"Never Smile at a Crocodile" is a comic song with music by Frank Churchill and lyrics by Jack Lawrence. The music, without the lyrics, was first heard in the Walt Disney Animation Studios film Peter Pan.
Churchill, who had composed most of the soundtrack for Disney's 1937 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, composed "Never Smile at a Crocodile" in 1939 when Peter Pan was already in the planning stage. However, work on four other Disney feature-length cartoons led the studio to shelve the Peter Pan project until 1949. Churchill committed suicide in 1942 and the song was to be his only contribution to the Peter Pan soundtrack. The sung version with Jack Lawrence's lyrics was eliminated from the final print of the film when it was released in 1953. The final soundtrack contains only the instrumental version which is used as a leitmotif whenever the crocodile appears. However, the full version with vocals by Stuart Foster and Judy Valentine was released that same year on an RCA LP of songs from the film.
"Never Smile at a Crocodile" with its original lyrics has been subsequently recorded by several singers including Jerry Lewis and Rolf Harris. The 1953 Jerry Lewis version became one of the top-10 best-selling children's records that year. An early Disney demo of the vocal version sung by Henry Calvin was added as a bonus track on later releases of the Peter Pan soundtrack including the 1997 CD release. The song also appears on a 1965 recording by Billy Cotton and his band with vocals by Rita Williams and on the soundtrack of the 2007 film Rogue sung by The Paulette Sisters.
- Hanson, Bruce K. (2011). Peter Pan on Stage and Screen, 1904-2010, 2d ed., pp. 202; 209; 331. McFarland. ISBN 0786486198
- Hischak, Thomas S. and Robinson, Mark A. (2009). The Disney Song Encyclopedia, p. 141. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0810869381
- OCLC 772369942
- Billboard Magazine (19 September 1953). "Best-Selling Children's Records", p. 33.
- OCLC 946246571
- Maltin, Leonard (4 February 2013). "The Extended Disney Family and Peter Pan". IndieWire
- Shelley, Peter (2012). Australian Horror Films, 1973-2010, p. 223. McFarland. ISBN 0786489936
- "Never Smile at a Crocodile" at AllMusic
- Hicken, Jackie (6 April 2014). "15 Disney songs that were cut before they ever made it onto the big screen". Deseret News (contains an audio clip of the song performed by The Paulette Sisters)