‘Little Mermaid’ lyrics updated for new movie to include consent
Two classic songs from “The Little Mermaid” received updated lyrics for the upcoming live-action remake to emphasize consent and female empowerment.
In an interview published Tuesday, Vanity Fair asked Alan Menken, the 73-year-old prolific Disney composer, if any changes needed to be made to the music from the 1989 animated flick.
“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],” he revealed.
“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 added.
The Post has contacted reps for Menken and Disney for comment.
Composer Alan Menken attends the “Aladdin” Paris Gala Screening on May 8, 2019.Corbis via Getty Images
While the new lyrics have yet to be revealed, the original versions are universally known —and arguably outdated.
“Kiss the Girl” goes: “Yes, you want her / Look at her, you know you do / Possible she want 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.”
The sea witch Ursula, meanwhile, sings “Poor Unfortunate Souls” to Ariel to coax the mermaid to give up her voice.
“Kiss the Girl” and “Poor Unfortunate Souls” received lyric updates for the new “Little Mermaid.”Walt Disney Studios/YouTube
The villain sings: “Yes, on land it’s much preferred / For ladies not to say a word / And after all, dear, what is idle prattle for? / Come on, they’re not all that impressed with conversation / True gentlemen avoid it when they can / But they dote and swoon and fawn / On a lady who’s withdrawn / It’s she who holds her tongue who gets a man.”
The forthcoming Halle Bailey-led film also features new songs that Menken wrote with “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, 43.
Halle Bailey, 23, portrays Ariel in the live-action remake.Walt Disney Studios/YouTube
“We discussed with [director] Rob Marshall what he wanted,” Menken told Vanity Fair.
“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.”
He continued: “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.”
The songs will reflect today’s standards for consent and female empowerment. Walt Disney Studios/YouTube
“We wrote a fourth song called ‘Impossible Child’ for King Triton,” Menken shared. “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.”
Haters have criticized the new movie by hurling slurs at Bailey, 23, since her casting was announced in 2019. The Chlöe x Halle singer once again received nasty comments when the teaser trailer dropped in September.
“As a black person, you just expect it, and it’s not really a shock anymore,” Bailey recently told The Face about the backlash.
The movie is directed by Rob Marshall, 62.Walt Disney Studios/YouTube
She said she is more focused on representing young children who look like her.
“I know people are like: ’It’s not about race.’ But now that I’m her … People don’t understand that when you’re black there’s this whole other community,” she told The Face. “It’s so important for us to see ourselves.”
“The Little Mermaid” hits theaters May 26.
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