In the new, live-action Little Mermaid, viewers are noticing a small tweak to the lyrics in “Kiss the Girl” that makes the 2023 version all about consent
The animated version of The Little Mermaid, which came out in 1989, is undoubtedly a classic. It’s still beloved by multiple generations of Disney fans, and for good reason! But there’s no way around the fact that, as we’ve progressed as a society, some parts of a movie made more than three decades ago are now a little cringey. Have you listened to the lyrics in the song “Kiss the Girl” lately? They’re um, pretty creepy.
The song comes after Ariel has traded her voice for a pair of legs, she’s living on land, and she and Prince Eric are well on their way toward falling in love. As they take a romantic boat ride, Sebastian leads the sea creatures in this song, meant to encourage Eric to make a move and, you know, kiss the girl.
As the original, 1989 version goes, “Yes, you want her / Look at her, you know you do / Possible she wants you too / There is one way to ask her / It don’t take a word / Not a single word / Go on and kiss the girl.”
Oof. As we in 2023 know, kissing a girl certainly does take a word, and that word is “Yes,” meaning there is consent for the kiss. We don’t just wordlessly plant ’em on people because that’s a serious violation of their bodily autonomy.
Now that the new, live-action version of The Little Mermaid is out, though, viewers are noticing that this scene got a little update. TikToker @ironiciconic posted a video that compares the old lyrics to the new ones, and we love the change.
The 2023 version of the song goes, “Yes, you want her / Look at her, you know you do / Possible she wants you too / Use your words, boy, and ask her / If the time is right and the time is tonight / Go on and kiss the girl.”
The new lyrics make consent a big part of this story, encouraging Eric to “use his words” and “ask her” before making a move.
Commenters are cheering the change.
“100% agree with this. No one wants to be forced into a kiss,” one wrote. Another added, “My heart feels happy. Consent is key to so much.”
We couldn’t agree more.