Right now, Jodi Benson’s identify is synonymous with voice performing. Apart from Ariel, Benson has voiced the title character in Don Bluth’s 1994 “Thumbelina” animated motion picture, various characters in Cartoon Network’s “Camp Lazlo” Television display, and even the superhero Aquagirl in two episodes of “Batman Over and above.”
But back again in the 1986, Benson hadn’t even thought of a career as a voice actor. Instead, she was carrying out in the Broadway musical “Smile,” a generation directed by famous Disney lyricist Howard Ashman, who experienced been tapped to publish the lyrics for “The Small Mermaid.” At the Phoenix Admirer Fusion Conference, Benson famous that “Smile” closed soon after only a handful of months. But her functionality — and her rendition of the musical’s track “Disneyland” — bought her the interest of Ashman, who invited some solid members to audition for “The Tiny Mermaid” soon after the enjoy finished.
“I went to the audition just declaring, ‘Oh, this is a neat encounter,’ hardly ever obtaining been behind a microphone just before,” Benson recalled, who saw the audition as a “consolation prize” for the actors who’d just lost their jobs. “And I ran to the ladies’ space, created positive no one was in the stalls, and began speaking to myself in the mirror imagining, ‘Gosh, is this what a sixteen-calendar year-old appears like? I do not bear in mind!'”
A 12 months later on, Benson received a connect with from her agent, who informed her she’d been cast as Ariel. Benson, who’d neglected all about the previously audition, innocently questioned, “What’s an ‘Ariel?'”
Quickly, even so, Benson would see the purpose as a enormous blessing — especially given that it gave her the option to do the job with Howard Ashman once more. “[Howard] stood in the studio with me … and got me by means of all my traces and all my tunes,” Benson recollected. “He knew I was battling. I had under no circumstances been guiding a microphone and didn’t know what I was accomplishing at all, but he was just very kind.”