Skip to main content

A Whole New World: Looking Back At Disney’s Charting Songs, Including Some Magical Hits You Probably Forgot About

Aladdin and Jasmine flying on a magic carpet
(Image credit: WDAS)

While the song says that “We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” the truth is that a lot of people are actually talking about Bruno right now. Bruno is a huge star right now, as the song from Disney’s Encanto is the biggest hit on the music charts that Disney has seen in years. 

But the Walt Disney Company has been making movies with music for almost 100 years, and in that time, it's had more than a few musical hits. We all remember recent successes like “Let it Go,” but there are a lot more Disney songs that have done well on the charts, Here are several of the songs that have made it into the Billboard Top 10 over the years. (Full disclosure, there isn't a Disney song that stopped at third place, hence why there's no #3 on this list.)

 “Surface Pressure” Encanto (No. 10, 2022)

Bruno may be the song that is leading the charge from Disney’s newest animated movie, but the fact is that the entire soundtrack is a hit. The same week that “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” nearly made it to the top of the charts, “Surface Pressure," sung by Jessica Darrow as Luisa, made it to number 10. 

 "This is Me" Camp Rock (No. 9, 2008)

Not every musical hit from Disney has come from a major theatrical release. Demi Lovato got their start thanks to the Disney Channel musical movie Camp Rock, and the anthem “This is Me," sung by Lovato and Joe Jonas, became their first musical hit, peaking at number nine.  It's a beautiful song, even if it's difficult to hear it now knowing that the filming experience was awful for Lovato

“Beauty and the Beast” Beauty and the Beast (No. 9, 1992)

Celine Dion is a household name and global superstar now, but she wasn’t nearly as well known in 1992 when she joined Peabo Bryson for the pop version of the title track from Beauty and the Beast. The version of Angela Lansbury is equally iconic, and arguably better, but this is the version that became a radio hit.

 "Let’s Get Together" The Parent Trap (No. 8, 1961) 

The earliest song on this list is a duet between Haley Mills and Hayley Mills in Disney's original The Parent Trap. It’s  the highest charting song written by brothers Richard and Robert Sherman for Disney, who would also write the music for Mary Poppins, as well as numerous other Disney movies and theme park attractions.  

"Life Is A Highway" Cars (No. 7, 2006)

This is only tangentially a “Disney song,” as it’s actually a cover, but the Racal Flatts version of the Tom Cochrane song that was recorded for the Cars soundtrack made it to number seven on the billboard charts.  The song has been covered many times, but for the generation of kids that made Cars a hit, "Life is a Highway" is a Rascal Flatts song.

"What Time Is It?" High School Musical 2 (No. 6, 2007) 

Disney struck absolute gold with the High School Musical movies. They were massive films for the Disney Channel, and the first two so big that the third movie actually got a theatrical release. They made stars of Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens and more. The soundtracks were also big successes, and the second movie in the series scored a Billboard hit at number six with the song “What Time Is It?” 

"Let It Go” Frozen (No. 5, 2014)

“Let it Go” is, by some more subjective measures, perhaps still the biggest song in the history of Disney. It’s difficult to undersell just how huge this song was. When it came to the music charts, it did really well. This is the highest-charting song from a Disney animated movie sung by the voice actor, rather than being the “pop” version designed for radio. 

 "The Climb" Hannah Montana: The Movie (No. 4, 2009)

Miley Cyrus is certainly no stranger to the Billboard charts today, but before she was Miley Cyrus, she was known to Disney fans as Hannah Montana, and it was part of Hannah Montana: The Movie that the single “The Climb” was released.  The song became Cyrus' biggest hit to date. 

"Breaking Free" High School Musical (No 4. 2006)

The original High School Musical would spawn two sequels and eventually a Disney+ TV series, but it would also result in another number four hit for Disney in the song “Breaking Free.”  This was probably the point where Disney realized this movie had franchise potential.

 “Colors of the Wind” Pocahontas (No. 4, 1995) 

Pocahontas is a movie that hasn’t aged as well as many of the films from Walt Disney Animation Studios, but the movie will never be entirely forgotten, if only because the song “Colors of the Wind” was a solid hit, hitting number four on the Billboard charts. The song is a popular choice for covers when artists start singing Disney songs. 

“Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” The Lion King (No. 4, 1994) 

Before Frozen became the animated Disney movie by which all others are judged, there was The Lion King. The movie was something of a surprise hit, with even those within Disney not necessarily expecting the movie to become the blockbuster that it did. The music from Elton John certainly helped, and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” became one of Disney's biggest love songs. 

"We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” Encanto (No. 2, 2022)

And now we can talk about Bruno. As of this writing, “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” is number two on the Billboard charts, only one slot away from the very top. It’s hard to disagree with the hype surrounding it; the song is catchy as hell. It’s not only one of Disney’s biggest musical hits, but it's a huge milestone for Lin-Manuel Miranda as well, and that’s saying something.  

"All For Love" The Three Musketeers (No. 1, 1993)

Disney’s live-action The Three Musketeers absolutely feels like a movie that the world forgot, which is amazing considering the cast was absolutely incredible, at least for a family friendly adventure movie from the early ‘90s. The star power continued into the movie’s soundtrack, which included the song “All for Love” sung by Rod Stewart, Bryan Adams and Sting, which is like the holy trinity of '90s adult contemporary music.  

“A Whole New World (Aladdin’s Theme),” Aladdin (No. 1, 1993)

The only other song to hit number one on the Billboard hot 100 from Disney has been “ A Whole New World” from Aladdin. It’s once again a Peabo Bryson duet, though this time he sings with Regina Belle. It's Disney's biggest musical hit from an animated movie, which is part of why you'll likely hear it on every Disney playlist and all over the theme parks.

Some of these are songs so iconic that that you can’t think about Disney without hearing them in your head. Some of these, it’s possible, you’ve never heard before. But each one is a good song in its own way. What the next big Disney hit song will be is anybody’s guess. It could be something from the next big animated musical or something from a Disney+ original series. We shall see... or hear, rather.

Dirk Libbey
Dirk Libbey

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.