Awkwafina Asked “Are You Sure?” About Her New Song in ‘The Little Mermaid’

in Disney, Entertainment

Scuttle awkwafina live action little mermaid the scuttlebutt

Credit: Disney/ITM

The live-action Little Mermaid premiered over the weekend, and has spent its time on the scene thus far thoroughly breaking the box office and impressing the masses as possibly the best live-action Disney movie ever made.

One of the most impressive parts of the film is that they manage to introduce, not one or two, but four all-new songs to what was already a fairly complete movie musical. While original lyricist Howard Ashman sadly passed away shortly after the original Little Mermaid premiered, Alan Menken found a new partner for the film, in the form of popular Broadway composer Lin-Manuel Miranda.

The four songs added to the film include “For the First Time,” a montage sequence where Ariel narrates her first moments on land; “Wild Uncharted Waters,” a fan-favorite that adds some depth to Prince Eric’s character; “Impossible Child,” a song for King Triton about his difficulties in raising Ariel, which was ultimately cut from the film; and “The Scuttlebutt,” a song where Scuttle relays the gossip about Prince Eric’s upcoming engagement.

So What’s the Scuttlebutt on “The Scuttlebutt?”

Halle Bailey as Ariel talking to Scuttle (Awkwafina) in live-action 'The Little Mermaid'
Credit: Disney

Related: One Week Early: Live-Action ‘Little Mermaid’ Soundtrack Now Available

Of the four songs, “The Scuttlebutt” is easily the most recognizably Miranda’s: It is a fast-paced, patter-like rap sequence that very much follows the form you can find in his other musicals, like In the Heights and Hamilton.

Scuttle has no song in the original film, and, while the character did have one in the musical – “Human Stuff” – it did not advance the plot, and was not a popular addition with audiences.

“The Scuttlebutt,” meanwhile, advances the plot in a big way, entirely replacing what was previously a normal conversation between Sebastian and Scuttle and replaces it with an upbeat song with a Caribbean-inspired melody from Menken, and lyrics that even young children will likely be able to recognize as just like the rapping in Moana.

lin-manuel miranda in mary poppins returns
Credit: Disney

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Awkwafina, a huge fan of Miranda’s, was ever-humble about even being given a song, and if you had asked her, she probably would have guessed it would be her song that was cut, not Triton’s.

“It was so cool to perform a song that he wrote for the character. It’s an honor. It’s like ‘Are you sure even want to do this?” But then I was like, ‘At the end of the day, if it doesn’t work, you don’t have to use it.’”

Awkwafina, however, had her own fans in the studio: Her co-star Daveed Diggs (Sebastian) “might have requested to do “hype vocals,” on the track when he heard her doing the recording.

Diggs had been a fan of Awkwafina’s early on in the beginnings of her rap career, and he was happy to be able to perform in an almost-rap-battle with her – the end result of which Alan Menken called “delicious.”

Scuttle awkwafina live action little mermaid the scuttlebutt
Credit: Disney

Related: Daveed Diggs Tried to Pass on Little Mermaid Audition, Didn’t Think They Were Serious

While there are some fans of the film who say that “The Scuttlebutt” felt out of place in the film, even most of them agree that the song is very fun as a standalone piece, and anyone could see how the high-energy rhymes would appeal to the children The Little Mermaid is aimed at.

You can judge for yourself whether the song lives up to the hype – The Little Mermaid is in theaters now.

What do you think of the new songs on The Little Mermaid‘s soundtrack? Chime in in the comments below.

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