Little Mermaid Fans Outraged As New Movie Changes Lyrics Of Classic Songs

The Little Mermaid fans are outraged as the new movie has changed the lyrics of classic songs.
Credit: Disney

The Little Mermaid fans have been left outraged as the new movie has changed the lyrics of one of its classic songs.

The upcoming Disney live-action remake of the original 1989 film has already sparked controversy among fans.

The casting of Halle Bailey, a Black actress, as Ariel angered many as the original, animated character was fair-skinned and red-haired.

Some have also expressed concern that the new film may stray too far from the original storyline, characters and plot.

And now, some fans are infuriated by changes made to iconic songs in the film.

Watch the official Little Mermaid trailer below…

The songs from The Little Mermaid are very popular in the world of Disney music.

The new film’s tracks, composed by Alan Menken, with lyrics by Howard Ashman, includes classics like ‘Part of Your World’, ‘Under the Sea’, and ‘Kiss the Girl’.

In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, composer Alan Menken shared that he has made some changes to the lyrics of two songs from the original The Little Mermaid.

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Menken revealed that he updated the lyrics of ‘Kiss the Girl’ and ‘Poor Unfortunate Souls’ to ensure they are more appropriate for modern audiences.

According to the composer, changes to ‘Kiss the Girl’ have ensured that the lyrics do not imply any form of non-consensual behaviour.

The original song, which was featured in the 1989 film, contains a line that suggests Prince Eric should make a move on Ariel first, and ask for her consent later.

Menken’s update aims to ensure that the song is more respectful towards women and encourages positive behaviour.

Similarly, the composer has revised a few phrases in ‘Poor Unfortunate Souls’.

The lyrics he updated could have been viewed as encouraging young women to remain silent during interactions with potential romantic partners.

Halle Bailey as Ariel in The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid fans are outraged as the new movie has changed the lyrics of classic songs. Credit: Disney

Menken explains that he made these changes because he didn’t want young girls to feel that they should not speak out of turn, even though Ursula, the sea witch, is manipulating Ariel to give up her voice.

The composer did not specify which specific verses he has updated in either song, but he did suggest that several lines required an update.

Both ‘Kiss the Girl’ and ‘Poor Unfortunate Souls’ are iconic songs from the original film, and some fans haven’t reacted well to the unknown updates.

One person wrote on Facebook: “I’m wondering when it will all stop. If you are doing a remake of an original, then do it as it was intended.

“If you are politically redoing a story, then rename it.”

Another said: “If the ‘Poor Unfortunate Souls’ lyrics have changed it completely misses the point of the movie.”

However, some people have agreed that the changes were necessary.

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One penned: “I was initially p***ed reading this headline because I loved all the songs from this movie growing up.

“But if you read the article it actually makes sense. We’re clearly raising our children differently in 2023 than we did in 1989… so updates to be relevant to today makes sense.”

A second added: “The only one they needed to change was ‘Poor Unfortunate Souls’.

“The whole song is condescending to women. A few updates won’t hurt as long as they keep the musical composition. This is something you don’t notice as a kid.”

While in another modern twist, Bailey has revealed that her character will be very different from the Ariel of 1989.

She tells Edition that she’s ‘really excited’ for her version of the character, as she won’t just be leaving the ocean ‘for a boy’.

The actress explains: “It’s way bigger than that. It’s about herself, her purpose, her freedom, her life and what she wants.

“As women we are amazing, we are independent, we are modern, we are everything and above. And I’m glad that Disney is updating some of those themes.”

The Little Mermaid will premiere on May 26.

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Written by Cal Gaunt

Cal is a former content editor at IGV who specialised in writing trending and entertainment news. He previously worked as a news reporter at the Lancashire Telegraph and earned an NCTJ in Sports Journalism.