REVIEW: “Little Mermaid” live action makes waves


Photo obtained from IMDB

Halle Bailey shines as Ariel in the live action “Little Mermaid” movie.

For the first time since 1989, the beloved Disney princess Ariel has been reimagined in an exciting new light. The live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid,” released May 26, has been taking the internet and theaters all over the country by storm. With outstanding musical performances by Halle Bailey as Ariel and the work of other talented co-stars, this film was destined to be a hit.

The film nails its approach to much anticipated scenes from the original cartoon. From Ariel’s desperate need to be human to her friendships with Flounder (Jacob Tremblay), Scuttle (Awkwafina) and Sebastian (Daveed Diggs), the magic stayed true. 

When Ariel first meets Prince Eric (Jonah Hauer-King), the chemistry between the two is instant. Although they are from different worlds, they are destined to find each other once again and eventually fall in love. Throughout their entire story, Hauer-King and Bailey embody true love, conveying the same spark displayed in the original movie. 

As expected, Melissa McCarthy puts on an exceptional performance as the film’s infamous villain, Ursula. With updated lyrics, McCarthy shows her talents by performing the famous song “Poor Unfortunate Souls.” Even though the film got rid of a verse from the original song, it doesn’t take away from McCarthy’s performance. From her introduction at the beginning of the film, Ursula’s malice bleeds through the screen, inspiring genuine fear in the audience as they worry for Ariel’s fate. 

Jonah Hauer-King, a newer actor in the industry, portrayed the man of our dreams, aka, Prince Eric. With his dreamy looks and royal charm, he wowed viewers with his performance. With King’s undeniable charisma, angelic voice and stunning chemistry with Bailey, he perfectly captures the essence of the sea-faring prince.

In this new twist on the underwater “tail,” along with all of the beloved original songs, there’s also an addition of two new songs written by Lin-Manuel Miranda. With original songs like “Part of Your World” and “Under the Sea’’ being showstoppers, some were nervous that the newer tunes wouldn’t be able to match the older, beloved ones. Nonetheless, “For the First Time’’ and “The Scuttlebutt’’ inspire the very same magical feel as the classic songs. 

From the beginning to the end, the cinematography was stunning. Visuals of both sea and land make the Caribbean Islands seem like a dream, using fantastical ideas like talking animals and mermaids and demonstrating them in a realistic fashion. 

Despite the movie’s overall success, the true heart of this film was Bailey’s outstanding acting and remarkable voice. Despite the initial controversy behind her casting, she proved her critics wrong with how she embodied the beloved Disney princess. Her angelic vocals throughout the film inspired the true wonder and magic of Disney, giving viewers the mermaid narrative they dreamed of.