The Little Mermaid brings strong performances from the cast to recreate the magic of the original


Lian Ghazanfar

Ariel sings on the rock after she saves Eric from the ship.

Liane Ghazanfar, Staff Writer

The Little Mermaid released to theaters on May 26th, 2023 starring Halle Bailey as Ariel, a young mermaid who wishes to be in the human world. The new live-action Little Mermaid movie is a stunning adaptation of the animated tale that was released in 1989. Strong performances were given by the cast, and the movie’s soundtrack stands out. In general, this movie is a must-watch for fans of the Little Mermaid.

As the movie was finishing up production, it seemed that social media sent a lot of negativity to this movie. However, upon the release of the movie, the thought of another let down by Disney was disproven with a Rotten Tomato score of 68 percent and an audience approval rating of 95 percent. 

The movie has several factors that make it one of Disney’s best live-action films. Their CGI work was insanely impressive, as it almost felt real. The work of the mermaid tails, the animals being able to talk without making it seem odd, and the movement in the water was all outstanding work from the production team. The settings in the movie matched every scene from the animated film perfectly. From Prince Eric’s castle to Ariel’s hidden cove, it felt so nostalgic to watch.

In talking about the characters, there was great character development with the romance between Eric and Ariel, creating a new image for them. Referencing their first time meeting, the scene where Eric first learns Ariel’s name, they pointed out the constellation of ‘Aries’ which was a different and unique way of having them meet each other. In scenes where they had to use body language as Ariel lost her voice, it brought a lot of chemistry between the two that brought them closer to one another. Also, Ariel had built up more chemistry with Eric in the live-action rather than in the animated version, possibly since it’s human interaction which gives it an advantage of better performance within the couple itself. 

In terms of the soundtrack, they kept the soundtrack simple and didn’t change any of the lyrics to the original songs, but to give the movie a twist, they added a song by Prince Eric which gave viewers a shock, but brought positive feedback. The song was random and didn’t add much difference to the storyline.

 A great twist the movie also included was Ariel’s sisters. Her sisters were all diverse as they all represented the Seven Seas, which was very different from what we have seen in Disney movies before which viewers like me absolutely loved. This was the representation of how they were able to show diversity in their works.

The movie was something I looked forward to seeing and didn’t have much of an opinion on it and turned out loving it. As the Little Mermaid is now shown in movies, I have now seen the Little Mermaid in Disney’s live-action interpretation, finding it just as amazing as the original one. It is a great movie to watch with friends, family, or even by yourself. It shows examples of bravery and following what’s true to your heart. This movie gives a glimpse into the past with beloved characters of the movie and hopefully seeing a glimpse into Disney’s past. I look forward to seeing more live-action movies, just like The Little Mermaid.