Disney continues its streak to turn their old, animated movies into live action adaptations with The Little Mermaid. The director, Robert Marshall, takes you back under the sea with more musical numbers and life like CGI.
The film follows Ariel (Halle Bailey) who is the daughter of King Trident (Javier Bardem). Ariel has an interest in the surface world and collects different knickknacks she finds in sunken ships. One day there is a shipwreck and Ariel saves a man who turns out to be Prince Eric (Jonah Hauer-King). After saving the Prince, Ariel gets into a fight with her father and turns to her Aunt Ursula (Melissa McCarthy) for help to get to the surface world. Once the deal is made, Ariel can live out her dream, but she doesn’t realize how big of a mistake she made making a deal with Ursula. To undo Ursula’s spell, she’ll need the help of her trusty friends, Flounder (Jacob Tremblay), Sebastian (Daveed Diggs), Scuttle (Awkwafina), and Prince Eric.
Out of all the new Disney live adaptations of old films I grew up with, this is probably the second best. I still think Beauty and the Beast has an edge over this film. That’s not bad though. I thought this film conveyed the story well by adding more depth to the characters, especially Prince Eric. They gave him more of a backstory and it also related to Ariel’s story. I really enjoyed Bailey, Hauer-King, and McCarthy’s performances throughout the film. The music was great, and the flow of the film was very smooth. The downside, I would say, is the CGI is not that great and the color grading was very bleak. Also, Bardem, Tremblay, Diggs, and Awkwafina’s performances were not the best of what the film offered.
Overall, this new live adaptation turned out to be a pleasant film with some faults to it. It didn’t blow me away, but I enjoyed myself with the story and musical numbers. So, if you have children, make a trip to the theaters. If you’re a 90s kid, you could probably wait until this is out on DVD or streaming.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5