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
ReleasedApril 12, 1996[1]
FormatCassette, CD single, digital download
GenreCountry, pop, soundtrack
LabelWalt Disney
Songwriter(s)Randy Newman
Producer(s)Randy Newman
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) 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 diegetic 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 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. When they were unused, Andy was 17 years old.

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)", was performed by the Gipsy Kings.

Release history[edit]

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

Cover versions[edit]

Michael Bublé covered "You've Got a Friend in Me" on his 2013 album, To Be Loved. The track became a U.S. Adult Contemporary chart hit, spending 14 weeks on the chart and peaking at number 10.[2]

On May 31, 2018, Rex Orange County released a cover of “You’ve Got a Friend in Me”, performing along with Randy Newman, the creator of the song.


  1. ^ a b "You've Got a Friend in Me > Overview". Allmusic. Macrovision. Retrieved 2009-07-30.
  2. ^ [1]

External links[edit]