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Top 10 Disney Songs That Made Us Happy Cry

VO: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Savannah Sher
While there are many sad songs from Disney movies that make us shed a tear, sometimes even the happier ones can bring on the waterworks. For this list, we’re looking at the most inspiring, uplifting, and adorable songs from Disney animated movies that make our hearts swell every time we hear them. Our list includes “When You Wish Upon a Star,” “Let It Go,” “A Whole New World,” “Circle of Life,” “Go the Distance,” and more! Join MsMojo as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Disney Songs That Made Us Happy Cry.
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Top 10 Disney Songs That Made Us Happy Cry


While there are many sad songs from Disney movies that make us shed a tear, sometimes even the happier ones can bring on the waterworks. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Disney Songs that Made us Happy Cry.

For this list, we’re looking at the most inspiring, uplifting, and adorable songs from Disney animated movies that make our hearts swell every time we hear them.

#10: “When You Wish Upon a Star”
“Pinocchio” (1940)


If there’s one song that has become emblematic of the magic of Disney, it’s this one. Originating in Disney’s 1940 film “Pinocchio,” “When You Wish Upon a Star” has gone on to represent the brand, especially because of its inclusion in the opening sequence of Disney films with their opening logos. You hear it at the theme parks, and those first few notes let you know that something wonderful is about to happen. No matter how much time goes by, our hearts can’t help but skip a beat when we hear it.

#9: “Let It Go”
“Frozen” (2013)


No matter how many times we hear this one, we just can’t let it go. “Frozen” has quickly become one of the most beloved properties in the Disney canon after being released in 2013 and its main song, “Let It Go,” soared up the charts. The fact that the singalong version on YouTube has over a billion views is a good indication of just how much people love it. It’s an empowering song about ignoring your detractors and believing in yourself, messages that just about anyone can relate to.

#8: “A Whole New World”
“Aladdin” (1992)


While there are a lot of quite sad parts in 1992’s “Aladdin,” this song is the soaring peak of the roller coaster of emotions that makes up the film. “A Whole New World” is both romantic and whimsical, with both Aladdin and Jasmine singing to each other to express their feelings. We know you know all the lyrics, and it’ll only take a couple of glasses of wine for you to belt them out with your besties. It’s the only Disney song to ever win the Grammy Award for Song of the Year and also took home the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

#7: “You've Got a Friend in Me”
“Toy Story” (1995)


Randy Newman’s ode to friendship is the first thing you hear in the opening credits of “Toy Story,” and it sets the tone for the entire film. The song is about Woody’s relationship with Andy, but it can also be applied to his friendship with Buzz that develops as the plot goes on. In the later films, the song takes on a more bittersweet note when it’s played to emphasize the growing rift between Andy and his toys, but in the first film it’s simply sweet and uplifting.

#6: “Go the Distance”
“Hercules” (1997)


Many of Disney’s most popular songs from its films hold the same message: believe in yourself and you can do anything. This song from “Hercules” is hopeful and inspirational, and the titular character sings it as he’s finding out his true destiny of being something more than what he had always thought he could be. This is the perfect song to play during a workout to urge you to just keep at it! The song snagged an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song, but considering it was released the same year as “Titanic,” is was doomed to fail. When it comes to making us happy cry, though, it more than goes the distance.

#5: “I Am Moana (Song of the Ancestors)”
“Moana” (2016)


During one of the emotional highlights of the film when Moana has nearly given up hope, she is visited by the spirit of her recently departed grandmother, encouraging her to stay the path through song. Moana then takes up the song herself, after realizing who she really is. It’s in this moment that she realizes that it will be up to her to fix the problems that have been created in her world. The song is empowering and leaves you feeling like you can do anything.

#4: “Part of Your World”
“The Little Mermaid” (1989)


Here’s another one that we bet you can sing all the lyrics to without needing a refresher. The central song from 1989’s “The Little Mermaid” is sung by Ariel and is a hopeful tune that has many humorous moments scattered throughout. It’s a classic example of an “I Want” song, which is typical in the Broadway genre, by telling the viewers exactly what Ariel aspires to. Though the lyrics apply quite specifically to Ariel’s situation, they can easily be interpreted for anyone who feels like an outsider.

#3: “You'll Be in My Heart”
“Tarzan” (1999)


This song has a slightly sadder tinge to it, as in the movie it’s played in as viewers find out how Tarzan’s parents were killed and how he came to be part of Kala’s family. At its core, though, it is a song with a loving and positive message, which is that people can love each other even against all odds. It’s one of the most touching songs in the film, not to mention the Disney canon. It even took home both the Golden Globe the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

#2: “Circle of Life”
“The Lion King” (1994)


The opening of “The Lion King” is one of the most epic in the history of film, let alone animated movies. As the sun rises over the savannah, we see all of the creatures around Pride Rock reacting to the birth of their leader’s son. The song playing in the background, “Circle of Life,” is a celebration of the natural world. It’s beautiful and unique, and even if you have to mumble through the lyrics, we know you’re going to try anyway. This song stands out among its contemporaries as something wholly unique. Another great pick from the movie, "Can You Feel the Love Tonight," picked up the Oscar for Best Original Song.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“If I Didn't Have You”
“Monsters, Inc.” (2001)

“Colors of the Wind”
“Pocahontas” (1995)

“I See the Light”
“Tangled” (2010)

#1: “Beauty and the Beast”
“Beauty and the Beast” (1991)


This love song tells a tale as old as time, of two lovers coming together despite their differences. It’s one of the most romantic songs that Disney has ever put into one of its films, and everyone can relate to the feelings relayed in its lyrics. In “Beauty and the Beast,” this song is situated in the middle of the film as Belle and the Beast finally reconcile their differences. The version in the movie is sung by Angela Lansbury who plays Mrs. Potts, and her unique voice it what gives it the warm and simple qualities that make it our favorite.
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