He didn't waste much time, though — nor could he afford to, as the special packed in well over 20 performances from the comfort of each superstar's home. From a surprise performance from Beyonce to a High School Musical reunion, these were the best moments from the show.
Auli'i Cravalho "How Far I'll Go"
Prior to singing her heart out, Auli’i Cravalho, the voice of Moana, chatted over FaceTime with host Ryan Seacrest, telling him that her song of choice, “How Far I’ll Go,” is “really relatable and inspiring during these times. It’s about feeling stuck where you are but wanting more from life and dreaming about the future.” She then gave a soaring vocal performance on a split-screen with the animated Moana, all while delivering similar facial expressions and fully embracing the gravity of the film’s pivotal moment.
Beyonce — "When You Wish Upon a Star"
In what was arguably the biggest surprise of the night — if not of the entire quarantine thus far — Beyonce delivered a filtered selfie video and jaw-dropping performance of this timeless track from Pinocchio. “I’m very honored to be a part of the Disney family,” she said before diving in. Accompanied only by a piano — and keeping the camera tight on herself without offering any glimpse of her home (sorry to us all) — she proceeded to sing so delicately that for those few moments everything felt lighter. “Please hold on to your families tight, be safe, and don't give up hope,” she ended by saying. “We’re going to get through this, I promise.”
Darren Criss — "I Wanna Be Like You"
The singer-actor selected what he called a less obvious choice, performing “I Wanna Be Like You” from The Jungle Book. After introducing the song by inviting viewers to “monkey around” with him, he got down to business playing the box drum, two different guitars and also accompanying himself on four-part harmonies. All the while, he boasted his impressive Disney wardrobe that included a Mickey Mouse cardigan and the all-time-classic Disney Mouseketeer hat. And even though at one point nine different angles of Darren Criss filled television screens in homes across the country — it still didn’t feel overdone.
Christina Aguilera — “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”
Wrapped up in a Mickey Mouse blanket, a cozy-looking Christina Aguilera (accompanied by her snoozing dog) performed this love song from The Lion King and took it to new heights — both vocally, and in terms of intention. Though she left the talking to Tracee Ellis Ross, who introduced her, Christina didn’t need to say much more as her stripped-down clip delivered a strong message on its own with lyrics like, “The world, for once, in perfect harmony” — a much-needed reminder to look out for one another, now more than ever.
Thomas Rhett — "Do You Want to Build a Snowman"
Sandwiched between two of his daughters, Willa Gray and Ada James, Thomas Rhett spoke-sang this Frozen favorite. While Willa Gray (who was dressed as Elsa) and Ada James (who was dressed as Anna) offered some slight backing vocals, the two really came in to play when it was time to let it snow: they reached inside their buckets and released handfuls of white confetti into the air — and all over their dad.