The Little Mermaid live-action makes changes to lyrics so Prince doesn’t ‘force himself’ on Ariel
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Featured Image Credit: Disney
While you might be looking forward to diving into The Little Mermaid when it’s released next month, you may notice something fishy.
According to the composer of the original film, Alan Menken, the upcoming remake will feature alternative versions of two classic songs.
Before you get crabby about this though, it’s important to note the song changes have been made for a very important reason.
Despite this incredible achievement, the 23-year-old has become the target of racist trolls online and a vicious hate campaign.
When the trailer was released last year, the YouTube video was flooded with negative comments and even ‘review bombed’ in a bid to sink the film.
Though she’s endured a lot to play the iconic character, Bailey insists it’s been worth it.
She told the press: "Seeing all the babies’ reactions, all the brown and Black young girls, [it] really tore me up emotionally."
Given how many young women and girls will be looking up to Bailey, filmmakers felt it was important to make some key changes to certain songs.
In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Menken spoke about how 2023’s The Little Mermaid will rework the iconic track ‘Kiss the Girl’.
The composer explained that the team behind the new film had been concerned about the song as it potentially implied that Prince Eric would ‘force himself’ upon the heroine.
Menken told the magazine: “There are some lyric changes in ‘Kiss the Girl’ because people have gotten very sensitive about the idea that he would, in any way, force himself on Ariel.”
The song has now been amended for modern audiences with a line about consent and will be sung by Jonah Hauer-King in the fairytale film.
However, it’s not the only track to undergo a transformation.
‘Poor Unfortunate Souls’ has also been revamped, as Melissa McCarthy takes on the role of the villainous sea witch, Ursula.
The original song stated it was better for women to remain silent as men preferred it.
If you don’t believe us, here’s the line: “The men up there don’t like a lot of blabber, they think a girl who gossips is a bore.…on land, it’s much preferred for ladies not to say a word."
Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda, who also helmed the new film, decided to replace the line.
Menken revealed this, telling the magazine: “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.”
As well as new lyrics, there’s a lot of fresh material to look forward to when The Little Mermaid finally storms the box office.
The composer also hinted that he’d written some original tracks for the movie which focus on Prince Eric and Ariel’s companions so they all get their time to shine.
"One was the Prince Eric song, called ‘Wild Unchartered Waters,” Menken said. “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 Ursula in the form of Vanessa. It’s all this delicious imagination. Lin’s lyrics are to die for.”
TYLA has reached out to Disney for comment.
The Little Mermaid is released in cinemas on May 26.