Unpacking the poor unfortunate lyric changes in the new Little Mermaid
One thing Disney is notorious for is warping copyright law to suit its whims. By refreshing the animated movies with live-action remakes, the company extends its hold on those versions of the characters. It gets to sell new toys and create renewed interest in theme park attractions. It gets to say that the newly sanitized version is not your mother’s Little Mermaid, and this one is actually much better for children than the previous one where Prince Eric was some kind of pervert and Ursula was anti-feminist. And it accomplishes all that without making any substantive changes to the characters, music, or plot. As Ellis points out, “that’s not progress, it’s just marketing.” The Little Mermaid (2023) may be a perfectly enjoyable movie, but I can’t award it any points for these updates. If that puts me on par with Fox News, well, so be it.