Hi everyone. I have decided to complete my Disney Renaissance "Fabulous Four Collection" regarding how I rank Disney songs. This blog will be about the songs from The Little Mermaid, one of Alan Menken and Howard Ashman's (did I get the name right?) Academy Award winning triumphs. And I have to admit, they're no Lion King or Frozen songs (no offense), but they are still good for the movie. So I am going to tell you a tale of the bottomless blue and its hey to the starboard heave ho!
#8: Daughters of Triton
I put this one on the bottom because it's too short, it doesn't have too much to do with the movie, and much to everyone's dismay, it leads to trouble. All of King Triton's mermaid daughters are singing in a concert, except the one mermaid whose voice everyone wanted to hear most-Ariel. If one thinks about it, there is a clue to Ariel's absence before the concert. Sebastian grumbles that Ariel hasn't shown up for ANY rehearsals, which emphasizes Ariel's adventurous personality that gets on his nerves. It did make me wonder if everyone liked Ariel for her singing voice but not for her personality, kind of like Belle. If so, then I think its a pretty well way to make Ariel an outcast, which might partially explain why she wants to be a human.
#7: Fathoms Below
There's not that much to say about this song, just that its sung by sailors who believe in King Triton and his mer people. The only thing I found memorable about this song was that it introduced Eric, along with Max and his majordomo Grimsby who apparently gets seasick (that's Grimsby's best part in my opinion). A fisherman tells Eric about King Triton and his merpeople, which he seems interested in. Grimsby does not, but the camera proves him wrong.
#6: Part of your world (reprise)
It seems as though Ariel wanted to be human so she could fit in the world in her own way. That is, until she meets her love Prince Eric! She still wants to be human, but this time for a completely different reason. After all, he is handsome, fun, and heroic as she witnessed. They don't meet face to face yet, but since Eric has heard the voice of his dream girl, he's determined to find her as well. Its a mysterious romance, but our couple is on the start of their love trail-that is, provided certain obstacles don't get in the way.
#5: Les Poissons
When I think of this song, the first thing I say in my head is "No wonder King Triton hates humans!" And I'm pretty sure most sea creatures would agree too, and its all represented by this singing chef! He loves to cook seafood, and there is no way he will ever apologize to any sea creature. From Sebastian's perspective, its sadistic and gruesome to see fishies' guts ripped about. To make matters worse, Chef Louis is even better at cooking crabs-which leads to the live discovery of Sebastian and a comical chase between the two. Its funny, but it shows why ocean animals fear humans like this cook. It is confusing as to why Ariel would date a guy who lets a chef cook her neighbors' kind. Wouldn't it make more sense if Eric was a vegetarian? Ah well, that's off topic. You can tell Chef Louis won't be joining the EPA anytime soon.
#4: Kiss the Girl
As Disney romance songs go, this one's ok, but I don't think it has the magic charm as songs like "Beauty and the Beast" or "A Whole New World". But it is pretty expressive, seeing as though Ariel is mute now. Her spell from Ursula expires in less than 24 hours at this time. Her friends are determined to have her kiss Eric by sunset the next day or Ariel's doomed. Using his composing skills, Sebastian sings a song that despite Ariel's lack of a voice, there is more specialty to her than Eric knows. And since Eric is a shy guy (which is why he's currently single), Sebastian secretly gets him to summon the courage to try to kiss his love, before he loses the opportunity. And I think the same could apply for any dating couple. They do miss their chances to get real romantic with their dates, and they end up regretting it later. I have heard a lot of talk about dating failures a lot in the past, and this song convinces us to take risks with our loves-that is, without any eels to push them over like what happened with Eric and Ariel.
#3: Part of Your World
Like I always always say about Ariel, she is a fish out of water, yet she is a fish IN the water, and this song proves that Ariel yearns to be part of a world that welcomes her personality, unlike her dad whom she recently had an argument about her habit of going to the surface one time too many. She's collected a lot of gizmos and items even fishing hooks (for some reason). Strangely though, she still doesn't seem to fit in. She wants to walk, discover, and learn more about the human world! I guess Atlantica seems to oppose all that stuff. The melody and passion is what makes this one of Disney's best "I Want" songs ever.
#2: Poor Unfortunate Souls
Now I know what you're thinking-how can I rank such an evil song above a passionate young woman's good song?!--Well, this song is pretty catchy for a villain's song. It starts off dark and chilling, then by the end of it, it gets higher and higher. Most villain songs are usually sung when the main character is not around, but Ursula sings it right in front of our little mermaid. Ariel runs away from home after King Triton destroys her beloved treasures, Ariel decides she is better off going to Ursula to turn her human-not only to be with Eric , but also to escape her strict father whom she apparently can't bear anymore. Ursula convinces her victim that she always uses her magic to help other merpeople's dreams come true. Although one thing I found odd was that she reveals what happens to the victims if their dream does not come true AND that Ariel will get the same fate if Eric doesn't kiss her by sunset on the third day. I couldn't understand why Ariel would go to Ursula if they were already enemies from the TV show. Isn't the idea to trick Ariel? It would be kind of like Aladdin going to Jafar for help even though he knows he's too dangerous. But I guess I'm over analyzing this. Its still dark, luring, and expressive on just how bad Ursula really is.
And the number one little mermaid song is....
#1: Under the Sea
This song is pretty much a landmark of The Little Mermaid! Its colorful, bouncy, and makes you eager to dance around. You pretty much hear it every time you go near something to do with the Little Mermaid, theme park attraction or advertisement. Sebastian is trying to get Ariel to forget about going to the surface by singing about how the sea is a million times better than the human world. Does the song accomplish its purpose? Nope. But its just too dang good! All the other sea creatures play instruments to have fun as well. And Sebastian gets to compose music again which he hasn't been able to do since he became Ariel's "babysitter". There's also a lot of movements that you would see from ocean animals, like the fish crossing paths and the octopi and so forth. What else is there to say about this song? You know it, its catchy, its practically the movie's theme song, and the crowning achievement of the movie's music.
And that is how I rank the songs from The Little Mermaid. I hope you enjoyed this list. Take care.