10 Most Bizarre Musical Sequences in Animated Movies

For the past 100 years, from the late 1920s, the first synchronized sound cartoons were released

Disney were early on the creative journey with Steamboat Willie. In the following decades, animation and music would continue to go hand in hand, as animators could make their drawings perfectly match any sound. Once animated films hit the market, their musical sequences often became the most memorable parts.

Of course, memorability doesn’t always come for the right reason. Sometimes it can be because the music and the animation are truly spectacular, but it can also be due to poor pacing, or the movie has no other musical numbers up to this point. Sometimes it’s not a matter of quality, but just how strange the animators make the sequence.

‘Dumbo’ – Pink Elephants on Parade

After visiting Dumbo’s mother, Timothy leads Dumbo to some water to cure him of the hiccups. Unbeknownst to them, the clowns had been having a celebration after their performance and had spilled some champagne into the water tub. So when Dumbo and Timothy take a drink, they quickly become intoxicated and delight when Dumbo begins blowing bubbles from his trunk.

That is until the bubbles turn into elephants of all shapes, colors, and sizes. What follows is a trippy scene of elephants dancing, skating, turning into realistic human eyes, and everything in between before ending in a chaotic explosion. Although the scene is iconic for how zany it is, in recent years it has come under flack due to the depiction of intoxication in a kids’ film. For its stark depiction of bullying to the “Pink Elephants on Parade” sequence, many consider Dumbo to be one of the scariest animated Disney movies of all time.

‘Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure’ – I Never Get Enough

Before Toy Story, legendary animator Richard Willaims helmed an adaptation of Raggedy Ann that saw her and her brother, Andy, try to rescue their owners’ newest toy, who had been kidnapped by pirates. They meet a lonely camel with wrinkled knees and fall into a taffy pit. There, they encounter the Greedy, a sentient mass of sweets always eating himself.

As the toys try to escape, the Greedy sings about how he cannot feel satisfied until he finds a sweetheart. During the song, he constantly shifts and transforms as he devours confections of all kinds. While the sequence is a triumph of hand-drawn animation, it’s ultimately pointless to the rest of the story and is never referenced again once they leave.

‘Ferngully: The Last Rainforest’ – If I’m Gonna Eat Somebody

This animated musical by ex-Disney animator Bill Kroyer has a number of memorable songs. However, the weirdest and most inconsequential has to be when Zak, after being shrunk down by the fairy Krysta, bumps into a lizard voiced by rapper Ton Loc. The lizard then spends a minute chasing him down while singing a song about how much he wants to eat him.

Along with being so short, the song has no bearing on the plot. The point of the scene was for Zak to realize he is tiny, but did we need a random lizard who seems way too into eating new things to do that? The lizard also never appears again after this scene, which further adds to the song’s pointlessness.

‘All Dogs Go to Heaven’ – Let’s Make Music Together

While the ’80s are considered Don Bluth’s golden age for movies, All Dogs Go to Heaven hinted at the downward trend of the following decade. When Charlie and Anne-Marie are about to be eaten by King Gator, Charlie lets out a desperate howl that delights the reptile. Instead of killing them, he invites Charlie to sing with him.

The scene does serve a purpose since King Gator saves Charlie in the climax. However, the musical sequence comes so out of left field, especially with the lighting changes and the giant clam that rises from the water. The scene even inspired a trope on the website TV Tropes, called “Big Lipped Alligator Moments”.

‘Freddie As F.R.0.7’ – Evilmania

In 1992, director Jon Acevski released one of the strangest animated movies ever made. It centers on a magical French prince who is turned into a frog by his evil aunt, somehow grows to human size, and lives into the modern day. Now a member of the French Secret Service, he goes to London to help the British reclaim their missing historical monuments.

If this wasn’t scatterbrained enough, midway through the movie, Freddie’s aunt, who is now a snake, sings a song about how evil she is. Backing her up are the minions of her evil organization, including Nazis and KKK members. It’s a trippy and confusing scene that has no bearing on the plot, but you’ll certainly never forget it.

‘Tom and Jerry: The Movie’ – What Do We Care

The 1993 Tom and Jerry film is a hodgepodge of bizarre decisions. Along with giving the silent duo voices and making the story about a runaway girl looking for her father, the success of the Disney Renaissance and the performances that go with them convinced the filmmakers to add seven musical numbers. As such, the songs feel out of place and arbitrary in several scenes, with the worst sung to Tom by random alley cats.

After Tom wanders into their territories, the cats surround him and sing about how much they hate nice things and like being mean. Afterward, Jerry drops them down a manhole, and they never appear again. Functionally, the scene is meant to make Tom and Jerry like one another, but the song is disconnected from this.

‘Once Upon a Forest’ – He’s Back

Had it come out any other decade than the ’90s, Once Upon a Forest might have been a halfway decent kids’ movie. It’s paced well for a children’s adventure film, handles its environmental message maturely, and even got Phantom of the Opera star Michael Crawford to sing. However, the success of Disney influenced some decisions that don’t work overall.

The most glaring of these moments involves a precession of gospel-singing birds holding a funeral for a baby bird who is still alive, but stuck in the mud. The Furlings free him, which causes the birds to burst into song before leaving. The scene still serves the plot, as the leader gives the Furlings advice, but even the characters seem flabbergasted by the singing.

‘We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story’ – Rollback The Rock

An eccentric millionaire from the future decides to spread joy in the past by making four prehistoric animals intelligent and dropping them in the middle of New York City. They meet two children who agree to help them get to the Museum of Natural History by disguising them in a parade. It almost works, until the tyrannosaur, Rex randomly decides to break into song.

“Roll Back the Rock” isn’t that bad of a song. It has a catchy chorus, and John Goodman has a good singing voice. The problem is that there’s no reason for it; the movie is not a musical, and in context, Rex blows their cover and leads to a mass panic because he wanted to sing to some kids and jump on a Spider-Man balloon.

‘Titanic: The Legend Goes On’ – Party Time

Often ranked as one of the worst movies ever made, this Italian-made film is a fantastical retelling of the sinking of the Titanic. Using atrocious animation, it tells a plot that is very similar to James Cameron’s movie, just with a rich man and a poor woman instead of the other way around. It also rips off An American Tale by including an immigrant mouse family.

During one scene, a dog rescues the little mouse-boy from some cats before bursting into song. But not just any song — a rap complete with modern clothes and a boom box, with the mice providing backup instrumental music. It’s pointless, poorly edited, and in very poor taste to such a real-life tragedy.

‘Ice Age: The Meltdown’ Food – Glorious Food

Out of all the characters to give a song to in the Ice Age series, a committee of vultures was an odd first choice. Ever since informing the animals of a boat that can save them from an imminent flood, the vultures have been hovering alongside the herds, making quips and waiting for someone to die. Otherwise, they don’t interact with anyone but each other.

That is until Cid the sloth asks what the vultures are thinking while silently waiting. This prompts them to break into a rendition of “Food” from Oliver! and actively try to kill the characters with rock slides, before going back to observing. Ultimately, it just serves as a random reference for fans of the musical.


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Michael P
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