Great Love Songs in Animation – A List
Updated: Apr 10
Seeing as Valentine’s Day is only a few days away I figured that I’d make the effort to write a topical blog post. I was torn on what kind of angle I should take on this one but in the end decided to make an almost follow up blog post to my Great Original Songs in Animation – A List post from a few months ago. The songs featured here aren’t necessarily just romantic songs either, any kind of love whether it be between 2 lovers, friends or family will be featured in this list.
A Girl Worth Fighting For – Mulan
“What do we want?! A girl worth fighting for!” Mulan (1998) bought us many memorable hits such as Relfection & I’ll Make a Man Out of You, however a song that often isn’t highlighted is A Girl Worth Fighting For. Sung by the Chinese Army as they make their way to the mountains, the soldiers take a moment to reflect on how they wish they had a girl to return home to after the war. Although their expectations for women are a little skewed, as is pointed out by Mulan with the line “How about a girl whose got a brain?! Who always speaks her mind?” we know that overall the troops intentions are pure, they just want somebody to love!
Feel The Light – Home
Home was released back in 2015 and was produced by DreamWorks Animation, the reason I mention this is because a lot of people slept on this film and missed out! The film features the voice and musical talents of Rihanna & Jennifer Lopez, including this song that was written and performed specifically for the film. This is considered one of the film’s climaxes as the main character Tip – who has been searching for her mother who she was separated from at the start of the film – is finally reunited with her mum again. Only a snippet of the song is actually played during the film however you can listen to the song in full here.
Love is an Open Door – Frozen
I know, I know. You’re sick of this song! I however am not so it’s made the list! There are plenty of messages within 2013’s Frozen surrounding love, from romantic love, to friendship love, to sibling love! Arendelle has it all. Although (spoiler alert) by the end of the film we know that this song isn’t as pure as we originally thought it was, it’s still pretty cute if you can forget the evil motives behind it. Besides, we all know that Anna is better off with Kristoff anyway! Love is an Open Door is all about finding that special person who has the ability to come into your life and well, open doors for you! – metaphorical ones of course – that open your life up to many new opportunities and experiences. To be fair, if a dashing prince got into a spontaneous sing-a-long with me, I’d most definitely be just as naive as Anna!
You’ll Be in My Heart – Tarzan
Similar to the Home entry in more ways than one, You’ll Be in My Heart is also a song regarding the love between a mother and their child, or in this case a human baby and their surrogate Gorilla mother. It was also written and performed by another member of musical royalty; Mr Phil Collins! Collins did all of the songs in the Tarzan soundtrack and they’re all SO GOOD. If you haven’t yet, make sure you give Tarzan a watch and even if you’re not interested in the film get hold of the soundtrack, it’s amazing even on it’s own! There’s actually two versions of this song, the one found in the scene above and a pop version for mainstream music charts. I’m not sure if it’s simply because I have many memories of watching Tarzan as a kid or that it’s just an emotional song however this song always makes me sentimental.
Romantic Flight – How To Train Your Dragon
It’s our first score entry! I’ve included the entire scene in the clip above however the song I’m talking about doesn’t actually start until 1:33 of the video so listen out for it then. You can listen to just the score track here. As many of you probably already know, I think that How To Train Your Dragon is one of the best animated films of all time. Meaning, it would be criminal of me to mention a list of romantic animated movie songs and not to mention Romantic Flight. The HTTYD score was composed by DreamWorks regular Jon Powell (he also worked on Antz, The Road to El dorado, Chicken Run & Shrek) and has made it’s way up to one of my favourite movie scores of all time. I don’t think I need to explain how magical this is, just watch the clip and listen.
Lava – Lava
Taken from the Pixar short film; Lava (2014), Lava (the song) can be listened to using the video above however like I stated in my Pixar/Disney Shorts Ranked post it’s pretty hard to find many of Pixar’s short films in full so I don’t have the actual film available to show you. However, if you have the DVD of Inside Out; it should be available on there in the bonus features. Lava is a beautiful Ukulele song inspired by Hawaiian volcanoes. The song tells the story of a lonely volcano looking for love. According to IMDb the story came from “director James Ford Murphy had wanted to make a film about Hawaii and its culture since he honeymooned there in 1989. The plot for this film became a bit more focused when Murphy visited Hawaii in 2011 and learned of the existence of Lo’ihi, an underwater volcano that is growing next to the Big Island and will eventually merge with it. Murphy reflected on the situation and decided to do a love story about volcanoes.” It really doesn’t get more romantic than this people.
I Love You Too Much – The Book of Life
Another film that a lot of people slept on was The Book of Life. Developed by Reel FX, produced by Guillermo del Toro and directed by Jorge Gutierrez in 2014; this film is full of romance and catchy songs. Many of the songs within this film are cast covers of already well known mainstream songs such as Creep by Radiohead, Can’t Help Falling in Love by Elvis Presley, I Will Wait by Mumford & Sons, etc. This song however is probably one of the most romantic in the film, as you can see Manolo is literally serenading Maria as she watches from the balcony above; it doesn’t get anymore textbook romantic than that! The other song I’d like to highlight is the song; No Matter Where You Are written by Us The Duo an american folk pop band that featured in the film. The film contains a cast recording as well as the original track.
I See The Light – Tangled
This one again, is pretty predictable however it’s from one of my favourite Disney films and one of my favourite Disney songs so it had to make the list. A lot of people actually note this as one of the most romantic Disney songs ever and for good reason! If the lyrics to the song aren’t sweet enough you’ve also got the added charm of the private evening boat ride complete with lantern display. You really can’t go wrong with a couples duet, just look at A Whole New World from Aladdin! So with the release of this song, Flynn Rider earned his place in Disney heartthrob history.
How Groovy – Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders
Would it really be a list on my blog if it didn’t feature Scooby-Doo? No matter if you find this song cringy or hilarious, there’s no doubt that it’s pretty sweet. It’s a shame however that (spoiler alert) it doesn’t work out for the pair in the end. The song is a love song complete with Shaggy’s 60s flare making reference to tie-dye, lava lamps, vinyl records and just general hippy culture. But don’t worry, Scooby isn’t being forgotten due to the new person in Shaggy’s life, as we can tell by the line “It will be a dream come true, she’s even got a doggy for Scooby-Doo!” he’s also dreaming of a special someone, Shaggy’s love interest has a dog too!
I’m Gonna Love You – The Hunchback of Notre Dame II
I won’t lie, this was a cheeky addition a few months after this post was originally published, but for good reason! I suddenly remembered this song a few weeks ago and was shocked that I had forgotten to add it to this list! I’m Gonna Love You can be found within The Hunchback of Notre Dame II (2002) credits and is performed by Jennifer Love-Hewitt the voice actress of Quasimodo’s love interest in the film, Madellaine.
Aloha ‘Oe – Lilo & Stitch
(I apologise for the quality of this clip, it’s surprisingly hard to find a good quality video of this scene)
Now for a bittersweet entry. As most as you probably already know, this scene is a heart wrencher. For those of you who don’t let me briefly explain; Lilo and Nani are sisters and due to a series of events Lilo is set to leave her older sister and go into foster care, this is their supposed last night together. If that’s not enough to make your heart sink, here are some of the Hawaiian lyrics translated: “Goodbye, goodbye, the sweet and gentle one living in the distance, one fond embrace I leave, until we meet again, fond memories bring me back and renew sweet ones of times past goodbye, my love you are mine regardless” I know this song seems more of a sad one but I know it comes from a place of sisterly love.
That’s How You Know – Enchanted
When Derek Shepperd isn’t busy in the OR he can often be found in the middle of a musical number in Central Park (little Grey’s Anatomy joke for you there). For real though, this song is so much fun, if you watch the video attached you bet it’ll be stuck in your head for the rest of the day! That’s How You Know isn’t quite as emotional as some of the other songs on this list, it simply highlights things you can do to keep the one you love close. It’s very simplistic and sweet, and teaches Robert a thing or two about how to remind his girlfriend Nancy that he loves her, very cute.
Supākuru (Sparkle) – Your Name
Another song on this list that’s in another language is: Supākuru – also known as Sparkle – from 2016’s anime film Your Name. I tried for a very long time to find a good quality clip of the English version of this song however could only find covers therefore this is the Japanese version. You can read the English lyrics here, if the montage video above isn’t enough to give you the impression that this is a love song. I can’t say much about the plot of the film without literally giving it all away but here is a small snippet of the lyrics so you get the idea “Words like “tomorrow” or “future” or “fate” no matter how far they extend their hands, we breathe, we dream, we raise our love, in a timeless land that is far out of reach”.
I Didn’t Know That I Could Feel This Way – Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp’s Adventure
You’ve seen Lady and Tramp eat Spaghetti together, now get ready for Scamp and Angel to do the same! I’m sure some of you may just be hearing about this sequel now unless you read my Disney Animated Sequels That I Didn’t Think Totally Sucked post. It did also feature in my Great Original Songs in Animation – A List so I’m not sure what else I can say about this song that I haven’t already said previously. So I suggest just watching the above clip and enjoying some adorable puppy love.
Let Me Be Your Wings – Thumbelina
If you find yourself saying “Oh! I remember this film!” you would be having the same reaction to what I did when I first came across Thumbelina after 10 or so years of forgetting that it ever existed. Honestly, I don’t remember a lot about this film but I do remember this duet! Think you recognise the voice of Thumbelina? I’d be surprised if you didn’t! It’s only Jodi Benson, the voice of everybody’s favourite red headed mermaid! I’ll be honest, this isn’t the catchiest song on this list, it’s lacking a few things – however it’s a romantic scene so has made it onto the list.
Remember Me – Coco
Now for our most recent entry, the main song from Disney Pixar’s Coco (2017). There are in fact multiple versions of this song from this lullaby version, a pop version and a version sung by Ernesto de la Cruz. Due to the fact it’s so recent, I’m unable to find the actual scene in which this song is heard so for now, you’ll have to settle for just the audio. If you think this song is as catchy as previous Disney productions, there’s actually a reason for it. Remember Me was written by the dynamic song writing duo Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez who just so happen to write all of the songs in 2013’s Frozen! Sorry to remind all of you of Let it Go, good luck getting that out of your head!
Nobody Else But You – A Goofy Movie
So far we’ve had songs between couples, sisters, mothers and daughters, even sons and their surrogate Gorilla mothers. Now it’s time for a father and son song. Reminder: if you haven’t yet, you’ve got to see both Goofy movies at some point in your life. This song can be found in the first of the two; A Goofy Movie (1995). Although the scene starts off a little hostile, it soon turns into a feel good song that causes the father and son pair to bond...whilst they ride their car down a river? You’ll have to watch the film to figure that one out.
Other Father Song – Coraline
Finally, I’ve decided to go for a father and daughter love song. I know many of you that know the film will be confused by my choice to add this as (spoiler alert) the father that sings this song to Coraline isn’t exactly doing it with pure intentions however to me; the lyrics: “Makin’ up a song about Coraline she’s a peach, she’s a doll, she’s a pal of mine. She’s as cute as a button In the eyes of everyone who ever laid their eyes on Coraline” are pretty sweet and if sung by the right person would be considered a love song.
Thank you so much if you’ve managed to get to the end of this list. I try and post as regularly as I can on this blog concerning similar topics so if you liked this list, see what else I’ve done! I also write for nerdoutwordout.com and at the moment there is a similar Valentine’s Day themed list that I contributed to on the site! Lastly, I hope however you choose to spend your Valentine’s day that you have a wonderful time!