Alan Menken, the renowned composer and songwriter responsible for the original animated film’s music, is back to work on the upcoming live-action adaptation of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. This time, he has teamed up with Lin-Manuel Miranda to create new tunes for the movie starring Halle Bailey.
In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Menken divulged some of the new songs that fans can look forward to. He shared that the creative process involved discussing with director Rob Marshall what was needed for the adaptation. One such addition is the Prince Eric (Jonah Hauer-King) song, titled “Wild Unchartered Waters.” Another song, as yet unnamed, will be for Ariel when she loses her voice and gains legs, expressing her thoughts about experiencing new things for the first time.
The duo also crafted a song called “Scuttlebutt” for Scuttle (Awkwafina) and Sebastian (Daveed Diggs), which revolves around the confusion and rumors surrounding the prince’s decision to marry. Although they initially believe it to be Ariel, it turns out to be Ursula (Melissa McCarthy) in disguise as Vanessa. Menken praised Lin-Manuel Miranda’s lyrical prowess, calling his lyrics “to die for.”
A fourth song, “Impossible Child,” written for King Triton (Javier Bardem), was not included in the film. Menken explained that the decision was made because the song was not necessary for the storyline, but he hinted that it might appear as a DVD bonus feature.
While the Broadway version of The Little Mermaid won’t be featuring any new songs, some changes have been made to the lyrics of the original tunes. Menken revealed that they revised lines in “Kiss the Girl” and “Poor Unfortunate Souls” to reflect evolving sensitivities around certain themes, such as consent and female empowerment.
With only two months left until the live-action The Little Mermaid hits theaters, fans are eagerly awaiting to see how the new music and adjustments will bring a fresh perspective to this timeless classic.