The Little Mermaid (soundtrack)
The Little Mermaid: Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack is the soundtrack to the 1989 Disney animated feature film, The Little Mermaid. It contains the songs from the film written by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, as well as the film's score composed by Alan Menken. The score was orchestrated by Thomas Pasatieri. The album has achieved multi-platinum sales and won the Grammy Award for Best Recording for Children. The album includes recordings of the music that won the Grammy for Best Instrumental Composition Written for a Motion Picture or for Television ("Under the Sea"), the Academy Awards for Best Original Score and Best Original Song ("Under the Sea") and the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score.
|The Little Mermaid: Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack|
|Soundtrack album by |
|Released||October 19, 1989 (1989 Original Release)|
October 14, 1997 (Re-release)
October 31, 2000 (Special Edition Double Pack)
October 3, 2006 (2006 2-Disc Special Edition)
November 24, 2014 (Legacy Collection)
|Genre||Broadway musical-style soundtrack, film score|
|Length||43:18 (1989 and 1997 releases)|
1:47:13 (Legacy Collection)
|Walt Disney Animation Studios chronology|
|2006 Special Edition|
|Singles from The Little Mermaid: Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack|
|Singles from The Little Mermaid: An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack (Special Edition)|
The soundtrack was first released by Walt Disney Records on October 19, 1989, on both CD and cassette tape. On November 22, 1994, the album was included in a four-disc box set entitled The Music Behind the Magic: The Musical Artistry of Alan Menken, Howard Ashman & Tim Rice. The box set included work tapes and demos intertwined into the finished original soundtrack. The soundtrack (without the demos and work tapes) was re-released with different artwork, on October 14, 1997, and it was released internationally on October 31, 2000, in a double pack with The Little Mermaid II soundtrack. On October 3, 2006, a new two-disc special edition version of the soundtrack was released to correspond with the two-disc Platinum Edition DVD release of The Little Mermaid. The first disc remains identical to the original release, yet with remastered audio while the newly added second disc is composed of various newly recorded versions of the film's songs by different artists, such as Ashley Tisdale, Raven-Symoné, The Jonas Brothers, and Jessica Simpson. It also included two music videos, as well as new cover art. The Legacy Collection: The Little Mermaid was released as a two-disc album on November 24, 2014, to coincide with the film's twenty-fifth anniversary.
|1.||"Fathoms Below"||Ship's Chorus||1:41|
|2.||"Main Titles" (Score)||1:26|
|4.||"Daughters of Triton"||Kimmy Robertson||0:38|
|5.||"Part of Your World"||Jodi Benson||3:13|
|6.||"Under the Sea"||Samuel E. Wright||3:12|
|7.||"Part of Your World (Reprise)"||Jodi Benson||2:15|
|8.||"Poor Unfortunate Souls"||Pat Carroll||4:49|
|9.||"Les Poissons"||René Auberjonois||1:33|
|10.||"Kiss the Girl"||Samuel E. Wright||2:41|
|13.||"The Storm" (Score)||3:18|
|14.||"Destruction of the Grotto" (Score)||1:52|
|15.||"Flotsam and Jetsam" (Score)||1:22|
|16.||"Tour of the Kingdom" (Score)||1:24|
|18.||"Wedding Announcement" (Score)||2:16|
|19.||"Eric to the Rescue" (Score)||3:40|
|20.||"Happy Ending"||Disney Chorus||3:11|
|21.||"Part of Your World"||Alana De Roma||3:16|
|1.||"Kiss the Girl"||Ashley Tisdale||3:25|
|2.||"Poor Unfortunate Souls"||Jonas Brothers||2:29|
|3.||"Part of Your World"||Jessica Simpson||3:29|
|4.||"Under the Sea"||Raven-Symoné||3:16|
|5.||"Poor Unfortunate Souls" (Music Video Enhanced feature)||Jonas Brothers||2:29|
|6.||"Making of "Kiss the Girl" Music Video" (Enhanced feature)||Ashley Tisdale||1:03|
|1.||"Fathoms Below"||Ship's Chorus||1:42|
|4.||"Daughters of Triton"||Kimmy Robertson||0:52|
|9.||"Part of Your World"||Jodi Benson||3:31|
|12.||"Part of Your World (Reprise) / Ursula Plots"||Jodi Benson||3:03|
|13.||"Ariel in Love"||0:23|
|14.||"Under the Sea"||Samuel E. Wright||3:23|
|15.||"Sebastian and Triton"||1:40|
|16.||"Destroying the Grotto"||1:55|
|17.||"Flotsam and Jetsam"||1:47|
|19.||"Poor Unfortunate Souls"||Pat Carroll||4:49|
|20.||"She's Got Legs"||1:22|
|24.||"Les Poissons"||René Auberjonois||2:11|
|25.||"Crab On a Plate / Bedtime"||2:20|
|26.||"Tour of the Kingdom"||1:26|
|27.||"Kiss the Girl"||Samuel E. Wright||2:40|
|28.||"Ariel Left Behind"||4:09|
|29.||"Poor Unfortunate Souls (Reprise)"||Jodi Benson||0:31|
|31.||"Interrupting the Wedding / Ursula's Defeat"||6:44|
|1.||"Fathoms Below (Work Tape)"||Howard Ashman and Alan Menken||2:15|
|2.||"Daughters of Triton (Synth Demo)"||Howard Ashman and Alan Menken||0:56|
|3.||"Part of Your World (Synth Demo)"||Howard Ashman and Alan Menken||3:15|
|4.||"Fireworks / Jig (Score Piano)"||Alan Menken||2:10|
|5.||"The Storm (Score Piano Demo)"||Alan Menken||2:35|
|6.||"Under the Sea (Synth Demo)"||Howard Ashman and Alan Menken||4:42|
|7.||"Poor Unfortunate Souls (Basic Synth Demo)"||Howard Ashman and Alan Menken||5:06|
|8.||"Poor Unfortunate Souls (Final Synth Mockup)"||Howard Ashman and Alan Menken||5:31|
|9.||"Les Poissons (Work Tape Demo)"||Howard Ashman and Alan Menken||2:09|
|10.||"Les Poissons (Synth Demo)"||Howard Ashman and Alan Menken||2:03|
|11.||"Kiss the Girl (Synth Demo B)"||Howard Ashman and Alan Menken||2:41|
|12.||"Happy Ending (Score Piano Demo)"||Alan Menken||2:32|
Several pieces of music from the movie remained unreleased in any format from Disney until the release of "Walt Disney The Legacy Collection: The Little Mermaid" in December 2014 according to the 25th anniversary of the film. A fan-compiled complete score (including song instrumentals) does exist and can be heard/seen on video sharing websites.
- Fathoms Below (Instrumental) [1:41]
- Main Titles (Full version as heard over end credits – the last seven seconds have not been released commercially) [1:34]
- Sebastian's Fanfare [0:06]
- Daughters of Triton (Instrumental) [0:36]
- Daughters of Triton (Film Version) [0:36]
- Part of Your World (Film Version - The version heard in the film includes score while Ariel speaks before the song starts) [3:23]
- Part of Your World (Instrumental) [3:23]
- Part of Your World (Reprise) [Instrumental] [2:14]
- Under the Sea (Instrumental) [3:11]
- Poor Unfortunate Souls (Part 1 - Instrumental) / Ursula's Deal [2:15]
- Poor Unfortunate Souls (Part 2 - Instrumental) [1:14]
- Les Poissons (Instrumental) [1:32]
- Kiss the Girl (Instrumental) [2:40]
- Vanessa on the Beach (without vocal) [1:00]
- Poor Unfortunate Souls (Reprise) (Film Version - The version heard in the film includes different laughters by Vanessa and Ursula) [0:32]
- Poor Unfortunate Souls (Reprise) [Instrumental] [0:32]
- Interrupting the Wedding / Ursula's Defeat (with vocal) [6:45]
- Happy Ending (film version) [3:10]
- Happy Ending (sans Disney chorus) [3:10]
Score composition and orchestration
Alan Menken's first songs-and-underscore project garnered him an Academy Award for the Best Score of 1989. This would prove to give him a very high nomination-to-win ratio of awards. Alan was originally hired for the songs only, but after writing an underscore demo for the film's executives, his assignment grew. The following are some details on the film's score overall:
- Almost all of the score features a section of music in the key of E-flat major (pitch +4) (including "Main Titles", the beginning portion of "Happy Ending", "Les Poissons", "Bedtime", and most instances of Ariel's solo aria). "Tour of the Kingdom" alternated between E-flat major (pitch +4) and C-major (pitch +4) throughout.
- In darker moments, and for Ursula's theme, the key of D-sharp minor (pitch +4) is prominent ("Poor Unfortunate Souls (Reprise)", most of "The Storm", "Eric to the Rescue" among others).
- The French horn is used to symbolize King Triton (listen to "Destruction of the Grotto"), the oboe is used to symbolize Prince Eric (the beginning of "The Storm", as well as "Happy Ending" when Ariel is looking at Eric on the shore). Usually, the brass section represents Ursula and the flute almost always portrays Ariel's vocal aria. Clarinets represent Scuttle.
- Synthesizers and electric pianos are used quite often in the orchestration (namely for the songs, like "Part of Your World"), but the grand piano is almost never used.
- Scuttle's leitmotif can be heard in the beginning of "Wedding Announcement", the scene after Ariel becomes a human and was the basis for "Beyond My Wildest Dreams" in the 2007 broadway production. This theme is used as a variation for the music when the animals are stopping Vanessa's wedding.
- Ursula's leitmotif is most obvious in the track "Flotsam and Jetsam" but it comes from the melody notes for the chorus of "Poor Unfortunate Souls". This theme is also used while Ariel is being transformed, and it is played fast and supported by a harsh brass section.
The following is a list of the official cue names and numbers as used in the handwritten orchestra score for recording purposes. In the Legacy Collection soundtrack version, some cues were merged into one track (i.e. 9m1, 9m2, 9m2a, 9m3, 9m4 and 9m5 are one track titled "The Truth").
|1M1 Fathoms Below|
|1M2 Opening Credits|
|1M5 Daughters of Triton|
|1M6 Triton (Sting)|
|1M7 Intro Ariel|
|1M7A Shark Chase|
|2M0 Intro Scuttle|
|2M1 Intro Ursula|
|2M2 Triton Reprimands Ariel|
|2m3 You're Just the Crab|
|2m4 Sebastian's Dilemma|
|2m5 Sebastian Discovers|
|2m5 Sebastian Discovers (ver 2)|
|2m6 Part of Your World|
|3m3 She's Out There|
|4m1 Is He Dead?|
|4m2 Part of Your World (Reprise)|
|4m3 Ursula Plots|
|4m4 Ariel in Love|
|4m5 Under the Sea|
|4m5a Under the Sea (Tag)|
|5m1 Sebastian and Triton|
|5m2 It's a Surprise|
|5m3 Destroying the Grotto|
|5m4 Flotsam and Jetsam|
|6m1 The Deal (Insert)|
|6M1 The Deal|
|6m1r (To Ursula's Lair)|
|6m2 Poor Unfortunate Souls (Part 1)|
|6m3 Poor Unfortunate Souls (Part 2)|
|6m4 Poor Unfortunate Souls (Part 3)|
|6m4a Beluga Sevruga|
|6m5 Fife 1|
|6m6 She's Got Legs|
|6m7 Sebastian Relents|
|7m1 Eric Finds Ariel|
|7m2 The Bath|
|7m3 Dead Fish (Sting)|
|7m4 Miss Manners|
|7m5 (Louis Singing)|
|7m6 Les Poissons|
|7m8 Crab on the Plate|
|7m10/8m0 Messenger and Triton|
|8m1 Tour of the Kingdom|
|8m2 (Scuttle Singing)|
|8m3 Kiss the Girl|
|8m4 Ursula Transforms|
|8m5 Fife 2|
|8m6 Eric Hears Maiden|
|8m7 Wedding Announcement|
|8m8 Ariel Left Behind|
|8m9 (Scuttle Singing)|
|8m10 Poor Unfortunate Souls (Reprise)|
|9m1 The Truth|
|9m2 Wedding March|
|9m2a Almost There|
|9m3 The Attack|
|9m4 Ariel's Voice Returns|
|9m5 You're Too Late|
|9m6 Eric to the Rescue|
|9m6a Ursula Rising|
|10m1 Peace Returns|
|10m2 Happy Ending|
|1989||US Billboard 200||32|
|1991||Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)||25|
|2006, 2012||US Top Soundtracks (Billboard)||4|
|Canada (Music Canada)||3× Platinum||300,000^|
|United Kingdom (BPI)
sales since 1992
|United States (RIAA)||6× Platinum||6,000,000^|
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
- CD and cassette tape reference:
- "The Little Mermaid (Audio Cassette): Various Artists: Music". Retrieved 2011-11-02.
- "Little Mermaid: Various Artists: Music". Retrieved 2011-11-02.
- "Music Behind Magic: Menken / Ashman / Rice". Retrieved 2013-05-31.
- "Music Behind Magic: Menken / Ashman / Rice: Track Listings". Retrieved 2013-05-31.
- "The Little Mermaid: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack". Retrieved August 24, 2011.
- "The Little Mermaid & Little Mermaid II (Special Edition Double Pack)". Retrieved August 23, 2011.
- "The Little Mermaid: Alan Menken, J.A.C. Redford, Ashley Tisdale, Daughters of Triton, Jessica Simpson, Jodi Benson, Jonas Brothers, Pat Carroll, Raven-Symoné, Rene Auberjonois, Samuel Wright, Ship's Chorus: Music". Retrieved 2011-11-02.
- "Walt Disney Records To Release Into The Woods Collectible Music Products Exclusively At Newly Launched Disney Music Emporium Site" (Press release). Burbank, California: PRNewswire. November 24, 2014. Retrieved November 29, 2014.
- Hobart, Tavia. "The Little Mermaid [Original Soundtrack] - Alan Menken". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2011-11-02.
- "The Little Mermaid (Alan Menken)". Filmtracks. Retrieved 2011-11-02.
- "RIAA – Gold & Platinum". RIAA. Retrieved 2010-12-07.
- Dedina, Nick (2010-06-15). "10 Essential Disney & Pixar Soundtracks - Rhapsody: The Mix". Blog.rhapsody.com. Archived from the original on 2011-10-02. Retrieved 2011-11-02.
- "The Little Mermaid: Music". Retrieved 2013-08-22.
- Menken, Alan. The little mermaid (music score). Wonderland Music Co., c1989. LCCN 90754017.
- The Little Mermaid (Original Soundtrack) - Alan Menken - Awards. Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Accessed on August 9, 2013.
- "Swisscharts.com – Soundtrack / Alan Menken – The Little Mermaid". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
- "Canadian album certifications – Various Artist - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – The Little Mermaid". Music Canada. Retrieved December 12, 2020.
- "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Diverse; 'Walt Disney - Arielle, die Meerjungfrau')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved December 12, 2020.
- "British album certifications – Walt Disney – Little Mermaid". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved December 12, 2020.
- "American album certifications – Soundtrack – The Little Mermaid". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved December 12, 2020. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.