We’ve all had the original songs from the Disney movies stuck in our heads forever. For anyone who has seen the Disney version over and over again, that must be certainly the case. Some of the biggest hits from the animated and live action films have also been adapted to Broadway. These theater adaptations typically add a few songs just for that particular production. So here’s one song from each Broadway play and where it fits into the narrative of the play.
“Me” is sung (mostly) by Gaston and Belle in Beauty and the Beast. After her father Maurice leaves for an invention fair, Belle is left alone at the house. Gaston arrives and sings to Belle that she is about to become some “He-Man’s” property, and proceeds to describe Belle messaging her feet while several “strapping young boys” play with the dogs in a rustic cabin. To Gaston, getting married is evitable. Belle responds at the end with “I just don’t deserve you,” and when Gaston still doesn’t get it, she says, “But thanks for asking.”
“They Live in You” is sung by Mufasa in the Lion King. After Mufasa rescues the reckless Simba and Nala from graveyard, he tries to instill in Simba more respect for his surroundings. He sings about how the old kings of the Pride Lands live in “you,” “me,” “the creatures,” even his “reflection.” Later on, an adult Simba (who ran away after his father died) reunites with Rafiki, who sings that “He” (meaning his father) “lives in you” even though his father is dead. At the end, Simba sings that “he lives in me.”
“Practically Perfect” is sung by Mary Poppins, Jane and Michael in The Hunchback of Norte Dame – just kidding, Mary Poppins. Soon after the father tears up the note that Jane and Michael make for the perfect nanny, Mary Poppins arrives and goes to the children, singing how she is “practically perfect” with no faults, proper and not too harsh or mean. The children are slowly won over and even at the end, when they protest to be told to clean up, Mary Poppins sings to them that she is not “fair” but that her aim that both of them be “practically perfect”, like her.
“I Want the Good Times Back” is sung by Ursula near the beginning of The Little Mermaid. Ursula sings about how she used to be given half the sea, but admitted she ruled ruthlessly, and for that she was banished. Obviously unhappy about being dethroned, she sings about wanting to rule again, eating and maiming anything she wants. She turns her sights to Ariel, who she believes will take the throne, and tells her minions Flotsam and Jetsam to watch her closely.
“A Million Miles Away” is sung by Aladdin and Jasmine in Aladdin. After Aladdin rescues Jasmine in disguise from the soldiers outside the palace, they find themselves in Aladdin’s poor hideout. Aladdin asks Jasmine, “Have you ever imagined what it would be like to take off and never look back?” Jasmine agrees, and he sings about joining a caravan and vanishing into the night, where they’ll be “a million miles away.” Jasmine agrees and they sing together about leaving on a ship. Jasmine and Aladdin find themselves bonding over their shared desire to go away and never come back.
These songs, while not in the original movies, are still insanely catchy and bring more depth to the story. They are awesome additions to the Broadway plays and fit right in alongside the original classic songs. All of the songs are available to listen to on youtube and itunes and spotify.