“I did not want to listen to the recording after I did it that day,” Jodi Benson tells Playbill of the moment 30 years ago when she finished recording “Part of Your World” as the voice of Ariel in The Little Mermaid. Creator and lyricist Howard Ashman had urged Benson to sing less, and not worry about sounding pitch perfect. “It was painful for me, being a perfectionist coming from the Broadway stage of wanting to sing every note of its full value and perfectly with vibrato and a straight tone and the right kind of emphasis.”
In our exclusive video interview, Benson talks about overcoming her perfectionism to create the indelible performance. What was it like to hear the song by Ashman and composer Alan Menken for the very first time? What are her favorite lyrics?
Benson and Menken talk about finding the sound of the score and the story of Ariel, in honor of the 30th anniversary of The Little Mermaid and its Oscar wins, as they prepare for the release of The Little Mermaid into the Walt Disney Signature Collection.
Available on digital, 4k Ultra HD, and Movies Anywhere February 12 and on 4k Ultra HD and Blu-ray February 26, The Little Mermaid also includes new bonus features inside the original recording sessions; a new installment of Stories From Walt’s Office, featuring “Gadgets & Gizmos” Disney kept in his office; a “#TreasuresUntold” special, revealing secrets about the original movie; DCappella’s fresh music video of “Part of Your World”; sing-along mode; and classic bonus features like deleted scenes, audio commentary from directors Ron Clements, John Musker, and Menken. Plus, only available on digital, three additional hours of bonus features and “Part of Your World” – A 30-Year Retrospective where Menken and Benson talk about finding Ariel’s voice, the peak of Disney “I Want” songs, and more.
Check out our exclusive sneak peek at the bonus special “Alan Menken and His Leading Ladies,” which will be an extended bonus feature: