The 10 Best Disney Songs You’ve Never Heard
Anyone can whistle or sing their favorite Disney song, but for every 'Under the Sea' and 'A Whole New World,' there are dozens of orphaned tunes that never made it into their respective film. Too bad, since many of these unfortunate victims of time constraints or script rewrites are really catchy.
However, many of these never-before-seen songs have surfaced online with their accompanying storyboards to let us sigh and wonder at what might have been. Take a look at 10 great Disney songs that were left on the cutting room floor.
- 1The creative team of 'Aladdin' had to make numerous changes to the film, including cutting many songs, characters and trimming the plot. Thankfully, several songs that were cut from the film ended up on the special edition DVD. One such song is a tune performed by Jafar, which the crew loved for Jonathan Freeman's vocal performance. In the video below, Jafar laments his past failures while megalomaniacally plotting his future now that he has the magic lamp. It's extremely catchy and perfectly fits his twisted character.
As Tony Bancroft reveals in this clip, this song was supposed to be Mushu's introduction to Mulan but ultimately was cut and replaced by spoken dialogue. Too bad since it had a real catchy beat and a smooth voice ("smoother than ginseng") that may or may not have been Eddie Murphy's, we're not really sure. Listen and try to see if you spot any 'Party all the Time' callbacks.
- 3'Hercules' was one of the few films made during the Disney Renaissance of the '90s that wasn't structured in a musical format. Most of the songs were sung by a Gospel chorus who also provided backup to Megara's one song 'I Won't Say I'm in Love.' However, she had a solo song, much slower in tempo, and similar in tone. It's unclear why it was cut from the film, though perhaps the two songs were too similar since both involve Megara lamenting about being burned by the men in her life. No storyboards are available for this one, but a fan set it to scenes from the finished film that accompany the music perfectly.
Mufasa had a song? Why was it cut? Well, perhaps it's a little too...jolly for the stoic, straight-faced King of the Jungle we all grew up with. Still, it's a nice little ditty where Mufasa emphasizes that being the king is something not to be taken lightly, only to be countered by Zazu. Wait, that doesn't sound like Zazu at all. Maybe this was cut after the writers turned him into a stuffy old nanny bird.
As mentioned earlier, 'Aladdin' went through a number of rewrites and eliminated some characters entirely. One unfortunate who got the axe was Aladdin's mother, who was seen as somewhat superfluous. However, songwriter Howard Ashman was attached to the character and wrote a touching ballad called 'Proud of Your Boy,' where Aladdin laments his past screw-ups and promises to find some way to make it up to his mother. However, this song went out the door with Aladdin's mom, though there is talk of Ashman putting up quite a fight for it to be included. The song starts at 1:42 and note a disguised Jafar lurking around the corner, foreshadowing a completely different meeting between the two characters.
Okay, we're cheating here a little bit. 'Poor Unfortunate Souls' was left in the final film, thankfully, however there was a verse cut out, presumably for time. Virtually everything else is the same, although this scene does shed light on exactly why Ursula was banished by Ariel's father. Plus, it's interesting to see storyboards and animation tied together by music.
Another cheat, but you'll thank us. In an earlier draft of 'The Lion King', Scar, now king, has let the Pridelands sink into despair and desolation as he himself sinks deeper and deeper into insanity. Obsessed with immortality he desires an heir and chooses Nala as his queen, who promptly rejects him. Understandable, since he's old enough to be her very, very old father. Scar then banishes her and reveals the hyenas as his minions who'll keep the other lionesses in line. Compare this to the finished film where Scar lets the hyenas into Pride Rock right after Mufasa's death, which doesn't flow as nicely. This reprise of 'Be Prepared' made it into 'The Lion King' musical as 'The Madness of King Scar' so at least it got a second chance.
An underrated cut song from an underrated film, 'Snuff Out the Light' is actually rooted in the aborted proto-'Emperor's New Groove' film 'Kingdom of the Sun.' In it, the villain, Yzma (voiced by Eartha Kitt), plots to literally blot out the sun, which she blames for aging her and destroying her beauty. This song was cut when later scripts had her simply plotting to become empress of the Inca Empire, rendering the song sorta pointless. But it was still included in the soundtrack because, hey, who doesn't want to hear Eartha Kitt sing? Also check out her other great song 'Like A Million' from the not-so-great sequel 'Kronk's New Groove.'
- 9A nice and catchy tune that illustrates Pocahontas' reluctance to getting married and her tension with her fiancé, Kocoum. While catchy, the song doesn't really serve the story well, which explains why it was cut. Plus, compare the singing Kocoum to the steely-eyed statue-like warrior in the finished film. Doesn't track well.
Rounding out our list is another Jafar song, obviously from a much earlier draft of the script. In it, Jafar has taken possession of the magic lamp and sadistically humiliates Aladdin in front of Jasmine, the Sultan, and even his mother! This guy is just evil. Take note how since this is an earlier version of the story, the Genie can grant unlimited wishes, not just three, which was reversed by later rewrites. Because of this, it wouldn't make sense to include it in the finished film, but we can at least hear it in all its diabolical glory.