With new blockbuster Beauty and the Beast currently sweeping us along on a wave of emotion, what better time to present our Disney playlist?
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
No-one anticipated this to be the hit it was; indeed at the time it was seen as a massive artistic gamble for Disney that could have backfired catastrophically. That it performed so magnificently, setting the template for all future Disneys, is in large part down to the effortlessly charming soundtrack of hits like 'Whistle While You Work'.
Mary Poppins (1965)
One of Disney's most enduring classics yielded untold numbers of memorable songs, beautifully performed by lead Julie Andrews and, erm, enthusiastically by co-star Dick van Dyke, among others. Even so, it's the wistful, haunting 'Feed the Birds' that still gets us.
The Jungle Book (1967)
'I Wanna Be Like You', 'The Bare Necessities', 'Trust In Me' – by absorbing swinging sixties jazz rhythms into its family-friendly Disney framework, The Jungle Book went down as instantly iconic. The songs were also brilliantly adapted into Jon Favreau's 2016 reboot, as performed by the A-list likes of Bill Murray.
The Little Mermaid (1989)
The movie that spearheaded the Disney renaissance, much of The Little Mermaid's success can be credited to the glorious score from composer Alan Menken and late lyricist Howard Ashman, whose blend of infectious calypso and heartfelt emotion helped catapult the movie to enormous success.
We couldn't leave this one out. Adapted by original composer Alan Menken for the current live-action reboot, this enchanting and beautiful blend of show-stopping tunes and bittersweet romance flies high on a wave of magic.
The final movie worked on by Howard Ashman before he sadly passed away, this rollicking score incorporates Middle Eastern instrumentation and tones into its foot-stomping array of classic songs. Plus, it has Robin Williams singing – who could ask for more.
The Lion King (1994)
Disney favourite Menken sat this blockbuster hit out, allowing composer Hans Zimmer, along with lyricists Elton John and Tim Rice, to steer the movie towards enormous success. Zimmer's grandiose, Oscar-winning score, befitting the movie's relatively more serious themes, sits brilliantly alongside staple Disney hits like 'The Circle of Life'.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
Most underrated Disney soundtrack? We're opting for this one, a far more mature, Gothic and sweeping work befitting their adaptation of Victor Hugo's classic novel. The tragic tale of hunchback Quasimodo demands both a score and songs rich in gravitas, and Alan Menken responds in fine style.
We were all searching for our true reflection following the release of this Chinese warrior epic. Mulan is one of the finest princesses to have emerged from the Disney stable, if indeed she can be called that at all, and Jerry Goldsmith's rousingly beautiful, Oscar nominated score captures her remarkable journey in all its glory.
By the time the late-2000s had rolled around, the generation that had grown up with the Disney renaissance were hungry for nostalgia. This delightful animated/live-action hybrid was the perfect answer, both a celebration and sly send-up of the Disney brand. And who better to further reinforce that link to the past than Beauty and the Beast composer Alan Menken?
What are your favourite Disney soundtracks? What have we left off the list? Let us know @Cineworld.