You've Got a Friend in Me
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|"You've Got a Friend in Me"|
|Single by Randy Newman and Lyle Lovett|
|from the album Toy Story|
|Released||April 12, 1996|
|Format||Cassette, CD single, digital download|
|Genre||Country, pop, soundtrack|
|Randy Newman chronology|
"You've Got a Friend in Me" is a song written and first recorded by Randy Newman. Originally written as the theme song for the 1995 Disney/Pixar animated film Toy Story, it has since become the theme song for its sequels, Toy Story 2 (1999) and Toy Story 3 (2010) 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 three Toy Story films include a duet with Newman and Lyle Lovett in Toy Story, a version by Robert Goulet and an instrumental by Tom Scott in Toy Story 2, an Italian language version by Riccardo Cocciante, and a Spanish language version by the Gipsy Kings in Toy Story 3.
The song in Toy Story
The song is played during the opening credits for Toy Story and Toy Story 3, establishing the importance of Woody and Andy in the first film and the importance of all his toys in the third. Toy Story 3 also uses it for irony and dramatic effect, as the opening credits harken back to the first film and the song abruptly fades out with "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.
In the two sequels, the song is listened to by the characters as part of the story. Two of these are 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; 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.
The most significant use of the song was in the third act of Toy Story 2, where an episode of Woody's Roundup (the 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. (In-universe, the song was presumably written for Woody's Roundup.)
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)", performed by the Gipsy Kings.
- George Jones covered the song for the 1996 tribute album The Best of Country Sing the Best of Disney.
- Pixar posted two music videos to their official YouTube channel which consist of an "official" and a "hyper" remix of this song. (Both are by someone credited as "DJ Synd".)
- More recently, Pixar posted a new remix of the song, based on the Robert Goulet version. This version was remixed by DJ Sam Spiegel, a.k.a. Squeak E. Clean.
- Riders in the Sky performed a cover of this song on the album Woody's Roundup: A Rootin' Tootin' Collection of Woody's Favorite Songs. The album won the 2001 Grammy Award for Best Musical Album for Children.
- Randy Newman arranged the song (along with "Strange Things" and other themes from the films) for the Buzz Lightyear attractions (Like Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters) at Disney parks. One of the places it can be heard is on The Official Album of the Disneyland Resort. In the rides, it can be heard in the exit queue.
- Jennifer Hammond arranged this song and other themes from the films for the Toy Story Midway Mania! attraction (in a more carnival-style). It or another version of it can be heard at the official Toy Story website, under "Games" and "Toy Story Mania!".
- Mannheim Steamroller covered the song on their 1999 album, Mannheim Steamroller Meets the Mouse.
- Voice Male made an a cappella version of this song on their album At the Movies.
- Similarly, Dick Van Dyke and The Vantastix did their own a cappella version of this song for their album Put on a Happy Face.
- Under Walt Disney Records, Steve Tyrell's Disney Standards album released February 28, 2006 includes You’ve Got a Friend in Me as a duet with Dr. John.
- American rock band The Fray has also performed their own rendition of the song during the 2007 Disney Grad Nite event. They have also covered it at other live shows.
- DZEC's program Tambalang OK, anchored by Onin Miranda and Ros Olgado, used this song as a background music.
- Another Spanish version of the song, titled "Yo Soy Tu Amigo Fiel!" (Spanish for "I am Your Faithful Friend!"), was covered by Aleks Syntek and Danna Paola.
- The German version of the song is titled "Du hast 'nen Freund in mir". The title and the song itself is a fairly direct translation of the English original. Artists such as Klaus Lage have posted cover versions on the internet.
- Kenny Loggins covered it on his 2009 album All Join In.
- Donny Osmond covered it on his album This is the Moment.
- Brian Wilson covered it on his album In the Key of Disney, which was released on October 25, 2011.
- Daniel Furlong, the new youngest member of Celtic Thunder, covered it for their Voyage CD and DVD.
- Michael Bublé covered it on his 2013 album, To Be Loved.
- A slowed down Icelandic version of the song was used in anti-rape TV commercials proclaiming that 9 of every 10 victims personally knew their attacker.
- Tay Zonday covered it with J. Omer.
|Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary||40|
|UK Singles Chart||119|
|United States (RIAA)||Gold||500,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
|Cassette||April 12, 1996||#60367|
- "You've Got a Friend in Me > Overview". Allmusic. Macrovision. Retrieved 2009-07-30.
- "American single certifications – Randy Newman – You've Got a Friend in Me". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH