JHS school musical differs from beloved classic

Alice Webster, staff writer

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Most kids and adults today have seen the Disney classic The Little Mermaid. For this reason, JHS’s spring musical, the stage adaptation of the film, has gotten considerably more buzz than usual. How does the musical version stack up?

While the original film contains multiple musical numbers, there simply aren’t enough to carry a Broadway style show. Due to this inadequacy, there are numerous other numbers added to the stage version, letting characters other than Ariel, such as her sisters, Flotsam and Jetsam, Flounder, and King Triton briefly take the spotlight. Despite being a principal character in the film, Prince Eric hardly gets to sing, a detail remedied by the stage production. Even Ursula is given more time to shine in her extra solo “Daddy’s Little Angel,” and the leading lady herself has more to sing about too, opening the show with her touching solo “The World Above.”

Overall, these additions work to enhance the plot rather than bog it down. For example, each of Ariel’s sisters is given a much more distinct personality than her film counterpart and gives her a greater purpose than just to sing a few bars toward the beginning. Similarly, King Triton is given motivation for his overprotective nature, making him a far more likeable and sympathetic character. The addition of King Triton and Ursula being siblings, an idea cut from the original film due to time constraints, gives her a more realistic feel. Prince Eric’s character is also expanded, especially his love for the sea and free spirit. Ariel herself remains mostly unchanged, due to having a fully developed personality in the original.

In general, the changes to the stage version of The Little Mermaid serve to enhance the final product. However, it could be a disappointing watch for those expecting a carbon copy of the adored original film.

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