Song of the Day #4,476: ‘You’ve Got a Friend in Me’ – Randy Newman

Continuing my countdown of every Pixar movie…

#12. Finding Dory (2016)
(up two spots from previous ranking)

Pixar’s best non-Toy Story sequel, Finding Dory worked even better the second time around.

Dory was played for comic relief, with a hint of melancholy, in the first film, but this one digs into the trauma her condition would understandably cause. The movie plays similar heartstrings as its predecessor, with Dory’s parents’ commitment to finding her mirroring Marlin’s determination to find Nemo.

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Song of the Day #4,471: ‘The Time of Your Life’ – Randy Newman

Continuing my countdown of every Pixar movie…

#18. A Bug’s Life (1998)
(up two spots from previous ranking)

When you talk about Pixar’s amazing early run, it’s easy to forget that their second film was actually pretty ordinary. A Bug’s Life certainly didn’t live up to Toy Story and was a let-down three years after that groundbreaking release.

It’s a sweet movie that feels like Pixar Lite. It’s not as laugh out loud funny or hold-your-breath exciting as its brethren, and it doesn’t have the thematic weight of the studio’s best films, but it does each of those things a little bit.

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Song of the Day #4,284: ‘Miami’ – Randy Newman

If national treasure Randy Newman releases an album, you can bet it’s going to make my list of that year’s best work. And indeed, Newman’s Trouble in Paradise is my #6 album of 1983.

Best known for the minor hit ‘I Love L.A.,’ Trouble in Paradise is a satirical exploration of hedonism and excess, with songs such as ‘My Life Is Good’ and ‘There’s a Party at My House’ showcasing some of the most despicable characters Newman has ever voiced. Of course, they’re also hilarious.

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Song of the Day #4,218: ‘We Belong Together’ – Randy Newman

Best Movies of the 2010s
#9 – Toy Story 3 (2010)

Yesterday’s film was the most recent on this list, and today’s is the oldest. Toy Story 3 just made the decade cut, premiering in 2010.

2019 provided a nice opportunity to revisit it, given the release of the fourth film in the series. The popular consensus on Toy Story 4 (before anyone saw it) was that it was entirely unnecessary because Toy Story 3 was such a perfect ending for these characters. TS4 ended up being pretty darn great in its own right, managing to find new metaphors to mine for humor and pathos, but it still paled in comparison to this masterpiece.

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Song of the Day #3,480: ‘When We’re Human (feat. Terence Blanchard)’ – Randy Newman

You don’t hear songs from The Princess and the Frog in those Disney “greatest moments” medleys. The dominant musicals of the hand-drawn era are The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Lion King and Aladdin.

But for my money, Randy Newman’s songs and score for The Princess and the Frog are as sublime as any of those classics.

That’s because the film gave Newman the opportunity to fully mine his beloved New Orleans jazz, with enough crowd-pleasing Disney sheen to make it go down easy for all ages.

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