Disney never misses an opportunity for synergistic cross promotion and the Oscars were no different, as the company debuted the first full-length trailer for their splashy live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid” during the awards ceremony. You can watch it above.
As far as Disney live-action remakes go, “The Little Mermaid” looks lively and fun. The makers of this version seem to have remembered that it is based on an animated film; it’s brightly colored and utilizes cutting-edge technology to bring some of the most unforgettable moments from the original film to dazzling new life. (Some of the other adaptations have been a little, um, glum.) This new “Little Mermaid” is ready to make a splash!
“The Little Mermaid” stars Halle Bailey as Ariel, a mermaid who exchanges her voice for a life on the surface; Jonah Hauer-King as the human Prince who she falls in love with; and Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, the evil sea witch who makes the impossible bargain. Javier Bardem plays King Triton, Ariel’s overprotective father, while Daveed Diggs voices Sebastian the crab, Jacob Tremblay voices Flounder the fish and Awkwafina voices Scuttle the seagull.
This new version of “The Little Mermaid” was directed by Rob Marshall, who last made “Mary Poppins Returns” for Disney, 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.
When the original animated “Little Mermaid” was released into theaters in 1989, it signaled the beginning of the so-called Disney Renaissance, after more than two decades of middling efforts (following the death of Walt Disney in 1966). “The Little Mermaid” and the animated Disney movies that followed would define a generation – classics like “Aladdin,” “Beauty and the Beast” (the first animated feature nominated for the Best Picture Oscar), “The Lion King” and more.
Before “The Little Mermaid,” Disney will release their live-action adaptation of “Peter Pan,” entitled “Peter Pan & Wendy,” on Disney+ in April. And next year Disney will deliver a live-action “Snow White” (starring “West Side Story” breakout Rachel Zegler and Gal Gadot) and a sequel/prequel to “The Lion King” called “Mufasa: The Lion King,” directed by the great Barry Jenkins.
“The Little Mermaid” splashes into theaters on May 26, 2023.