"The Little Mermaid"'s "Kiss The Girl" Is Reimagined in New Snippet From the Live-Action Movie
We're ready to go under the sea for Disney's live-action "The Little Mermaid" movie. The film was first announced back in 2016 and details about it have been trickling in slowly ever since. After the COVID-19 pandemic slowed production, the movie is finally set to hit theaters this month and fans are eager to take it all in — including the movie's many differences from the original, like new songs and even some tweaks to original tracks fans have come to love.
The rebooted version of one of the original film's most iconic songs, "Part of Your World," dropped on April 26, and hearing how much emotion star Halle Bailey's vocals bring to the song will make you even more excited to hear the rest of the movie's new music. Just over a week later, on May 7, a snippet of another "Little Mermaid" original, "Kiss the Girl," was previewed during the 2023 MTV Movie & TV Awards.
During the Oscars on March 12, Disney released the full trailer for the live-action film. It gives us our best look at Ariel's colorful underwater world, with British actor Jonah Hauer-King as the dashing Prince Eric, and Melissa McCarthy as the villainous Ursula, who's always up to some major mayhem. The footage also spotlights Javier Bardem as King Triton.
Way back in September 2022, Disney released the first teaser for the movie at D23 Expo. That teaser features beautiful shots of Ariel in the ocean with the iconic "Part of Your World" playing in the background. Bailey also sings some of the song in the teaser. At the event, Disney played the full "Part of Your World" sequence for the crowd in attendance.
"I hope that we can just bring back some of that childhood movie magic."
Of making history as the first Black actor to play Ariel and the second to be crowned a Disney princess (Anika Noni Rose, who voiced Tiana in 2009's "The Princess and the Frog," was the first), Bailey told POPSUGAR in March, "It's about time that a role like this is played by a Black woman, by somebody who is just a part of this beautiful community. We deserve to have images that look like us and to see ourselves in the media on big screens and everything."
She also spoke about the initial reaction to the trailer in a November 2022 interview with POPSUGAR. "I just feel super honored that I get to take on a role like this," she said. "It really makes me pinch myself at times. It doesn't feel real, but I'm just really grateful with the overall response, especially from the babies. They keep me going. Seeing all the reactions of them just make me cry and fill me with such joy."
Bailey anticipates viewers will enjoy the nostalgia of the live-action film. "I hope that we can just bring back some of that childhood movie magic," she said, adding, "I hope that when the movie finally does come out, everybody enjoys it and really likes it, because I did my best."
In Variety's 2022 Power of Young Hollywood issue, published in August 2022, Bailey discussed identifying with Ariel at a young age, saying, "Her sense of longing, her searching for herself, was something that I could resonate with. She knew where she wanted to go, and she wasn't going to let anybody stop her."
In the same Variety interview, Bailey also opened up about how she coped with the racist criticism that followed her casting. "It's important to have a strong support system around you. It's hard to carry the weight of the world on your own," she added. Bailey said she leaned on her grandparents, who shared their own memories of the racism and discrimination they've endured over the years. "It was an inspiring and beautiful thing to hear their words of encouragement, telling me, 'You don't understand what this is doing for us, for our community, for all the little Black and brown girls who are going to see themselves in you,'" she recalled.
Read ahead for everything we know about the anticipated new movie, including the trailer, release date, music, and poster.
— Additional reporting by Yerin Kim
"The Little Mermaid" Music
During the 2022 Oscars on March 27, Bailey confirmed in a red carpet interview that she will be singing "Part of Your World" in the new movie. Host Brandon Maxwell asked her what her favorite song to perform in the remake is, and she answered, "Of course, 'Part of Your World.' Yep, that's my number one."
Disney released Bailey's version of "Part of Your World" in full on April 26, and it's just as emotionally stirring as you expected. While Bailey undoubtably brings a new feel to the song with her soul-stirring vocals, it's still very true to the original.
In a March 31, interview with Vanity Fair, Alan Menken revealed that there have been some small changes to other iconic songs from the original movie in order to make them feel a bit more modern. "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]," the composer — who's behind some of Disney's most memorable songs from "Beauty and the Beast," "Aladdin," and more — shared. A snippet of the live-action rendition of "Kiss the Girl" was then teased during the 2023 MTV Movie & TV Awards on May 7.
Menken continued, "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."
At D23, Marshall confirmed that the movie will have four new songs penned by Menken and Miranda.
"The Little Mermaid" Featurette
The cast and crew of "The Little Mermaid" talk about the making of the live-action film in a clip released on April 13.
"The Little Mermaid" Trailer
The full trailer for "The Little Mermaid" was released on March 12. The clip, which is over two minutes long, gives glimpses at some of the movie's most iconic scenes and many of the fish Ariel interacts with under the sea.
"The Little Mermaid" Teaser Trailer 2
Disney released a new short teaser for the film on Feb. 15. Bailey wrote alongside it on Twitter, "I'm so very excited to continue the #Disney100 celebration with this new look at #TheLittleMermaid 🧜🏽♀️just 100 days until it arrives in theaters!"
"The Little Mermaid" Teaser Trailer 1
The live-action "The Little Mermaid" released its first trailer on Sept. 9. It features Bailey singing some of "Part of Your World."
"The Little Mermaid" Live-Action Cast
The movie is anchored by Bailey as Ariel, Hauer-King as Prince Eric, and McCarthy as Ursula. The cast also includes Awkwafina as Scuttle, Jacob Tremblay as Flounder, Bardem as King Triton, Daveed Diggs as Sebastian, and Noma Dumezweni as Queen Selina. Art Malik also joins the cast as Sir Grimsby.
"The Little Mermaid" Live-Action Production Team
The remake will be directed by "Mary Poppins Returns"'s Rob Marshall and will feature the music stylings of Lin-Manuel Miranda and original composer Alan Menken.
"The Little Mermaid" Live-Action Release Date
Disney announced the film will be released on May 26.
"The Little Mermaid" Poster
The official poster dropped on Oct. 13, and Bailey celebrated on Instagram, writing, "Words can't describe how immensely honored I feel to play the mermaid of my dreams, Ariel in Disney's The Little Mermaid. Come under the sea with me, in theaters May 26, 2023 🧜."
"The Little Mermaid" Poster 2
Disney released a new poster for "The Little Mermaid" on March 12 during the Oscars. It shows more of Ariel's life underwater, including characters like King Triton, Prince Eric, and Ursula.