Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Party House Musical Numbers in Animated Movies: My Top 10 Favorites

I don’t know why but musical numbers are always more fun when there animated. Why, because they can do a lot more then what you get in live action, and when I was a kid, I obviously loved the party house songs the best. Musical numbers that were wild, colorful, over the top and energetic. So that’s what I’ll be counting down on today’s list, my favorite party house musical numbers from animated movies, and any animated movie can apply.

10. Whale Wash (Car Wash)Shark Tale

Christina Aguilera teams up with Missy Elliott to bring us an upbeat and colorful rendition of the classic song “Car Wash”. The best thing about this dance number by far is that it takes place in a work environment as opposed to a night club. I think most of us from time to time would like to imagine our jobs being this colorful and this musical. It’s got a catchy beat, a wild location and a toe-tapping Will Smith fish at center stage, I’d say it’s a perfect start for my list.   

9. It’s Tough to be a GodThe Road to El Dorado

The Natives of El Dorado may not be that sophisticated, but they sure do know how to throw a party. In this DreamWorks picture, two con men find their way in the lost city of gold, and their deception of being visiting Gods leads to one hell of a catchy song number. With lots of bright colors, lots of zany visuals, and the combined talents of musicians and song lyricist Elton John and Tim Rice. It’s a fun party number, and by animation standards it’s certainly worth adding to my countdown. 

8. Every Thing is Awesome!The Lego Movie

This is arguably one of the catchiest and thoroughly joyful songs on my list. I’d go so far as to say it’s this generations Zippity Doo Dah. Much like “Shark Tale”, this song takes place in an everyday work environment, thankfully our lead characters are the jolliest people every, and every day is a big upbeat musical number. The visuals are colorful, the environment is very active, and the lyrics are so simple that’s there bound to get stuck in your head.   

7. The girl I left behindAn American Tail: Fival Goes West

Like many songs on my countdown, I listed this one for deeply nostalgic reasons. Back when I was a kid, my friends and I were crazy about this movie, and this was always one of our favorite scenes. The whole Wild West setting and style helps it stand on its own, there’s a lot of energy in the animation, and even some creative visuals. It’s also a rare treat to have a girl lead the song, usually their only specialties are the soft quiet songs. It’s all good, toe tapping fun in this cowboy saloon.  

6. Under the SeaThe Little Mermaid

It’s about time I included and musicale number from a Disney movie, and I bet you’re not surprised I chose this one. What can I say, everything about this song just puts a big smile on my face. It’s catchy, memorable, colorful, has a fun variety different fish and it’s just a real joy to watch. I don’t know what it is about fish and party songs, but the music always seems to be the most fun when it’s in the ocean.

5. Hot Wings (I Wanna Party)Rio

We’ve seen how fish party under the sea, now let’s look at birds and how they fly with style, musical style that is. The creative minds of “Rio” certainly knew how to take advantage of their feathered leads because birds come in so many colorful shapes, sizes and there’s no limit to what they can do while flying. With Jamie Foxx and of “The Black Eyed Peas” leading this song, Anne Hathaway as an electrifying backup singer, and a night club full of colorful birds, how could I resist including “Hot Wings” on my countdown.   

4. Russian Flowers Dance (Nutcracker Suite)Fantasia

Here’s another up-beat dance number from an equally classic animated Disney movie. The dance of the Russian flowers is probably the first official party house musical number I ever saw in a movie, and boy howdy, did this ever hype me up as a kid. The colorful flower designs, and upbeat tempo of the song just matched together perfectly. The only down side is that it’s a rather short scene, in fact it’s only one minute, while most of the others are about three minutes in length. Despite that, it’s still a really fun piece from the Nutcracker Suite segment of “Fantasia”, and I’ll bet Tchaikovsky would be pleased to hear his most popular music alongside this scene.  

3. Holding out for a Hero 
      Livin Da Vi Da LocaShrek 2 

How do you like that, two party house songs right back to back. This really is one of the all time greatest dance numbers in an animated motion picture because it’s also the climax of the movie. The rhythm and pace of the tunes are matched with all the flashy and imaginative action perfectly. It always has me invested, excited and laughing the whole way.

2. Eye to EyeA Goofy Movie

Once again like “Shrek 2”, we have a big song number that also serves as the finally of the movie, except this time it’s a completely original song made for the movie, and that just makes it feel special. I remember being a little kid back in the mid 90’s, my friends and I always went nuts with this song, we’d be dancing around the room, pillow fighting, and just having a lot of fun with it. I know this technically isn’t a great A rock song, but for nostalgic reasons, I really enjoy this. It’s upbeat, it’s energized, the characters are having a lot of fun in it, and it’s personally one of my favorite song numbers from a Disney movie.  

Before I reveal my number one pick, here are some Honorable mentions:

Girls N’ Boys of Rock and Roll – The Chipmunk adventure
Everybody Wants to be a Cat – Disney’s The Aristocats
The Zing Song - Hotel Transylvania
Doo Bad Shi Doo – Disney’s Tarzan

1. Animal Circus (Firework)Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted

There shouldn’t be any surprise that the animal circus from the third Madagascar movie is number one on my list. This should be the text book definition of a party house musicale number in an animated movie, I really can’t think of any other film that had a song number featuring this much colorful imagery, this much energy and this much creativity with the overall design of the segment. Set to Katy Perry’s “Firework”, this circus is incredibly energized, visually interesting, imaginative, upbeat, and has no shortage of incredibly colorful visuals.    

                                      Party on Guys!

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