Joy Behar at the world premiere of 'Crisis in Six Scenes'

'The View' Comments On 'The Little Mermaid' Consent Lyrics Change

Home / Entertainment / 'The View' Comments On 'The Little Mermaid' Consent Lyrics Change

By Kristin Myers on April 6, 2023 at 1:30 PM EDT
Updated on April 6, 2023 at 1:37 PM EDT

"The View" recently decided to take on the lyrics change in not one, but two songs, in the live-action remake of "The Little Mermaid."

Both "Poor Unfortunate Fouls" and the more recognizable "Kiss The Girl" have been rewritten to factor in more "consent" and update the lyrics for a modern age. Although not everyone is down with the change, panelist Whoopi Goldberg definitely is.

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Whoopi Goldberg Is 'Glad' To See 'Consent' Added To The Lyrics Of  'The Little Mermaid'

Songwriter Alan Menken decided to update certain lyrics from the 1989 animated film to add the importance of consent. Whoopi Goldberg seems to be a fan of this decision, saying that she is “glad” that he made the change.

"You're a songwriter who says these are not feeling like the songs I want kids singing now — I want to make some adjustments. I'm glad he did it,” she said. “I wouldn't want some new person coming in and going, 'I'm going to fix this.' He knows what he's doing. Eight Academy Awards. He's got eight of 'em.”

Hostin then explained the scene, adding, "With 'Kiss the Girl,' she gave her voice away so she could have legs, so I don't know how she could talk.” That was apparently news to Joy Behar, who thought that she was still a mermaid at this point in the story.

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"Wait a minute, when this consent thing happened, she had legs? Because I was thinking, as a mermaid, how far could he go? He could go to second base, that's it," Joy joked. "She has legs? Now we're talking!" Whoopi then reminded fans watching along at home that mermaids were not harmed in the making of this movie.

"The truth of the matter is — and I don't want to say this out loud, too loudly — but, you know, it's animation?" Whoopi said. "What they're shooting now is — they call it live-action, yes — but the story is still, you know, there are mermaids not making an appearance in this."

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Alan Menken Explains Why They Made Changes To 'The Little Mermaid'

Halle Bailey as Ariel

In an interview with Variety, Alan Menken explained why he made the changes to the original versions of the songs.

"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 explained. "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."

In another interview with Entertainment Weekly, also featuring Lin-Manuel Miranda, the composer revealed that there will be three new songs added to the soundtrack, including “For the First Time,” which watches Ariel struggle to adapt to life on land.

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Lin-Manuel Miranda

"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," Miranda explained. "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."

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The “Hamilton” creator also wrote a power ballad called “Wild Unchartered Waters” for Prince Eric. "We took our cues from David's [screenwriter] script. What he's done with Eric is made him an explorer," Miranda explained. "So, in a lot of ways, he and Ariel have the same restless spirit, but they're just from two different biomes. He wants to see the other edge of that horizon line wherever it may lead him. He's endlessly drawn to the sea and [Ariel's] endlessly drawn to land. So where does that get us?"

There Will Be Three New Songs Featured In The Live-Action 'The Little Mermaid'

They also created a song called “Scuttlebutt” featuring Awkwafina’s Scuttle the Seagull and Daveed Digg’s Sebastian the Crab. "When we were in the studio with Awkwafina and Daveed, we were like, 'Well, we could do like a crazy double-time thing right here at the end because they can do that,'" Miranda recalled. "It would just be an extra little button, a little extra icing on the cake. So I was like, 'Let me think of some things that they could rap really fast.'"

"It's the most deliciously ADHD runaway train of thought," he teased, adding, "There are tangents inside of tangents." Menken described the piece as “accidental art” after Miranda mashed together several parts of his melody.

“The Little Mermaid” hits theaters on May 26.

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