Over the past few years, Disney has made a habit out of producing live-action adaptations of their beloved animated blockbusters. The latest of these was Rob Marshall’s The Little Mermaid, which starred Halle Bailey in the title role as Melissa McCarthy as the villainous Ursula. After originally seeing it in theaters, I recently re-watched The Little Mermaid on Disney+. And I’m still mad that they cut one iconic Ursula moment from the original movie.
After The Little Mermaid’s run at the box office, the latest live-action remake is now available with a Disney+ subscription. Just like the first time I saw it, I really enjoyed the way Rob Marshall brought the story to life. And while Melissa McCarthy’s makeup was criticized online, I thought she understood the assignment and was hilarious as Ursula. But after the re-watch I’m doubly mad that they cut Ursula’s reprise of “Poor Unfortunate Souls.” Especially considering how much the actress that played Vanessa crushed her brief role.
Just like in the remake, the original Little Mermaid’s third act sees Ursula disguise herself as a human named Vanessa and try to use Ariel’s stolen voice against her. In the original, we hear a reprise of “Poor Unfortunate Souls,” which is short, sassy, and actually uses OG Ariel Jodi Benson’s voice. This was one of my favorite parts of the movie as a kid, because who doesn’t want more of Ursula’s signature song?
Unfortunately, that reprise got dropped from Rob Marshall’s live-action remake. Well, mostly. Instead, we hear a track “Vanessa’s Trick”, which doesn’t have any lyrics and instead features Halle Bailey’s voice vocalizing. As a reminder, you can check that out below:
As she does throughout all of the movie, Bailey’s vocals sound incredible. But I just feel like the lyrics would have made this sequence all the more memorable, and would have scratched the itch of fans of the original. I doubt I’m the only ‘90s kid who loved to hate Vanessa.
Since The Little Mermaid was released, fans have taken to social media to share their love for actress Jessica Alexander’s portrayal of Vanessa. Despite her limited screen time, she perfectly portrayed the viciousness of the evil Ursula. Fancams even went viral online, so it feels like a missed opportunity to not give her a song–even if Alexander would be lip syncing to Halle Bailey’s voice.
Alas, the “Poor Unfortunate Souls” reprise was cut, along with other songs from the original Little Mermaid. Other scrapped tracks include “The Daughters of Triton,” in favor of new songs like the viral “Scuttlebutt” song. Prince Eric got his own song, and Javier Badem’s King Triton did the same– although the latter was cut from the theatrical cut.
The Little Mermaid is streaming now on Disney+, both versions of it. Be sure to check out the 2023 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience.