‘The Little Mermaid’ Live-Action Changes Song Lyrics to be “Sensitive to Modern Audiences”

Live action little mermaid
Credit: Disney

The Little Mermaid is set to hit theaters soon and when it does we will get to revisit our favorite songs from the animated film! That means songs Iike “Part of Your World,” “Under the Sea,” “Poor Unfortunate Souls,” and “Kiss the Girl” are back on the big screen! Except some of the songs won’t exactly be as we remember them.

Related: Harry Styes Turned Down Playing Prince Eric in The Little Mermaid

The little mermaid Halle Bailey

Credit: Disney/ABC

Composer and Disney Legend Alan Menken, who did the films original music, is revisiting two iconic songs from the animated feature to apparently make them “less offensive.” In an interview in Vanity Fair, Menken said “Kiss the Girl” and “Poor Unfortunate Souls” have been altered to appeal to modern audiences. Menken said, “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]. 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.”

The little mermiad

Credit: Disney

Related: Disney Ignores Its Own Source Material? 

The composer did not reveal what the new lyrics would be or what lyrics were being changed. We can assume this verse from “Kiss the Girl” will not make an appearance:

 “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”

Likewise, in “Poor Unfortunate Souls” we think.its a safe bet that the lyrics being omitted will be this verse:

“The men up there don’t like a lot of blabber

They think a girl who gossips is a bore!

Yet on land it’s much prefered for ladies not to say a word

And after all dear, what is idle babble 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On a lady who’s withdrawn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”

Related: Melissa McCarthy is Ursua and She Says It’s Glorious

Melissa McCarthy

Credit: ABC

Additionally, Halle Bailey has said that Ariel isn’t going to solely be motivated by love. In the new adaptation Ariel will be motivated by a feminist drive for independence. Because finding love is not an acceptable motivation to modern audiences it seems.

The live action adaptation of The Little Mermaid is in theaters May 26, 2023. It’s directed by Rob Marshall and produced by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mark Platt, and John DeLuca. Halle Bailey, Jonah Hauer, and Melissa McCarthy star in the film. You’ll be able to relive the adventure ‘under the sea’ only in theaters.





About Jill Bivins

Jill Bivins has been visiting Disney Parks since she was 2 years old and loves sharing her Disney adventures with the world. She likes to say Disney is in her blood and writing is in her bones — so any time she has the opportunity to combine these loves she is one happy camper! She has a deep abiding love for Epcot and as a die hard Star Wars fan has a serious love for Hollywood Studios as well. When she isn't exploring or writing about Disney Parks, Jill is homeschooling her 8 year old son, playing with her brand new baby son, or pretending to be a farmer on her family homestead (despite being unable to keep even a cactus alive). Find Jill on Instagram @minnieonmain.