From The Lion King’s ‘Hakuna Matata’ to Frozen’s ‘Let It Go’, Encanto’s ‘We Don’t Talk About Bruno’, and Aladdin’s ‘A Whole New World’, Disney has offered us many, many hits that we’ve come to love and are so close to our hearts. Music plays a very big role in Disney movies, whether it brings something out in a character of a film, helps take the story forward, or is just a really fun song that everyone can enjoy listening to. However, Disney or musical films aren’t the only ones who’ve had success in using original songs in their films.
Many non-musical films have used original songs as a sort of introduction, during key moments in the film or during adventures, or even had characters in the movie singing the song. Plenty of these songs are underrated. Some even deserved to become hits but that is a subject we should get into some other time. Today, we’re going to talk about five songs that became popular because of their inclusion in non-musical animated films!
Sunflower – Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
There is no doubt ‘Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse’ is a wonderful film but people also fell in love with its standout track, “Sunflower” by Post Malone and Swae Lee. ‘Sunflower’ topped the Billboard Hot 100. “It also spent over a year on the chart and earned a record-tying longest top 10 run in the chart’s 61-year history (at the time of its release in 2018),” as per Billboard. What may come as a surprise to you is that it wasn’t the first choice to be included in the movie, it was the second.
“We had this idea that if he sang a song that was out of his register, it would make the audience laugh,” writers Rodney Rothman and Phil Lord revealed to Vulture. “It got a big laugh in the preview screening a year ago, but there was one problem: The song we initially used was the Donald Glover song ‘Redbone.’”
“It was critical that the song gag landed. We had a feeling it was because people knew the song, and they knew how he was messing it up,” the writers continued as per Alternate Press. The music video for the song has surpassed over 1.8 Billion views on YouTube.
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Happy – Despicable Me 2
‘Happy’ the lead single from ‘Despicable Me 2’, the sequel to 2010’s ‘Despicable Me’, reached No. 1, and Pharrell’s feel-good hit could be heard everywhere! You just can’t get Pharell’s catchy chorus –
“Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
(Because I’m happy)
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
(Because I’m happy)
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
(Because I’m happy)
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do” – out of your head.
The song, which was produced, written, and performed by Pharell, spent an impressive ten weeks atop the Hot 100. Your feet just magically start moving when you listen to the song, don’t they? You just can’t resist showing off your moves when this song plays!
You’ve Got A Friend In Me – Toy Story
Written and first recorded by Randy Newman, ‘You’ve Got a Friend in Me’ was originally written as the theme song for the 1995 animated film, ‘Toy Story’. Since then, it has become the theme song for its sequels (‘Toy Story 2’, ‘Toy Story 3’, and ‘Toy Story 4’). ‘You’ve Got a Friend in Me’ has become a major musical component for the sequels and is the franchise’s main theme. The song was nominated for the 1996 Academy Award for Best Original Song. It also received a nod at the 1996 Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song.
Accidentally in Love – Shrek 2
Accidentally in Love’ by the American rock band Counting Crows was written for the opening scene of the 2004 DreamWorks animated film ‘Shrek 2’. The song appears in the movie as the opening track and was released as a single two weeks before the movie premiered in theaters. ‘Accidentally in Love’ was commercially successful.
It peaked within the top 40 on several music charts. This included the Irish Singles Chart, where it reached number three. The song spent 10 weeks in the top 50 of the Irish Singles Chart. ‘Accidentally in Love’ was also nominated for Best Original Song at the 77th Academy Awards.
Try Everything – Zootopia
‘Try Everything’ features as a song recorded by a singer named Gazelle (voiced by Shakira) in the 2016 film ‘Zootopia’. It is a song recorded by Shakira, and written by Sia, Tor Hermansen, and Mikkel Eriksen. In the film, ‘Try Everything’ is first heard when Judy Hopps plays it on her MP3 player on the train to Zootopia and is heard again during the end credits.
The track appears on the soundtrack album to ‘Zootopia’. It was released as a single in February 2016, with the song debuting and peaking at number 63 on the Billboard Hot 100. It stood at number 26 on the Digital Songs chart.
‘Try Everything’ garnered three million US streams after the release of its official music video. It was certified 2 times platinum in the United States by RIAA for sales exceeding 2,000,000 units. ‘Try Everything’ also received a silver certification in the United Kingdom by BPI for sales of over 200,000 units. The song was a hit in various Southeast Asian Nations. It was also nominated for Best Song Written For Visual Media at the 59th Grammy Awards.