In honor of the 30th anniversary of Disney’s animated film The Little Mermaid, Jodi Benson stopped by NBC’s the Today Show to talk about the role that she created. The movie was re-released as part of the Walt Disney Signature Collection in February, along with new bonus features behind the music of the movie.
Benson, who voiced Ariel in the movie, loves to convince young Mermaid fans that she is, indeed, the real Ariel by singing or saying some of her most famous lines.
Watch the video above to hear her recreate them.
After three decades, Benson never tires of Ariel. “I can honestly tell you I never get tired of singing my song and I sing it almost every weekend,” she said. “It’s a huge gift from heaven. I love my girl.”
Benson most cherishes the fan interactions and the impact Ariel has had on people’s lives. “I have [met] so many kids and adults on the spectrum of Asperger’s and autism that have learned how to speak from the movie because Ariel loses her voice, and they can connect with her,” she said.
The performer also shared which Disney princess she thinks Ariel would be friends with: “I think of all the Disney princesses, Ariel would be best friends with Belle probably because the woman who voices Belle, Paige [O'Hara], is one of my oldest and dearest friends. So I think just because we have a great friendship that Ariel and Belle would naturally have a great friendship,” she shared.
As for Benson, she admires Ariel’s tenacity more than anything. “There’s nothing impossible for her, and that’s who I am.”
Hear more from Benson in Playbill’s exclusive interview: