Disney has altered the lyrics in two songs in the upcoming “The Little Mermaid,” with composer Alan Menken confirming that the lyrics have been changed.
The live-action remake of the popular animated 1989 classic will contain several new songs, as well as changes to old favorites such as “Kiss The Girl” and “Poor Unfortunate Souls.” Both were originally written by Composer Alan Menken along with the late Howard Ashman.
Menken told Vanity Fair that the song sung by Sebastian the crab, titled “Kiss the Girl,” has been changed so that the audience knows Prince Eric would never “force himself on Ariel.”
“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],” the composer said.
Disney’s live action remake of ‘The Little Mermaid’ rewrites songs like 'Kiss the Girl' to teach consent https://t.co/LrFmcohKcm
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In the original song, the lyrics are: “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.”
Another famous song from the classic animated movie has the evil sea witch Ursula singing: “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 preferred for ladies not to say a word. And after all dear, what is idle babble for?”
Menken told the outlet, “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 composer also talked about working on the live-action remake with Lin-Manuel Miranda to collaborate on a few new songs.
“My niece went to Hunter School and I would hear about this little boy named Lin-Manuel Miranda who loved ‘The Little Mermaid,’” Menken told the outlet.
“He was asking questions about it, wanted me to sign posters, and was just fanatical about it,” he added. “Then one day that little boy was a writer who had a new show called ‘In the Heights.’ I thought, was he the same Lin-Manuel Miranda? And now we’re collaborating! I’ve been amazed watching what he’s become in the world.”
“The Little Mermaid” premieres in theaters on May 26.
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