Don't Disney movies have the best buddies? Copper and Tod, Mike and Sulley, Woody and Buzz... I mean, a Space Ranger and a cowboy? That right there is true friendship. So, in honor of these genuine (albeit animated) friends, I bring you the first of the Disney playlists... the buddy songs.
1. When You're the Best of Friends (The Fox and the Hound)- this one is great for two reasons: a) the wise (black?) owl Big Mama (voiced by Pearl Bailey) sings it, and b) it's a foreshadowing of the rest of the movie ("If only the world wouldn't get in the way; if only people would just let you play... they say you're just being fools; you're breaking all the rules... they can't understand the magic of your wonderland.") And BOOM... later, Copper and Tod grow up and realize that the world has, in fact, gotten in the way of their friendship. That tends to happen, doesn't it? And not just to little puppies and foxes. (I'm telling you... you can't limit a Disney song to children; this stuff gets deep.)
2. If I Didn't Have You (Monster's, Inc..)- Man, I love Sulley and Mike...and their relationship (which was explained so perfectly in Monster's University, in case you missed it) is hilarious because Mike really is kind of selfish and stuck on himself, and Sulley's a little bit insecure despite his massive size, but together they just work (an homage to The Odd Couple, if you will.) Their kind of imbalanced friendship comes across even in the song (when Mike says, "Would you let me lead?!" "Why do you keep singing my part?") Also, I really love Billy Crystal. And Randy Newman, who wrote this song.
3. Friend Like Me (Aladdin)- I love this song. In fact, I can't really make this statement definitively, but if I HAD to choose a favorite Disney movie, it might be Aladdin. Quite possibly. And the Genie is arguably one of the funniest characters in any Disney movie (thank you, genius comedic talent of Robin Williams.) Plus, the lyrics are so very clever (I always love the part where he sings, "Life is your restaurant and I'm your maitre d! Come on, whisper what it is you want; you ain't never had a friend like me!") And who wouldn't want a friend who could grant you three wishes? Nobody, that's who. (Naturally, you'd use the last wish to set them free, right?)
4. Nothing in the World (Quite Like a Friend) (The Return of Jafar)- This one is throwing it back to a pretty obscure movie (but one I still love) and yes, it's about Aladdin and the Genie again. But after Aladdin gives Genie his freedom at the end of the first movie, naturally they're friends for life. And this one that is best appreciated when you've seen the movie, perhaps... in all its cheesy '90s animation glory, for sure. (Seriously, how are Jasmine's eyes and hair wider than her waist? And in this movie she goes from looking tan, like a normal Arabian girl, to looking like she rolled around in Doritos. Does the palace have a spray tan booth?) Anyway, I do love this song.
5. Forever and Ever (Pooh's Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin)- I love, love, loved Winnie the Pooh when I was little and this was one of my favorite Pooh movies. Christopher Robin leaves a note telling Pooh and the gang that he won't be around for a while because of school, but because of a mishap with some honey, the note gets smeared and everyone thinks that Christopher Robin has been kidnapped and been taken to "skull", sending them off on an adventure (hence the title) to rescue him. Christopher and Pooh sing this song and it is so precious. I may have shed some tears when I looked up the video on YouTube.
6.You've Got a Friend in Me (Toy Story) No list of buddy songs would be complete without the ultimate friendship song, again from Randy Newman. Like I said, Woody and Buzz... cowboy and Space Ranger... started off as enemies... come on! They survived Pizza Planet, abandonment, Sid's house, kidnapping, and daycare together. Obviously, their friendship was made to last. (I realize I'm talking about toys, and cartoon toys at that. Don't judge me. Or just shout: "You are a TOY! Aw, you're an action figure. YOU ARE A CHILD'S PLAYTHING!!!" "You are a sad, strange little man. And you have my pity.") Anyway, it's a great song! (I also love Michael Buble's version... definitely worth a listen.)
So, that's the first playlist... turn up these tunes and think good thoughts about your friends! This one is a perfect start to the series since Jonathan and I just went on such an amazing trip with our best friends, so I'm feeling a bit sentimental. (That said, if you cry a little or burst into song along with the soundtracks, clearly I won't judge you.) If you can think of a buddy song to add, please do! (My Disney knowledge is, in fact, only finite.)