If the tune sounded familiar, it should: it’s “Part of Your World” from Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.” Released in 1989, “The Little Mermaid” proved to be a critical and financial success and not only breathed new life into Disney’s animation department, but also started the era of animated hits known as the Disney Renaissance (via Time). The film won two Oscars – one for best original score and one for best song (“Under the Sea”). While used as a fun little shame in the commercial, the song actually has a deeper meaning in the story and serves as a thematic centerpiece for the eponymous hero’s character growth throughout the film.
Written by lyricist Howard Ashman and composer Alan Menken, “Part of Your World” is sung by Princess Ariel (Jodi Benson), titled Little Mermaid, as she expresses a desire to see and explore the human world. The song is immediately a ballad that expresses her intense desire to become human and see all that their world has to offer, and also an “I Want” song (via Musical Writers), a type of song used in the theater (and later in other Disney movies) to express the heroes’ dissatisfaction with life as it is at the moment, as well as their desire for something greater.