Notre Dame “Heaven’s Light/Hellfire” (1996)

The Hunchback of Notre Dame “The Court of Miracles” (1996)

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

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All Dogs Go to Heaven “Let Me Be Surprised” (1989)

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All Dogs Go to Heaven “Let Me Be Surprised” (1989)

After being murdered by his supposed friend and business partner Carface, Charlie B. Barkin (Burt Reynolds) is shocked to find himself in the Hall of Judgement being looked after by Annabelle (Melba Moore), an angelic whippet. Having been a criminal most of his life, Charlie fears judgement, but Annabelle assures Charlie that “all dogs go to heaven” because dogs are naturally loyal and good (she clearly doesn’t know Charlie in the slightest). Annabelle further explains that Charlie has to be dead because the watch representing his life has stopped and that “no one can EVER go back.” Charlie, used to the thrills of being a criminal, is instantly stifled by the utopian atmosphere of heaven, where (according to Annabelle) there are never any surprises. Charlie doesn’t like this one bit and this is the set up for “Let Me Be Surprised.”

I need Brazil
The throb, the thrill
I’ve never been there, but someday I will!
Adventure and danger, love from a stranger
Let me be surprised!

Today there’s sun; they said there’d be snow
When all’s said and done
It’s fun not to know!
What keeps my heart humming, is guessing what’s coming
Let me be surprised!

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Oh! Ain’t it great
Annabelle: (Ain’t it great?)
Charlie: When fate makes you wait?
The world seems mirthless
And you feel worthless
Then suddenly,
There’s a big bone on your plate!

Annabelle: Oh, Charlie, please remember
Down there’s a world of used cars,
And singles’ bars,
Broken dreams,
And out-of-reach stars!
Charlie: But, it isn’t over
Not for this Rover

As Charlie keeps Annabelle distracted, he locates the watch that represents his life and begins to wind it up (having previously asked if he could do just that to keep his life going). It doesn’t take the whippet long to notice and she doesn’t like what she sees one bit!

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I don’t like to steal (Ha, ha!)
But I don’t buy this deal
In ’bout 3 seconds, she’ll have realized (Ha, ha!)
And she’s gonna be…
Annabelle: Charlie, what are you doing?
Charlie: Wait’ll you see!
Annabelle: What’s that you have behind your back?
Charlie: She’s gonna be…
Annabelle: Charlie, don’t wind that watch!
Charlie: Surprised!
Annabelle: CHARLIE!

The moment the watch starts ticking again, Charlie is unceremoniously ejected from Heaven with Annabelle mournfully shouting after Charlie “You can never come back…” Apparently, the penalty for extending your life (or “stealing life” might be the better term) is going straight to Hell the next time you die. That’s why, for most of the remaining story, Charlie will do just about anything to make sure that watch keeps ticking. Of course that all changes once he really gets to know Anne-Marie (Judith Barsi), but that’s a story for another day.

It really shows how selfish Charlie is when he’d rather go back to Earth than stay in Heaven. I really don’t think he counted on being sentenced to Hell for going back though, he just wanted to be alive a little longer. What do you think about “Let Me Be Surprised”? Given how dark this movie can get (it IS a Don Bluth film after all) this whole sequence is surprisingly lighthearted (except for the part where Annabelle happily says “Welcome to being dead”). Let me know what you think about this song in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

All Dogs Go to Heaven “You Can’t Keep a Good Dog Down” (1989)

All Dogs Go to Heaven 2 “It Feels so Good to be Bad!” (1996)

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

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Tangled “When Will My Life Begin?” (2010)

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Tangled “When Will My Life Begin?” (2010)

The more I learn about Tangled, the more I regret not going to see the film in theaters when I had the chance (it’s been on my *to watch* list for quite a while). The story is Disney’s take on the Rapunzel fairy tale and follows our heroine as she yearns to experience life outside of her tower home. What Rapunzel doesn’t realize is that her “mother” is actually a wicked woman who kidnapped Rapunzel as a baby in order to exploit the healing powers contained in her hair. Having been raised in the belief that the outside world is cruel and dangerous (echoes of Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame), Rapunzel spends her days doing just about anything you can imagine. “When Will My Life Begin?” follows Rapunzel’s daily routine as she cleans, cooks, paints, creates and tries to stave off the boredom of spending every day in the tower.

7 AM, the usual morning lineup
Start on the chores and sweep ’til the floor’s all clean
Polish and wax, do laundry, and mop and shine up
Sweep again, and by then it’s like 7:15!

And so I’ll read a book
Or maybe two or three
I’ll add a few new paintings to my gallery
I’ll play guitar and knit
And cook and basically
Just wonder when will my life begin?

Then after lunch it’s puzzles and darts and baking
Papier-mâché, a bit of ballet and chess
Pottery and ventriloquy, candle making
Then I’ll stretch, maybe sketch, Take a climb, sew a dress!

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Having lived in the tower for eighteen years, Rapunzel has taught herself a number of hobbies but it’s more than obvious that these activities lost their novelty a long time ago. She tries to keep an upbeat tone but her frustrated expression tells you everything you need to know: Rapunzel is bored and wants to go outside, despite what Mother Gothel has told her.

And I’ll reread the books
If I have time to spare
I’ll paint the walls some more
I’m sure there’s room somewhere
And then I’ll brush and brush
and brush and brush my hair
Stuck in the same place I’ve always been

And I’ll keep wonderin’ and wondering
And wondering and wondering
When will my life begin?

And tomorrow night
The lights will appear
Just like they do on my birthday each year
What is it like
Out there where they glow?
Now that I’m older
Mother might just
Let me go…

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For years Rapunzel has been curious about a group of lights that appear in the sky every year on her birthday. She has no way of knowing that the lights are lit in her memory as the people hope their missing princess will see them and find her way home. That’s the real reason why Gothel won’t let Rapunzel go see the lights; she knows that Rapunzel would be recognized as the missing princess sooner or later and then it would be all over for the vain woman. It makes me sad to see Rapunzel expressing her hope that her mother might finally let her go this year, because you already know what Gothel’s answer is going to be.

What do you think about the song “When Will My Life Begin?” Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Tangled “Mother Knows Best” (2010)

Tangled “Mother Knows Best (reprise)” (2010)

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

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The Little Mermaid “Part of Your World” (1989)

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The Little Mermaid “Part of Your World” (1989)

“Part of Your World” is a type of song that can be found in many Disney films. This is the song you hear when the hero/heroine laments how unhappy they are with their lives and how they wish things could be different. Similar songs include “Out There,” “Go the Distance,” “How Far I’ll Go,” and “When Will My Life Begin?” Actually it was “Part of Your World” that started the tradition of heroes/heroines expressing their desires early in the film (although I do feel like Aurora’s “I Wonder” is this type of song as well and that song pre-dates The Little Mermaid by 30 years).

In this song, Ariel is going over her beloved collection of human artifacts and wishing that she could go be with the humans on the surface. Unknown to Ariel and Flounder, Sebastian overhears the entire song, which is a big problem since he could tell King Triton about Ariel’s fascination with human items (which isn’t allowed).

Look at this stuff. Isn’t it neat?
Wouldn’t you think my collection’s complete?
Wouldn’t you think I’m the girl,
the girl who has everything?

Look at this trove, treasures untold
How many wonders can one cavern hold?
Looking around here, you’d think
Sure, she’s got everything

I’ve got gadgets and gizmos a-plenty
I’ve got whooz-its and whats-its galore
You want thing-a-mabobs? I’ve got twenty
But who cares? No big deal. I want more!

I wanna be where the people are
I wanna see, wanna see ’em dancin’
Walkin’ around on those…
What do you call ’em? Oh, feet

Flippin’ your fins you don’t get too far
Legs are required for jumpin’, dancin’
Strolling along down the…
What’s that word again? Street

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Up where they walk
Up where they run
Up where they stay all day in the sun
Wanderin’ free,
wish I could be
part of that world

What would I give
if I could live
outta these waters?
What would I pay
to spend a day
warm on the sand?

Betcha on land
they understand
Bet they don’t reprimand their daughters
Bright young women,
sick of swimmin’
ready to stand

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And I’m ready to know what the people know
Ask ’em my questions and get some answers
What’s a fire and why does it…
What’s the word? Burn?

When’s it my turn?
Wouldn’t I love,
love to explore that shore up above?
Out of the sea,
wish I could be
part of that world

The song does reveal a bit of naïveté on Ariel’s part (I draw your attention back to the line “Bet they don’t reprimand their daughters”). Ariel seems to be under the impression that if she lived on land with the humans then she would be free to do as she pleased (as opposed to living under the sea forced to abide by her father’s rules). It’s a nice thought, but it’s hardly accurate (note that Ursula doesn’t do too much to dispel Ariel’s romanticized notions of surface life either in “Poor Unfortunate Souls”). It’s also fascinating to see what Ariel has in her grotto as I’m pretty sure books and paintings would not long survive exposure to sea water (however it is a Disney movie so things like this just happen).

Believe it or not, “Part of Your World” almost didn’t make it into the final cut of the film. Jeffrey Katzenberg, then head of Disney, thought the song was boring and that it would go over the heads of children. Fortunately, Glen Keane and Howard Ashman fought to keep the song included and won. Another interesting piece of trivia: that shot of Ariel reaching through the hole at the top of the grotto was the very last shot to be completed and it took four tries to get it right. And to record this song, Jodi Benson actually sang in the dark to get a proper feeling of being “under the sea.”

What do you think of “Part of Your World”? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

The Little Mermaid “Daughters of Triton” (1989)

The Little Mermaid “Poor Unfortunate Souls” (1989)

The Little Mermaid “Vanessa’s Song” (1989)

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FernGully: The Last Rainforest “Toxic Love” (1992)

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FernGully: The Last Rainforest “Toxic Love” (1992)

It’s a shame that FernGully: The Last Rainforest is such an underrated film today because it features one of the more terrifying animated villains of the 90s: Hexxus, the spirit of destruction. Hexxus is voiced by Tim Curry (and I don’t think any actor could have done it better) and was originally sealed away in a tree by Magi many thousands of years ago. However, when that tree is cut down by humans, Hexxus escapes as a literal ball of slime and slips into the Leveler machine to regain his strength. Once inside, the dark spirit feeds off the pollution the machine gives off until he regains his form as an oily, black spirit. He’s so delighted with the Leveler that he sings about how this can help him get revenge at last.

Hit me one time!
Hit me twice!
Oh, aaah!
Ooohh
That’s rather nice!

Oil and grime
Poison sludge
Diesel clouds and
Noxious muck
Slime beneath me
Slime up above
Ooh, you’ll love my
(Ah-ah-ah)
Toxic love

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I see the world
And all the creatures in it
(All the creatures in it)
I suck ’em dry
And spit ’em out like spinach

‘Cause greedy human beings
Will always lend a hand
With the destruction of this
Worthless jungle land
And what a beautiful machine
They have provided
To slice a path of doom!
With my sweet breath to guide it

Filthy, brown
Acid rain
Pouring down like
Egg chow mein
Slime beneath me
Slime up above
Ooh, you’ll love my 
(Ah-ah-ah)
Toxic love

Now while Hexxus, in his spirit form, comes off as this suave (but thoroughly evil) being, let’s not forget that he initially manifests as a skeleton (a form he returns to at the climax of the film). Hexxus is the personification of destruction and pollution and he hates all living and growing things. If he had his way, the Earth would be reduced to a lifeless wasteland. It’s a scary thought and “Toxic Love” is a scary song. It’s a reminder that if we continue to build destructive machines, we in turn can release destructive forces that cannot be controlled upon the world.

What do you think about “Toxic Love”? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

FernGully: The Last Rainforest “Spirit of the Trees” (1992)

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

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Thumbelina “Let Me Be Your Wings” (1994)

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Thumbelina “Let Me Be Your Wings” (1994)

In one of Don Bluth’s last animated ventures (the studio closed the following year), Thumbelina follows the titular character as she lives a relatively happy life with her mother in the countryside. The one thing that makes Thumbelina unhappy, however, is the apparent reality that she is the only person her size (she’s only as big as a thumb after all). All of this changes one night when Thumbelina meets the fairy prince Cornelius, who is enchanted by her singing. The pair go for a whirlwind ride on the prince’s bumblebee where he proceeds to woo her with “Let Me Be Your Wings.”

Let me be your wings
Let me be your only love
Let me take you far beyond the stars

Let me be your wings
Let me lift you high above
Everything we’re dreaming of will soon be ours

Anything that you desire
Anything at all
Everyday I’ll take you higher
And I’ll never let you fall

Let me be your wings
Leave behind the world you know
For another world of wondrous things
We’ll see the universe and dance on Saturn’s rings
Fly with me and I will be your wings

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“Let Me Be Your Wings” is the quintessential romance song. As Thumbelina has no wings of her own, Cornelius vows he’ll be her “wings” instead and give her everything she ever wanted. Of course, this song does suffer from the flaw found in a lot of pre-2000 animated films in which we have a hero (Cornelius) professing love to a heroine (Thumbelina) that he’s only just met. Of course you can be attracted to someone right away, but professing eternal love and wanting to marry right away? It’s not exactly a realistic depiction of love is it? However, putting that aside, it’s easy to feel happy for Thumbelina as Cornelius shows her a night to remember. Given what happens next though, I’ve always found myself wishing that Cornelius had just whisked her away to the fairy kingdom then and there (which would have avoided so many problems).

What do you think of “Let Me Be Your Wings”? Let me know your thoughts about the song in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Thumbelina “Marry the Mole” (1994)

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

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Thumbelina “Marry the Mole” (1994)

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Thumbelina “Marry the Mole” (1994)

Despite earning a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Original Song (the only award Thumbelina picked up), I really like the song “Marry the Mole.” As the title implies, the song features Mrs. Fieldmouse (Carol Channing) convincing Thumbelina (Jodi Benson) as to why she should marry Mr. Mole (who is admittedly very wealthy but also cynical and blind as a bat). From Mrs. Fieldmouse’s point of view, love is highly overrated and it is far better to marry someone who can take care of you financially. I think Mrs. Fieldmouse really believes she wants the best for Thumbelina (even if she does call her stupid more or less later in the song) but it’s still depressing to think of a life where you marry someone ONLY for their money. After all, what’s the good of being fabulously rich if you’re locked up in a dark hole way underground?

Ms. Fieldmouse: Love? Love is what we read about in books, my dear.

“Here Comes the Bride” is a lovely little ditty

But marrying for love is a foolish thing to do

‘Cause love won’t pay the mortgage or put porridge in your bowl

Dearie, Marry the Mole!

True, it’s a fact, that he’s not exactly witty

He’s blinder than a bat, but at least his eyes are blue

His breath may be alarming, but he’s charming, for a troll

Dearie, Marry the Mole!

Romeo and Juliet

Were very much in love when they were wed

They honored every vow; so where are they now?

They’re dead, dead! Very, very dead!

Poor Thumbelina, your brain’s so itty bitty!

I hate to seem a pest, but I know what’s best for you

Just think of all the ways that you can decorate a hole!

Take my advice; I’ll bring the rice!

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Dearie, Marry the Mole!

Marry the Mole!

Mar-ry that Mole!

M is for money!

Thumbelina: Oh!

Ms. Fieldmouse: L-E!

I both love and hate that Mrs. Fieldmouse uses Romeo and Juliet as an example of why you shouldn’t marry for love. On the one hand, as soon as she mentions the couple you know where that verse is going (the lovers wind up dead). But then again, Romeo and Juliet is about the worst example of “love” you can possibly choose. Allegedly, Romeo and Juliet meet and fall in love in a matter of days (and that’s being generous), get married and promptly kill themselves (that’s an oversimplification but more or less accurate). They barely knew each other so it’s doubtful they truly loved each other (but then again one could also make that argument about Thumbelina and Cornelius’s love since they’ve only met once but that’s besides the point).

What do you think about “Marry the Mole”? Let me know your thoughts about this song in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

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Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

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