The Little Mermaid is the latest Disney live-action remake to swim into cinemas, and we now have the first reactions to see if it's been worth another trip under the sea.
As in the Disney animated classic, the movie follows spirited young mermaid Ariel (Halle Bailey) who longs to find out more about the world beyond the sea and during a visit to the surface, she ends up falling for Prince Eric (Jonah Hauer-King).
Mermaids are forbidden to interact with humans, but Ariel follows her heart and makes a deal with the evil sea witch Ursula (Melissa McCarthy) to give her a chance to experience life on land like a human.
Those lucky few to have already experienced the new version of The Little Mermaid have now taken to social media to share their first reactions to the remake. Has it been worthwhile?
"Disney's #TheLittleMermaid is definitely one of the better live-action adaptions," Erik Davis tweeted. "Halle Bailey pours incredible emotion into Ariel and I got chills watching her, while Melissa McCarthy's Ursula and Daveed Diggs’ Sebastian steal scenes all day."
Zoë Rose Bryant also shared high praise for the cast of the live-action remake, insisting the film "retains the heart and soul of the story we know and love", adding: "It's elevated even further by a note-perfect star-making performance from Halle Bailey - she was born to be on the big screen, & she's why this new take is worth watching."
While several critics note the movie has some flaws, most seem to agree Bailey is a great fit for the role of Ariel.
— Kathia Woods (@kathia_woods) May 9, 2023
#TheLittleMermaid makes it pretty close to being the best live action Disney movie, however it still struggles in the villain department. Halle Bailey IS Ariel and I had literal chills throughout her performance. This is a little mermaid retelling like you’ve never seen before. pic.twitter.com/JjtLOR61vL
— Felicia (@becomingfelicia) May 9, 2023
It may look visually rough under the sea, but THE LITTLE MERMAID eventually recreates some of the original’s magic through its timeless story & cast. Daveed Diggs & Melissa McCarthy are highlights but Halle Bailey is the one astonishes with her gorgeous singing & empathetic charm pic.twitter.com/DhmmtOLaLJ
— Matt Neglia (@NextBestPicture) May 9, 2023
Disney’s live-action is magical, emotional and enchanting. Rob Marshall just directed Disney’s best ever live action film. Lin-Manuel Miranda and Alan Menken’s beautiful music shines. Halle Bailey is absolutely extraordinary! and Melissa McCarthy is a bad-ass Ursula. pic.twitter.com/4ZlpsF8m0D
— Jazz Tangcay (@jazzt) May 9, 2023
#TheLittleMermaid: Charming, but incredibly spotty. Halle Bailey, Jonah Hauer-King, Melissa McCarthy & Javier Bardem put their heart & souls into a film that can’t escape its animated legacy. Best when it leans into campy bonkers, yet limits its fantasy elements for no reason. pic.twitter.com/c7Bt2BO5rq
— Courtney Howard (@Lulamaybelle) May 9, 2023
The Little Mermaid also stars Javier Bardem as King Triton and Noma Dumezweni as Queen Selina (a new character for the remake), while Jacob Tremblay, Awkwafina and Daveed Diggs voice Flounder, Scuttle and Sebastian, respectively.
Bridgerton's Simone Ashley plays Indira, one of Ariela's six Mer-Sisters alongside Kajsa Mohammar (Karina), Nathalie Sorrell (Caspia), Karolina Conchet (Mala), Lorena Andrea (Perla) and Sienna King (Tameka).
Last month, it was confirmed that The Little Mermaid is the longest Disney live-action remake to date at two hours and 15 minutes long, while it was also revealed that the movie has updated certain lyrics in classic songs.
"There are some lyric changes in 'Kiss the Girl' because people have gotten very sensitive about the idea that [Prince Eric] would, in any way, force himself on [Ariel]," composer Alan Menken explained.
The Little Mermaid is released in cinemas on May 26.
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