TeaThirty-four years ago, Disney released what would go on to become an American classic: the animated little MermaidThe title role is voiced by Jodi Benson. Friday is half live action, half CGI little Mermaid remake (now starring Halle Bailey) opened in theaters — though critics seem To Thinking It hasn’t been properly updated for the new century, or changed enough to warrant a reboot.
Much of the plot remains the same: a curious, adventurous mermaid princess wants nothing more than to become human and explore the world above. But some mostly minor changes remain: the villain becomes an octopus instead of a squid, a new royal character enters the picture, and a few new musical numbers appear. Read on for 10 tweaks to The Water Story.
there are three new songs
Alan Menken, 73—Half of the iconic original duo little Mermaid soundtrack—returned to the live-action production to augment its score. In 1989, Menken won the Oscar for Best Original Score. the little Mermaid and “Oscar for Best Song”under the sea,” the latter shared with songwriter Howard Ashman. The live-action score includes three new songs—”for the first time,wild uncharted waters,” And “the news”- for which Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote the lyrics.
Each song showcases the vocal abilities of its performers: “The First Time” chronicles Ariel’s (Halle Bailey) first steps in the human world. “Wild Uncharted Waters” is the big solo from Eric (Jonah Hauer-King) who wants to leave his island and explore the world. and “Scuttlebutt”, a classic Miranda number, is a rap between seagull Scuttle (Awkwafina) and crab Sebastian (David Diggs) detailing the gossip of the day.
With modern times (and live action and CGI) come modern songs. Two of the film’s sonic mainstays—”Kiss the Girl” and “Poor Unfortunate Souls”—got an update this time around. The former was changed to make consent an active part of the scene. “Maybe she likes you too, there’s a way to ask her out” became “Maybe she likes you too, use your words boy, and ask her out” and “It doesn’t take a word, not even a The word doesn’t become “if the time is right, and the time is tonight.”
“Kiss the Girl,” Menken has some lyrical changes. Said Vanity Fair. “Because people have become very sensitive about the idea [Prince Eric] will force himself by any means [Ariel],
He continued, “We have some revisions about lines in ‘Poor Unfortunate Souls’ that might somehow make young girls feel like they shouldn’t take turns speaking, even though Ursula Ariel should be able to use her voice.” clearly manipulative to give.” In the latter song, an entire verse is removed, including the famous “body language” line as well as “They dot and swoon and fawn / On a woman who’s withdrawn / It’s she who hangs her tongue”. holds that obtains a man.”
Jodi Benson, who originally voiced Ariel, was on hand for all revisions. “We’re talking about starting our [voiceover] Sessions in ’86 [for the original film],” He Said Entertainment Weekly. “It’s 2023, so we have to grow, we have to learn, we have to be aware of our surroundings.”
scuttle is a separate species
Scuttle (Awkwafina)—one of a trio of Ariel’s loyal friends, along with Sebastian the Crab and Flounder the Fish—is no longer a seagull. Now, the dimwitted but lovable character has become a northern gannet, a type of diving bird that can stay under water While hunting, they can dive for half a minute and up to a depth of 70 feet. For plot purposes, this allows Ariel to go underwater (and explain what, exactly, a dinglehopper is) instead of going to the forbidden surface.
Sebastian (full name Horatio Fellonius Ignacius Crustaceus Sebastian) is introduced in the 1989 film as the “distinguished court musician” of King Triton’s kingdom. (He then proceeds to organize a concert to showcase the talents of King Triton’s daughters, minus the errant Ariel.) In the new film, however, Sebastian seems less inclined toward music—though he Still leads a techno production of “Under the Sea”. —and focused more on his role as the king’s trusted servant. We also lose a fun musical standoff between Sebastian and a French chef employed by Prince Eric’s castle, who wants to serve him for dinner – presumably because of its violent nature.
Ariel’s sisters get more action
In the animated original, we meet Ariel’s six sisters—Atina, Alana, Adela, Aquata, Arista, and Andrina—very briefly at the beginning, when they perform Sebastian’s masterpiece. Together, Triton’s daughters represent the seven seas (Ariel possibly also represents one of them, although we are not told which.) In the updated version, Ariel’s sisters are renamed Karina (Kajsa Mohammar), Tamika (Sienna King), Mala (Carolina Conchet), Caspia (Nathalie Sorel), Perla (Loreana Andrea), and Indira (Simone Ashley)—have minor roles. The women reunite with their fathers for the annual Coral Moon instead of the music festival. They help him clean up the kingdom after another shipwreck, are sent on a search party when Ariel goes missing, and later see Ariel off to her new future.
Prince Eric’s Backstory
One of the most significant changes to the plot of the story is the new addition of Prince Eric (Jona Hauer-King), “wild uncharted waters, The prince, infatuated with exploring the outside world beyond the bounds of his kingdom – not unlike Ariel – sets sail on “wild uncharted waters / Beyond where man can see / When thine eyes cast beyond the horizon line”. .
Director Rob Marshall, Producer John DeLuca and Screenwriter David Magee changed the plot To give Eric and Ariel more things in common: Now, they share a burning curiosity and a desire to break out of their respective bubbles. In this iteration, Erik was washed ashore in a shipwreck as a child and was adopted by his parents, the king and queen. “I wasn’t born to be all this,” he tells Ariel of his state. “And it all makes me feel a little uneasy.”
meeting the queen
Although we never see Eric’s father in the new film, we do meet his mother, Rani, played by a regal and confident Noma Dumezweni. (In the 1989 film, Eric’s parents are out of the picture.) Rani serves as a grounding presence, Sage acts to her son’s youthful restlessness, urging him to stay home and Turn to the state he already has.
An Extra Layer in Ursula’s Story
Under the sea, another royal has found a new relative. Ursula (Melissa McCarthy), previously only banished from the kingdom, is now the estranged sister of King Triton (Javier Bardem). This adds an extra layer of malice to his plot to entrap Ariel, given that the princess is now his niece. And as the wicked cherry on top, the sea witch adds something extra to her spell this time around: She makes sure Ariel won’t remember the conditions she needs to fulfill to stay in the human world.
Read more: How drag culture inspired The Little Mermaid’s Ursula
On a superficial level, Ursula has also changed: she used to be half-woman, half-squid, meaning she had six tentacles instead of eight, which, According to Original Ursula voice actor Pat Carroll made her less expensive to draw and animate. But now, with a $250 million budget, Sea Witch can afford a full eight tentacles. In 2023, Ursula is an octopus.
The biggest, most important change happens to our heroine, Miss Ariel. The way Halle Bailey plays her, Mermaid has more agency and control over her own story. Although she still cannot speak for the three days that she is on the ground, she sings a few numbers—”The First Time” and some “Part of Your World”—to describe her reality in her head. own way.
When Ursula comes ashore in human form disguised as Vanessa (Jessica Alexander), she wears Ariel’s voice—the price she paid for her legs—around her neck in a shell locket. In the original, Scuttle snatches the locket from his neck and breaks it, relaying the voice to its rightful owner. In this version, Ariel does it herself. And she takes matters into her own hands, too, when she drives a ship straight at Ursula, defeating her—something Eric had previously done.
Original Ariel Jodi Benson said, “We need to be aware of our evolution as human beings and what is important now and what is not as important.” Said Entertainment Weekly. “Things change. We have to roll with it.
“You have to grow,” Benson said. “It is very important to stay relevant with where we are, what is happening around us. We need to be aware. So the adjustments and fine-tuning that they needed to do, it was necessary, but it was done in a beautiful way. Was done with, and I’m so thrilled with it.
Island gets a facelift
Prince Eric’s empire has had a makeover. In the animated film, the unnamed area had a Mediterranean sensibility, and the town square felt European, reminiscent of beauty and the beast “Belle” lyrics and visuals (“There goes the baker with his tray as usual.”) Now, with references to Cartagena and other Latin American countries on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, the focus has shifted to the island nature of the state. , We still can’t quite pinpoint the area on a map, but Ariel and Eric dance with the locals on a sandy, tropical beach.
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