EW has shared an exclusive look at some of the new songs coming to the new-live action adaptation of The Little Mermaid from Alan Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda when it hits theaters in May.
- In an exclusive story on EW, Alan Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda are sharing more about their experience creating the music behind the upcoming live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.
- Menken, who composed the original Walt Disney Animation Studios classic, worked with Miranda to bring three new songs to life in the film – “Scuttlebutt,” “For The First Time,” and “Wild Uncharted Waters.”
- Working together, the duo tackled the pieces, including the new, additional song for Ariel, “For the First Time,” based on a melody that Menken composed for the original film while Eric and Ariel are touring the castle. Miranda says in the exclusive, “"All the clues for what that song could be are actually laid in 'Part of Your World,' which is one of the greatest 'I want' songs of all time that Alan wrote with Howard Ashman. She's wondering all these things about what life on land is. One of my favorite lyrics of all time: 'What's a fire and why does it… what's the word? Burn?' We thought [about] the opportunity to actually see her come face to face with the realities of life on land with (1) gravity, (2) fire, (3) clothes, (4) how people on land regard sea creatures, (5) meeting this man that she has had been in love with."
- "Wild Uncharted Waters” is the song Miranda says he was most intimidated by because it felt like it lived more in the Menken-Ashman wheelhouse than his own. Sung by Jonah Hauer-King, who plays Prince Eric, the song is reportedly a power ballad, showcasing that he and Ariel are the same restless spirit now that Eric is portrayed more as an explorer in the new film. The song comes after Ariel carries an unconscious Eric to shore after his ship crashes and sinks during a storm. He doesn't yet know she's a mermaid. He just knows some mystery woman saved his life, and he yearns to find her.
- And lastly, we have “Scuttlebutt,” inspired by the seagull who is voiced by Awkwafina in the new film, performed alongside Daveed Diggs, playing Sebastian.
- Menken calls the piece, “accidental art,” adding that “it’s so in Lin’s wheelhouse. If anybody asked me to now perform it, I would have to transform myself just to speak that fast."
- Miranda describes the song as “ the most deliciously ADHD runaway train of thought. There's tangents inside of tangents."
- Reportedly, Menken gave Miranda a Caribbean-style melody, which the lyricist then chopped up into his favorite bits, put those in order, and wrote lyrics based on that tune.
- In another video from EW that can be found on their site, Miranda and Menken also share how audiences aren’t ready for the musical performances by Melissa McCarthy (who plays Ursula in the film), with Menken adding that she will likely be picked for a lot of musicals after this movie.
- The Little Mermaid arrives in theaters on May 26th
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