Can you imagine the movie without this ballad?

By Perri Ormont Blumberg
March 19, 2019

Pop quiz: What comes to mind when you think of Disney's The Little Mermaid? Ariel, Ursula, and Sebastian probably all flicker through your brain. But we'd be surprised if the first thing you think of isn't the film's classic song "Part of Your World" (alright, we're humming the catchy "Under the Sea" tune, too).

Performed by Jodi Benson — who played the lead role of Ariel — and written by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, "Part of Your World" is ingrained into our memories of the 1989 animated film. Surprisingly, the iconic song was almost cut from the movie.

As Benson described in an interview with Polygon, Jeffrey Katzenberg, the Walt Disney Studios chairman at the time, almost nixed the song from the film thanks to pre-release screenings. "There were some children that dropped their popcorn and seem to be distracted during the three minutes and 43 seconds. [Katzenberg] said they can't hold their attention. It's not going to hold the kids' attention," Benson told Polygon. Were it not for Ashman standing up in defense of the song, "Part of Your World" may have been scrapped for good: "[Ashman] said, 'You can't cut the song. It's an "I want" song. And if you cut it, they're not going to fall in love with Ariel and root for her for the rest of the film. There's not going to be any heart in it whatsoever. You can't cut the song,'" as Benson relayed to Polygon.

If you're anything like us, it's hard to picture The Little Mermaid without this signature song, so thank you Mr. Ashman for making this collection complete.

In the mood for more Disney fun facts? Check out 11 interesting pieces of Disney trivia.