Whether February 14th is your Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day, or Palentine’s Day, we here at Misanthropic Tendencies (meaning my beta fish and I) hope that it’s a day filled with love! Now let’s watch some cute, animated creatures sing about getting it on.
From Disney to Don Bluth, musical moments in animated films have provided us with some of the sweetest, saddest, and most memorable romances of all time. So grab a box of tissues, put some chocolate in your mouth, and enjoy my Top 10 Romantic Musical Moments in Animation!
10. Looking Through Your Eyes – Quest for Camelot
There is no denying that Quest for Camelot is a mess of a movie, but Looking Through Your Eyes, save for some questionable animation that doesn’t sync with the song at all, exists as the film’s bright spot. Garrett, though blind, is able to “see” Kayley through the transformative power of love. If that’s not flippin’ romantic then I don’t know what is. Plus, the song is gorgeous. Honestly, it’s too good for this movie (as is another song on the soundtrack)– The two should have gotten a divorce. Wait, that’s not very romantic, is it? Looking Through Your Eyes, you can do better! Still, Garrett and Kayley’s romantic duet made my heart swell, and that’s really all that matters.
9. Ma Belle Evangeline – Princess and the Frog
I never thought a love song sung by a cajun firefly to a star would make me cry, but hey, Disney has caused me to experience weirder things in the past. Ray’s unfaltering love for Evangeline, a distant star that he believes to be a firefly, is the definition of bittersweet. I won’t ruin the ending of Princess and the Frog for you, but if you don’t sob like a baby when you see the culmination of Ray and Evangeline’s romance, then your heart is nothing but a withered husk, and you should be ashamed of yourself. Ma Belle Evangeline is a gorgeous song sung by a bug in love, and serves as a love song for protagonists Tiana and Naveen as well. The footage is beautiful, the music is beautiful, and their love lights up the sky.
8. Eve and WALL-E’s Sky Dance – WALL-E
I don’t remember most of WALL-E, but this scene always stayed with me. From the gentle instrumentation to the stunning visuals, Eve and WALL-E’s sky dance will steal your heart. As the two adorable robots zip through space, we see Eve showing WALL-E a world he’s never known, and you can tell he loves her for it. It’s amazing how much personality this one sequence can impress upon two robots that don’t even speak, but it does so effortlessly. Plus, every time Eve kisses WALL-E and sparks literally fly I can’t help but squeal a little. Cute robots in love. Is there anything better?
7. Beauty & the Beast – Beauty and the Beast
I don’t need to explain to you how stunningly romantic this song is. The only reason it’s not number 1 is because I don’t find Belle’s relationship with the Beast particularly romantic, but the animation in this scene, combined with Mrs. Potts sweet singing, overrides my distaste for their weird love (at least, until the song is over). When the lights dim at the end and the stars twinkle outside of the castle’s grand windows, my heart aches. Beauty & the Beast creates an almost tangible sense of safety and love. Now that’s a good musical moment.
6. Kiss the Girl – The Little Mermaid
What’s more romantic than taking a twilight boat ride while surrounded by singing water fowl? Taking that boat ride with Prince Eric, that’s what. Kiss the Girl manages to be deeply romantic while maintaining a clear comedic tone, and that’s pretty darn impressive. The song is catchy, the lagoon is romantic, and even Scuttle’s squawking can’t ruin the mood.
5. Let Me Be Your Wings – Thumbalina
Let Me Be Your Wings has been one of my favorite romantic songs since I was a little girl. The melody is filled with swelling major notes while the vocals exude the excitement and reverie that comes with new love. I also adore the way Don Bluth animates human forms. The way Thumbelina lovingly caresses Prince Cornelius’ face as they fly together seems so authentic that you almost forget you’re watching two cartoon people smaller than your hand. I could watch and listen to Let Me Be Your Wings for hours and never get tired of it. This romantic moment is truly one of the greats.
4. I See the Light – Tangled
I’m a sucker for beautiful nighttime scenes in movies, so a cobalt sky filled with golden, glowing lanterns is just about the best thing for me. Add in a stunning love song sung by two characters I genuinely like and you’ve got a recipe for success. Rapunzel’s shift from being spellbound by the lanterns to being spellbound by Flynn gets me a little choked up every time. The animation is so good in this scene that you can actually see when Rapunzel and Flynn realize they love each other, making their relationship feel all the more real. Plus, Flynn and Rapunzel’s harmony as they sing together near the end of the song is just perfect.
3. Love Goes On – Robin Hood
Speaking of beautiful nighttime scenes in movies, no matter how gorgeous I See the Light is, it doesn’t hold a candle to Robin Hood’s Love Goes On. The idea of a forest hideaway filled with fireflies is absolutely my definition of a romantic destination. From the time I was little I’ve loved everything about this song and scene. I love the way neither character is singing and the music seems to be Maid Marion’s inner monologue. The lyric, “Life is brief, and when it’s gone, love goes on and on” exemplifies the feeling of being comfortably in love so well. Maid Marion and Robin Hood are kindred spirits, and they don’t need a flashy, fast-paced romance. They just want to be alone together in the quiet of the woods, as they’re love goes on and on.
2. A Whole New World – Aladdin
Oh, Aladdin, be still my beating heart! Not only is he the dreamiest Disney prince (in my humble opinion) but his carpet ride with Jasmine is one of the most romantic scenes in any animated movie. What can I say? I love everything about this scene from the song to the visuals. I love the way the orchestra swells as Aladdin and Jasmine fly into the sky, I love the way Aladdin bounces the apple off his elbow. There are just so many little details in this scene that make it so memorable and lovely. Jasmine and Aladdin are perfect for one another, and I don’t know anyone who isn’t charmed by the two of them cuddling on the carpet as it gently floats away across the water. Just tell Jasmine the truth, Prince Abooboo, you’ll be fine! Who could say no to that cute, cartoon underbite?
1. Carl & Ellie’s Montage – Up
I’m sure you all saw this one coming. The number 1 spot goes to, of course, the entire opening montage of Up. Not only does the opening capture the entire duration of Carl and Ellie’s beautiful and heartbreaking romance, but it does so with gorgeous imagery and instrumentation alone. The montage, like love itself, will make your heart both sink and soar. Up shows us a real love, one that is affected by time, money, and age. Carl and Ellie’s montage makes us cry because it mirrors our own existence, and reaffirms our knowledge that, no matter what we do, love can and will be taken from us. But it’s the memory of that love, the fact that is existed at all, that is important. Carl and Ellie’s love wasn’t perfect, but it was theirs, and they adored each other until the very end, warts and all. That is true love.
This Grill is Not a Home – Spongebob Squarepants
I figured you all might need a laugh after watching the opening scene from up. And really, is there any greater romance than Spongebob and Mr. Krabs’?
So, what are your favorite cartoon romances of all time?