Halle Bailey is the new siren of the sea. Disney’s The Little Mermaid is the latest animated classic to get a live-action remake, following in the footsteps of other hits from Beauty and the Beast to Cruella. They say there’s nothing like a classic, but Disney’s live-action Little Mermaid looks like it’s going to be the dreamiest nautical fairytale yet.
The reimagined Disney classic is exciting in more ways than one. Not only do Disney fans get to see a new twist on a fan-favorite, but a Black woman is playing Ariel for the first time, which makes Bailey’s role all the more empowering. “I just feel like this role was something bigger than me and greater, and it’s going to be beautiful. I’m just so excited to be a part of it,” Bailey told Variety at the Power of Young Hollywood gala.
And it’s already very apparent this live-action remake is going to be massive. In first-look photos and oceanic trailers, the under-the-sea world of the original movie looks more real than ever. Ahead of the film’s release, here’s every detail to know:
The Little Mermaid First Look
Fans finally got their first look at Disney’s live action Little Mermaid when star Halle Bailey posted an image celebrating the end of filming on July 12, 2021. Although it was not fully clear when this sunset photo takes place in the film, it’s reminiscent of the end of the song “Part of Your World” from the animated film.
In her post she thanked the entire main cast, from co-star Jonah Hauer-King to Melissa McCarthy, calling the shoot a “tough experience” but one that made her stronger.
The Little Mermaid Trailer
Disney released the first trailer for Little Mermaid on Sept. 9, 2022, showing off the film’s fantastical undersea setting and finally giving fans a glimpse of Bailey as Ariel, as she sings the chorus to “Part of Your World.”
The full trailer arrived on March 12 during the 2023 Oscars ceremony, and it showed off several major characters for the first time, including Melissa McCarthy’s Ursula, Javier Bardem’s King Triton, and Jonah Hauer-King’s Prince Eric.
The Little Mermaid Cast Members
Directed by Rob Marshall, the film will include music from the original movie as well as elements both old and new. Halle Bailey will play Ariel, while Jonah Hauer-King (World on Fire) will play her Prince, Eric.
Also joining the star-studded cast in CGI roles: Melissa McCarthy (voicing Ursula), Awkwafina (voicing Scuttle the seagull), Daveed Diggs (voicing Sebastian), and Jacob Tremblay (voicing Flounder).
In addition to A-listers like Bailey, McCarthy, and Awkwafina, Javier Bardem will be joining the cast as King Triton.
The Little Mermaid Poster
Disney released a poster for The Little Mermaid on March 12, showing off the stunning under-the-sea world as well as a clearer shot of all the characters.
The Little Mermaid Soundtrack
The Little Mermaid will feature new recordings of classics from the 1989 film, including “Part of Your World.” On Apr. 26, Bailey shared her new rendition of the ballad, and it’s just as majestic as the original sung by Jodi Benson. The beauty in this track has always lied in the production, which teeters between hopeful piano chords and lush orchestral harmonies that add just enough drama. This sonic dance allows Halle to toy with her vocals in a gorgeous way, further reminding naysayers that she was meant to be Ariel.
The soundtrack will also feature new music from Alan Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda. As for the new recordings, Menken told Vanity Fair in March that certain reworks of the classics received some lyrical touchups. According to him, the lyrical angling in “Kiss The Girl” was retouched to ensure Prince Eric and Ariel’s romance wasn’t seen through just Eric’s lens.
Menken also gave certain one-liners in Ursula’s “Poor Unfortunate Souls” a second look-over. “We have some revisions in “Poor Unfortunate Souls” regarding lines that might make young girls somehow feel that they shouldn't speak out of turn, even though Ursula is clearly manipulating Ariel to give up her voice,” he said.
The Little Mermaid Release Date
The Little Mermaid is going to make a splash this summer. It will swim into theaters on May 26, 2023.
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