Two classic songs from “The Little Mermaid” received updated lyrics for the upcoming live-action remake to emphasize consent and female empowerment.
In an interview published Tuesday, Vanity Fair asked Alan Menken, the 73-year-old prolific Disney composer, if any changes needed to be made to the music from the 1989 animated flick.
“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],” he revealed.
“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,” Menken added.
While the new lyrics have yet to be revealed, the original versions are universally known —and arguably outdated.
“Kiss the Girl” goes: “Yes, you want her / Look at her, you know you do / Possible she want 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.”
The sea witch Ursula, meanwhile, sings “Poor Unfortunate Souls” to Ariel to coax the mermaid to give up her voice.
The villain sings: “Yes, on land it’s much preferred / For ladies not to say a word / And after all, dear, what is idle prattle for? / Come on, they’re not all that impressed with conversation / True gentlemen avoid it when they can / But they dote and swoon and fawn / On a lady who’s withdrawn / It’s she who holds her tongue who gets a man.”
The forthcoming Halle Bailey-led film also features new songs that Menken wrote with “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, 43.
“The Little Mermaid” opens in theatres on May 26 from Disney.