Early last month I was given the opportunity to attend a Disney event celebrating the Oct. 1st release of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. The new DVD has tons of behind the scenes footage, as well as a peak at some characters who never quite made it into the film.
While in LA, we were taken to the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, CA where we had the chance to meet writers and directors John Musker and Ron Clements, as well as the voice of Ariel herself…Jodi Benson! We had a chance to interview all three and get a glimpse at what it was like to be behind the scenes of this classic film.
Interview with the voice of Ariel, Jodi Benson:
Q: I think we all have movies that define our childhoods. When The Little Mermaid came out a week after my first birthday, so it was my movie. What was yours?
Jodie: Cinderella. Yeah, Cinderella was my movie. I just loved everything about it. Exactly the fact that, you know, she comes from one area and she wishes for something more. I think every little girl, and even a young boy as well, wishes for that next step or the dream or whatever that may look like.
Q: What are the benefits of being one of the Disney Princesses?
Jodie: Oh goodness. It’s amazing. Amazing. Again, it’s, you know, it’s kind of hard for me to, grasp the impact of portraying a character that’s going to live long past you. It’s kind of overwhelming, not in a bad way. So when I really stop and focus on it, it’s, you know, it’s like, oh gosh, it takes my breath away to think the experiences I’ve had and just this amazing opportunity, you know, so grateful is the word that I pretty much come up with whenever I stop to contemplate it.
Jodie also told us that prior to working on The Little Mermaid she had been working on a Broadway show with Howard Ashman (who wrote the music for the Little Mermaid), and the show only ended up lasting 6 weeks. Disney had asked Howard to write the music for The Little Mermaid, and according to Jodi,
“I think Howard just felt, um, sorry for all the girls in the show that were about to lose their job. So he gave the entire cast an opportunity to audition for The Little Mermaid, and we didn’t know anything about it except it was an animated feature film.”
Jodi had never auditioned for animated film before so she didn’t know what to expect. She had heard a tape of Howard singing some of the music and just tried to mimic what he was doing, which payed off because she got the part!
At the end someone asked Jodi to sing and she happily obliged us. Take a peek at this impromptu performance of Jodi Benson singing Part of Your World!
Be sure to pre-order your copy of The Little Mermaid – Diamond Edition on Amazon.com! The Blu-Ray releases on October 1st!
I received an all expenses paid trip to from Disney to Los Angeles, CA to attend the Planes Red Carpet Premiere, attend an event for The Little Mermaid diamond edition DVD release, and to meet Disney’s Super Buddies. All opinions expressed are my own.