The Little Mermaid
This is a way overdue review of this movie which I absolutely adored. I usually am not a fan of Disney just making live-action versions of the original animated films, but this one was done well. I like that it wasn’t the same movie shot for shot as they have done in the past. I’ve seen this movie twice in theatres now and I have been obsessed with it since I first saw it. The casting of the film is brilliant, the music is lovely, and the changes are welcome.
The casting for this film is absolutely brilliant. Arielle, Eric, Ursula, and Vanessa are examples of perfect casting. Halle Bailey absolutely shines in this and I think she is a great role model for young girls. I love Jacob Trembley (Canadian woo!) and his voice is perfect for Flounder, but they made the fish so creepy that it’s just hard to watch and really takes away from his performance.
Jonah Haur-King and Jessica Alexander look crazy similar to the original animated versions of the characters Prince Eric and Vanessa. Melissa McCarthy is my dream casting for Ursula. Awkwafina playing a Seagal is something I didn’t know I needed. Scuttle was a funny character, and no matter what people say “Scuttle-Butt” is hilarious. One character that was missing though was the chef, but I guess it is quite the gimmicky character.
Eric is great, they made him way more interesting than the original version of the character. He actually cares about the world, is curious about everything, and wants to explore the sea. I like that he is not just blindly in love with her beauty since she can’t speak. He falls in love with her curiosity and shared interest in the world. They have shared interests and they spend the day with him showing her the island. He actually has a personality. I liked the changes they made to the plot. I like that Eric doesn’t save the day, she saves him instead. She is no longer the damsel in distress. Overall, there was a lot more character development than I expected and it made the characters a lot more interesting.
I loved the soundtrack, I really liked the addition of new songs like “Wild Uncharted Waters” and “For the First Time”. While “Poor Unfortunate Souls” and “Part of Your World” were beautifully remastered. I like that they changed things up a bit, it added to the story that we all know and love and gave it more depth.
I found that the main battle scene is a little anti-climactic. The effects feel gimmicky and don’t look very real. In the animated version, this is such a big and dramatic scene, and the live-action version lost this feeling. I also already know what’s going to happen so it wasn’t like wow I hope they both survive this and are completely okay in the end.
The one thing that really disappointed me and I knew going in that it would be meh because it was in the trailers but the visual effects and CGI is just terrible sometimes. When you have a movie like Avatar the Way of Water that came out last year, you expect this movie to be on the same or similar level. That is just not the case. The underwater scenes are just so dull to look at when they should have been bright, colourful, and cinematic. The water just looks bad.
Overall, it is not the best movie that I’ve seen this year, but it made me happy. I loved the characters, and I think it was an interesting and fresh take on the story. They were able to make a lot of changes to the story that translated well in the live-action version. I think Halle Bailey is an incredible actress and was the perfect choice for Arielle. The whole cast is what made this movie stand out to me, making it more than just another remake.