Randy Newman’s You’ve Got a Friend in Me is top Animated Movie Song for Radio 2 listeners

BBC Radio 2 listeners have been voting for their favourite Animated Movie Song, with Toy Story’s You’ve Got a Friend in Me coming out on top.

The Top 50 will feature in a special countdown show, hosted by OJ Borg, which airs later today from 2-5pm on BBC Radio 2. The listener vote was launched in July to mark 50 years of classic, feel-good, animated movie songs.

In the show, OJ will be joined by many of the contributors from the top songs, including Adassa, who plays Dolores Madrigal in Encanto, talking about We Don’t Talk About Bruno, Lebo M, who features in The Lion Kings’ Circle of Life and Peter Gabriel, co-writer and performer of Down To Earth from Wall-E, and OJ speaks to some of the listeners who voted.

Some of the stars who feature or created these family favourite songs, will include Elton John, Idina Menzel, Dwayne Johnson, Angela Lansbury, Randy Newman, Pharrell Williams, Justin Timberlake and Lin Manuel-Miranda.

You’ll also hear stories behind these animation anthems and find out what makes them so special and much loved.

Released in 1995 and written by Randy Newman, You’ve Got a Friend in Me, is the theme tune to the Disney/Pixar film Toy Story. The song was nominated for an Academy Award plus a Golden Globe for Best Original Song and has featured in the sequel Toy Story films. You’ve Got a Friend in Me has been covered various times by many famous names including George Jones, Michael Bublé and Rex Orange County.

OJ Borg says: “It’s blown my mind that something that started as an argument between me and my eight-year-old daughter about what was the best song in our favourite animated film, is now a full on Radio 2 vote. And the reason we were having the argument is that so many songs from these animated films are just so good. Catchy, emotional, funny, heart-breaking – and it’s going to be such fun counting down what is the best song from an animated film of the last 50 years, resplendent with interviews and memories from those that made them and of all of us who love them.”

Actor John Morris, who played Andy in Toy Story says: “I’m thrilled the song won! For me, it connects to the core and heart of Toy Story and its message. It illustrates the close friendship between Andy and his toys. On another personal note, the song is meaningful to me as I sang it for Disney on Ice which was a very memorable highlight for me earlier in my career.”

Helen Thomas, Head of Radio 2, says: “It’s no surprise that Radio 2 listeners have voted You’ve Got a Friend in Me as their favourite song from an animated film, it’s a classic feel-good song with a message that speaks to all of us. I hope the Radio 2 listeners enjoy three hours singing along to these brilliant family favourite songs which hold a special place in our hearts.”

James King, Radio 2 Movie Critic, says: “What a great winner! ‘You’ve Got a Friend in Me’ was such an instant earworm right from the first Toy Story film, it’s hard to believe that there was ever a time before we all knew it. There are no better movies about friendship than the Toy Story franchise and what Randy Newman did with this song – complete with inspiring lyrics and captivating melody – was get right to the heart of the matter. It’s two minutes of animated movie song perfection.”

Top 10 Ultimate Animated Movie Songs

  1. You’ve Got a Friend in Me – Randy Newman (Toy Story, 1995)
  2. Circle Of Life – Carmen Twillie / Lebo M (The Lion King, 1994)
  3. You’re Welcome – Dwayne Johnson (Moana, 2016)
  4. Let It Go – Idina Menzel (Frozen, 2013)
  5. Can You Feel The Love Tonight – Elton John (The Lion King, 1994)
  6. We Don’t Talk About Bruno – Adassa Beatriz, Mauro Castillo, Rhenzy Feliz, Carolina Gaitán, Diane Guerrero & cast of Encanto (Encanto, 2021)
  7. I’ll Make a Man Out of You – Donny Osmond (Mulan, 1998)
  8. Beauty and the Beast – Angela Lansbury (Beauty And The Beast, 1991)
  9. Hakuna Matata – Nathan Lane/Ernie Sabella/Jason Weaver/Joseph Williams (The Lion King, 1994)
  10. Happy – Pharrell Williams (Despicable Me 2, 2013)

Hear the Top 50 Ultimate Animated Movie Song Countdown on BBC Radio 2 with OJ Borg today 2-5pm.