ByAllanah Faherty, writer at
Senior staff writer | Twitter: @allanahfaherty | Email: [email protected]
Allanah Faherty

Most kids who grew up in the '90s will have very fond memories for the amazing era of animated films. The Disney Renaissance especially helped to transform animated films from something seen as a genre for kids, to something more akin to works of art that adults, as well as kids, could enjoy.

Many films made during the Disney Renaissance were musicals, and recently Abi from the blog Brainfarts came up with a very clever and comprehensive Venn diagram to group many of the songs from Disney Renaissance films by type.

Abi used music from The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, Pocahontas, Hercules and Mulan, (she explains that she doesn't have Tarzan or The Hunchback of Notre Dame in her DVD collection, hence their exclusions) to make her huge and awesome diagram.

Behold, the diagram:

(To see the large version click here)

Wow, this thing is big! Let's break it down a little!

Scene-setting, I'm on a boat, and potentially offensive cultural stereotype songs:

Abi noted that Disney movies often opened with a scene setting song, here we have a scene setting song from all seven of our movies (there were two in Pocahontas, one from the English and one from the Native American view points)

Showtune, Improvement montage and sidekick songs:

Unfortunately, the Venn diagram is too large to include all of the movies in some of these groups, but I especially love that many of the movies Abi included, (excluding Mulan and Pocahontas) had a showtune number in them!

Character development and love songs:

Disney LOVES a love song, and so do we. Elton John's 'Can You Feel the Love Tonight' never fails to conjure a warm feeling in my heart. Aw, lion love.

Protagonists longing for a better life songs:

Once again we see all the films that have been included in this section. A big feature of any plot in a Disney movie includes taking steps for the main character to better their life in some way, and the longing is normally expressed through song.

Scaremongering and villain songs:

Five of the movies used in the diagram have at least one nasty villain song, with Beauty and the Beast and Pocahontas having two!

Discussion of gender roles songs

In her blog, Abi notes that she was quite surprised that so many songs fitted into this category, and that Disney had offered such "a variety of nuanced discussions of gender roles." I have to say I agree! Mulan especially has a number of strong songs with powerful messages for girls.

To read more about the diagram take a look at Abi's full blog over here.


What's your favorite type of song in Disney films?

Source: Brainfarts


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