Ultimate Disney Song Bracket - 2000-Present Region

And now we arrive at the Modern Region, a.k.a. the "Let it Go" region. A handful of upsets in the first three regions have prepared me for just about anything when it comes to this voting, but "Let it Go" is the overwhelming favorite to advance to the final four out of this group. That's not to say there aren't any worthy competitors -- far from it -- it's just the reality of how ubiquitous that song was for a solid couple years (and still really is).

On to the last set of first-round matchups, with the second round slated to begin next week:

"Let It Go" (from "Frozen")


"Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride" (from "Lilo & Stitch")

"Lilo & Stitch" is my niece's favorite Disney movie, so I had to get at least one song from it into the bracket, and this one really captures the feel of the movie. But it has the misfortune of going up against "Let It Go", which might be the most-heard Disney song of all-time, despite only being a few years old. I find it amazing that Disney tried to give us a pop version of the song, when Idina Menzel's version from the movie was already perfect. I'd pay for a full-price concert ticket just to hear her sing this song live once.

"Down in New Orleans" (from "The Princess and the Frog")


"Mother Knows Best" (from "Tangled")

"The Princess and the Frog" isn't as loved as "Frozen", or even "Tangled", and to be fair it's not as good a movie as those two (and suffers for being done in a hand-drawn style compared to the computer animation of the later movies). But one thing they got absolutely right was the soundtrack. It absolutely nails the sound of New Orleans. Meanwhile, "Mother Knows Best" absolutely nails the Disney tradition of a villain singing an enticing song to the protagonist, masking his or her true intentions.

"I See the Light" (from "Tangled")


"Fixer Upper" (from "Frozen")

"Fixer Upper" is a fun song, especially to sing along to, and just made the cut as the last song in from "Frozen" over "In Summer" (so if you're a huge Olaf fan -- and you should be because he's awesome -- this is where you get angry at me). Now that that's out of the way, let's talk about "Tangled" a bit more. It is my single favorite Disney movie of all time, and this song is absolutely perfect. It makes me cry every time, and I want it to play at the wedding I'm never going to have. When I went to Disney World last November, I bought the 18x27 version of the Thomas Kinkade "Tangled" piece, which is an homage to the movie as a whole, but primarily to this scene. When I went to Disneyland in May, I bought a piece of artwork called, appropriately enough, "I See the Light" by Heather Theurer. So you know which song I'm voting for here.

"Ma Belle Evangeline" (from "The Princess and the Frog")


"That's How You Know" (from "Enchanted")

Indulge me for a moment as I spend the entirety of this section talking about "That's How You Know" and "Enchanted" in general. This song was nominated for the Oscar for Best Song, but so were two other songs from "Enchanted", so they ended up splitting the vote and all losing, which is a damn shame. I really do think this was the best one of the bunch, in part because of how well done the scene on screen was. Patrick Dempsey's incredulity at the beginning when the street performer joins in is absolutely perfect ("He knows the song too?!"), the choreography evokes multiple classic Disney movies, and Amy Adams is, well, enchanting.

"For the First Time in Forever" (from "Frozen")


"Almost There" (from "The Princess and the Frog")

It's fitting that the Disney movie with two Princesses gets an "I Want" song that's a duet (as is the reprise later in the movie). The contrast between the desires of Anna (love, freedom, basically everything she's been denied over the past 15 years) and Elsa (to literally just get through this single day) is telling, and sets the stage for how far apart they are at the start of the movie and how they eventually have to come together. Meanwhile, "Almost There" is Tiana's "I Want" song, and her desires are much more grounded, befitting the setting of her movie.

"When Will My Life Begin?" (from "Tangled")


"Love is an Open Door" (from "Frozen")

For about the past year or so (maybe a bit longer) "When Will My Life Begin?" has been my alarm clock song -- and not just because it starts with the time reference. It's Rapunzel's "I Want" song, and has that beautiful transition from the two upbeat verses to the longing, unsure third verse. The two reprises (one of which is only on the soundtrack) work incredibly well. It really is the only choice here. Also, Hans is a dick. Don't vote for the Hans song.

"I've Got a Dream" (from "Tangled")


"Barking at the Moon" (from "Bolt")

Remember "Bolt"? No, of course you don't. It came out a year before "The Princess and the Frog", and was basically the last movie before Disney's second Renaissance ("Princess & the Frog", "Tangled" and "Frozen" all came out in a 5-year span, reviving the Disney musical). "Bolt" wasn't a musical, but it did have this cute Jenny Lewis pop tune. "I've Got a Dream" is a VERY musical song, in that it features a chorus of players literally singing their desires. It really doesn't get more musical-style than that, and I love it (obviously).

"Do You Want to Build a Snowman" (from "Frozen")


"Dig a Little Deeper" (from "The Princess and the Frog")

"Do You Want to Build a Snowman" is like the "Up" of Disney songs. That first verse, especially the way it ends, is sad. The second verse leaves you a bit sadder, then out of nowhere you're hit with dead parents. By the time Kristen Bell gets out her last line, holding back tears, and the scene cuts to a devastated Elsa, you're sitting there going "I WAS NOT PREPARED TO CRY THIS MUCH THIS EARLY IN THE MOVIE!" Oh, and "Dig a Little Deeper" is also a good song, I guess (c'mon, we know which one is winning this matchup).