The Little Mermaid Changing Some Song Lyrics in Live-Action Remake

The Little Mermaid has easily become an iconic part of the Disney canon, with generations of fans falling in love with its story. This summer, audiences will be treated to a live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, and it looks like it will be updating some elements of the original film. In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, The Little Mermaid composer Alan Menken revealed that some of the song lyrics that were initially included in the 1989 animated film will be tweaked for the remake, to better allow for consent between Ariel (Halle Bailey) and Prince Eric (Jonah Hauer-King).

"There are some lyric changes in "Kiss the Girl" because people have gotten very sensitive about the idea that [Prince Eric] would, in any way, force himself on [Ariel]," Menken explained. "We have some revisions in "Poor Unfortunate Souls" regarding lines that might make young girls somehow feel that they shouldn't speak out of turn, even though Ursula is clearly manipulating Ariel to give up her voice."

Menken also teased the new original songs that will be added to The Little Mermaid, and what they will contribute to the plot.

"We discussed with Rob Marshall what he wanted. One was the Prince Eric song, called "Wild Unchartered Waters." Then, there was the song for Ariel when she has her legs (doesn't have a voice), and she's singing her thoughts about all the firsts she is noticing for the first time. Then, there was a number called "Scuttlebutt" for Scuttle and Sebastian. It's this harebrained [song for them] trying to figure out what's going on because they hear rumors that the prince has decided to marry. They think it must be Ariel but of course it's Ursela in the form of Vanessa. It's all this delicious imagination. Lin's lyrics are to die for. We wrote a fourth song called "Impossible Child" for King Triton. It didn't remain in the film only because dramaturgically we didn't really need it. It was so great to work with Javier Bardem on that song and people will hear it as a DVD outtake, I guess."  

What is The Little Mermaid remake about?

The Little Mermaid will follow Ariel, the youngest daughter of the kingdom Atlantica's ruler King Triton, who is fascinated with the human world but mermaids are forbidden to explore it. After saving Prince Eric from a shipwreck and falling in love with, she becomes determined to be with him in the world above water. These actions lead to a confrontation with her father and an encounter with the conniving sea witch Ursula, making a deal with her to trade her beautiful voice for human legs so she can discover the world above water and impress Eric. However, this ultimately places her life (and her father's crown) in jeopardy.

The film will be directed by Rob Marshall (Mary Poppins Returns), with a script from David Magee and Jane Goldman. The cast also includes Daveed Diggs, Jacob Tremblay, Awkwafina, Jonah Hauer-King, Javier Bardem, and Melissa McCarthy. The film is expected to feature original songs from the 1989 animated blockbuster, as well as new tracks composed by Alan Menken and Hamilton's Lin-Manuel Miranda.

The Little Mermaid is set to be released in theaters on May 26th.