"Look at this stuff, isn't it neat? Wouldn't you think my collection's complete?"
Those famous lyrics have been ingrained in girls', boys', and adults' heads ever since Princess Ariel sang about walking out of the sea to be with her prince in "The Little Mermaid."
The groundbreaking animated film, which won two Oscars for Best Original Score and Best Original Song, is celebrating its 25th anniversary come 2014 and to celebrate, Disney is releasing a Diamond Edition of the film on October 1, 2013.
Moviefone Canada got the chance to talk to Ariel herself, actress Jodi Benson, who voiced the underwater princess not just for the original film but for the sequel, the TV series and the Kingdom Hearts video game. Benson, who began her career as a Broadway actor, has also voiced Thumbelina in the movie of the same name as well as Barbie in "Toy Story 2" and "Toy Story 3."
Even though it's been nearly 25 years since the now-51-year-old mom first sang "Part Of Your World," Ariel has never been far from Benson's mind or job. In 2011, Benson was presented with the Disney Legend Award for voicing Ariel, and she still gets recognized by fans. She answered our questions by phone on whether she ever gets tired of "being" Ariel, if she has advice for actors who want to do voice work and whether there should ever be a "The Little Mermaid" reboot.
Moviefone:It's so weird to hear Ariel's voice on the other end of the line! What is it like for you when people have that reaction when they hear your voice?
Jodi Benson: I get a lot of "Your voice sounds familiar..." and "You sound like Ariel," but I love it. I love my job.
Did you expect such a huge reaction to the film when you were cast in it?
Our names weren't going to be mentioned, except for in the credits, and people don't stay for those. But then Disney sent me out on a press tour for the film -- 22 cities in 22 days -- and that changed everything. But no, I had no idea it would be that big.
It's been almost 25 years since "The Little Mermaid" came out. If you were to re-do Ariel's voice, would you do anything differently?
Howard, Ron and John [that would be writers Howard Ashman, Ron Clements and director/writer John Musker] are brilliant geniuses and I trust them. I wouldn't change a thing.
Everyone knows the words to the songs. How does that make you feel?
It puts a smile on my face!
Can you believe how many people still love the movie today (including us)?
I mean it's just such a groundbreaking movie, it's a blending of musical styles, how the music crossed generations, not just for children but for adults too. Our studio almost shuttered down and Ariel saved them.
Hollywood is doing a lot of reboots these days. Do you think Disney should do a "The Little Mermaid" remake?
I've never thought about doing a remake because we did a sequel, a prequel and a TV series. We've also done re-releases which add new technology to try to reintroduce it to a new generation.
If you had a choice, would you live in the water as a mermaid or on land as a human?
As a mom with kids, my family would have to come with me. I love to scuba-dive and to be underwater is amazing.
What are your other favourite Disney movies?
Growing up, "Cinderella" was important to me. I had this dream of growing up, being an actress. I could relate to the storyline, having the strength to pursue something that's difficult.
What went through your mind when you found out that you received the Disney Legend Award in 2011?
I was shocked when I got the call. I thought I was going to lose my job. When they called and said we'd like to honour you, I was silent. I thought I would be retired, I thought you had to be dead to get that award [Laughs]. I could barely get through the ceremony, I was crying most of the day, so to say thank you to people who for 25 years have loved and supported me was a blessing.
"The Little Mermaid: Diamond Anniversary Edition" will be available on October 1.