Ranking the Songs of The Lion King

Photo Credit:http://www.cnn.com/2011/09/19/showbiz/movies/lion-king-box-office/

Twenty years ago this month, The Lion King roared into theaters, instantly becoming one of the most beloved Disney animated musicals of all time. The film’s legacy wouldn’t be nearly as significant had the music not been as strong. Below is our ranking of the five songs from the movie, with video. Take a trip into the Disney vault and watch them all. It’s bound to put a smile on your face. If you’re at work and worried about your boss catching you singing along with a meerkat and warthog, well, Hakuna Matata!


5. “The Circle of Life”

Let’s get one thing straight, every song from The Lion King is a Disney gem. So even though the epic opening and celebration of life and nature is surely grand, it is hardly the most memorable song from the movie. What really makes the scene is still-stunning animation and the imagery of all the animals of the African savannah coming to witness the birth of their next king.


4. “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”

This song is gorgeous. The color palettes surrounding Simba and Nala in the scene are soft and moody. It’s honestly one of Disney’s best love songs. So why number 4? Because Simba and Nala aren’t really one of the great Disney romances. Remember how genuine Aladdin singing “A Whole New World” to Jasmine felt? It’s taken down a couple notches here.


3. “Be Prepared”

Ah, nothing like the big villain getting a number to monologue to his minions about his plans. With Jeremy Irons lending his voice, Scar was an instant icon in the world of Disney villains. A rogue lion with an endless army of hyenas, with some not-so-subtle Nazi symbolism, presents his plan. It’s basically a warning: be prepared, things are about to get ugly.


2. “Hakuna Matata”

Probably the slogan of the movie, “Hakuna Matata” is the perfect introduction to Timone and Pumba. With a lifestyle pretty much the opposite of Pride Rock, these two steer Simba farther away from his destiny as we watch him grow throughout the song. But you can’t deny how fun and freeing the lyrics are.


1. “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King”

This song is a powerhouse. Stunning visuals combine with the catchy tune to make one of the most exciting songs on the entire Disney soundtrack. But what truly makes it soar is how it ties into the themes of the film overall while doing everything else. It’s a vibrant, electric jungle stomp that foreshadows both the flaws Simba will have to overcome within himself and his overall destiny. All while making fun of Zazu.


Which Lion King song is your favorite? Let us know below!


By Matt Dougherty

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