In 1937, Walt Disney Studios released the animated film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” In the next eight decades, Disney films have become something of a cultural touchstone. People of all ages connect to Disney movies because of the stories they tell and because of the songs they feature.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Uplifting Disney Movie Songs for a Funeral
- Sad or Sorrowful Disney Movie Songs for a Funeral
- Disney Movie Songs About Saying Goodbye
Songs from Disney films can bring up nostalgia for those childhood days and may even gain a new significance when you listen to them as adults. Disney songs are such an iconic part of pop culture, people even sometimes select them to be played at a funeral or memorial service. Certain songs would be the perfect sendoff at the end of someone’s life as Disney funeral songs.
Uplifting Disney Movie Songs for a Funeral
An increasing number of people are moving away from traditional funerals. Many of them are instead opting for a celebration of life service. In a celebration of life, people will often wear bright colors instead of black. Attendees might share happy or uplifting tales about the deceased instead of sad and somber stories. These uplifting Disney songs would be a welcome addition to a playlist at a celebration of life.
1. “When You Wish Upon a Star” from “Pinocchio”
This short and sweet song is performed by Jiminy Cricket, who serves as Pinocchio’s conscience. It encourages people to remember that we all have the opportunity to make positive wishes and see if they come true. This can be a comforting message to people in mourning.
2. “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” from “Cinderella”
In the movie “Cinderella,” the title character remains optimistic despite her troubled circumstances. This song will remind people that good days will come again if you keep wishing and believing in something better.
3. “Once Upon a Dream” from “Sleeping Beauty”
Many of the more uplifting Disney songs deal with concepts like wishes and dreams. This tranquil ballad paints a hazy picture of two people connecting in some liminal space. The overall effect is this uplifting and tranquil song.
4. “I Love to Laugh” from “Mary Poppins”
Ever experienced one of those laughing fits where you can’t stop once you’ve gotten going? It’s that infectious laughter that spreads from person to person until you feel as though you could just float away. This upbeat song captures that fizzy, freeing feeling. This is a great song to honor someone who loved laughing.
5. “A Whole New World” from “Aladdin”
This romantic duet can also work well as an uplifting funeral song. If the deceased believed in the afterlife, it can be comforting to think of them taking in all the sights and sounds of a whole new world.
6. “Can You Feel The Love Tonight?” from “The Lion King”
When a loved one dies, many times people will focus on how empty their life feels because of the absence. Songs like this remind you to instead focus on happier times and memories when you think of those who are no longer with us.
7. “You’ve Got A Friend In Me” from “Toy Story”
This song makes a lovely sendoff for a treasured friend. It celebrates a relationship that has withstood the test of time and lasted for years. Playing it can remind mourners to keep their friends alive in their hearts.
8. “I See the Light” from “Tangled”
In this movie, the main character longs to experience life after spending her childhood locked in a tower. This song shares her experience when she finally steps into the light and sees everything the world has to offer.
9. “Let It Go” from “Frozen”
The narrator of this song has fled to live in self-imposed isolation. But despite her solitude, she is actually relieved to no longer have to hide her innermost feelings. That gives this song an unexpectedly uplifting appeal.
10. “How Far I’ll Go” from “Moana”
In this movie, a young girl is torn between the duty of ruling over her people and her longing to see and experience the world. The lyrics perfectly capture the joy of finding new horizons to explore.
Sad or Sorrowful Disney Movie Songs for a Funeral
While Disney movies are animated and largely intended for children, they can also deal with complex themes. Some of the most well-known Disney songs are surprisingly bittersweet. Here are some sad songs that would be appropriate for a traditional funeral.
11. “Part of Your World” from “The Little Mermaid”
“The Little Mermaid” is notable for being the first film in what is known as the Disney renaissance. It signaled a new era of animation from the company. The success of this song is a big reason for that. It’s a wistful look at the human world from someone who wishes she could be part of it, but can’t. This makes it a perfect fit for a funeral playlist.
12. “Just Around the Riverbend” from “Pocahontas”
In this song, the narrator struggles to reconcile her longing for adventure against safety and comfort. She can stay where she is and have a life that is relatively safe but also utterly unpredictable. Or she can continue exploring uncharted territory and find untold mysteries. Either way, she’s taking a risk.
13. “God Help the Outcasts” from “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”
In this bittersweet song, the narrator asks God to help the people in the world who haven’t been blessed with good fortune. Its plaintive message is sweet but sad.
14. “Colors of the Wind” from “Pocahontas”
This song captures the disconnect between two ways of looking at the world. Some people want to appreciate its natural beauty, while some people want to possess it and remake it in their image. It’s a perfect song for someone who appreciated the beauty in the world.
15. “Reflection” from “Mulan”
This song is performed by the movie’s title character. She struggles to reconcile her own hopes and dreams with the life that her parents and society impose on her. The message of worrying that you aren’t enough resonates with a lot of people.
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Disney Movie Songs About Saying Goodbye
Funerals and memorial services honor the life of the deceased. But they can also provide closure for those who are still living. It can be difficult to say goodbye to a person important to you. These Disney tracks are some of the best funeral songs for helping people let go.
16. “Goodbye May Seem Forever” from “The Fox and the Hound”
“The Fox and the Hound” was the last project that members of the core original group of Disney animators would be involved in. The song is an emotional goodbye from an elderly widow to the orphaned fox cub she helped raise. She can no longer protect him, and so she has to let him go.
17. “Goodbye So Soon” from “The Great Mouse Detective”
“The Great Mouse Detective” features a cartoon mouse modeled after the iconic fictional detective Sherlock Holmes. While it’s not one of the most memorable Disney movies, songs like “Goodbye So Soon” hold up well.
18. “Circle of Life” from “The Lion King”
Listening to this song can help mourners understand that “goodbye” isn’t necessarily a finality. Instead, it’s just part of the infinite life cycle that we’re all a part of.
19. “Where the Dream Takes You” from “Atlantis: The Lost Empire”
Sometimes we have to say goodbye to people when we’d rather not. Even if they’re embarking on a great adventure, we may wish they could stay with us just a little longer. This song is told from the point of view of someone who wants to go on a journey but doesn’t want to hurt people by leaving them behind.
20. “Remember Me” from “Coco”
In this movie, a young boy crosses into the Land of the Dead to try and connect with his deceased grandfather. The lyrics remind us that even after our loved ones have crossed over, their memory lives on through us.
Add These Disney Songs to a Funeral Playlist
The songs that we connect with as children can serve as a touchstone during emotionally trying times.
Even if you’re not the kind of person that would opt for a Disney-themed funeral, you may find that a Disney track fits perfectly on your funeral playlist. Whether this song is sad and sorrowful or more uplifting, it could help you set the perfect tone.