‘The Little Mermaid’ First Reactions: Fans Mostly Want to Be Part of Live-Action Remake’s World

But there are some more tepid responses to Disney’s latest film swimming around

Halle Bailey as Ariel in the live-action "The Little Mermaid." (Disney)

On Monday, Disney held the gala premiere in Los Angeles for its live-action remake of the animated classic “The Little Mermaid.” So you know what that means: The first online reactions are in.

So how did the audience feel about the film, which stars Halle Bailey in the title role alongside Jonah Hauer-King, Javier Bardem, Daveed Diggs, Jacob Tremblay, Awkwafina and Melissa McCarthy? Did they consider it under the sea? Or do they want to be a part of its world?

Well, for the most part, people who saw it, loved it. Obviously, huge grain of salt here as always, since premiere events are designed to make attendees feel as positive as possible. That aside, the film is being praised as “close to being the best live action Disney movie,” “an absolute joy to watch,” and similarly enthused sentiments. And pretty much everyone had massive praise for Bailey.

But there did seem to be bubbles of discontent, uh, swimming around. For instance, film critic Courtney Howard called it “Charming, but incredibly spotty,” though she says the cast “put their heart & souls” into it.

Meanwhile Gillian Blum of The Direct says it’s “the best Disney live-action adaptation to date,” adding that “Halle Bailey IS Ariel.”

Writer Jamie Jirak calls the film “a pleasant surprise,” and celebrates Bailey’s singing as “unreal.”

But Kirsten Acuna of Insider, who praises the cast, says “The Little Mermaid” is “a mostly paint-by-numbers remake that’s isn’t as good as the animated masterpiece.”

Naturally, the rest of us will get to see for ourselves soon enough. Disney’s live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid” hits theaters May 26.

Read on for more reactions

“The Little Mermaid” is directed by Rob Marshall and features songs from original composer Alan Menken, along with the original songs by Menken and late songwriter Howard Ashman, plus new songs by Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda.