Disney's The Little Mermaid live action film isn't out until May 26, but audiences can go under the sea even sooner! The film's original soundtrack is released May 19, debuting new renditions of the original animated film's classic songs, such as "Part of Your World" (sung by Halle Bailey) and "Under the Sea" (sung by Daveed Diggs), by Menken and Howard Ashman.
The live action film, based on the 1989 animated film of the same name, also contains four new songs—with lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Speaking with Empire, the film's director Rob Marshall detailed that one song, "For The First Time," "It’s about her experiences the moment she hits land...We needed to create a number that could almost work as a montage, so we could take her through that experience—coming onto the land, what it’s like to put on shoes, have legs.”
The other new songs include "Wild Uncharted Waters," sung by Prince Eric (Jonah Hauer-King) is saved by Ariel; "The Scuttlebutt," a patter song performed by Scuttle (Awkwafina) and Sebastian (Daveed Diggs) after Ariel is discovered by Prince Eric; and a second reprise for "Part of Your World," sung by Ariel towards the end of the film.
Menken also previously said to Vanity Fair that he changed some of the lyrics to "Kiss the Girl" because "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]."
So the new lyrics include: "Possible she wants you to. Use your words boy and ask her. If the time is right, then the time is tonight, go on and kiss the girl." Those new lyrics replace the following: "Yes, you want her. Look at her, you know you do. Possible she wants you too. There is one way to ask her. It don't take a word. Not a single word. Go on and kiss the girl."
"Poor Unfortunate Souls" has also been tweaked. Said Menken: "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.”
In the new song, the section that begins with, "You'll have your looks, your pretty face. And don't underestimate the importance of body language" and ends with, "It's she who holds her tongue who get's a man" has been cut entirely.
In the new exchange with Ursula (Melissa McCarthy), Ariel almost changes her mind, saying, "No, this is wrong. I can't do this." Though it's not a spoiler to say she goes through with the exchange.
Listen to The Little Mermaid soundtrack below.
See Melissa McCarthy sing "Poor Unfortunate Souls" below.
See Halle Bailey sing "Part of Your World" below.
Joining Bailey onscreen is Jonah Hauer-King (Little Women, The Last Photograph) as Prince Eric, Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids, The Heat) as Ursula, Javier Bardem (Skyfall, No Country for Old Men) as King Triton, Jude Akuwudike (Beasts of No Nation, The Tempest) as Grimsby, Lorena Andrea (Warrior Nun) as new character Perla, and Kajsa Mohammar (Misbehaviour) as new character Karina, with Daveed Diggs (Hamilton) voicing Sebastian, Jacob Tremblay (Room) voicing Flounder, and Awkwafina (Crazy Rich Asians) voicing Scuttle.
The Little Mermaid is based on the original story by Hans Christian Andersen and will feature songs from the 1989 animated Disney feature written by Oscar winner Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman. Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda have also collaborated on new material for the live-action remake.
Disney brought The Little Mermaid to the Broadway stage in 2007. The musical replaced another Disney show, Beauty and the Beast, at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, where it began previews November 3, 2007, and opened January 10, 2008. It played 685 performances and 50 previews, earning nominations for Best Original Score and Best Lighting Design of a Musical.
The Little Mermaid is executive produced by Allison Erlikhman, Jeffrey Silver, and Jessica Virtue. Miranda and Marshall produce alongside Marc Platt and John DeLuca, joined by co-producers Michael Zimmer and Russell Allen. Caroline Roberts is associate producer.