Since 2010, the Academy Award for Best Original Song has gone to a track from an animated film on three separate occasions (Toy Story 3, Frozen, Coco). While the latter two of those three are musicals, the importance of providing a strong soundtrack for animated pictures has become paramount. Try recapping The LEGO Movie without giving a nod to “Everything is Awesome.” Pharrell Williams‘ “Happy” is forever intertwined with Despicable Me 2. The list goes on.
The past several weeks have brought a number of strong contenders for Best Original Song at the 2019 Oscars. Imagine Dragons‘ “Zero,” from the Ralph Breaks the Internet soundtrack serves as a power anthem for the film’s underdog and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse boasts a Post Malone and Swae Lee track titled “Sunflower” that zoomed into the top 10 of the Hot 100.
Below, listen to some of Billboard‘s favorite original songs from animated films dating from just these past few weeks all the way back to 1981.
Note: To be included in this list, the original song had to come from an animated film that wasn’t considered to be a musical.
Imagine Dragons, “Zero,” Ralph Breaks the Internet
Post Malone and Swae Lee, “Sunflower,” Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Pharrell Williams, “Happy,” Despicable Me 2
Justin Timberlake, “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” Trolls
Randy Newman, “You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” Toy Story
Tegan and Sara ft. The Lonely Island, “Everything is Awesome,” The LEGO Movie
Counting Crows, “Accidentally in Love,” Shrek 2
Billy Crystal, John Goodman, “If I Didn’t Have You,” Monsters, Inc.
Sia, “Rainbow,” My Little Pony: The Movie
Sheryl Crow, “Real Gone,” Cars
Fifth Harmony, “Can You See,” The Star
Birdy, Mumford & Sons, “Learn Me Right,” Brave
The Shins, “They’ll Soon Discover,” The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie
Grace Potter, “Something That I Want,” Tangled
Skrillex, “Bug Hunt – Noisia Remix,” Wreck-It Ralph
Landon Pigg, Lucy Schwartz, “Darling I Do,” Shrek Forever After
Camille, “Le Festin,” Ratatouille
Don Felder, “Heavy Metal (Takin’ A Ride),” Heavy Metal