The Little Mermaid remake is doing a lot of new things including adding an extra hour, giving Eric a mom, and bringing in new songs from Lin-Manuel Miranda (including one for Scuttle, because, sure!). But there are some things about the 1989 original that transcend time and should absolutely not be tweaked. Case in point, the iconic “I Want” song that recalibrated Disney for the next decade or so.
Luckily for us, director Ron Howard and lead actress Halle Bailey understood the assignment. Bailey’s version of “Part of Your World” keeps the soft power of the original and all the yearning lyrics. At the same time, it’s not a one-to-one regurgitation of Jodi Benson’s original vocals; Bailey shows off her own singing prowess, with some gorgeous belts towards the climax of the song. The full new version is available on Spotify and YouTube, so you too can replay them and sing along, gracefully pining for a world you’ll never be a part of.
Lyricist Howard Ashman knew that “Part of Your World” would make The Little Mermaid — so much so that he fought to keep the song in the movie. It’s hard to imagine any version of The Little Mermaid without Ariel stretching a hand towards the sunlight and crooning about how she just wants more.
The Little Mermaid hits theaters on May 26.