Wed. Jul 17th, 2024

Disney’s The Little Mermaid Continues To Divide Fans

Disney's the little mermaid
Disney's the little mermaid

In the spirit of positivity, I will be taking an honest look at the latest Disney’s The Little Mermaid trailer. Since a live-action reboot was announced, fans have been extremely divided. For those who do not know, Disney’s The Little Mermaid will be released on 26 May 2023. The film will star Halle Bailey (Ariel), Melissa Mccarthy (Ursula), and Jonah Hauer-King (Prince Eric). At the Oscars last night, a more in-depth trailer was revealed, showcasing what we can expect from The Little Mermaid.

In an almost 3-minute trailer, fans got an extended look into what Halle Bailey will offer fans in the role of the Little Mermaid. Since this is a Disney movie, we saw Halle Bailey killing it while performing Part of your world. Furthermore, we got to see what the supporting cast would look like. With that said, as much as I want to be optimistic about this movie, there are some glaring issues we do need to discuss.

The Biggest Problem With Disney’s The Little Mermaid

The issue with Disney’s The Little Mermaid runs much deeper than many might think. Although this movie is shaping up to be much better than many want to give it credit for, a few things cannot be ignored. I stated that I wanted to be optimistic about this film but also had to be objective about my assessment. Based on the limited exposure we have been subjected to, The Little Mermaid is falling into every trap from live actions before.

So in the spirit of objectivity, let’s start with the first. Why is this movie so dark? Everyone remembers the bright and colorful world of the animated film and series. When it comes to this live-action, that bright and magical world is completely missing. It could be my own personal nitpick, but a similar issue was raised with Peter Pan and Wendy. With these live-action films, Disney cannot seem to capture any of the magic presents in the original animation.

Halle Bailey as Ariel in Disney's The Little Mermaid
Halle Bailey as Ariel in Disney’s The Little Mermaid

It would be easy to argue that, of course, the aesthetic of a live-action will be darker. If I compare this underwater world to other movies, it seems lacking. Once again, I would like to point out. This is not a Little Mermaid problem. This is a Disney Live-Action problem. Surly CGI can come up with something a bit brighter.

The Disney CGI Problem

This leads me to the next glaring issue: Disney and its poor CGI. The CGI for this film has been a massive point of contention. In all honesty, Disney does have a long-standing history when it comes to poor CGI. This issue stretches far beyond just your regular Live-action movies. However, with that said, the glaring problem of taking animated animals and turning them into real-life creatures is hard to ignore.

The Lion King, in particular, suffered very aggressively from this issue. You cannot capture emotion the same way you do with animated films. This does lead me to believe that Disney needs to find a balance between ultra-realistic and animation. Sabastian the crab is a perfect example; the same goes for all the other animals in this movie.

Sabastian the crab From Disney's the Little Mermaid
Sabastian, the crab From Disney’s The Little Mermaid

The truth is, there are ways to mitigate this and give fans the best of both worlds. If you want examples of how to do it properly, you do not need to look very far. Not long ago, Sony found themselves in the hot seat while filming their live-action adaptation. Who remembers realistic Sonic the Hedgehog? Sony has done a fantastic job listening to fans and making Sonic more cartoon-like. If Disney does the same with their movies, it will go a long way in capturing that magic. Even decade-old movies like Steward Little do a better job with their actual live animation. It is hard to believe that Disney cannot figure this out.

The Positives From Disney’s The Little Mermaid Trailer

With that said, I have focused a lot on this trailer’s negative aspects. The truth is, there are also elements here that are positive. I know many people are disappointed in the casting choice, and you can express that without fearing being labeled something terrible. Race swapping is a complicated issue that does not have a simple solution.

I have stated my feelings about this topic so many times that, at this point, it is not worth it repeating myself. So, in the spirit of positivity, let’s talk about what I like. Halle Bailey’s voice is magical. She does a phenomenal job with the musical aspects. Since this is a Disney movie, it is essential to get it right. Based on the trailers I have seen, they do a great job with it.

Disney's The Little Mermaid
Disney’s The Little Mermaid

Based on the minimal screen time in the trailer, Melissa McCarthy as Ursula is a perfect fit. She has some terrible movies, but she also has strong performances. In this movie, Ursula can be a hidden gem. Additionally, Jonah Hauer-King fits the role of Prince Eric perfectly. He is as close to the animated version as you will get.

The Disney Live Action Meta Set To Continue

Disney Live Action movies are set to continue moving forward. Although the online reception for some of these could be better, they still pull in massive Box office numbers. As long as these movies continue to pull in money, Disney will milk this for as long as they can when it comes to casting choices, which will also be a point of contention. As Disney tries to rid itself of their past, more diverse casting is set to continue.

Disney had plenty more live-action movies lined up, and confident casting choices had already been made. The upcoming Snow White movies will also feature Rachel Zegler. Although she is a highly talented actor with an insane vocal range, controversy has already made its way into production.


On a personal note, I have made peace with the fact that the current set of Disney movies is no longer meant for me. I am not the target audience. Although I have fond memories of these classics, it is time for a new audience to enjoy these films. For a person in their late twenties, it may be time for the new generation to dictate what they want. Although these reboots are not how we remember them, we will always have the originals to watch. When I hear the phrase, updating for a modern audience or “reimagining,” I know it won’t be worth the watch. For now, I will reflect on my childhood fondly and allow a new generation to do the same.

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760 thoughts on “Disney’s The Little Mermaid Continues To Divide Fans”
  1. […] The Little Mermaid will be released on 26 May 2023. However, pre-screenings are happening everywhere, and some reviews are already in. It is no secret that The Little Mermaid is riddled with controversy. At the forefront of this controversy is the casting choice for Ariel. Most who grew up watching this cartoon will know her as a redhead. In addition to her hair color, her skin color is another topic of debate. […]

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