Disney knows that there's a time and place for everything, and when it comes to morphing its movie-musical songs into pop hits, the 90s was the ultimate time to hand over the reins to the powerhouse singers that were taking the era by storm.
But did these pop-tastic versions outdo their movie predecessors?
Christina Aguilera - "Reflection"
Who needs a genie in a bottle when you have an iconic hit from "Mulan? "
After her long run on the Mickey Mouse Club, Disney got back in touch with the teen diva to record the official single version to this favorite "Mulan" track. And she certainly took that one to the bank. The success of the song funded the rest of Aguilera’s first album that produced three No. 1 hits.
Reflect on that for a moment.
The thought that Celine Dion wasn't popular enough to record this hit as a solo track might seem absurd, but surely enough, Disney felt that the Canadian artist was far too unknown in the United States at the time to take on the task alone. Thus, Peabo Bryson came along for the ride.
This was actually the first Disney song to experience a radio-friendly pop transformation, and many say that it was responsible for jumpstarting Dion's career to stardom in the 90s.
It was a whole new world for Disney when this epic duet became the company’s first Billboard No. 1 hit to come from a film, ending the reign of Whitney Houson’s “I Will Always Love You” at the top of the charts that week in 1993.
Naturally, the song also swept up an Oscar and Grammy to add to Alan Menken's trophy shelf.
Vanessa Williams - "Colors of the Wind"
Truly a song that turned us all into nature lovers.
Vanessa Williams is more than just the stunning actress and former Miss America —- she’s also the vibrant vocalist in this Oscar-winning, Grammy-winning, Golden Globe-winning song.
Try saying that three times fast.
Michael Bolton - "Go The Distance"
Michael Bolton made a name for himself performing rock music, so he definitely went quite the distance when it came to crossing over into pop.
The real question, however, is who sang it better? Bolton on the English soundtrack, or Ricky Martin on the Spanish soundtrack? Unfortunately the world may never come to an agreement on that one.
By the way — any guess as to what song stole the Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Original Song from this Disney hit?
Tough competition in 1997, to say the least.
Pop Version or Movie Version?
Swipe right if you prefer the pop version, swipe left if you prefer the original movie version!