Lin-Manuel Miranda Teases A Song For A Voiceless Ariel In Disney's Little Mermaid Remake

Dream jobs come in all shapes and sizes. When you're a child, you might dream of becoming an astronaut, an artist, a doctor, a fashion designer, or a writer when you get older. Your dreams might get a little more focused over the years, so you set your sights on becoming an aeronautical engineer, a sculptor, a pediatrist, a cobbler, or an entertainment journalist. For life-long Disney fan Lin-Manuel Miranda, it seemed like all the moves he's made as a writer, director, and composer have been in service of working with the House of Mouse.

Luckily, Miranda went in for an interview with the company in 2013 and got the ball rolling on a number of unimaginable projects that include the smash hit "Moana," playing characters in recently revived franchises like "Mary Poppins" and "DuckTales," creating music for "Star Wars," and yet another smash hit in "Encanto." Now, as his dream collaboration continues with Walt Disney Studios, he's working alongside the legendary Alan Menken to create music for Rob Marshall's live-action adaptation of "The Little Mermaid" and he has an update on it.

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While appearing on the "Variety Awards Circuit" podcast, Miranda provided some new information about the upcoming remake starring Halle Bailey as the titular little mermaid. Though the visionary behind "Hamilton" hasn't seen a rough cut yet, the award-winning Disney Legend has and gives it the thumbs up. But as far as the music goes, they're both excited to share some new tunes along with the classics by Menken and the later Howard Ashman from the beloved 1989 animated classic.

"We wrote three or four tunes, original, replacing none of the ones you like. All of those are in. There is no bigger 'Little Mermaid' fan than me, and the songs that I love that are in this movie are in this movie! They're all in. But we found a couple of opportunities for some other music, and I can't wait to see it. I'm as in the dark as anyone else, honestly...

I will tell you that [director] Rob [Marshall] found a really creative way to hear from Ariel even though she is sans voice for a little while, and we wrote some music in her time on land that was really exciting. Because, you know, she gets to experience a lot of firsts as someone with legs for the first time, so we got to lean into all of that musically, which was exciting."

The interesting thing to note about Miranda's comments is that he specifically doesn't mention that Ariel sings while she's on land. While it initially sounded like Marshall had put together some kind of dream sequence or inner monologue for the young land enthusiast that trades her voice to a witch, rereading the quote more carefully makes me think that the song mentioned here will be instrumental. It's possible that she could play a piano or guitar for the first time shortly after taking her first steps for this song, but it might be more believable if she picked up a percussion instrument like a drum or a tambourine. Considering some of the things he brought to life in "Chicago," "Into the Woods," and "Mary Poppins Returns," I'm sure that Marshall will have a sea of great ideas for the new version of the fan-favorite Disney Renaissance staple as it navigates its way to the big screen.

"The Little Mermaid" starring Halle Bailey, Jonah Hauer-King, Melissa McCarthy, Javier Bardem, Daveed Diggs, Jacob Tremblay, and Awkwafina sails into theaters on May 26, 2023.