Here we go again! It hasn’t even been a month since I wrote my review for Peter Pan & Wendy and here I am again to talk about another Disney live-action. This time however, you’ll be seeing this recreation in theatres.
I’ve never been a very big fan of these live-actions adaptations; why not just create an original story to captivate audiences? The Little Mermaid was a fun watch, but that’s because of its performances and music that made the movie enchanting and actually watchable. This might be one of my favorite live-action adaptations from Disney but this doesn’t mean much from a creative standpoint.
You already know the story: a mermaid who’s captivated by the world upon the surface and dreams of seeing how it is up there. She falls in love with a human, makes a deal with a witch so she can become a human and chaos ensues. This film doesn’t divert from the original animated classic for the most part.
The visuals are not great. They’re not bad; it’s very hard nowadays for Disney to produce a visually horrible film. However, this movie felt so cold and soulless. The CGI and cinematography are okay, solid but nothing unique or distinctive to set them apart from every high-budget Disney movie. There are great scenes though, especially the ones containing musical numbers, but the movie really had some visual issues overall.
The music is fantastic. I must confess that Halle Bailey owns the screen both visually and through her singing; she is definitely the best part of the movie. I couldn’t think of someone better to play this lead role than her. The way she manages to bring the soul and heart of Ariel is incredible. Every time she was singing I got the chills. Halle Bailey IS Ariel.
Discussing the rest of the cast, Melissa McCarthy indeed did a great job. She shines every time she appears on screen. Jonah Hauer-King was actually a surprise for me. I’d never heard of him before but he really ruled as Prince Eric here. Awkwafina, Daveed Diggs and Jacob Tremblay also did a great job. The realistic animals that they portray are just so creepy to me and I needed some time to get used to their designs, but overall, the cast did an amazing job.
The songs are wonderful. Nearly every musical scene was enchanting and lovely to watch. I personally love Disney soundtracks and in The Little Mermaid is no exception. Under The Sea and Part Of Your World are definitely my favorites and no one can change my mind.
So what I can tell you is that The Little Mermaid is magical and a fun watch but fails on reaching the soul and heart of the original. The movie suffers of some visual issues but after all Halle Bailey SHINES as Ariel and gives an amazing performance and one of the best I’ve ever seen in a Disney live-action adaptation.
The Little Mermaid releases in theaters on May 26.