You've Got a Friend in Me

"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.

"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: An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack
ReleasedApril 12, 1996[1]
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"

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 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 StoryEdit

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 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 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; 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.

Chart performanceEdit

Chart (1996) Peak
Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary 40
Chart (2010) Peak
UK Singles Chart 119


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[2] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release historyEdit

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

Cover versionsEdit

  • 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.[3]
  • 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.
  • In 2006, Steve Tyrell and Dr. John did a duet of the song on Tyrell's CD "The Disney Standards".[4]
  • An instrumental remix of “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” plays in the Toy Box world of Kingdom Hearts III, arranged by Yoko Shimomura and released in 2019.
  • A remix of "You've Got a Friend in Me" was released on 22 April, 2014 by Alfred Montejanhyper on the remix album "Dconstructed".[5]
  • On December 13, 2019, a cover by Cavetown was published on YouTube and released all streaming platforms.[6][7]


  1. ^ a b "You've Got a Friend in Me > Overview". Allmusic. Macrovision. Retrieved 2009-07-30.
  2. ^ "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. 
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ The Disney Standards (2006), Walt Disney Records
  5. ^ Dconstructed by Various Artists, retrieved 2019-11-23
  6. ^ "You've Got a Friend In Me (Cavetown Cover)". YouTube. Cavetown. December 12, 2019. Retrieved 29 December 2019.
  7. ^ "You've Got a Friend In Me - Single by Cavetown". Apple Music. Retrieved 29 December 2019.

External linksEdit