The Little Mermaid: Every Song From The 1989 Film, Ranked
The Little Mermaid is a beloved tale that many consider one of the best Disney animated movies. It’s not hard to see why fans are so enchanted with Ariel and her friends. Her unconventional attitude and determination make her an admirable heroine. She is the main reason that The Little Mermaid is one of the best Disney princess movies. The Little Mermaid soundtrack is also one of the major strengths of this film.
It’s a soundtrack full of catchy, heartfelt, and powerful songs that are expertly sung by The Little Mermaid soundtrack cast. I love every song on the soundtrack, but some are just timeless classics. They have universal appeal and awaken the dreamer in us all.
Here is my ranking of The Little Mermaid soundtrack songs based on which ones capture the essence of the story and movie.
8. “Les Poissons”
“Les Poissons” is like “Be Our Guest” but traumatizing. It's not only traumatizing for poor Sebastian, but also, just think of about the rich and intricate sea life on display throughout the movie. Yeah, poor all those slaughtered fish!
Content and context aside, “Les Poissons” also just isn’t that interesting of a song. It’s just about one man’s love of killing fish. We need more than that from our Disney songs. “Les Poissons” is one of the weaker songs on The Little Mermaid soundtrack. Additionally, the song loses some of its humor when you reach adulthood and realize how traumatic the incident must be for Sebastian.
7. "Daughters Of Triton”
“Fathoms Below” and “Daughters of Triton” serve a similar purpose of setting up the world of The Little Mermaid. “Daughters of Triton” also acts as a way to showcase Ariel as someone who doesn’t follow the norm of this world. She doesn’t want to sing and dance under the sea. She wants to walk on land.
“Daughters of Triton” sounds lovely and it’s a pretty song but it doesn’t add much to the story. It’s also one of the shorter songs on The Little Mermaid soundtrack. It’s an okay song but not really necessary for the movie. You probably won’t be playing “Daughters of Triton” on constant repeat.
6. “Fathoms Below”
“Fathoms Below” is one of The Little Mermaid soundtrack songs that aren’t as well-known or beloved as the others. That’s why it’s ranked so low. When you think of The Little Mermaid, you don’t think of this tune. However, that doesn’t take away from the importance of “Fathoms Below.” It very much sets up this sea life that Eric lives.
It helps establish Eric as a character and sets up the myth surrounding Ariel and her family. It also very much sounds like a sea hymn, which adds a cool element to it. “Fathoms Below” doesn’t have much going on lyrically, as it just repeats a few lines. However, it is a good song to introduce the world of The Little Mermaid to the audience.
5. “Part of Your World (Reprise)”
Unlike many reprises, “Part of Your World (Reprise)” actually changes the song quite a bit. It turns it into a longing song about living a different life into a longing love song. This time Ariel sings to Eric as she starts to dream of a life with him. “Part of Your World (Reprise)” also ends on such a grand note. It sets Ariel on her hero’s quest to find a way to be with Eric.
It’s just as powerful as the original “Part of Your World,” but shorter. That’s the only reason I ranked it lower than the other songs. It’s only a snippet of a song versus a full version, which is often the case with reprises.
4. “Kiss The Girl”
“Kiss the Girl” is not the typical Disney love song, mainly because it’s sung by Sebastian instead of Eric and Ariel, but it serves the same purpose. It highlights what could happen if Eric takes a chance and kisses Ariel. This saves them both and allows them the chance to have a happy ending. It’s also another fun song from The Little Mermaid. The animated classic does a really good job of creating everlasting songs that are fun but also heartwarming and memorable.
The sentiment of finding true love is in this song, but it shifts from the ballad style to a more upbeat single. “Kiss the Girl” is a Disney song that’s not the conventional love song but that’s what makes it special and fun.
3. "Poor Unfortunate Souls"
This may be a bit of a controversial third choice, and I only recently began to love “Poor Unfortunate Souls,” but the fact remains that it’s a really good Disney song. It may be one of the best Disney villain songs because it’s so devious in a fun way. The song really proves that Ursula is that sea witch. She makes taking souls sound so fun and easy. Just give her your soul, what’s the worst that could happen?
“Poor Unfortunate Souls” really helps emphasize why Ursula’s one of the best Disney villains. Yes, she’s terrible but you kind of support it because she makes being wicked look so good. It’s also just a great song to sing if you want to entice someone into giving you their soul.
2. "Under The Sea"
“Under The Sea” is such a great dance song. You can’t hear this song without immediately starting to dance. It’s just a jovial song that also highlights the appreciation of one’s roots and origin. It also makes living under the sea seem so much better than living on land, especially for sea creatures. “Under the Sea” is one of the few songs on The Little Mermaid soundtrack that highlights the full band (that isn't a score). The song is just also a great one to get children dancing along. This helps make The Little Mermaid one of the perfect family-friendly films.
“Under the Sea” lyrics and instruments really make this song come to life. It captures the idea of enjoying life and going with the natural flow of things.
1. “Part of Your World”
Every Disney Princess has an empowerment ballad. It highlights that they want more than the life they’ve been given. “Part of Your World” may be one of the best versions of this type of song, because it so simply depicts this sentiment. You also can’t think of The Little Mermaid without automatically thinking of “Part of Your World.” It’s such an iconic Disney song.
“Part of Your World” is hands down the best song in The Little Mermaid. It’s emotional and gripping, and sums up the major conflict. It is also a song very true to human nature. We’re on a constant quest to seek beyond our limits, beyond our comforts, and beyond the known. It’s not wrong to want more and embrace life beyond the sea, as long as you don’t give up too much of yourself to do it.
The Little Mermaid is one of the best movies to watch on Disney+ right now. Its soundtrack, storyline, and animation make it a classic that deserves repeat viewing. Stream The Little Mermaid on Disney+.
Make sure to check CinemaBlend for some great upcoming Disney movies.