Jodi Benson, the iconic voice behind Disney’s Ariel in “The Little Mermaid,” reminisces about her beloved song “Part of Your World” and its impact on her life.
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When was “Part of Your World” first performed by Jodi Benson?
The Role of Ariel
Jodi Benson is an American actress, voice actress, and singer. She is best known for providing the voice of Ariel in Disney’s The Little Mermaid. The film was released on November 17, 1989, and became a critical and commercial success. It was the first Disney animated feature to receive an Academy Award nomination since Mary Poppins (1964). Jodi Benson’s performance as Ariel received widespread acclaim from critics and audiences alike.
“Part of Your World”
One of the most iconic songs from The Little Mermaid is “Part of Your World.” It was written by composer Alan Menken and lyricist Howard Ashman. The song serves as Ariel’s “I Want” song, where she expresses her desire to explore the human world and be part of it. Jodi Benson first performed “Part of Your World” during her audition for the role of Ariel. Her performance impressed the filmmakers so much that they hired her on the spot.
“Part of Your World” has become one of Disney’s most beloved songs. It has been covered by numerous artists and has been included in various Disney compilations over the years. In 2019, Jodi Benson performed “Part of Your World” at The Little Mermaid Live!, a live television special that combined elements from both the animated film and the Broadway musical adaptation.
– Jodi Benson also provided the voice for Barbie in Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3.
– She has been married to Ray Benson since 1984.
– In addition to her work as a voice actress, she has also appeared in several stage productions.
What inspired Jodi Benson to audition for the role of Ariel in The Little Mermaid?
Jodi Benson was born on October 10, 1961, in Rockford, Illinois. She grew up in a Christian household and began singing in church at a young age. She attended Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, where she earned a degree in music education.
The Audition Process
In the mid-1980s, Jodi Benson moved to New York City to pursue a career in acting. She auditioned for various roles on Broadway and landed her first major role as the character Polly Baker in Crazy for You. It was during this time that she heard about an upcoming Disney animated film called The Little Mermaid.
Benson was intrigued by the film’s premise and decided to audition for the role of Ariel. In an interview with Playbill, she said, “I thought it would be really cool to be part of a classic Disney animated feature.” She recorded a demo tape of herself singing “Part of Your World” and sent it to the filmmakers.
– Jodi Benson also auditioned for the role of Belle in Beauty and the Beast but lost out to Paige O’Hara.
– In addition to her work as an actress and singer, Benson is also an accomplished public speaker and Christian evangelist.
How did Jodi Benson approach her performance of “Part of Your World” to capture Ariel’s longing for life above the sea?
The Character of Ariel
Ariel is a mermaid who longs to explore the human world above the sea. She is curious, adventurous, and determined. However, her father King Triton forbids her from going near humans because he believes they are dangerous. Despite this, Ariel continues to dream about what life would be like on land.
The Song’s Significance
“Part of Your World” is a pivotal moment in the film because it establishes Ariel’s motivation and sets up the central conflict. Jodi Benson approached her performance of the song with a sense of wonder and longing. She wanted to capture Ariel’s desire to explore the unknown and experience something new.
In an interview with The Huffington Post, Benson said, “I always try to get into character as much as possible. For ‘Part of Your World,’ I just tried to imagine what it would be like to have this dream that you can’t fulfill, but you know deep down inside that it’s what you want more than anything.”
– “Part of Your World” was almost cut from the film because some Disney executives thought it was too slow and boring.
– Jodi Benson also provided the voice for Vanessa, Ursula’s human alter ego, in The Little Mermaid.
What impact did “Part of Your World” have on the success of The Little Mermaid and its legacy as a Disney classic?
The Film’s Success
The Little Mermaid was released in 1989 and became a critical and commercial success. It grossed over $200 million worldwide and received three Academy Award nominations, including Best Original Song for “Under the Sea.” The film marked a turning point for Disney animation, which had struggled in the years leading up to its release.
“Part of Your World”
One of the most memorable aspects of The Little Mermaid is its music. Composer Alan Menken and lyricist Howard Ashman wrote several catchy songs that have become beloved classics over time. “Part of Your World” is perhaps the most iconic song from the film. It has been covered by numerous artists and has become a staple at Disney theme parks and live events.
“Part of Your World” has had a lasting impact on The Little Mermaid’s legacy as a Disney classic. It is often cited as one of the best Disney songs of all time and has been included in various Disney compilations over the years. Jodi Benson’s performance as Ariel has also become iconic, and she remains closely associated with the character to this day.
– The success of The Little Mermaid paved the way for other successful Disney animated films like Beauty and the Beast (1991) and Aladdin (1992).
– “Part of Your World” was parodied in an episode of The Simpsons called “The Seven-Beer Snitch.”
How has Jodi Benson continued to connect with fans through her iconic portrayal of Ariel and performances of “Part of Your World” at live events?
Jodi Benson has remained closely connected with fans over the years. She frequently attends comic book conventions, where she signs autographs and takes photos with fans. She is known for her warm personality and genuine appreciation for her fans.
“Part of Your World”
One way that Jodi Benson continues to connect with fans is through her performances of “Part of Your World.” She frequently sings the song at live events, including Disney theme park concerts and charity benefits. Her performances are always met with enthusiastic applause from audiences.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Benson said, “I’m just so grateful that people still love The Little Mermaid after all these years. It’s amazing to see how much it means to people, especially kids who grew up watching it.”
– Jodi Benson was inducted as a Disney Legend in 2011.
– She also provided the voice for Ariel in several direct-to-video sequels, including The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea (2000) and The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning (2008).
What other memorable roles has Jodi Benson played throughout her career as a voice actress and singer?
Voice Acting Roles
Jodi Benson is one of the most prolific voice actresses in the industry. In addition to her role as Ariel in The Little Mermaid, she has provided voices for numerous other animated films and television shows. Some of her most notable roles include:
– Barbie in Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3
– Weebo in Flubber
– Ladyfish in Shark Tale
– Thumbelina in Thumbelina
Live Action Roles
In addition to her work as a voice actress, Jodi Benson has also appeared in several live-action productions. Some of her most notable roles include:
– Polly Baker in Crazy for You (Broadway)
– Grace Farrell in Annie (Broadway)
– Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast: A Christmas Enchantment (television)
– Jodi Benson provided the singing voice for Vanessa Williams’ character Teri on the television show Ugly Betty.
– She also released several albums of Christian music over the years.
How has “Part of Your World” been interpreted and covered by other artists since its original release by Jodi Benson?
“Part of Your World” has been covered by numerous artists over the years. Some of the most notable cover versions include:
– Carly Rae Jepsen
– Faith Hill
– Jessica Simpson
– Miley Cyrus
Each artist brings their own unique spin to the song, but all stay true to its original message of longing and desire.
In addition to cover versions, “Part of Your World” has also been parodied in various forms of media. Some of the most notable parodies include:
– “Part of That World” from The Simpsons
– “Part of Your Brain” from Animaniacs
– “Part of Your History” from Histeria!
These parodies often poke fun at the song’s earnestness and have become popular among fans of the original film.
– Jodi Benson herself has performed several different versions of “Part of Your World” over the years, including a Spanish-language version for the film’s Latin American release.
– The song was featured in an episode of Glee called “The Substitute,” where it was performed by actress Gwyneth Paltrow.
What lessons can we learn from Ariel’s journey and message in “Part of Your World” about following our dreams and embracing our true selves?
The Importance of Dreams
One of the central messages of The Little Mermaid is the importance of following your dreams. Ariel is a character who is not content with her current situation and longs for something more. Her desire to explore the human world above the sea is what drives her throughout the film.
Through her journey, we learn that it’s important to have dreams and to pursue them with passion and determination. Even if others don’t understand or support you, it’s crucial to stay true to yourself and follow your heart.
Embracing Our True Selves
Another important lesson from The Little Mermaid is the importance of embracing our true selves. Ariel is a character who doesn’t fit in with her own kind because she has different interests and desires. However, she learns that it’s okay to be different and that it’s important to be true to who you are.
This message is especially relevant in today’s world, where there is often pressure to conform to societal norms and expectations. The Little Mermaid reminds us that it’s okay to be different and that our uniqueness is what makes us special.
– The Little Mermaid was based on the fairy tale of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen.
– Ariel was the first Disney princess to have red hair.
In conclusion, Jodi Benson’s iconic performance of “Part of Your World” in Disney’s The Little Mermaid continues to captivate audiences and inspire generations.
Jodi Benson first performed “Part of Your World” during her audition for the role of Ariel in Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Her performance impressed the filmmakers, and she was hired on the spot. The song has become one of Disney’s most beloved and has been covered by numerous artists. Jodi Benson also provided the voice for Barbie in Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3, and she has appeared in several stage productions. Benson grew up singing in church and attended Millikin University, where she earned a degree in music education.