Which Kids’ Movie Song From The Last 12 Months Is The Best?

June 17, 2014 | By Brent Almond | POP CULTURE

With the release of The LEGO Movie on DVD/Blu-Ray, it’s got me reflecting on all the great music to come from kids’ movies in the last year. Three songs in particular have delighted children and adults alike… that is, until they bored holes into our brains from repetition. I’m of course talking about “Everything is Awesome,” “Let It Go,” and “Happy.”

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During the Disney renaissance of the late-80s/90s, songs from the Mouse House’s animated films were all over the radio and the charts. “Beauty and the Beast,” “A Whole New World,” and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” all cracked Billboard’s top 10; and between 1989-1999, 15 songs from Disney films either won or were nominated for Oscars. Yet since that heyday, I don’t recall a time when songs written specifically for kids’ movies have had such an audible impact as the three in question.

So… between “Everything Is Awesome,” “Let It Go,” and “Happy,” which one is the best? Or perhaps a better question, the least annoying? I decided to break it down scientifically to give you an objective, definitive and 100% fact-based answer. I took into account several factors, then gave points for each category to reach my accurate, foolproof, final results.

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THE CHART FACTOR

Where (if at all) did the song place on the Billboard charts?

“Happy” – Hit #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100; topped 38 additional charts from all over the world. 3 pts.

“Let It Go” – Reached #5 on the US Billboard Hot 100 (Idina Menzel version); #38 (Demi Lovato version); #1 in South Korea and US Hot Dance Club Songs. 2 pts.

“Everything Is Awesome” – Peaked at #57 on the US Billboard Hot 100; #2 US Comedy Digital Tracks; #7 Dance/Electronic Songs; #11 in Ireland. 1 pt.

WINNER: With hundreds of minions at the beck-and-call of writer, producer & performer Pharrell Williams, “HAPPY” tops them all.

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THE BOX OFFICE FACTOR

These songs all came from monstrously popular films, but which one was king (or queen) of the money mountain?

“Happy” from Despicable Me 2 -  $368 million in North America; $970 million worldwide total. 2 pts.

“Let It Go” from Frozen -  $400 million in North America; $1.2 billion worldwide total. 3 pts.

“Everything Is Awesome” from The LEGO Movie – $256 million in North America; $462 million worldwide total. 1 pt.

WINNER: As the highest grossing animated film of all time, “LET IT GO”/Frozen leaves the others cold.

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THE COOLNESS FACTOR

Universally popular, played everywhere from preschools to Prii* — but which is hipper than the rest?

“Happy” – The goofy Dudley Do-Right hat notwithstanding, nobody’s more fly than Pharrell. 3 pts.

“Let It Go” – Disney’s popularity has never relied on its hipness, and here they remain squarely on brand. 1 pt.

“Everything Is Awesome” – Andy Samberg and his SNL sketch posse, The Lonely Island + lesbian twins Tegan & Sara + producer and DEVO founder Mark Mothersbaugh + LEGO = nerdgasm! 3 pts.

WINNER: Contrary to its film’s chilly premise, “Let It Go” is as mainstream as they come. Both “HAPPY” and “EVERYTHING IS AWESOME” are equally (though very differently) cool: TIE!

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THE AWARDS FACTOR

It don’t mean a thing, if it ain’t got that bling.

“Happy” – Academy Award nominee, Best Original Song. 2 pts.

“Let It Go” – Academy Award winner, Best Original Song; Golden Globes nominee, Best Original Song. And I’ll bet you a bazillion icicles it wins a Grammy as well. 3 pts.

“Everything Is Awesome” – too soon to say. 1 pt.

WINNER: If this were about awards show performances, Adele Dazeem would be a screechy last place. But for crowding the mantle, “LET IT GO” steals the show.

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THE EARWORM FACTOR

What it really boils down to is which of these could you hear again and again and again (as we all have) and NOT want to rip out your eyeballs and shove them in your ears?

“Happy” – The oldest of the three, hence the one you’ve probably heard the most. The word “happy” is repeated 56 times during the 4-minute song. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing. 3 pts.

“Let It Go” – Okay, so we’re still not counting the Oscars performance, right? While this is a indeed a finely crafted song, I’m docking points for the number of references, remakes, covers, spoofs and impromptu sing-a-longs I’ve witnessed — both online and in real life — from pretty much every preschooler and gay man on Earth. 2 pts.

“Everything Is Awesome” – In the context of the film, this serves as a brainwashing tool. It’s whole intent was to annoy. Figure in the psycho/techno beat and Andy Samberg’s nasally flow, and you’ve got one awesomely annoying anthem to conformist bliss. 1 pt.

WINNER: If I’m going to get something stuck in my ear, it might as well be something “HAPPY.”

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The envelope, please…

THE OVERALL WINNER:

Based on the tally of points given in each category, here are the definitive, unquestionably accurate results:

HAPPY  -  13 pts.

LET IT GO  -  11 pts.
EVERYTHING IS AWESOME  -  7 pts.

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Oh wait, my 4 year-old just came in — let’s see what he thinks…

Okay, apparently the real winners are LET IT GO and EVERYTHING IS AWESOME, with a slight advantage to AWESOME… because LEGO. So much for science.

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Now it’s your turn — which one is your favorite (or least hated) and why? Tell us in the comments!

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*Plural for Prius. For reals.

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5 Responses to “Which Kids’ Movie Song From The Last 12 Months Is The Best?”

  1. For me it has to be the song from Frozen notwithstanding your mathematics.

    But I’ll move on and Let It Go, so to speak.

  2. Carl Wilke says:

    I’ll admit that I haven’t seen the Lego movie or heard the song. So, between the other two, I really don’t prefer either one over the other. I enjoy your scoring breakdown. It’s spot on.

  3. Though it’s definitely much more techno than my usual taste, I find Everything is Awesome to be the most palatable. Happy is OK, but its absurd lyrics make me unhappy. At least Awesome’s lyrics are tongue-in-cheek kooky.

    As for Let it Go…let it go.

    EVERYTHING IS AWESOME.

  4. Happy by a landslide. It’s lyrics should be considered background music, they aren’t supposed to be overly intelligent. That would actually take away from the song. It’s not exactly Jackson Browne. And there’s a reason people all over the world are making their own videos to this song. It’s catchy. Before I even knew what it was or that it was supposed to be annoying (I don’t really stray too far from classic rock when I listen to the radio), I rewound the DVD to watch that 1:20 or so of Despicable Me 2 many times over. So anyway, this one got me for sure. You’re math is correct.

    Oh, and I haven’t heard Everything is Awesome or Let It Go except for Adele Dezeem’s performance at the Oscars. I’m sure the time will come, but I’m trying to put it off until it’s not popular anymore. Wish me luck.

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