The Little Mermaid is considered by many as “the film that brought Broadway into cartoons.” The songs of The Little Mermaid remain the favorites of many hardcore Disney fans.
Alan Menken, who collaborated with Howard Ashman on the songs, wrote the Award-winning Academy score. The Little Mermaid was written and directed by John Musker and Ron Clements and produced by Musker and Ashman.
In January 1990, The Little Mermaid earned three Academy Award nominations. The film won two awards, for Best Song (“Under the Sea”) and Best Score. The film also earned four Golden Globe nominations, including Best Picture—Comedy or Musical, and won the awards for Best Song (“Under the Sea”) and Best Score.
In addition to the box office and critical success of the film itself, the Little Mermaid soundtrack album earned two awards at the 33rd Grammy Awards in 1991: the Grammy Award for Best Album for Children and the Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media.
Because of the film’s success and Oscars, Golden Globes, and Grammy Awards, The Little Mermaid soundtrack was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in September 1990 for shipments of two million copies of the soundtrack album, an unheard-of feat for an animated film at the time.
The Little Mermaid won two Academy Awards for Best Original Score as well as Best Song for Alan MThe Little Mermaid won two Academy Awards for Best Original Score as well as Best Song for Alan Menken and Howard Ashman’s “Under the Sea,” sung by Samuel E. Wright in a memorable scene. Another song from the film, “Kiss the Girl,” was nominated but lost to “Under the Sea.”
The film also won two Golden Globes for Best Original Score and Best Original Song for “Under the Sea.” In addition, nominated in two other categories, Best Motion Picture and Best Original Song. Menken and Ashman also won a Grammy Award in 1991 for “Under the Sea.”
One of the film’s favorite songs, “Part of Your World,” was nearly cut from the film when it seemingly tested poorly with an audience of school children, who became rowdy during the scene. The children’s reaction caused Jeffrey Katzenberg to feel that the song needed to be cut from the film, an idea that Musker, Clements, and Keane resisted.
Musker and Clements cited the similar situation of the famous tune “Over the Rainbow” nearly being cut from 1939’s The Wizard of Oz when appealing to Katzenberg. Keane pushed for the song to Both Musker and Clements cited the similar situation of the famous song “Over the Rainbow” nearly being cut from 1939’s The Wizard of Oz when appealing to Katzenberg. Keane pushed for the music to remain until the film was in a more finalized state. During a second test screening, the scene, now colorized and further developed, tested well with a particular child audience, and they kept the musical number in the movie.
Below we rank the most memorable The Little Mermaid songs and lyrics performed in the movie.
7. Daughters of Triton
It’s not one of the movie’s best songs, but it shows that Ariel is a free-spirited person who is happy doing whatever she wants. This tune is a big musical performance by all of Triton’s daughters and is Ariel’s debut with them. It builds up nicely, introducing each daughter as it highlights her great singing ability. However, when Ariel doesn’t appear, the song ends abruptly.
6. Les Poissons
Chef Louis’ singing while he works, is a nice break from the film’s main storyline, with this scene inserted for comedic value. The song is upbeat and fun, with Chef Louis enjoying himself while preparing the meal. But this also is an excellent reminder of Sebastian’s point that it is safer to live under the sea than on land because this is how humans treat fish.
5. Fathoms Below
It’s a song that most people probably don’t remember since it takes place right at the beginning of the movie before the introduction of any significant characters. Focusing on the ship and crew, the song tells a story of what lives down under the sea. It’s well done, with commonplace legends and myths onboard ships, and provides our first glimpse of Prince Eric.
4. Poor Unfortunate Souls
Ursula, the Sea Witch, is one of Disney’s best villains, possessing a commanding presence, full of sass and confidence. It’s never more evident than when you hear Pat Carroll’s voice booming in this amazing villain song. The song has a dark tone, but with the style and energy Ursula sings, it becomes very catchy. Once Ariel has signed the contract, the monumental instrumental moments towards the song’s end bring things together nicely. Her deep vocals give this a truly eerie feel.
3. Kiss the Girl
First kisses are magical moments, and this song celebrates them. The lovable Sebastian sings this romantic song. The piece is even more romantic because the two young lovers are sitting in a blue lagoon, surrounded by all the animals who sing their hearts out at the end.
2. Part of Your World
Of course, no song list for The Little Mermaid would be completed without Ariel’s heartwarming number “Part of Your World.” Of the songs from Ariel, this is the fan favorite by far. Everyone can relate to her desire to be a part of a more fantastic world, a world she wants to know in more detail. This beautiful song makes audiences admire Ariel and get excited to embark on her magical journey.
1. Under the Sea
It is no wonder this incredible song won the Oscar for Best Original Song. With its bubbly imagery and wordplay set to an irresistible melody, “Under the sea” makes every listener want to live underwater. Everyone knows and loves the song, as it feels like an authentic party atmosphere. Sung by Sebastian, a fun character who exudes charisma throughout the delightful tune. He’s just trying to explain to Ariel that living underwater is safer and more intelligent than living above ground, which is his job. He does it so well and, in the process, creates one of Walt Disney’s best songs. See the Under the Sea lyrics post for more details on the music and complete Little Mermaid song lyrics from the movie and Broadway musical.
What are Your Favorite Little Mermaid Songs
How did we compare how you rank the best Little Mermaid song lyrics? Did we match, or do you have them in a different order?