Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

The Crowd Goes Mild For The Little Mermaid

The Reviews Are In For The Little Mermaid
The Reviews Are In For The Little Mermaid

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.

Many feel that the current actress, Halle Bailey, does not represent Ariel accurately. For some, this is just Disney doing another race swap. It is worth pointing out that some feel differently about this. Those who believe Ariel’s whiteness has no bearing on the story are on the opposite spectrum of the argument. We see this argument constantly, especially over the last few years. Remakes of old classics are happening all the time. However, over the past few weeks, the volume at which they have been taking place has been much more frequent.

Usually, remakes exist to take a classic story and bring it to a modern audience. The script, however, needs to be modernized and reimagined, and the remake aims to improve the original work so new fans can enjoy it. There are examples of retellings that fall outside the traditional criteria of remakes. An excellent example of this is superhero movies. Every few years, we get a new Spiderman or Batman movie, and they cast a new actor and retell the story with a few changes. Technically, these count as retellings and reboots rather than remakes. However, they stay close to the original IP in all these cases.

The Reviews For The Little Mermaid Are In

Disney is doing the same. They are not remaking The Little Mermaid. They are rebooting it. The only difference is the skin color of the lead actress. This is a small change, and one has to wonder how much this matters. Irrespective of where you land on this whole debate, we do need to look ahead and judge this movie for what it is. The reviews for The Little Mermaid are in, and opinions are currently split. These reviews come from critics; thus, we must take it lightly. There are now 104 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.

The movie is sitting at 70%, which is a respectable score. There are a few things about the film that stand out. Most agree that the underwater world is less colorful than the original animation, which is familiar to everyone. Most Disney remakes deal with this problem. The movie can sometimes be visually unpleasing, a common problem for Disney live-action movies. The live-action worlds have a much darker undertone. However, although the film has flaws, many agree that Halle Bailey is breathtaking. Her performance is phenomenal, and this is in large part due to her singing voice.

However, it would only be a review pointing out the obvious. As always, some people feel the film needed to go further. Some are calling this a feminist remake that did not go far enough. I am still determining exactly how far they want this movie to go. Overall, most feel that the original soul of the film is still there. It is, of course, early days. We will only know the accurate opinions of fans once they start scoring it.

Halle Bailey Talks The Little Mermaid

Halle Bailey is very vocal about her experience in this film. She is proud of her performance and has every right to be. In a recent interview with Glamour, Halle stated she cried when initially seeing herself as The Little Mermaid. She is very open about the fact that she thinks representation is essential. Black girls need to see black princesses. There are those, of course, who push back against these sentiments. They feel that she should not represent black girls but all girls. Whenever race swapping happens, you say that the lead character’s race should not matter.

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

The color of the character is optional to the role. However, at the same time, you keep talking about how important it is to have black representation. So, which one is it? Does the character’s race not matter, or is it essential? Are you representing all girls or only black girls? Why is a black Little Mermaid so crucial if you want people not to look at race? Many on the other side of the argument are ready to answer these questions.

The people who say race should not matter do not want a black Little Mermaid. Representation is important, and young black girls should have black Disney princesses to look up to. You can say you want to be a black princess for black girls and still include everyone else. A black girl can exist seeing a black princess while other girls are equally excited over the same princess. Children do not care about the race of the princess. Most people making a fuss about this are adults. At the same time, there might be a general sense of excitement seeing a princess on screen who looks like you; however, most just want to watch a mermaid swim.

The Media Reacts To The Little Mermaid

The reaction of the Media towards this movie is expected. When it comes to the reviews for the film, most are split. However, no one dares to mention anything negative about the lead actress, and they either praise her work or ignore her completely. We saw a very similar situation happen recently with Queen Cleopatra. The series is out on Netflix with only 14 reviews. This is insufficient, and the low number of reviews is curious. 

The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid

The series could be better. However, no one wants to express themselves honestly because it might sound like they are criticizing the lead actress. Although The Little Mermaid is different, the core premise remains the same. The movie is good. It might have flaws, but no one thinks it is terrible. It certainly won’t be getting a review score of 1%; however, if you mention the performance of the lead actress in any capacity, that is not overwhelmingly positive they will pounce on you. However, there is no reason to criticize her performance.

A big test for this film will be the box office numbers. Disney will not want another box office disaster. They will be banking on this movie to succeed. This film will reach less than 1 billion dollars. I see this movie at around 500 million. If they achieve this, the movie will roughly break even. For those who do not know, you take the movie’s budget and triple it to factor in marketing and advertising. This will give you an estimate of what it costs to break even. The budget for the film is 200 million dollars. They need 600 million to break even.


It is still being determined if this goal will be reached. Six hundred million is a lot of money. Disney is known for their big box office movies but is also slipping a bit. They will hope for this movie to be a success. The days of remakes are slowing down, not in terms of studios producing them but in terms of fans watching them. The excitement is not there anymore. People used to love remakes. Everyone was excited about the 2005 King Kong remake. People initially got excited about the next Gremlins and Beetle Juice remake. Now people know these remakes will be a reimagining that has nothing to do with the original IP.

Beetle Juice will likely be a social justice warrior who hates the police. Twitter probably already decided that the term gremlin is offensive and problematic. The magic is gone, and Hollywood is out of ideas. I wish I had a happier conclusion, but I do not.

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118 thoughts on “The Crowd Goes Mild For The Little Mermaid”
  1. […] The Little Mermaid is officially out at box offices worldwide. With a budget of $250 million, Disney is pressured to make this film successful. At the forefront of the movie, you have Melissa McCarthy as Ursula and Halle Bailey as the titled character of The Little Mermaid. Both these stars are under fire currently, although for different reasons. I will warn you; the criticism for both these actresses is entirely ridiculous. We can start with Melissa McCarthy. It is altogether fair if you disliked her performance in The Little Mermaid. However, McCarthy is facing backlash for an entirely different reason. […]

  2. […] The Little Mermaid is a remake of the 1989 Disney animated classic. In their opening weekend, they managed to pull in $63.8 million. Disney set a high budget for the film as they had high hopes. Up until that point, they have been riding the remake high. 2019 Lion King grossed $1.66 billion and is considered the most successful animated film ever. In their opening weekend alone, they grossed an impressive $185 million. Before this, the 2016 Jungle Book remake grossed $966 million worldwide. Aladdin, starring Will Smith, had a similar success, bringing in $1.051 billion. […]

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