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The Little Mermaid Is Fun & One Of The Better Disney Live-Action Adaptations

Several of the more popular Disney Renaissance animated movies have already gotten the live-action treatment in the last few years, including The Lion King, Aladdin and Mulan. The Little Mermaid is the latest but will it achieve as much success as The Lion King and Aladdin, or will it flounder like Mulan? Read on to find out.

 

Under The Sea

Some context: I was part of the generation of kids who grew up with the Disney Renaissance animated movies like The Little Mermaid, so they have a special nostalgic place in my heart. Iconic musical tracks are recreated in live-action and they’re great. Despite what you may think about the casting choice, there’s no denying that Halle Bailey is a phenomenal singer, and I daresay that her rendition of the songs is as good as Jodi Benson’s (the original voice actor of Ariel). Speaking of Jodi Benson, look out for her Stan Lee-like cameo in the movie.

The live-action Disney’s The Little Mermaid expands on the original animated movie with some extra content that doesn’t feel tacked on or superfluously added. This time around, Jonah Hauer-King’s Prince Eric is a more well-rounded character with added depth and development devoted to him. He even gets a brand new original song to sing (though it’s nothing to really shout about).

Without going into details or spoiler territory, his character traits even somewhat mirror Ariel’s, which makes their eventual romance more believable and their relationship ends up feeling like it has more chemistry.

Another highlight of the movie is Daveed Diggs’ Sebastian and Awkwafina’s Scuttle. Both of them even get a new original rap song that got my whole cinema hall laughing out loud; this is perhaps the best of the brand-new songs in the movie. Daveed Diggs as Sebastian is the most memorable supporting character with the best and funniest lines in the movie.

Fans of Flounder may be disappointed to learn that he gets the short stick in this movie, but he doesn’t really do anything important anyways, even in the original animated movie; it really feels like the writers don’t know what to do with him. The realistic CGI for the animals isn’t really as much of a distraction as you’d expect, with the exception of Flounder. He still looks weird and awkward in long shots, so perhaps that’s why he gets so little screen time.

Fans of the original animated movie will find a lot to love about this movie. The only thing that might irk them is a few changes, including in the ending. I personally found the original animated movie’s ending to be epic and grander in scale. The climax in the live-action version feels a bit more rushed and anti-climactic. Plus, some iconic scenes from the animated movie are absent in the live-action adaptation, including the famous scene where Chef Louis chases Sebastian around the kitchen while trying to cook him.

Siren’s Song

Disney’s Little Mermaid is a fun live-action reimagining of the original animated movie. It will captivate both fans and newcomers, especially younger viewers from new generations. That said, Disney’s The Little Mermaid is not a substitute for the classic animated movie, which will always be more magical and legendary.

FINAL SCORE: 70/100

We attended an early screener of Disney’s The Little Mermaid courtesy of The Walt Disney Company Malaysia. Disney’s The Little Mermaid is slated to premiere in Malaysian cinemas on 25 May 2023.

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  1. The Little Mermaid Drops On Disney+ Hotstar Next Month

    August 8, 2023 at 11:53 pm

    […] Check out my review of The Little Mermaid by heading over here. […]

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