Disney Sing Along Songs Vol. 4: The Bare Necessities Review 

Theme Song by Brian Setzer and owned by Walt Disney Records

Theme Song by Patrick DeRemer and owned by Walt Disney Records

The next volume of Sing Along Songs is the best so far and is a perfect example of how the show just gets better and better with each installment. While You Can Fly was the show just finding the right style and formula, Bare Necessities is the volume that ran with it. Having a great balance of subtle and obscure songs while also giving us classic and catchy tunes something that volume 3 lacked despite the great structure. This time around our co host alongside Mr. Owl is Disney’s go to host for anything Jiminy Cricket himself. Jiminy plays the show very straight in comparison to Von Drake’s cartoony and quirky antics. While the segues are not very lively Jiminy is just so warm, inviting and charming that it doesn’t really matter. The theme this time around is purely animal based so prepare for a walk on the wild side or as wild as Disney animals can be expected to be this is Disney Sing Along Songs Volume 4: The Bare Necessities!!

The Bare Necessities

As always the title song starts us off and the song is well the iconic song from Jungle Book next to I Wanna be Like You, more on that later. This is the one song that the Sherman Brothers did not write for the Jungle Book and is the last remnant of the original version of Jungle Book that Walt scrapped. The song is a great showcasing of Baloo’s ideals and how it affects Mowgli while being entertaining by itself. It’s a song about being so in tune with your surroundings and content with yourself that life’s challenges are of no consequence and can be dealt with easily. There have been a few good covers of the song and I like the Harry Connick Jr. version a lot.

You (Are a Human Animal)

This song is actually from according to the video the Mickey Mouse Club (1950s version) where Jiminy sings about how different and special we are to the animal kingdom. It’s a catchy enough song despite the fact that some of the info is false because other animals can think it’s just we’re the only ones that for the most part have been able to put thought above instinct. Hey it was the 50s they didn’t know. The footage that is used is interesting because it shows scenes from the featurettes and compilation films like Make Mine Music and Melody Time and segments that weren’t cartoonish, but semi informative and this sense of charm and simplicity is all but vacant from modern Disney. So it is nice to see a different side of Disney.

Cinderella Work Song

This is probably my least favorite song from Cinderella. The good thing is that the song isn’t very long so we don’t have to listen to the annoying squeaking mice. It’s a simple enough song about the mice’s resolve to help Cinderella after all the crap and work Cinderella has to do and not go to the ball. Thus truly starting a cliché of animal helpers celebrated and poked fun at in Enchanted.

Old Yeller

Oh yeah!!! Old Yeller rocks!!  If you asked a child today if they knew the name Old Yeller they would probably respond with a blank expression. But if you asked someone around the age of 20 and older they would probably respond with a slight tear in their eye as they remember Disney’s most legendary sad endings to any of their films.  Well even in the late 80s Yeller was still being remembered in this video and would be how children of the 90s would be introduced to the character and film that would eventually make them cry when they saw it. The song is excellent and captures the honor and nobility and most importantly the loyalty of Old Yeller. It reminds us why dogs are considered to be man’s best friend as cliché as it is it’s 100% true. Why? Because I have had 2 dogs over the years that were the same breed as Yeller and one is still around and she’s a good dog.

Figaro and Cleo

The next song is just simply cute. It tells the tale of Figaro and Cleo’s friendship. The footage isn’t shown from Pinocchio, but rather a short I’m not familiar with because of the owner changes that Figaro and Cleo have had over the years. While originally Gepetto’s pets in Pinocchio the characters have moved around and as far as House of Mouse is concerned Figaro is now Minnie’s cat. A cute little song about the friendship between a cat and a fish.

Winnie the Pooh

Do I even need to talk about this? We all know how the song goes right? This song is absolutely perfect with its introduction to the unforgettable and sweet characters of the 100 Acre Wood. This is the Pooh theme song that has been used virtually all the time. It is a classic in every sense of the word! You can catch the latest version in the awesome and vastly underrated Winnie the Pooh 2011 out on DVD and Blu Ray now. Sorry for the ad, but it’s that good!

I Wanna Be Like You

Jiminy directs us back to the world of the Jungle Book with arguably the catchiest song in the film. The song is catchy with great performances by the King of Swing Louis Prima and Phil Harris and let’s face it Louis Prima probably isn’t acting and he is just being himself and having so much fun as King Louis. After all they have the same name!

Look Out for Mr. Stork

Another song from Dumbo. Man Moviefan must be happy about this. Pretty much the opening song to Dumbo. The storks pretty much have a parachuting operation in the circus by having the babies parachute in. All the babies except for Mrs. Jumbo’s and if you don’t feel bad for her you have no soul. A solid song with cute visuals obviously because of the babies being delivered.

Ev’rybody Wants to be a Cat

Without a doubt the best part in the otherwise bland Aristocats. The song is catchy and just flat out cool. The best part is the ending where they all hop on the piano and it crashes through the floor and they march out of the building still playing their broken instruments into the night. That’s cool.

The Ugly Bug Ball

The finale song is pretty odd, but it’s a Sherman Brother’s song from the film Summer Magic. The song is pretty catchy and the show has footage of bug related cartoons. An odd selection, but it works for some reason.

The Bare Necessities Reprise

As the tradition states the title song is a reprise. It’s a solid reprise of a really good pick for a title song!

Final Thoughts

This volume is great. All the songs including the obscure ones are memorable and they all fit the animal based theme. The selection is great and the structure of the show is nailed. Things only get better from here folks. Join me next time where the Mr. Owl saga continues with Volume 5: Fun With Music.

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