You've Got a Friend in Me

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"You've Got a Friend in Me"
You've Got a Friend in Me cover.jpg
Single by Randy Newman and Lyle Lovett
from the album Toy Story (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
ReleasedApril 12, 1996[1]
LabelWalt Disney
Songwriter(s)Randy Newman
Producer(s)Don Was
Randy Newman singles chronology
"It's Money That Matters" / "Falling in Love"
"You've Got a Friend in Me"
"We Belong Together"
Lyle Lovett singles chronology
"Don't Touch My Hat"
"You've Got a Friend in Me"
"Private Conversation"

"You've Got a Friend in Me" is a song by Randy Newman. Used as the theme song for the 1995 Disney/Pixar animated film Toy Story, it has since become a major musical component for its sequels, Toy Story 2 (1999), Toy Story 3 (2010) and Toy Story 4 (2019) as well as a musical leitmotif throughout the whole Toy Story franchise. The song was nominated for both the Academy Award for Best Original Song and the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, but lost both to "Colors of the Wind" from Disney's Pocahontas.

Like many other Disney theme songs, "You've Got a Friend in Me" has been covered numerous times. Cover versions featured in the first three Toy Story films include a duet with Newman and Lyle Lovett in Toy Story; a diagetic instance by Tom Hanks, a version by Robert Goulet and an instrumental by Tom Scott in Toy Story 2, and a Spanish language version by the Gipsy Kings in Toy Story 3.

In Toy Story[edit]

The song is played during the opening credits for Toy Story, Toy Story 3, and Toy Story 4, establishing the importance of Woody and Andy in the first film and the importance of all his toys in the third and fourth. Toy Story 3 also uses it for irony and dramatic effect, as the opening credits hark back to the first film and the song abruptly fades out with "And as the years go by, our friendship will never die", before showing that Andy's remaining toys in the present day are boxed up and unused. When they were unused, Andy was 17 years old. In Toy Story 4, the song is heard during the opening montage, that features Andy playing with Woody, giving him to Bonnie as a teenager, and Bonnie playing with him, but soon starting to neglect him.

In two sequels, the song is listened to by the characters as part of the story, as cover versions done at the end of the film for thematic reasons: at the end of Toy Story 2, the character Wheezy starts to sing it to the other toys in the style of Frank Sinatra; during the end credits of Toy Story 3, Buzz Lightyear and Jessie (now a couple) perform a pasodoble to a Spanish version of the song, deliberately played by Jessie to get Buzz to dance.

In the third act of Toy Story 2, an episode of Woody's Roundup (the fictional 1950s puppet show he was based on) shows the puppet Woody singing the song, directed at the young audience and featuring a small child hugging the puppet. Woody sees this and has an epiphany, realizing that his mission as a toy is to be there for a child.

The Woody's Roundup version was performed by Tom Hanks, with acoustic guitar backing; Wheezy's version was sung by Robert Goulet (though the character was voiced by Joe Ranft); and the Spanish version, "You've Got a Friend in Me (Para el Buzz Español)", was performed by the Gipsy Kings.


Original version[edit]

Duet version[edit]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1996) Peak
Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary 40


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[2] Platinum 600,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[3] 2× Platinum 2,000,000double-dagger

double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Release history[edit]

Format Release date Catalog
Demo Unreleased none
Cassette April 12, 1996[1] #60367

Cover versions[edit]


  1. ^ a b "You've Got a Friend in Me > Overview". Allmusic. Macrovision. Retrieved July 30, 2009.
  2. ^ "British single certifications – Randy Newman – You've Got a Friend in Me". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved July 8, 2021.
  3. ^ "American single certifications – Randy Newman – You've Got a Friend in Me". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved January 29, 2023.
  4. ^ The Disney Standards (2006), Walt Disney Records
  5. ^[dead link]
  6. ^ Dconstructed by Various Artists, retrieved November 23, 2019
  7. ^ "You've Got a Friend In Me (Cavetown Cover)". YouTube. Cavetown. December 12, 2019. Archived from the original on December 22, 2021. Retrieved December 29, 2019.
  8. ^ "You've Got a Friend In Me - Single by Cavetown". Apple Music. Retrieved December 29, 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

External links[edit]