- The opening/end credits music is a soothing number which transitions to grand and awe-inspiring to set the stage for the story.
- Ursula's song "Poor Unfortunate Souls" was the most breathtaking, show-stealing moment of The Little Mermaid. Not to mention the sheer awesomeness that is her Evil Laugh. The French version is incredible too, thanks to Micheline Dax's performance. Howard Ashman's demo is more epic because of Howard singing Tim Curry Style and some great vocal inflections.
- "Under The Sea", the musical number that firmly announced that Disney animation, after years of cultural near-irrelevance, was back. Not only that, but "Under the Sea" won the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
- "Part of Your World" and its reprise mean so many things to so many people. Jodi Bensons beautiful singing performance is the cherry on top.
- Les Poissons is sinister, catchy as hell, and hilarious all at the same time.
- "Kiss The Girl", Academy Award nominee, is not only fantastically memorable, it's also one of the most unique love songs in the entire Disney canon thanks to Sebastian's Caribbean-esque arrangement, making it a totally different style of romantic from most of the more traditionally orchestral love songs heard in their other movies. This little track is done by Ariel's aquatic friends, led by Sebastian, to set the mood for a romantic kiss between her and Prince Eric. The motifs in there are enough to make you relax and urge the two to kiss. Did we mention Sebastian made this song in-universe on the spot?
- Destruction of the Grotto. It begins with a hard Mood Whiplash from happy innocence to dumbstruck fear, and the music, symbolizing Triton's Tranquil Fury, only grows in intensity before exploding into a piece of heart-stopping terror. In the Broadway musical, its replacement ("The World Above Reprise") is an epic and emotional yet brief song for Triton—probably one of the only times he sang.
- "Bedtime" features a soothing little motive backed with a brief snippet from "Part of Your World" as Ariel settles for bed as a human for the first time.
- "Jig/Fireworks". This is a jolly little track packing in the grandeur of the fireworks show at sea before transitioning to fun-filled dance jig.
- "Fathoms Below" kick starts the whole film with gradual swell of the accompanying music followed by a bold melodious chorus of male sailors setting the stage for the film with mentions of a mermaid "in mysterious fathoms below".
- "Happy Endings" is a glorious track featuring smooth alternations between being amazing and heartwarming with a short Triumphant Reprise of "Part of Your World" to end the tale on a high note. Here, Ursula's victims are finally freed from the sea witch's clutches, King Triton fulfils Ariel's wish to be with her beloved Eric, and the two get married. Oh, and Sebastian gets revenge on Chef Louis for a final laugh!
- The singing that Ariel does when Ursula takes her voice - and then uses to seduce Eric. It sounds like a real-life version of Siren song. And it becomes even more awesome when the shell breaks and Ariel gets her voice back.
- "The Storm" starts as a literal calm before the storm until the lightning strikes. The fierceness matches the accompanying weather as the sailors navigate and are later forced to abandon ship.
- From the Screen-to-Stage Adaptation:
- Ariel gets a wondrous Act I opener in the form of "The World Above", which leads into an extended version of "Fathoms Below".
- The revised production gives Ursula a new introductory Villain Song, "Daddy's Little Angel", which tells her Start of Darkness backstory and her revenge plot against Triton and his daughters.
- Ariel's sisters sing the Motown-style number "She's in Love" following her rescue of Eric.
- "Her Voice" is Eric's answer to "Part of Your World".
- Scuttle and the gulls have the catchy tapdance number "Positoovity" as Ariel learns to walk as a human.
- Ariel's Inner Monologue song "Beyond My Wildest Dreams" describes her astonishment with the human world.
- In Eric's "One Step Closer", the mute Ariel learns dancing as a language.
- The Eleven O'Clock Number "If Only" is a Distant Quartet where Ariel, Eric, Triton, and Sebastian lament their inability to communicate their desires to one another.
- The Finale Ultimo, following a Triumphant Reprise of "If Only", gives us a glorious extended triumphant reprise of "Part of Your World".
Awesome Music / The Little Mermaid (1989)