15 best musical movies to make you sing and dance

Do you love watching movies? Here are some of the best musical movies ever made that will make your heart leap with joy with their music and songs.

Updated on Jun 08, 2022 04:25 PM IST  |  247.6K
15 best musical movies to make you sing and dance
15 best musical movies to make you sing and dance
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Musical movies are a popular and distinct film genre that features music and dance in varying combinations as crucial elements. These movies often have a romantic/dramatic plot with a happy ending. The songs in the movies are used to develop the characters of the film, and in some cases, they are also used to plot a storyline. 

Musical films include two major elements - movement and sounds. In the musical film genre, emotions are outwardly expressed through songs and dance. There are various musical films that you must watch to enjoy a great storyline, characters, songs, and dance. 

Here's a list of the 15 best musical movies of all time

1. The Lion King

The Lion King is one of the best animated musical movies ever made. With songs like 'Hakuna Matata', 'Circle of Life', and so on, the music makes for a great Disney musical movie. Released by Walt Disney Pictures in 1994, it is considered one of the best animated movies of all time. The movie features the story of King Mufasa and Queen Sarabi's newborn son, Simba. The movie is all about how the little prince Simba is betrayed by his uncle to become the King of the jungle, and how Simba avenges his father's death. 

The movie was praised a lot for its music, animation, story, and theme. Its song 'Hakuna Matata' is still remembered by 90s kids. The movie garnered a lot of awards including two Academy Awards for 'Best Music' in 1994 for the song "Can You Feel the Love Tonight." The Lion King for sure is one of the best disney movies

IMDb Rating: 8.5/10

Cast: Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Matthew Broderick, James Earl Jones, Jeremy Irons, Moira Kelly, Ernie Sabella, Nathan Lane, Robert Guillaume, Rowan Atkinson, Whoopi Goldberg, Cheech Marin, Jim Cummings, Madge Sinclair

Director: Roger Allers, Rob Minkoff

Music by: Hans Zimmer

2. Pitch Perfect

This teen comedy is a perfect example of an epic comedy musical movie. Directed by Jason Moore, it was released in 2012 and was a box office super hit. The movie also brought together talented artists like Adam Devine, Rebel Wilson, Anna Camp, and Anna Kendrick. The story is all about Beca, a college fresher at Barden University, who reluctantly joins The Barden Bellas - an all-girls Capella group, and later, enters into a competition to take on another male Capella group. The plot of the movie is loosely adapted from the famous non-fiction book 'Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate a Cappella Glory' written by Mickey Rapkin. 

The movie won a lot of awards in music including the Best Musical Moment award by MTV Movie + TV Awards in 2013, Best Music in a Musical Feature Film by Motion Picture Sound Editors, and Favourite Soundtrack award by American Music Awards. 

IMDb Rating: 7.1/10

Cast: Anna Kendrick, Skylar Astin, Rebel Wilson, Adam DeVine, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow, John Michael Higgins, Elizabeth Banks

Director: Jason Moore

Music by: Christophe Beck, Mark Kilian

3. La La Land

La La Land is one of the best rom-com movies written and directed by Damien Chazelle. The movie was released in the year 2016 and follows the story of Mia- an aspiring actress, and Sebastian- a struggling pianist who meet each other in Los Angeles and fall in love. Later, they are not able to maintain a balance between their love and work life and choose their priorities. The movie is beautiful because it shows how two people in love can find themselves torn between their love for each other and their professions. 

The movie is known for its witty comedy, romantic melodrama, rich screenplay, phenomenal acting, and awesome music. 

Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling's acting is phenomenal in this movie and they have given utmost justice to their roles. In fact, Emma Stone went on to win an Oscar award in the category of Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role by Academy Awards, the USA in 2017. 

In fact, La La Land got around 297 award nominations and won 243 of them. The movie also won the prestigious Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score) award, and the Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song) award for the song "City of Stars" by the Academy Awards, USA.

This is a must-watch movie if you are a fan of a light-hearted romantic movie. 

IMDb Rating: 8/10

Cast: Ryan Gosling, John Legend, Emma Stone, Rosemarie DeWitt, Finn Wittrock, J. K. Simmons

Director: Damien Chazelle

Music by: Justin Hurwitz

4. Hamilton

Hamilton is considered an iconic musical movie and has won 11 Tonys. It is a historical fictional musical drama movie that shows the real life of Alexander Hamilton - an American revolutionist, and Founding Father of the United States. The movie consisted of the live stage recording of Broadway from Richard Rodgers Theater. 

Upon its release, the movie received a lot of appreciation from film critics for its direction, music, visuals, and performances, and was one of the most-streamed movies of 2020. 

Hamilton won a lot of awards for music including Outstanding Music (Comedy, Drama, TV Movie, or Limited Series) by Black Reel Awards for Television 2021, Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Television - Non-Fiction, Variety or Music - Series or Specials by Cinema Audio Society, USA 2021, Best Sound Mixing in a Non-Serial Program & Best Sound Editing in a Non-Serial Program by Online Film & Television Association 2021, and Best Use of Music in a Film by San Diego Film Critics Society Awards 2021. 

If you want to see one of the best historical musical movies of all time, then go for this one. 

IMDb Rating: 8.4/10

Cast: Daveed Diggs, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Jonathan Groff, Christopher Jackson, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom Jr., Okieriete Onaodowan, Anthony Ramos, Phillipa Soo

Director: Thomas Kail

Music by: Lin-Manuel Miranda

5. Beauty and the Beast

There is less chance that you haven't ever heard about this epic movie - Beauty and the Beast. It is one of the best animated romantic musical movies released by Walt Disney Pictures in 1991. The soundtrack album of the movie was so great that it was nominated for Album of the Year at the Grammys. 

The movie is about a charming and gorgeous young woman who due to some circumstances agrees to live with Beast. But what she discovers about the Beast, later on, shocks her. No spoilers here - you must watch this movie if you are a fan of an animated musical fantasy movie. 

It is the first-ever animated film to have won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy. The movie also won Best Original Song for its title by the Academy Awards. The movie was a hit and is still considered one of the best old musical movies. 

IMDb Rating: 8/10

Cast: Paige O'Hara, Robby Benson, Richard White, Jerry Orbach, David Ogden Stiers, Angela Lansbury, Rex Everhart, Jesse Corti

Director: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise

Music by: Alan Menken

6. Moulin Rouge!

Moulin Rouge! is one of the best movies of all time. It is a 2001 romantic drama musical film directed and co-written by Baz Luhrmann. It also premiered at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival and was a blockbuster. 

The movie is about an English writer who goes to Paris and joins the Bohemian revolution. There, he visits Moulin Rouge - the biggest and the most popular nightclub in the city and falls head over heels for its star performer and courtesan, Satine. 

The movie's music was appreciated a lot and was even nominated for the Oscars in the category of Best Sound. Although the movie didn't win the Oscar award, it was awarded the Best Sound award at BAFTA Awards, in 2002. 

It also received the 'Outstanding Song in a Motion Picture Soundtrack' for the song "Lady Marmalade" by ALMA Awards, 2002. It won some other awards as well for music including 'Most Performed Songs from Motion Pictures' for the song "Lady Marmalade" by ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards 2002, Best Sound award by Australian Film Institute 2001, Best Achievement in Sound for a Feature Film - Effects Editing by Australian Screen Sound Guild 2001, Best Music in a Movie by Golden Schemes Awards 2001, Best Music award by IF Awards 2001, Best Sound Editing - Music - Musical Feature Film by Motion Picture Sound Editors, USA 2002, and so on. 

IMDb Rating: 7.6/10

Cast: Nicole Kidman, John Leguizamo, Ewan McGregor, Jim Broadbent, Richard Roxburgh

Director: Baz Luhrmann

Music by: Craig Armstrong

7. The Sound of Music

When we talk about old musical movies, there is no way we can forget about The Sound of Music. It is a beautiful American musical drama movie that was released in 1965. To date, it remains one of the favorite movies of many people and when it was released, it became a major hit instantly. 

The movie is about a young novice nun Maria who is sent by her convent as a governess to take care of the seven children of a widowed naval officer. How she tackles the kids and whether or not the kids become fond of her are some questions that will be answered only after you watch the movie. As already stated above - no spoilers in this article!

This is a great movie with a beautiful message to watch with your family. It will definitely melt your heart away and the music is so soul-stirring that it will not leave your mind for many days. 

The movie won 5 Oscars including Best Sound by the Academy Awards, USA 196. In fact, the movie was nominated for a lot of awards and won around 17 awards. The movie still holds recognition for its storyline, music, and performances. 

IMDb Rating: 8.1/10

Cast: Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Richard Haydn, Peggy Wood, Charmian Carr, Eleanor Parker

Director: Robert Wise

Music by: Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II (lyricist), Irwin Kostal (score)

8. Grease

Grease is an American musical romantic comedy film that was released in 1978. The story of this movie is simple yet beautiful - Sandy and Dany meet each other in Australia during a vacation and fall in love with each other. Later, they part ways and believe they won't be able to see each other ever again, but as fate would have it, they do meet again. How and when? Watch this epic movie and find out yourself! 

The movie was praised both by the audience and critics and became the highest-grossing musical movie ever at that time. Grease was highly appreciated for its music and soundtrack, with its soundtrack album getting the title of the second-best-selling album of the year in America. 

In fact, its song "Hopelessly Devoted to You" got an Oscar nomination in the category of Best Music, Original Song by Academy Awards, USA 1979. All in all, it is one of the best movies with music that you must watch with your friends/family. 

IMDb Rating: 7.2/10

Cast: John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing, Eve Arden, Frankie Avalon, Joan Blondell, Edd Byrnes, Sid Caesar, Alice Ghostley, Dody Goodman

Director: Randal Kleiser

Music by: Michael Gibson

9. Encanto

In the list of 'best musical movies 2021' Encanto for sure should make a place as it has great music and storyline. Released in 2021, it is a wonderfully made animated movie produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios. 

The movie is about a family The Madrigals who possess extraordinary powers. The entire family is blessed with a unique gift except for Mirabel. The movie portrays her frustrations as she is the only one in the family without any power. 

The movie was a hit and grossed over $255 million worldwide. Also, its soundtrack went viral and two of its songs "Surface Pressure" and "We Don't Talk About Bruno" were major hits. These two songs were placed at the top on both the UK Singles Chart and US Billboard Hot 100 for several weeks. 

Encanto was loved by the people and was also critically acclaimed for its music, voice acting, storyline, and animation. The movie has received several accolades and will remain one of the best musical movies ever made always. 

IMDb Rating: 7.2/10

Cast: Stephanie Beatriz, María Cecilia Botero, John Leguizamo, Mauro Castillo, Jessica Darrow, Angie Cepeda, Carolina Gaitán, Diane Guerrero, Wilmer Valderrama

Director: Jared Bush, Byron Howard

Music by: Germaine Franco

10. Moana

The highlights of this animated musical adventure movie are stunning 3D vistas and music. Produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios in 2016, Moana is considered one of the best musical movies in the adventure genre. The movie is all about an island wherein the plants and the fish start dying due to a curse by a Demigod Maui. Now, Moana, the daughter of Chief Tui, takes the responsibility of saving the island from the terrible curse. 

Upon release, Moana received positive reviews from critics and also went on to win several prestigious awards. The movie was even nominated for Oscars in the categories: Best Animated Feature Film of the Year, and Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song) for the song "How Far I'll Go". 

The movie was awarded the Top Soundtrack award by Billboard Music Awards 2018. All in all, it is a great sweet musical movie to watch in leisure time. 

IMDb Rating: 7.6/10

Cast: Auliʻi Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison

Director: John Musker, Ron Clements

Music by: Mark Mancina (score, songs), Lin-Manuel Miranda (songs), Opetaia Foa'i (songs)

11. West Side Story

Released in 2021, this is one of the best musical movies in the romantic genre and is adapted from the 1957 stage musical - West Side Story. The movie is about Tony who meets Maria at a high school dance and falls deeply in love with her. However, their romance creates a lot of ruckus and fuels the rivalry between Jets and Sharks - street gangs of different backgrounds. 

Almost everyone loved the movie and praised it for its music, performances, and storyline. West Side Story (2021) received a lot of award nominations, out of which it won 67 awards including Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing - Feature - Music by Motion Picture Sound Editors, USA 2022; Best Sound Editing - Sound Effects, Foley, Dialogue and ADR in an Animation Feature Film by Motion Picture Sound Editors, USA 2017, and so on. 

It is a great romantic drama musical movie to watch and have fun with. 

IMDb Rating: 7.2/10

Cast: Ansel Elgort, Ariana DeBose, David Alvarez, Mike Faist, Rita Moreno, Rachel Ziegler

Director: Steven Spielberg

Music by: Leonard Bernstein

12. The Muppets

The Muppets is a great comedy-musical movie. The movie is about Walter who is a huge fan of the Muppets and while he is on a vacation with his brother Gary and his brother's girlfriend Mary discovers that a greedy person is planning to destroy Muppet Studios. Walter does everything in his will to regroup the Muppet gang and save their treasure. 

The Muppets was a box office hit and grossed about $165.2 million. Not just that, the movie even won an Oscar in the category Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song for the song "Man or Muppet" by Academy Awards, the USA in 2012. 

In fact, the movie received 43 nominations and went on to win a total number of 17 awards. 

Everything right from the acting to the music was praised about the movie by the audience as well as film critics. It is a sweet, light-hearted movie that will make you want to sing and dance. 

IMDb Rating: 7.1/10

Cast: Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper, Rashida Jones

Director: James Bobin

Music by: Christophe Beck

13. Bye Bye Birdie

If you are a huge fan of the famous American sitcom series 'Friends', then then you will for sure remember that the movie 'Bye Bye Birdie' was mentioned in the show. The movie was released in 1963 and is regarded as one of the classic musical movies in the rom-com genre. The movie took inspiration from the life of the famous rockstar singer Elvis Presley when he was drafted into the military. 

Just to give you a little summary - Bye Bye Birdie is a movie about a popular rock singer who goes to Ohio to make his last television performance and kisses a fan before he is drafted into the military. 

In the movie, Elvis Presley himself was the first choice to play the role of Birdie, but the manager of Presley rejected the idea stating that he didn't want the famous rockstar singer to be in any movie that is a parody of his career. 

Upon release, the movie received mixed reviews from the critics, most of them being positive. 

Bye Bye Birdie is highly acclaimed for its music, storyline, characterization, and screenplay. The movie is an epic one and was ranked no. 38 on Entertainment Weekly's list of the 50 Best High School Movies in 2006. The movie received an Oscar nomination in two categories namely: Best Music, Scoring of Music, Adaptation or Treatment, and Best Sound. 

IMDb Rating: 6.6/10

Cast: Janet Leigh, Dick Van Dyke, Ann-Margret, Maureen Stapleton, Bobby Rydell, Jesse Pearson, Ed Sullivan

Music by: Johnny Green (score), Charles Strouse (songs), Lee Adams (lyrics)

14. Hercules (1997)

Hercules is one of the most popular musical movies produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation. This musical comedy fantasy movie was released in 1997 and portrays the story of Hercules. 

Hercules is the son of Zeus - the Greek God, and he is turned into half-mortal by Hades. Now, Hercules must do wonders to reclaim his immortality. 

The movie got an Oscar nomination in the category Best Music, Original Song for the song "Go the Distance" by Academy Awards, USA 1998. The movie was a hit at the box office and later on, many movies were made on the same concept. Hercules gained lots of recognition for its music, performances, and story plot. 

IMDb Rating: 7.3/10

Cast: Tate Donovan, Danny DeVito, James Woods, Susan Egan, Rip Torn

Director: John Musker, Ron Clements

Music by: Alan Menken

15. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

If you are a fan of Johnny Depp, then you must watch this movie. Released in 2005, it's considered one of the best musical movies in the fantasy niche. The movie is based on the famous British novel named 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ written by Roald Dahl. 

The movie is all about a young boy Charlie who along with four other kids wins a tour of a chocolate factory. What happens next is the suspense that will be unveiled once you watch the movie. 

The movie received mostly positive reviews and was praised for its set design, visual style, direction, and soundtrack. 

As usual, Johnny Depp's performance garnered a lot of appreciation, and the movie was a box office success. It became the 8th highest-grossing film worldwide in 2005 and even received an Oscar nomination for Best Costume Design. This musical movie is a must-watch if you like to see fantasy movies

IMDb Rating: 6.7/10

Cast: Johnny Depp, David Kelly, James Fox, Deep Roy, Freddie Highmore, Noah Taylor, Helena Bonham Carter, Missi Pyle, Christopher Lee

Director: Tim Burton

Music by: Danny Elfman

This was the list of the best 15 musical movies of all time. Below, we have mentioned some other honorary mentions of the great movies with music. 

Honorable mentions of some of the great musical movies:

1. Funny Face (1957)

2. The Blues Brothers (1960)

3. Topsy-Turvy (1999)

4. Chicago (2002)

5. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)

6. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

7. Hairspray (2007)

8. Nashville (1975)

9. Singin' in the Rain (1952)

10. Les Miserables (2012) 

11. In the Heights (2021)

12. 8 Mile (2002)

13. The Wizard of Oz (1939)

14. On the Town (1949)

15. Tangled (2010)

16. Aladdin (1992)

17. Little Shop of Horrors (1986)

18. The Music Man (1962)

19. The Little Mermaid (1989)

20. Everybody's Talking About Jamie (2021)

21. Rocketman (2019)

22. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) 

23. Sing Street (2016)

24. Sunshine on Leith (2013)

25. Chicago (2002) 

26. The Sapphires (2012)

27. Corpse Bride (2005)

28. Cabaret (1972)

29. The King and I (1956)

30. Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001) 

Conclusion

Movies are fun to watch, especially if one is watching musical movies, then they are bound to give you lots of joy with amazing music and songs. Movies help in taking the stress out of our hectic lives and make us feel better. Watching movies with your partner is also known to improve relationships. So, if you are planning to watch a great movie this weekend or in your free time, then watch one of these musical movies and dance to the tunes of their songs. 

Also Read: 10 best Angelina Jolie movies

Which are the best suspense musical movies?
Some of the best suspense musical movies are The Lure, Scrooge, Guava Island, and so on.

Which are the best Disney musical movies?
Encanto, Tangled, Frozen, and The Lion King are some of the best Disney musical movies.

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