Pixar may be known for its beautiful animations and heartwarming stories, but it is also known for filling its films with incredible soundtracks. While some soundtracks like The Incredibles and Inside Out are instrumental driven, others like Toy Story and Cars are jam-packed with lyric-driven songs. We’re here to look at them all and determine which Pixar songs are the most memorable.
In this list, we will only be ranking songs with lyrics, meaning tracks like the beloved “Married Life” theme from Up won’t be included. Additionally, it doesn't matter to us whether a film's song is an original or if it is a remake for the movie. And finally, each movie will be appearing only once on this list even if it has more than one solid tune.
With that said, here are the top 10 songs to be featured in a Pixar movie.
10 “Touch The Sky” (Brave)
This adventurous song from Pixar’s Brave is sung by Scottish folk singer Julie Fowlis. It plays as Merida rushes through the forest on the back of her horse, shoots arrows, climbs the edge of a waterfall, and explores the world around her.
Driven by an energetic acoustic guitar and bagpipes, it sets the free-spirited nature of Merida’s story. Though it’s not the most memorable of all the Pixar songs, it is still bursting with excitement.
9 “Le Festin” (Ratatouille)
This relaxing French ballad plays in Ratatouille during the montage that shows Linguini’s life progressively getting better. He becomes the owner of Gusteau’s, moves into a nice apartment, and develops his relationship with Colette.
The song is beautiful and winding, bringing the spirit of Paris to life as the animations play behind it.
8 “The Time Of Your Life” (A Bug’s Life)
This breezy song performed by Randy Newman closes A Bug’s Life. In a way, it is a reflection of Flik’s big adventure, with the lyrics describing his growth.
Additionally, the instrumentation, which is made up of piano, horns, and lots of soft backing vocals, gives the tune a playful feel. It's the perfect way to end such a heartwarming movie.
7 “We Belong Together” (Toy Story 3)
This credit's song rolls as new toys enter the daycare and the rest of the gang get used to living at Bonnie’s. Sung by Randy Newman, the track has the warm, upbeat feel that’s nostalgic to Toy Story fans. The scenes match the lyrics, with both focusing on friendship and bonding.
This song was Newman’s second Pixar hit to win an Academy Award for Best Original Song.
6 “If I Didn’t Have You” (Monsters, Inc.)
This tune, also created by Randy Newman, plays during the end credits of Monsters, Inc. This time, however, it is sung by Billy Crystal and John Goodman, who voice Mike and Sully respectively.
The friendship tune has a similar feel to Monsters, Inc.’s instrumental music, coming out jazzy and sentimental. It is also reminiscent of Newman’s earlier “You’ve Got A Friend In Me” piece in both sound and content, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet.
“If I Didn’t Have You” won an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2001.
5 “Remember Me” (Coco)
This nostalgic song from 2017’s Coco was penned by the husband-and-wife team best known for creating Frozen’s soundtrack, Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez. It is played throughout the film, bonding together the various generations of Miguel’s family.
A pop version of the song, sung by Miguel and Natalia Lafourcade, plays during the end credits. The tune won Best Original Song at the Academy Awards.
4 “Beyond The Sea” (Finding Nemo)
“Beyond The Sea” was a swinging love song created in 1945 by Jack Lawrence. It has been re-recorded several times and used in multiple movies, including Finding Nemo.
The credits of this Pixar film feature a slow, jazzy version of the track recorded by Robbie Williams. Being that its lyrics are about sailing, the ocean, and journeying, no song was more fitting to close out the movie. The warm horns, plucky piano, and violins are hard to forget.
3 “Life Is A Highway” (Cars)
“Life Is A Highway” started out as a song created and sung by Tom Cochrane in 1991. However, the tune gained new popularity after country band Rascal Flatts put their own spin on it for Cars in 2006.
The song plays as Lighting McQueen journeys across the country in the back of his truck, Mack. It’s full of twangy, driving guitars and powerful, rockin’ vocals.
The lyrics match the montage, comparing life to traveling down a road.
2 “You Got A Friend In Me” (Toy Story)
The aforementioned “You’ve Got A Friend In Me” is perhaps Randy Newman’s most popular Pixar hit.
This pop, country-influenced theme first established Andy and Woody’s bond in Toy Story. It is later used in Toy Story 3 during the opening credits to show Andy’s friendship with Woody slowly fading as he grows older. This same feeling is created once again in Toy Story 4, with the tune playing as Bonnie begins to choose other toys over Woody.
Did we mention that Wheezy pulls out a jazzy version of the song at the end of Toy Story 2, and Buzz and Jessie dance to a Spanish rendition at the end of Toy Story 3? Yes, it’s used a lot, and for good reason.
1 “When She Loved Me” (Toy Story 2)
No other song in any Pixar movie is quite as a sad and poignant as “When She Loved Me” from Toy Story 2. Sung by Sarah McLachlan, the song describes the close bond between Jessie and her owner Emily, that slowly wears as Emily grows older. It plays over a montage that reveals Jessie’s backstory as she details to Woody the old life she longs for.
The pop song is tender, heartbreaking and sweet. Backed by a slow piano and soft strings, the nostalgia factor is real and has probably left you crying over pieces of plastic more than once.