It is an irrefutable fact that the Mamma Mia! films have managed to do the timeless, iconic Swedish band ABBA justice with the fun and highly entertaining, sometimes emotional covers of their songs. We’ve seen many musicals shape show business on the big screen; nevertheless, very few movies were capable of stealing as many hearts like these. People who claimed to loathe musicals had a change of heart when Mamma Mia! (2008) came out.
What makes these films so special, besides the extremely talented cast and interesting characters that add up to a really amusing storyline, is the perfect usage of groovy ’70s music in a “Greek island paradisian” scenario where everyone is just living their best life. Because nothing could get better than dancing and singing around for a big part of the day, we’ve decided to pay homage to the franchise by ranking the ten best musical numbers in the movies.
10. “Why Did It Have To Be Me”
While it is not easy to rank “Why Did It Have To Be Me” this low, it is extremely challenging to even choose 10 songs from the two films and rank them accordingly when they all feel like they’re supposed to be on the same level. Either way, this amusing song shone a bright light on the beginning of Donna and Bill’s love story and their two fun-loving and free-spirited personalities.
Though Donna is obviously supposed to end up with Sam, viewers could not help but notice the crazy amount of sparks flying between the characters on that boat whenLily James and Josh Dylan closely sang the sultry song together.
9. “Take A Chance On Me”
There are few things funnier than the talented Julie Walters trying to win Stellan Skarsgård over and persuading him to take a chance on her while simultaneously singing and following his every step after a lovely dinner. “Take A Chance On Me” easily makes for one of the most entertaining scenes in the first film and as such deserves a spot on this list.
Walters’ expressive character Rosie literally brings the fun to the table as everybody sitting around it makes space for her to showcase her unique voice while attentively watching and praising her every move.
8. “My Love, My Life”
“My Love, My Life” has to be one of the most emotional songs from the beloved franchise, alongside “Slipping Through My Fingers” and “The Winner Takes It All” (which, too, are wonderfully sung by the queen Meryl Streep herself). The first time the audience is introduced to the beautiful track is later in the second movie, when parallels between a young Donna with Sophie in her arms and present-day Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) ready to baptize her child are gracefully presented.
The song itself is extremely refined but what makes the scene even more ethereal and meaningful is the meaning behind it: Sophie finally lets go of her mother, allowing the good memories they once shared to overlap with the hurtful feelings that came with her mother tragic ending. .
7. “When I Kissed The Teacher”
“When I Kissed The Teacher” is the perfect musical number opening for a film of the genre. While it perfectly displays Donna’s spontaneous and rebellious nature, especially during her college days, it also serves as a reminder for viewers as to why they’re watching the movie in the first place – it lets them know that they are truly in for a fun. and glorious ride, filled with amazing ’70s rock star costumes and a great number of unforgettable tracks.
The song kicks off shortly after Donna starts her graduation speech, catching everyone by surprise, including some teachers. Eventually, her inseparable best friends Tanya (Jessica Keenan Wynn) and Rosie (Alexa Davies) join the party, and soon enough the three are singing in unison.
6. “Mamma Mia”
Talking about girls supporting girls, the “Mamma Mia” musical score scene from the second installment, Here We Go Again, depicts exactly that. The dynamic trio delivers a show-stopping choreography while singing this and absolutely rock Donna’s heartbreak away. Though she’s obviously sad and hurt that Sam betrayed her (seriously, you can hear the pain in Lily James’ enchanting Accapella voice at the beginning), she ultimately looks on the bright side and realizes she’s got two wonderful friends who will always have her back .
It is also worth mentioning, though, that the scene from the first film is equally great and a very iconic part of the film. It is scientifically proven that it is impossible to get enough of Streep’s singing voice.
5. “Angel Eyes”
Somehow this catchy song is often slightly overlooked. We here at Collider believe it to be one of the best, making it to the top 5 of this category. What makes the scene in which it features even better is of course Julie Walters’ unmatched facial expressions every time Christine Baranski’s diva character Tanya finishes one of her sentences.
Apart from the hilarious interruptions and the fact that Walters once again brings the trophy home for being the funniest character in the movies, the circumstances in which Sophie finds herself and the way the two mother figures support her make for a very heartwarming moment; the two characters cherish Donna’s daughter as if she was their own, always standing by her as her mother once did.
4. “Lay All Your Love On Me”
Amanda Seyfried and Dominic Cooper putting their whole soul into singing a seductive song on the beach to each other? Yes, please. If anyone in the audience was ever under the impression that these two shared no chemistry, this scene alone proved them wrong. “Lay All Your Love On Me” is as passionate as it is pleasurable for the ears.
It is also an indisputable fact that Seyfried is as much of a talented actress as she is a gifted singer. Her voice is one of the best things about the movies – which often leads Sophie to easily steal every scene she’s in.
3. “Does Your Mother Know”
“Does Your Mother Know” is Tanya’s anthem and fits her character perfectly. At the end of the day, we all strive to channel her confidence and bold nature, which translate into this song flawlessly: she knows her worth, and she has no issues with showing it. Many fans consider this one of the best, if not the best, scenes in the first movie – we can disagree.
Fun and entertaining in all her high-performing diva glory, Baranski is clearly born for the role. This scene, which brings a lot of joy to anyone who sees it, is one of the many that successfully made audiences fall head over heels for Tanya.
2. “Super Trouper”
“Super Trouper” steals the spotlight in both films. In the first installment, we are introduced to Donna and the Dynamos being the masters of their craft and showcasing their talents in front of Sophie and her friends. We also get to hear it in the end credits scene.
In the second film, however, the song is only featured in the end credits, which provides viewers the delight of seeing the entire cast of both movies singing and dancing together. There’s so much about this song that makes it great, but it’s essentially the way it bonds people together that stands out the most.
1. “Dancing Queen”
Although it feels illegal to rank all of these amazing tracks and musical numbers and not include “Waterloo”, “Andante, Andante”, “Slipping Through My Fingers” or “The Winner Takes It All” (which rightfully deserved a spot here as well ), “Dancing Queen” has to be the first on this list. Both in the first and second film the contagious energy of this feel-good song is unmatched.
Whether we’re talking about Tanya and Rosie singing it to Donna in order to remind her how fun life used to be before she sat down and watched her playful nature fade away (a scene that captured how perfect it is to see middle-aged women just having fun and being silly for the sake of it), or the entire cast singing along while arriving in Sophie’s island, “Dancing Queen” is iconic in every aspect. It is also arguably the most famous ABBA track, so it is extremely easy to sing along with the characters and make the most of the moment.
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