The little Mermaid composer Alan Menken offers an explanation for why a song from the original 1989 animated classic isn’t part of the world of the new live-action movie.
During an interview with Comic book. com published Saturday, the Oscar-winning songwriter said the new team behind Disney’s new feature film that hits theaters May 26 opted not to include the song “Daughters of Triton.” In the 1989 film, the song is performed by Ariel’s sisters near the beginning of the story and shows King Triton that his youngest daughter is not with the rest of the family as planned.
According to Menken, it was a higher priority to create more build-up to Ariel’s performance of “Part of Your World”, widely regarded as one of the first film’s signature songs. “I think the thought process was a) we didn’t need it in this particular version,” Menken said of “Daughters of Triton” being ignored. “And we definitely wanted the movie to start with a much more live-action feel of the ocean and the encounter with Ariel, and then we kind of wait, let’s you wait until we get to ‘Part of Your World.'”
He continued, “And I think that, you know, was a great choice because it just builds the power and anticipation.” And part of that is also knowing that you are adapting something that is already loved. So you want to say, ‘Wait for it, wait for it, wait for it – and here it is.’ And when it comes, God.”
Another tune from the original movie that’s not on the track list for the new version’s soundtrack – which is available for pre-sale at Spotify – is “Les Poissons”, performed in the animated film by the character Chef Louie as Sebastian gets stuck in the kitchen. The 2023 film’s soundtrack also includes three new songs composed by Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Jacob Tremblay, who voices Flounder in the live action The little Mermaidspoke to The Hollywood Reporter at the film’s recent premiere about another change from the original, which was his character’s appearance. “I thought it was really cool because I like how they do it to make them look like real animals,” the artist said of Flounder’s new look, which has been the subject of some criticism on social media. “I think people should see the movie and then they can judge.”
The cast of the new Little Mermaid includes Halle Bailey, Jonah Hauer-King, Daveed Diggs, Awkwafina, Noma Dumezweni, Javier Bardem and Melissa McCarthy. Disney will release the Rob Marshall-directed film on May 26.