“The Little Mermaid”
“The Little Mermaid”

“The Little Mermaid”

“The Little Mermaid” (2023)

So, what can I say about “The Little Mermaid”? I am pleasantly surprised.

Since the announcement of this movie, my expectations have been relatively low, and with every new trailer, I remained unconvinced.

Several elements concerned me. Firstly, Disney’s track record with live-action remakes has often fallen flat or felt irrelevant. Additionally, I doubted whether Rob Marshall was the right director to handle a movie heavily reliant on CGI.

And then there’s the casting. Yes, we are talking about that.

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of Melissa McCarthy, and I find Awkwafina’s performances less than appealing, mainly due to her voice. So you can imagine my scepticism when Awkwafina was cast as a voice talent. Furthermore, I had reservations about Halle Bailey’s casting as Ariel since I hadn’t seen her in a role that convinced me she was the right choice.

However, not only was Halle Bailey the perfect choice, but she was born to play Ariel. Her voice and performance in some of the most iconic Disney moments will undoubtedly become a classic for a new generation. But it’s not just her singing; her acting is truly impressive. She effortlessly portrays Ariel’s innocence, fragility, and courage without even speaking a word.

Visually, “The Little Mermaid” is stunning. Even the aspects that bothered me, such as the appearance of the under-the-sea characters, couldn’t have been done any better. If you’re a diehard Disney fan who will compare every scene to the original, you might be disappointed.

Flounder looks different, and adjusting to Sebastian’s portrayal takes time. However, Melissa McCarthy’s portrayal of Ursula is spot-on and fantastic.

McCarthy tones down her usual over-the-top comedy, which works brilliantly for Ursula. It allows the audience to connect with her but also to despise her. I must say, if McCarthy is the one singing, I’m thoroughly impressed.

As you can gather from this review, the biggest strength of this movie lies in its casting. There are no weak links; everyone does an outstanding job and draws inspiration from one another. The chemistry between Jonah Hauer-King and Halle Bailey is infectious.

“The Little Mermaid” is a fantastic movie, and by the end, I realized that maybe Rob Marshall was the perfect choice for this project, given his musical background. Underneath it all, this is a musical where the heart lies in its music, so having a director who knows that together with Lin-Manuel Miranda to help with some of the musical acts is a match made in heaven. I challenge anyone to leave the theatre without singing every single song.

What is your favourite live-action Disney project?




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