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19 Super-Interesting Disney Music Facts

Could you imagine Beauty and the Beast without all its iconic songs?!

1. "Love Is an Open Door" from Frozen marks the first time a princess sang a duet with the villain.


2. After winning the Oscar for Best Original Song for "Let It Go," from Frozen, Robert Lopez became the 12th person to ever EGOT (which means to have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony).

Joe Klamar / AFP / Getty Images

Lopez co-wrote all the songs in Frozen along with his wife, Kristen Anderson-Lopez.

3. Beauty and the Beast was originally not intended to be a musical.


Initially the film was supposed to be much darker and had no musical numbers, but following the huge success of The Little Mermaid, then-Disney Chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg ordered that the movie be rewritten as a musical.

4. "When You Wish Upon a Star," from Pinocchio, was the first Disney song to win the Academy Award for Best Original Song.


5. Through his work with Disney, Alan Menken — who has composed the music for The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, and Tangled — has won eight Oscars.

Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Menken took home both the Best Original Score and Best Original Song Oscars for The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and Pocahontas.

6. "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" was almost cut from The Lion King because it did not fit the film's father-and-son theme.


The song was put back in the film after Elton John (who wrote the lyrics) saw an early cut of the film and made it clear that it needed to be in.

7. The melody for Peter Pan's beloved classic song "The Second Star to the Right" was originally written for Alice in Wonderland.

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The Alice version of the song was titled "Beyond the Laughing Sky." After it was cut from the movie, it was rewritten for Peter Pan, which was Disney's next animated film. Kathryn Beaumont who voiced Alice, also provided the voice of Wendy in Peter Pan.

8. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the was the first movie in film history to ever release a motion picture soundtrack.


9. Mary Costa's first paid job as a singer was as the voice of Princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty -- she would go on to become an internationally well-known opera singer.

Ted West / Stringer

Costa, then unknown, recorded her vocals in 1952, and by the time of the film's release in 1959, she was already singing opera professionally.

10. Kaa's song in The Jungle Book, "Trust in Me (The Python's Song)," was originally written by the Sherman Brothers for Mary Poppins.

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The song, originally titled "The Land of Sand," was not used in the film. But when the Sherman Brothers were brought in to work on The Jungle Book, they rewrote the lyrics to fit Kaa.

11. "Cruella de Vil" is the only complete song in 101 Dalmatians.


The only other real song in the film is "Dalmatian Plantation."

12. According to lyricist Stephen Schwartz, the lyrics to "Colors of the Wind" were inspired by the letter that Chief Seattle wrote to Congress in 1854.

Disney / Via

"Colors of the Wind" was also the first song written for Pocahontas.

13. The Black Cauldron was scored by the composer Elmer Bernstein, who had previously composed music for such classic films as The Man With the Golden Arm, The Ten Commandments, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Ghostbusters.

Walt Disney Records

The Black Cauldron wasn't Bernstein's first time scoring an animated film; he had composed the score for the cult-classic animated movie Heavy Metal a few years earlier.

14. In an early version of Aladdin, he was supposed sing the touching song "Proud of Your Boy" to his mother.

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When they decided to cut Aladdin's mom from the film, they cut the song out as well. The song was worked into the Broadway adaption of the movie.

15. Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle's rendition of "A Whole New World" is the only Disney song from an animated film to go to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

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Even the mighty "Let It Go" reached only No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100.

16. There are more Elvis Presley songs in Lilo and Stitch than in any of his own movies.


17. "Perfect Isn't Easy," from Oliver & Company, was co-written by Barry Manilow.

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The song was performed in the film by Bette Midler, whose professional relationship with Manilow dates back to 1971, when she hired him as her pianist and musical director.

18. Tangled was the first CG-animated movie to be a musical as well.


Disney also downplayed the fact the movie was a musical and did not feature any of the music in the early marketing.

19. The ICONIC ballad "Part of Your World" was almost cut from The Little Mermaid.


Then-Disney Chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg almost cut the song because he thought kids wouldn't like it; an early rough-cut test screening had the scene as only a black-and-white penciled sequence, and kids had not responded well to it. Luckily everyone involved with the film argued that it should remain at least until the next test screening, and when the movie was rescreened, the now fully colored scene tested well, and the song remained.

Music Week is a week of content that celebrates the awesome classic jams, artists, and music videos you grew up with — as well as future classics. Take a step back in time and check out more great music content here.

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