Even though I’m a huge Disney fan, The Little Mermaid has never been one of my favorites. I remember seeing it as a kid and my sister had the video game for the Sega Game Gear, but I do not have a ton of nostalgia for the movie. I came into this latest remake from Disney with a very open mind and with no real expectations, my wife on the other hand…. She was not so sure as this is one of her favorite Disney movies.
How to Download The Little Mermaid
You will soon be able to download or stream the film from Disney+. You can expect it to become available roughly two months after its theatrical release which happened on 26 May 2023. Click on the Download button at the end of this review.
The Movie Review
Ok, let’s get the controversy out of the way and that is Halle Bailey as Ariel. When we first saw the trailer for The Little Mermaid, my wife was not happy, not because Ariel was black, but because her hair was not a bright enough red! I found it kind of funny, to be honest with you, but the more my wife saw and heard of Halle Bailey, she started to be won over to this new Ariel.
As someone who had a lukewarm at best interest in The Little Mermaid, I have to say that Halle Bailey crushed it! Her singing is amazing and she was very likable as Ariel, my wife was completely blown away and now hopes that next time we go to Disneyland Paris they have an Ariel for the animated movie and a new one for this live-action version.
Now, I know that some people have fallen completely in love with this movie and I have to admit, I can see why. For me, it was just ok. It was not bad by any means, but this is a movie that lasts over two hours and it feels like there was no need for it to last this long at all as some of the movie, especially when Ariel gets her legs feels like it is purely there to extend the runtime!
The story is the same as the animated movie, we have Ariel who dreams of being on the surface, even more so when she meets and saves Prince Eric and this leads to her being tricked by the sea witch, Ursula! It is a classic story and one that has been told rather well here, but it just never excited me the same way that some of the other live-action Disney remakes have.
As well as Halle Bailey being great, Melissa McCarthy as Ursula was awesome, they made for a great pairing and I think they both nailed their roles. The rest of the casting for me was a bit of a mixed bag. I found Jonah Hauer-King as Eric to be rather bland and uninteresting and I went into this expecting Javier Barden to be epic as King Triton, but he never really blew me away.
The sound in the movie is awesome and it was a lot of fun to hear the classic songs which were belted out perfectly by Halle Bailey. However, visually, this is a rather disappointing movie, there is a really weird look to the movie, I felt like it had a rather dark look about it and I think it needed to be much brighter. The effects are great, but in typical Disney fashion, when it is dark, it is far too dark!
Overall, The Little Mermaid was a decent live-action remake. I can see why those who love this movie are really into it and when we came out of the theatre, we saw a bunch of kids very excited which was awesome to see. I think I will have to give this another watch on Disney Plus to see if it clicks with me more. I certainly would not pay to see this in the theatre again.
- Halle Bailey as Ariel truly is spectacular
- I also think that Melissa McCarthy deserves just as much credit
- It has the same catchy songs
- From what I have seen and heard, lots of people, especially kids love this movie
- The movie lasts way too long and has some pacing issues
- I feel like the movie needed to be brighter, there are far too many scenes under the sea that are way too dark