15 Of Cinema’s Best Dance Party Endings

Climactic song-and-dance numbers guaranteed to make you smile

Published on

There’s something special about walking out of a movie theatre with the film’s theme tune stuck in your head – and there’s something even more special about walking out of a movie theatre with the film’s dance moves stuck in your, um, feet. With Nick Frost’s seductive salsa hip-swings set to inspire many to take up dancing when Cuban Fury arrives on screens, here are a few other (non-musical) cinematic outings that end with more than a bit of a boogie.

Song: ‘Jump In The Line (Shake, Senora)’ by Harry Belafonte

Dancing: MID-AIR!

If you love to see a rocking chair rock out, some buckets boogie, and Winona Ryder float in the air as she clicks her fingers and shakes her thang, then this is the dance party ending for you. That said, there’s not quite as much partying and dancing as you might expect, as the scene quickly cuts to Beetlejuice in a waiting room having his head shrunk to the size of a clementine. Still, ghostly American footballers jiving on the stairs! And a song that won’t vacant your hippocampus for the rest of your life! Whichever way you look at it, it’s definitely a nice fuckin’ model.

Song: ‘Build Me Up Buttercup’ by The Foundations

Dancing: Pretty much everything – expect the can-can, jiving and Cameron Diaz being thrown around a room…

It’s an obvious sign that a film has been a blast to shoot when its credits are this joyous. Combining a gag reel with a planned sing-along, it’s a flurry of flubs and fancy footwork, leaving the audience filing out with a massive grin and a strong desire to form a conga line. This is all helped, of course, by one of the catchiest and sweetest songs ever written. For an alternate take, check out this cover by ‘90s rock band The Goops{ =nofollow}, which features Jay and Silent Bob in the music video (and appeared on Mallrats’ soundtrack).

Song: ‘Ninja Rap 2 (Go Ninja Go)’ by Vanilla Ice

Dancing: A mix of air-punching, microphone-thrusting and walking on the spot.

This is the music video for Vanilla Ice’s “other” hit, as inspired by the events of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret Of The Ooze. In it, Mr. Ice helps out the heroes in a half-shell by improvising a rap to cover up their ongoing fight with a group of goons in a nightclub, with the McMuffin McGuffin they’re after a batch of anti-mutagen doughnuts (whatever they are). Redefining preposterosity - our term - the lyrics go a little something like this: “You know it's hittin’, like a ninja turtle / When the bass kicks in, you better check your level / The power of the ninja is strong / Fightin’ the crooks 'til they're all gone.” Take that, Bob Dylan.

***Song: ***‘You've Got A Friend In Me (Para Buzz Español) (Hay Un Amigo En Mi)’ by The Gipsy Kings

***Dancing: ***Salsa! Flamenco! If it’s hispanic and it’s dancing, it’s in there…

Pixar’s final tale of toys ends in the way you’d expect it might: a lovely song by Randy Newman. ‘We Belong Together’ is the name of the track, and it went on to win the Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 2011 Oscars. But that’s not what you remember when you leave Toy Story 3 – you remember Buzz 'n' Jessie, all because of the action-man magnetism of Señor Lightyear’s Hispanic hips. Now, after watching that, you must resist clicking THIS LINK{ =nofollow}, which will take you to the scene where Buzz (in Spanish mode) first attempts to seduce Jessie. ¡Dios mío!

Song: ‘You Should Be Dancing’ by Bee Gees

Dancing: Lunging, thrusting, bottom-grabbing, bottom-spanking super-funkery

Minions need excitement. If their lives don't provide them this, they incite violence – normally with fart guns or supermagnets. Likewise, when bored off their pill-shaped noggins by Edith, Agnes and Margo’s ballet recital, a tempo change is required, and suddenly the whole gang is on stage, bopping away to one of Saturday Night Fever’s finest dancefloor fillers. Shame Gru crunches his googlies in one ill-advised move, but, hey, you’ve got to suffer for your art.

Song: ‘Everybody Wants To Be A Cat’ by Scatman Crothers, Phil Harris and Robie Lester

Dancing: Psychedelic, jazzy and predominantly feline.

Pink horses, drunk geese, deaf dogs… it’s all going on round Scat Cat's place. Also, there’s music (as you might expect), as well as a lighting set-up that makes most guests appear to change colour, making The Aristocats exactly the wrong film to watch on a messy acid trip. Or exactly the right film, depending on your tastes. Be sure to look out for the Siamese puss who manages to fashion a drum kit out of some light fittings and a couple of chamber pots.

Song: ‘I’m A Believer’ by Weezer

***Dancing: ***Fairy good indeed.

The Shrek films have never been afraid of a little song and dance. This is the franchise that saw Mike Myers (as a green ogre) singing Billy Joel’s ‘Just The Way You Are’, Cameron Diaz (as a green ogre) singing Madonna’s ‘Like A Virgin’ and Eddie Murphy (as a talking donkey) singing Sir Mix-a-Lot’s ‘Baby Got Back’, after all or Jennifer Saunders’ take on ‘I Need A Hero’ from Shrek 2, we’re getting all nostalgic with Shrek Forever After’s final, final, final credits sign-off, which sees Weezer cover the fairy-tale tetralogy’s most iconic song, ‘I’m A Believer’ by The Monkees. It’s enough to bring a tear to your eyes, it really is.

Song: ‘Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)’ by Backstreet Boys

Dancing: Angelic Thrillerishness.

Despite what Cali rockers OPM would have you believe, Heaven is not a half pipe. Nor is it a place on earth (Belinda Carlisle) or in the back seat of my Cadillac (Hot Chocolate) – it’s in a super shiny cloudland full of attractive people, cute puppies and lens flare. Also, the Backstreet Boys, who are more than willing to bust out ‘Everybody’ on demand, thereby proving this really is heaven (and, alas, that Brian, A.J., Howie, Nick and Kevin did indeed die in the Biblical apocalypse). For more on this amazing scene, listen to BSB themselves talk about it in our WTF Moments Of The Year 2013 feature.

Song: ‘Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In’ by The 5th Dimension

***Dancing: ***Flipping loopy.

Seth Rogen topless, rubbing his belly! Paul Rudd topless, wibbling his arms around! Romany Malco topless, rapping badly! And, after suffering the indignity of having his chest hair waxed off earlier in the film, Steve Carell in a white linen shalwar kameez, prancing about with flowing sheets! All to the tune one of the best things about Hair – The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical: the medley of ‘Aquarius’ and ‘Let The Sunshine In’. You try leaving the cinema in a grumpy mood.

Song: ‘Jungle Love’ by Morris Day And The Time

Dancing: Bopping up and down (from the crowd), holding-the-belt-buckle-and-swinging-the-legs (from Morris Day And The Time) and swooshing the arms a lot (Jay and Silent Bob).

After blowing all their royalty money on finding and punching people who don’t like their comic books, Jay and Silent Bob stroll out of a screening of Bluntman And Chronic: The Movie and… walk across the road to watch one of their favourite bands perform. As film endings go, it makes almost no sense, but considering the previous hour and a half also makes almost no sense, it almost makes sense. Making it an easier pill to swallow is the refutable fact that regular Prince backing band Morris Day And The Time are nothing short of brilliant. Plus! A goof-heavy gag reel. Snoochie boochies all round.

***Song: ***‘All Star’ by Smash Mouth

Dance: Breakdancing, exaggerated hand clapping and jumping up and down on the spot.

After a 100 minutes of all-star silliness – Rowan Atkinson as a narcoleptic wannaBean, John Cleese as a power mad billionaire with super shiny teeth – Jerry Zucker’s take on It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World descends into unfitting sentimentality with a rendition ‘All Star’ by early noughties pop rockers Smash Mouth. It’s for a Live Aid-alike charity concert, and as the cast goof off for the crowd, the donated cash tally goes higher and higher and higher. Worth a watch if only to see on-form Cuba Gooding Jr. showing off his badass breakdancing moves and Jon Lovitz doing the worst harmonica solo of all time.

Song: ‘Jai Ho’ by A.R. Rahman

***Dance: ***Choreographed clapping, pointing and heart-pumping.

Originally written for another film – Subhash Ghai's Yuvvraaj, released in the same year – but rejected for being “too subtle and soft”, ‘Jai Ho’ ended up at the very end of Danny Boyle’s awards magnet as part of a Bollywood-esque dance sequence. One Oscar for Best Original Song and a Grammy later, and Mr. Ghai was running out of room on his face for all that egg. The dance itself, meanwhile, spawned a short-lived online fad for fans to try it out themselves at home.

Song: ‘Ewok Celebration’ by John Williams

***Dancing: ***Hopping, for the most part.

It’s been scientifically proven that if you prefer the new 1997 remastered version’s ending music for Return Of The Jedi (known as ‘Victory Celebration’, which is as fun to hear as it is to say out loud.

***Song: ***‘Smile, Darn Ya Smile’ by Billy Cotton

***Dancing: ***Walking, mainly, with a bit of swaying back and forth.

Here’s a fun fact about the criminally catchy cartoon tune ‘Smile, Darn Ya Smile’: it was written for the 1931 Merry Melodies short of the same name{ =nofollow}, which starred a Mickey Mouse Mickey Mouse by the name of Foxy The Fox. Another fun fact is that Christoph Waltz sang the song when he hosted Saturday Night Live on February 16, 2013. Your final fun fact is that it’s the story of Foxy’s creator, Rudolf Ising, that inspired the Simpsons episode The Day The Violence Died, in that Ising drew mice for Walt Disney that look a lot like the House of Mouse’s favourite rodent before Mickey Mouse actually became Mickey Mouse, but he didn’t see any credit for it.

***Song: ***‘Get Back’ by Ludacris

Dancing: Bootylicious

Tom Cruise in a fat suit, fake fat fingers and a false fat noise – yes, you’ve just watched one of the biggest movie stars in the history of existence grunt and grind to the tune of Ludacris’s ‘Get Back’ because… well, he wanted to. Conceived by Cruise himself alongside writer-director Ben Stiller, Les Grossman was a character played with joyful gusto by the Mission Impossibler, written into the script at his request after turning down the Rick Peck agent role (which eventually went to Matthew McConaughey).

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us