The Little Mermaid: Director Explains Why Ariel Needed a New Song

The live-action remake of Disney’s The Little Mermaid dropped in theaters globally on May 26, 2023, and is doing fairly well at the box office. It has a long way to go to turn a profit, but I’m banking on that happening. 

The film features many of the old classics from the 1989 animation, like “Under the Sea,” “Part of Your World,” and “Poor Unfortunate Souls,” but also introduces some new numbers. One of the songs added to the track list was “For the First Time,” where Ariel has lost her voice and is walking among the humans for the first time.

Though Ariel doesn’t actually sing the song, it voices the inner turmoil of her mind – the wonders she witnesses in human society while feeling like a fish out of water. Director Rob Marshall noted the importance of making this song with the original Disney film composer Alan Mencken in an interview with Collider.

The Little Mermaid: Director Explains Why Ariel Needed a New Song
The Little Mermaid

The filmmaker explained how Halle Bailey’s Ariel needed to have more than “one song” where she could express her deepest emotions. Read his thoughts on the matter below:

It’s surprising how, when you think about the animated film, you realize that Ariel had one song. There’s a series of reprises, but it’s one song. The great thing about working with Alan is that he’s so open to looking at things. He knew this was a different genre. 

We were doing a live-action film, so we had to figure out how to approach that. We said, “Can we find another place for Ariel?” The challenging thing was that she had, of course, lost her voice. But in film, you can create something where you’re hearing the internal thoughts through music and song. That was the key for us in finding this piece for her. 

It also accomplished a lot for us too because it’s a montage of all her time on land until she meets the prince for the first time. It helped us in so many ways. It was wonderful to have that collaboration.

Halle Bailey’s facial and vocal performance brings to life the raw emotions Ariel is experiencing. The song is clearly a necessary and welcome addition to the remake and the story of The Little Mermaid. It only goes to show how the remake builds on the success of the original Disney film and even brings a fresh feel to it.

The Little Mermaid: Director Explains Why Ariel Needed a New Song
Halle Bailey as Ariel in The Little Mermaid

Have you seen the film yet? If not, book your tickets now and dive into the Disney magic. If you have, drop down and give us some comments.

Watch The Little Mermaid (2023) on:

About The Little Mermaid (2023)

The Little Mermaid is a 2023 American musical fantasy film directed by Rob Marshall from a screenplay written by David Magee. Co-produced by Walt Disney Pictures, DeLuca Marshall, and Marc Platt Productions, it is a live-action adaptation of Disney’s 1989 animated film of the same name itself, loosely based on the 1837 fairy tale of the same title by Hans Christian Andersen.

The film stars Halle Bailey in the titular role alongside Jonah Hauer-King, Daveed Diggs, Awkwafina, Jacob Tremblay, Noma Dumezweni, Javier Bardem, and Melissa McCarthy.

The Little Mermaid follows a mermaid princess Ariel who makes a deal with a treacherous sea witch Ursula to trade her voice for human legs in order to impress Prince Eric, who is saved from a shipwreck before the time runs out.

Source: Collider

Epic Dope Staff

Epic Dope Staff

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