Little Mermaid Director Defends Offensive Song Updates

The Little Mermaid remake director has weighed in on changing some song lyrics for the new movie. Recently, composer Alan Menken leaked that two of the songs from the original animated film had some of their lyrics changed to make them “less offensive” to today’s audiences. Menken named both “Kiss the Girl” and “Poor Unfortunate Souls” as songs that were affected.

“There are some changes in the lyrics to ‘Kiss the Girl’ because people have become very sensitive to the idea that [Prince Eric] would in any way impose [Ariel],” Menken said, through Vanity Fair. “We have some revisions in ‘Poor Unfortunate Souls’ for lines that might make young girls feel like they shouldn’t speak up, even though Ursula is clearly manipulating Ariel into giving her up. voice. »

Rob Marshall, the director of the film, also shared his thoughts on this. In a press release for the film (per TheDirect), he backed up what Menken said by noting how necessary these changes were, saying it’s “vital” to respect shifting sensibilities since the 1980s. .

“We asked Lin-Manuel to make slight adjustments to the original lyrics of ‘Kiss the Girl,’ because it’s important to remember that culture and sensibilities have changed over the past 34 years, and it’s essential that we respect these changes. “, said Marshall.

Kiss the Girl: Too Problematic For 2023?

The original version of these songs will still be there in the animated movie, so they won’t go away. While it remains to be seen what the new lyrics will be, we can presume which ones were dropped for the remake. With “Kiss the Girl,” there’s a moment when Sebastian the Crab encourages Prince Eric to kiss Ariel in a way that may suggest he doesn’t need to get consent first.

As Sebastian sings, “Yes, you want her. Look at her, you know you want it. She might want you too. There’s a way to ask her. It doesn’t take a word. Not a single word. Go ahead and kiss the girl.

As for “Poor Unfortunate Souls,” the new version of the song will likely cut Ursula telling Ariel that her “pretty face” means more to men than a conversation, because it’s “much preferred that women not say a word.” word “. Presumably the new song will get rid of that and other lines like “She’s the one holding her tongue that’s got a man.”

There will also be new original music made specifically for the remake that was not featured in the animated version of the film. Prince Eric actor Jonah Hauer-King recently revealed that one of the new songs will be called ‘Wild Uncharted Waters’, which sees his character give a ‘call’ to the ocean, similar to the call from Ariel to the human world.

“It’s a call to the girl who saved him,” he said via Empire. “They are both looking for adventure, to other worlds. »

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