In yet another change made to the 1989 animated classic in its jump to live-action, legendary Disney composer Alan Menken has revealed that the song ‘Daughters of Triton’ has been cut from the Lin-Manuel Miranda-led soundtrack to the studio’s upcoming live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.
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The Daughters of Triton is part of King Triton’s homecoming concert in Atlantica arranged by Sebastian at the start of the 1989 original.
Originally meant to serve as an ostentatious greeting to the ruler from all seven of his daughters – Aquata, Andrina, Arista, Atina, Adella, Allana, and Ariel – the song is abruptly ended in the film due to Ariel’s absence from the rehearsal.
The cutting of ‘Daughters of Triton’ is particularly curious because it could have easily served as a moment for Disney to highlight Ariel’s new and sufficiently ‘diverse’ cast of sisters – all of whom have even received their own merchandise.
In an interview with Comicbook.com, Menken – who composed both the original The Little Mermaid and contributed to the remake – revealed that the reason Daughters of Triton was dropped from Ariel’s story because the production crew wanted to build anticipation for Halle Bailey’s performance of ‘Part of Your World’.
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“I think the thought process was a) we didn’t it need in this particular version,” he explained. “And we definitely wanted the film to start with a much more of a live-action feel of the ocean and meeting Ariel, and then we wait a little bit, make you wait until we get to ‘Part of Your World.’ And I think that was, you know, it was an amazing choice because it just builds the power and anticipation.”
“And part of that is also knowing you’re adapting something that’s already beloved,” added the musician. “So you want to say, wait for it, wait for it, wait for it, and here it is. And when it comes, god.”
Notably, this is not the first change made to the upcoming The Little Mermaid’s musical numbers.
Asked by Vanity Fair in April whether there “Was there anything from the original that you redid, or something about it needed to change?”, Menken admitted, “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].”
“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,” he recalled.
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