Rob Marshall, the director of the upcoming live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, explained some of the changes that were made to the iconic song "Part of Your World."
Halle Bailey's version of the long-beloved Disney story is fast approaching its theatrical release, with early critics already offering some praise for the reenvisioned underwater story.
Marshall has discussed a number of changes that were made to the original 1989 animated feature, most of which come courtesy of more than 50 extra minutes of screen time to the adventure from its predecessor.
This includes changes to some of the music that will be heard in this remake, one of which will come in arguably the animated movie's most famous song that Ariel belts out.
The Little Mermaid Director Explains Song Changes
Speaking in the latest issue of SFX Magazine, The Little Mermaid director Rob Marshall explained the changes made to the scene that features Halle Bailey's iteration of "Part of Your World."
Marshall described the movie as "a reimagining of Little Mermaid more than a remake," noting that fans have to feel a song is earned in the story rather than it being just thrown into the movie:
"This really is a reimagining of 'Little Mermaid' more than a remake. There are things in animated musicals that you just accept that you just wouldn’t accept in live-action – you have to make sure that you’ve earned a song, as an example, and it can’t feel pasted on."
Going into the animated version of "Part of Your World," Marshall remembered how much of the song featured Sebastian "doing these pratfalls, falling over cups, big gags" while Ariel is singing. But for this movie, the director called the musical number their version of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" from The Wizard of Oz, noting that it needed to be treated with that kind of reverence:
“With a song like 'Part Of Your World' in the animated film, there’s a lot of time spent on [the crab character] Sebastian doing these pratfalls, falling over cups, big gags. But that song is the motor for the entire piece. It’s our 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow' and it needed to be treated like that."
This time around, Sebastian won't be involved with the song, with Marshall feeling that fans need to "believe this real person" and be with her at this moment, knowing that he could fix it with the live-action remake:
"So Sebastian is not around when Ariel’s singing ‘Part Of Your World’ because we’re supposed to believe this real person and you want to be with her and understand what she’s feeling. And these are things you can do, and you can fix, and make work for live-action."
This is only one of a few changes being made to the music, some of it being slightly controversial with the lyrics to "Kiss the Girl" going through a more modern filter of sorts.
Will Sebastian's Absence Help "Part of Your World" Succeed?
Fans of The Little Mermaid from 1989 will remember plenty of zany fun from Sebastian in "Part of Your World," as the comedic crab jumped around all over the place in a number of Ariel's human artifacts from her hidden cave.
Even though it brought plenty of funny moments back in the day, this time around, Halle Bailey's Ariel will have the spotlight all to herself as she gets to take in the gravity of this moment in the story.
Fans have already gotten a taste of Bailey's singing chops with a live performance of this musical number, although there are still minor details regarding its place in this reimagining that remain under wraps.
On top of that, looking at the immense positivity that's come from test screenings along with the mostly positive reviews from early critics, this song will likely be one of the highlights of Disney's latest live-action remake efforts
The Little Mermaid will swim into theaters on Friday, May 26.