The Walt Disney Company is responsible for some of the most recognizable music of the 20th and 21st centuries. From “When You Wish Upon a Star” to the recently Oscar-nominated “How Far I’ll Go”, they’ve put out so many great albums, and have more platinum albums (20, according to the RIAA search function) than Led Zeppelin (18), Madonna (17), or Bob Dylan (15). Kids around the world learn the lyrics to their favorite songs, from their favorite movies– every girl knows the feature song for their favorite princess, at least.
But that’s not what we’re talking about.
A John Williams Moment is a moment in a film that is carried by the music. The last time I talked about these, I talked about the man himself, and that was easier to some extent. That’s because John Williams moments are generally not musical numbers (there will be some exceptions in the list, but bear with me for now). Disney, on the other hand, is the champion of the movie musical, more so than most other studios. This means that many moments of high emotional impact are sung– “Let it Go”, for example, or “Part of Your World”. That’s not a John Williams moment. Luke looking out at the binary sunset contemplating his future and dreams, that’s a John Williams moment. But given this is Disney, some of the following “moments” are more full scenes/sequences. Here are what the rules will be:
- It has to be something that Disney put their name on. This list will not have PIXAR (they deserve their own list), LucasFilm (kinda covered that in the last post), Marvel (they don’t really have great scores), or Touchstone pictures.
- If there is singing, it will not be by a named character (that is, one named on screen), at the very least. Disney has some great choral scores and I want to recognize that tradition.
- There will be some live-action, a lot of animation, and one from the park. That’s not really a rule, more of a statement.
As before, this will be in chronological order, because my brain hurts just picking only 15.