Disney TV Animation Songs That Are Way Better Than They Need To Be

I’ll never complain that part of my job requires watching a plethora of content from Disney Television Animation, including all the series currently running (read: creating new episodes) on Disney Channel and DisneyXD. There are even occasions when others join me in these efforts, and we find ourselves getting engrossed in the stories and adventures. In some cases, jamming to songs that – as one of these individuals has said – “slaps way harder than it needs to.” Thus, prompting me to make a list of songs from these shows that, without such eloquent phrasing, are way better than they need to be. Songs that could get radio play or be heard not necessarily within the context of the show it comes from.

It was actually a song from one of the newest series in the Disney TV Animation pantheon that inspired this list. After the initial viewing, it got stuck in my head and then repeated again as others came to hear what was playing. Heads started to bob back and forth and by the end of the short tune, multiple people were repeating the hook.

The song comes from Kiff, and tells the tragic and all-too-familiar tale of Candle’s budding friendship with Trevor that was ruined via the longest text message that she could have possibly sent. Or, as it is known in Table Town (and now my household), a “Chunky Text.”

The song has been called both “a bop” and “a banger” and is quite catchy regardless of the context of the show. The fact that each of us has also sent that chunky message that was like a text from Mom but longer makes the song that much more relatable, and keeps us jammin’.

However, Kiff also serves up another hit that is a little heavy on the exposition at first but jumps into a tune that is sure to stick with the next generation. And, it served it up for Brunch. Arriving in the third episode of the series, personally speaking, this tune is what got my attention and it was then that I knew this new series was something different.

Barry’s older brother Harry has been skipping school to try his hand as Table Town’s newest Brunch DJ, DJ 11:30. However, he gets caught skipping class and Kiff tries to help save his education. After all, how can you tour the world and back if you can’t locate the world on a map? By the second half of the song, we’re sympathetic to the cause and singing along to this auto-tuned animated anthem.

I’m sure some will be quick to point out the dance off song from “Principal Dance Socks” but that one is so heavy on the plot of the episode, you can’t jam without knowing the context. If that’s on your playlist though, it’s still a great choice.

Another series creating catchy radio-worthy bops is The Ghost and Molly McGee, currently in its second season on the network, there is a much wider net to cast for tunes in this series which has a song in nearly every 11 minute episode. However, one of the catchiest ditties comes from one of the latest episodes where we see Brighton’s most popular influencer, Andrea Davenport, suddenly caught up in a bit of an identity crisis where she needs to “rebrand rebrand” to keep her follower count high.

Now that I’ve posted this, I look forward to the feedback that I chose this one over “Dance With Me” from Dance Dad Revolution, which is still great (if only for it’s outstanding beat), but I personally think it’s better visually in context than as a standalone song.  However, there is no arguing that there is one song from the first season of the series that could potentially light a musical-theater firestorm that could take down Hamilton.

Add to it that Kelsey Grammer (Frasier) guest starred as Abraham Lincoln and provided his own vocals to this tune, and it makes it that much better. Plus, fans who have listened to the digital album on platforms like Spotify are also treated to a bonus line that was not featured in the episode (or the video above), channeling similar thoughts of the aforementioned musical, Lincoln/Grammer can be heard saying “Take that, Hamilton!”

Over in Big City, the setting of Big City Greens, several songs can be heard throughout the series, but most will likely think of this song which literally tells you not to listen to the lyrics, but to enjoy the catchy hook.

That said, this isn’t my choice for the song that is way better than it needs to be. For that, we check out a different performance from the same episode of the series. Under the guise of a karaoke night, each member of the Green family heads up and performs a jaunty tune (or wildly catchy EDM track), and it’s Bill’s that might be the very best. Performed as a ballad and ode to his pickup truck, the infamous Kludge, I can almost guarantee that if you slipped this into heavy rotation on certain radio stations throughout the country, listeners would never know this is from a Disney Channel animated series.

Others might think of the Halloween theme song that was first heard in the premiere of the third season of the series (“Squashed!”) emanating from a Halloween toy, but it is so close to an already catchy spooky-season anthem, that I’m only mentioning it (and featuring a video prominently below).

If I’m in the realm of honorary mentions, I’d be remiss to not mention at least one song from Hamster & Gretel. If nothing else, it’s a fun word association game because it's the first thing I think of when I even hear the title of the show spoken aloud. It’s that catchy tune about that traditional family dish – Ropa Vieja.

I’ve had other friends point out the instrumental theme of Gravity Falls for this list, and I even thought of The Owl House for a brief moment, but if we’re introducing theme songs into the mix, then no themes slap harder than the opening theme for Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur.

I was first introduced to the theme while at Disney California Adventure and thought “what is this?!” as my head started bobbing. A thought that was echoed by countless guests at the park when the show first debuted, and a star-studded cavalcade took place as the brilliant and catchy theme played overhead. You can check out that magical moment below.

I briefly mentioned Gravity Falls and The Owl House, both with very intense fandoms and I feel that there is another sect who I will break my “currently active” rules for since the show ended relatively recently in the grand spectrum of things. So let’s take a quick journey through the music box to Amphibia. I wait for the emails on this one, but looking at the “Battle of the Bands” episode, I would take Sasha’s “Heartstomper” over “No Big Deal” any day. “No big deal” absolutely has its fans, but “Heartstomper” is the one that I think can stand on its own, and I predict in the not-too-distant future, the younger generation who fell in love with the show will grow into their talents and post videos of them singing this song or covering it at a local pub.

It’s like The Lion King. Everyone loved “Hakuna Matata” or “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” but it’s “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” that Elton still performs at his concerts decades later. That’s Amphibia and “Heartstomper” to me.

The newest animated series on Disney Channel, Hailey’s On It! is also heavy on the music, and with a great selection of catchy tunes, there are plenty to choose from. However, with composer and songwriter Matthew Tishler on board for the show and his heavy KPop background, it’s no surprise that “I’ll Never Lose You Baby” is the standout selection from this series. If it weren’t for the fun idea (in the animated series sense) of Hailey losing her infant twin brothers at the Seoul-m8s concert (get it? “I’ll never lose you baby” – when she loses the babies amongst the crowd (its okay, it took me a second too)) then I honestly would have thought this song was lifted from the radio.

Again, a group of fans will likely flood my inbox if I didn’t mention “Born For This,” which is masterfully performed by Auli’i Cravalho, and serves as a sort of anthem for the show after being in the first episode, though not serving as the theme.

For more about the music of Hailey’s On It! Check out my interview with Matthew Tishler below.

What do you think? Did I miss any tunes from the currently active animated series on Disney Channel that are way better than they need to be? You can catch Kiff, The Ghost and Molly McGee, Big City Greens, Marvel’s Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur, and Hailey’s On It! On Disney Channel and on Disney+, where the full series of Amphibia can also be found.

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Tony Betti
Originally from California where he studied a dying artform (hand-drawn animation), Tony has spent most of his adult life in the theme parks of Orlando. When he’s not writing for LP, he’s usually watching and studying something animated or arguing about “the good ole’ days” at the parks.