Based on H.C. Andersen’s enchanting fairy tale about the Little Mermaid, The Little Mermaid portrays the story of Ariel, a young mermaid with an insatiable longing to be part of the human world, despite her father, King Triton’s disapproval.
What unfolds when Ariel falls in love with a human while still being worlds apart? Could the cunning sea witch Ursula offer a solution? Naturally, this journey is riddled with challenges and complications. Can the realms of the sea and land ever find harmony?
To be perfectly honest, I initially held a rather negative stance toward this movie due to my lack of enthusiasm for Disney’s previous live-action adaptations, which I deemed unnecessary and uninspiring. Following the disappointment of The Lion King‘s live-action rendition, I questioned the necessity of such films. Similar thoughts arose after Beauty and the Beast received the live-action treatment.
Considering Disney’s penchant for creating numerous new and captivating films, I wondered why they chose to revisit existing stories and themes.
However, as I found myself seated in the midst of the theater, my preconceptions were completely overturned. I experienced a delightful blend of satisfaction and surprise. The Little Mermaid proved to be everything but predictable. Its success lies in its departure from a mere replication of the animated classic, instead paying homage to its predecessor—a heartfelt tribute to the original animated film and its cherished narrative.
Halle Bailey embodies the role of a beautiful and captivating mermaid with exceptional grace. Her voice possesses a distinct quality that sets her apart. Bailey’s performance in the film is truly commendable. Similarly, Javier Bardem delivers a remarkable portrayal of King Triton. Bardem should undoubtedly explore more roles of this nature. It is unfortunate that his musical moments were omitted, as their inclusion would have been delightful. Daveed Diggs lends his voice to Sebastian, Triton’s loyal confidant, capturing the perfect blend of exasperation in response to Ariel’s misadventures.
Melissa McCarthy performs well as Ursula, yet I feel her portrayal falls slightly short. Personally, I wished for an even more audacious and raw expression of Ursula’s character, although I recognize that such a portrayal might not have been suitable for the film’s intended audience. It could have been too intimidating for the younger viewers.
One of the film’s highlights is its inclusion of hidden adult humor, appealing to a broader range of audiences. Awkwafina’s portrayal of Scuttle, the absent-minded, humorous, and clumsy seagull, becomes a personal favorite. Scuttle’s resourcefulness shines through, reminiscent of the survival instincts commonly associated with seagulls.
«The Little Mermaid» captivates me with its plethora of beautiful and awe-inspiring scenes, leaving me spellbound throughout the theater experience. The director has masterfully captured an underwater world, impeccably executed and brimming with beauty. At times, I found myself transported, believing I was witnessing an episode of the BBC documentary series The Blue Planet rather than watching a film. The abundance of vibrant colors and breathtaking variations is truly mesmerizing.
The land scenes are equally praiseworthy, showcasing meticulous craftsmanship. Every detail contributes to the film’s immersive beauty. I found myself wholly absorbed in the splendor of the architectural marvels and the tropical beach. Additionally, I was pleasantly surprised by the film’s inclusion of action and dramatic sequences. At certain points, I even drew parallels between these scenes and the adventurous spirit of Pirates of the Caribbean, a departure from the original animated film that injected a thrilling and enjoyable element.
The Little Mermaid encapsulates the essence of Disney magic at its finest. The film’s musical score stands as a testament to Disney’s exceptional craftsmanship. With three new songs introduced, the film’s musical aspect plays a crucial role in its overall success. I cannot help but wonder if the involvement of the talented Lin-Manuel Miranda contributed to this achievement. Rarely have I witnessed a film that defied my initial low expectations and ultimately won me over. The Little Mermaid exemplifies the epitome of Disney magic at its finest!