This list was originally going to be a top ten underrated Disney songs list, which are basically songs that I like but wished were sung better. So when I found better sung versions of these songs, I decided to switch it into a top ten best Disney covers list and search for other covers to complete the set. With this in mind, it should be no surprise that this list includes some of Disney’s lesser-known songs. This is intentional. The entire purpose of this list is to introduce some new songs/renditions for those who love listening to Disney music, not necessarily the BEST covers ever. Now, time for some more disclaimers:
Number Nine: Just Can’t Wait to be King (The Lion King)
Views on YouTube: just over 100,000
We move on from a pop-version of Someday My Prince Will Come to a voice-over of the original Just Can’t Wait to be King as we move into this list’s number nine spot. I know this song is not one of Disney’s lesser-known–that applies to every song of The Lion King–but this perfectly catchy (even contagiously so) tune is ruined for me by the fact our supposed protagonist is singing this song!
Just hearing Simba’s voice sing those lines makes me cringe, so leave it up to Caleb Hyles to provide me with a more than listenable version of the movie’s equivalent Under the Sea/Be Our Guest number. I should also give credit to Kara Howell who does a lovely Nala in this fun-to-watch video. Hyles has a great tenor voice, comfortably reaching the high notes of Simba’s cub range. It gets a bit shouty at times, and the video is clearly not of the real recording (at least not for Zazu), but what I love about this cover is how enthusiastic Hyles is. Right from the get-go, he’s dancing around, smiling at the camera, changing characters between Simba and Zazu, acting out all the lyrics, playing the drums, and just being a kid. Takes a lot of guts to do that on a public stage like YouTube, and I think people can learn from him and have more fun while making their videos. Oh, and extra points to Hyles for covering other Disney songs, like I’ll Make a Man Out of You, Go the Distance, Let it Go, and Out There. If you like what you heard, go give his other videos a try. I know I did.