Why you might not recognize every song from the 'Little Mermaid' live special

BURBANK, Calif. -- If you've only ever seen the 1989 animated version of "The Little Mermaid," you might not recognize every song from tonight's live special on ABC.

There's a simple reason: While most of the songs featured in the live special came from the film, some (like "Her Voice" and "If Only") come from the stage adaptation that first played on the Great White Way in 2008. Graham Phillips, who plays Prince Eric in the ABC special, said the opportunity to fold the stage songs into the television special added more depth to his character.

"It's really exciting that I get to premiere a lot of these songs for people who haven't gotten a chance to see the Broadway musical," Phillips told TVLine in an interview before the show. "And it's liberating that I get to explore a bit more of where Eric is coming from."

The legendary Alan Menken composed music for both the film and stage version, with Howard Ashman contributing film lyrics and Glenn Slater penning lyrics for the stage version.

"The Wonderful World of Disney presents The Little Mermaid Live!" stars Auli'i Cravalho as Ariel, Queen Latifa as Ursula, Shaggy as Sebastian, John Stamos as Chef Louis and Phillips as Prince Eric. The soundtrack recorded for Tuesday night's live telecast is available now on several different streaming platforms.

SEE ALSO: Jodi Benson, original Ariel actress, opens ABC's 'Little Mermaid' live special

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