Review – The Little Mermaid

Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid finally surfaces, and it’s a faithful and enchanting adaptation that will captivate audiences of all ages. While the trend of remaking animated classics may seem tiresome after recent misfires like Pinocchio and Peter Pan & Wendy, The Little Mermaid proves that it can be done effectively, giving us hope for future endeavours.

One of the standout aspects of this version is the modernised resolution that pays homage to the original story by Hans Christian Andersen. Gone are the concerns about a girl losing her voice and needing to flaunt her looks to get the prince, here it is all about the voice that is the feature and Prince Eric wanting to find the woman who saved his life and sang to him. Eric’s role is more fleshed out here with his family and wanting to help restore his island home to its former glory with trade and becoming a hub again.

Fans of the beloved animated film will recognize the familiar elements of the story. Halle Bailey shines as the rebellious Ariel, who yearns to break free from the rules set by her father, King Triton, portrayed by the talented Javier Bardem. The movie spends a bit too much time with the pirates she encounters, but the focus is primarily on her relationship with Prince Eric, played by a charming actor. Their love story faces the obstacles of their different worlds, reminiscent of a fishy version of “Romeo and Juliet.” Melissa McCarthy delivers a fresh take on the role of Ursula, Ariel’s evil aunt, infusing the character with a mid-Atlantic accent that suits the oceanic setting. McCarthy’s portrayal brings the villain to life, delivering an outrageously camp and drag queen-inspired performance that makes this villain such an icon.

One common disappointment in these remakes is the inability to capture the same magic as the original animated musical sequences. Director Rob Marshall manages to infuse the lively “Under the Sea” with the same inventiveness and entertainment value as the original. Daveed Diggs, known for his role in “Hamilton,” delivers a memorable performance as Sebastian, Ariel’s crab companion, who sings the iconic song. Scuttle is now a Gannett instead of Seagull, which allows Scuttle to have more interactions with Ariel and the other characters in underwater scenes. Awkwafina voices the character perfectly and manages to get her own original song thanks to Lin Manuel Miranda.

The Little Mermaid strikes a delicate balance between honouring the story’s familiar elements, introducing new elements of the plot, and expanding on characters like Prince Eric who were sidelined in the original animated film. The film brings freshness and vitality to the tail with the addition of fine new songs co-written by original composer Alan Menken and the ever-talented Lin-Manuel Miranda. The movie’s visual effects are expertly crafted, and the underwater world comes to life in stunning detail.

In its 135-minute runtime, The Little Mermaid immerses viewers in a heartwarming and uplifting escapist experience that imparts valuable lessons of acceptance. The movie’s PG rating is worth noting for parents, as some scenes may be slightly dark and potentially frightening for very young children.

Ultimately, Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid is a delightful and faithful adaptation that successfully transports audiences back to the magical underwater world. With its strong performances, engaging storytelling, and a combination of familiar and fresh elements, this film is a splash of pure cinematic joy that will leave viewers with a renewed appreciation for the timeless tale.

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Disney's live-action remake of The Little Mermaid finally surfaces, and it's a faithful and enchanting adaptation that will captivate audiences of all ages. While the trend of remaking animated classics may seem tiresome after recent misfires like Pinocchio and Peter Pan & Wendy, The...Review - The Little Mermaid
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