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little mermaidBelieving that, in a musical, it is necessary for the heroine (Ariel) to at some point sing about her goals and what she hopes to achieve in life, lyricist Howard Ashman wrote the lyrics for ‘Part of Your World’, which he referred to as the film’s “I Want” song. After reviewing Ashman’s lyrics, co-directors Ron Clements and John Musker suggested some rewrites, as Ashman had included terms that would be unfamiliar to someone who gets their “information [about the human world] from a seagull.”  Ashman complied, replacing some of his previous lyrics with more off-beat terminology.

While recording ‘Part of Your World’, Jodi Benson (the voice of Ariel) requested that the studio’s lights be dimmed to give her the feeling of being underwater. Ashman stood at Benson’s side, giving her suggestions to benefit her performance.

During production of The Little Mermaid, ‘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. This caused Walt Disney Studios chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg to feel that the song slowed down the film and needed to be cut, an idea that was resisted by Ashman, Musker, Clements, and Ariel animator Glen Keane. Both Musker and Clements cited the similar situation of the popular song ‘Over the Rainbow’ nearly being cut from MGM’s The Wizard of Oz when appealing to Katzenberg. Ashman and Keane pushed for the song 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 separate child audience, and the musical number was kept.

According to Menken, ‘Part of Your World’ was one of the songs applauded at a public screening of The Little Mermaid. Filmtracks described it as a “gorgeous ballad”, accrediting it with “setting the table” for subsequent songs performed by Disney heroines, such as Beauty and the Beast’s “Belle”.

little mermaid dressDespite being the film’s theme song and critically lauded, ‘Part of Your World’ did not receive a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Original Song, while The Little Mermaid’s ‘Under the Sea’ and ‘Kiss the Girl’ did.  – Wikipedia

This being the first Disney Princess film in nearly 20 years the animators decided to pay tribute to the first three princesses; Snow White, Cinderella, and Aurora. Much like Gizelle in the recent film Enchanted, bits and pieces of her princess predecessors were incorporated into Ariel’s clothing.

Not many people are aware that Ariel’s pink evening gown was directly inspired by all three Disney Princesses prior. Her puffed shoulders are the same design of Snow White’s dress. The shoulder line and long sleeves come from Aurora. Then the bust cut, large skirt and overlaying fabric on the sides are from Cinderella’s ball gown. The soft pink color was chosen not from Aurora’s dress but Cinderella’s original pink dress that got destroyed by her stepsisters.

No matter how much her clothes resemble those of princesses past, she is a true Disney Original. Through her, Disney emotionally explored a characters soul like it had never done before and effectively created a character in which young children all over the world can share in the aggravating angst of wanting something that we all feel at some point in our lives.   – Read more at fanpop.com

If Ariel wants to be “part of your world”, she’s got to learn about things that we use here on land. Like a dinglehopper… or a banded bulbous snarfblat. Fortunately, Scuttle explains it all in this clip from The Little Mermaid:



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