The live-action rendition of The Little Mermaid (2023) made a splash on Memorial Day weekend! The film released in theaters on May 26th, 2023 and Disney fans were through the roof! The movie is a remake of Disney’s 1989 animated film, The Little Mermaid. With amazing visuals and great performances, the film has already become a massive hit. The soundtrack was put together by Alan Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Together, they composed memorable songs that are both nostalgic and new. But is the soundtrack worth the listen? Let’s take a look at what the motion picture album has in store!
Note: This article contains movie spoilers! If you have not seen The Little Mermaid (2023) and do not want to be spoiled, do not read past this point.
‘Part of Your World’
‘Part Of Your World’ is one of the most popular songs of The Little Mermaid and was highly anticipated upon the release of the live-action film. It is the first major song of the movie, as Ariel laments about her desire to learn about the human world.
When I went to see the film, this song received great applause from the audience. Halle Baily’s performance was phenomenal. Her display of Ariel’s emotions through her voice was even more passionate than the original. Admittedly, there were a few awkward moments in her delivery while adding her own style of singing. Nevertheless, her performance was great.
‘Under The Sea’
‘Under The Sea’ is another very popular song from Disney’s song catalogue. It is sung by Sebastian the crab, performed by Daveed Diggs. Daveed is most known for his role as Thomas Jefferson in the Broadway show, Hamilton. In the song, Sebastian tries to convince Ariel to give up her dreams of going on land. He tells her that the human world is messy and lists all of the great things about the ocean.
The song itself was great as far as instrumentals. However, Daveed’s performance as Sebastian was lacking. As someone who is a fan of Daveed’s work, I was a bit disappointed in his delivery. Sebastian’s character was very watered down (no pun intended) and did not have the same passion as the original song. Luckily, the film was able to make up for it with its bright colors and choreography.
‘Wild Uncharted Waters’
Prince Eric gets his time to shine with his own song. The film allows for Eric to develop his character and Jonah Hauer-King was a great pick to play the role. The lyrics revolve around Eric expressing his desire to venture out and find Ariel after she rescued him from drowning. Jonah’s performance of the song and as Prince Eric was great. However, in my opinion, the song itself is the worst out of the bunch.
Compared to the rest of the soundtrack, this song was very generic and merely acted as a buffer from one scene to the next. Eric’s song could have been thrown out from the final product and nothing about the film would have changed.
‘Poor Unfortunate Souls’
Melissa McCarthy’s performance of Ursula exceeded expectations. It is rare to see Melissa outside of comedic roles. Because of this, moviegoers were very curious about how she would handle this song. But she made a surprisingly good villain and practically made the song her own.
The song takes place when Ariel visits her aunt Ursula in an effort to become human. Ursula agrees, but warns Ariel about the price she has to pay to become human. Much of the song was talk-singing rather than actual singing. Even so, Melissa pulled it off by pairing her eccentric acting and raspy voice with Ursula’s scheming personality.
‘Kiss The Girl’
Yet another well-known track from the film, ‘Kiss The Girl’ is performed by Daveed Diggs with Awkwafina as Scuttle and Jacob Tremblay as Flounder. In an attempt to get Prince Eric to kiss Ariel, Sebastian has the idea to set the mood with a love song. The scene itself is very romantic as Ariel and Eric ride their boat and gaze at the stars.
Compared to the original from 1989, this rendition takes a calmer approach. The soothing melody paired with the playfulness of the cinematic scene makes for an amazing display of romance and bonding.
If you’re a fan of Lin-Manuel Miranda, you’ll know that this song has his name written all over it. Lin is known for his unique and fast-paced style of rap. This is especially prevalent in his award winning Broadway show, Hamilton. I may be biased when I say this is my favorite song because I am a big fan of Lin’s work. Due to backlash against Awkwafina, the song receives a lot of hate. But I believe this works very well for Scuttle’s character.
This piece takes place when Scuttle tells Ariel and Sebastian that Prince Eric has chosen a bride. It is revealed later than he was put under Ursula’s spell to keep him away from Ariel. Scuttle is known for being very loud and obnoxious. Awkwafina is often criticized for her loud and raspy voice. But in my opinion, the casting could not have been better for Scuttle.
The soundtrack is a very essential part for any film. Whether or not it’s a musical, the soundtrack sets the mood and helps in telling the story. Overall, I rate The Little Mermaid soundtrack at a 7.5 out of 10. Some performances were great while others fell short. Despite this, the film and its music received a lot of positive feedback from audiences worldwide.
But of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Which is why here at Mic Drop Music, we would like to know your thoughts! What did you think of the movie’s soundtrack? How does it compare to the original Little Mermaid (1989)? Let us know in the comments below!
If you would like a more thorough analysis of the film, you can read my full article on the subject on Medium!