Live-Action Little Mermaid Reactions Are In And People Think It Looks Very Weird

The Little Mermaid audiences uniformly say the movie's visuals are odd.

By Douglas Helm | Published

little mermaid

The Hollywood Reporter reported on a series of critic reactions to the upcoming live-action The Little Mermaid movie, and it seems like the consensus is — it’s actually pretty decent. While the visual effects seem to look particularly weird (looking at you, Flounder), the casting elevates the film above some of Disney’s other live-action attempts. Halle Bailey as Ariel particularly steals the show with her impressive vocals and charming performance:

Many reviews also point out the performances of Daveed Diggs as Sebastian and Melissa McCarthy’s Ursula as highlights of the film. However, the common theme remains that the visuals are just lacking compared to the animated version, and the story is disjointed. Suffice it to say, it seems like Disney definitely saved the underwater CGI budget for Avatar: The Way of Water rather than the live-action The Little Mermaid:

Of course, Disney movies are, by and large, with kids in mind first. So, whether there are a ton of adults complaining about Disney’s live-action remake or not, the question to ask is if it’s a good time for the whole family. It seems most reviewers agree that The Little Mermaid at least delivers on that front by being relatively entertaining and endearing:

Basically, if you’re expecting a tight and well-constructed script, then you probably won’t be incredibly impressed by The Little Mermaid. If you’re expecting a lighthearted adaptation that features some great performances and songs, then you’ll probably enjoy yourself. The fact that the movie is being considered by some as better than the other Disney live-action attempts at least means that these movies are seeing a positive uptrend:

The Little Mermaid is directed by Rob Marshall and sees Alan Menken returning to update his score from the animated original. Menken also wrote a new song for the film with lyrics from Lin-Manuel Miranda. Along with classics like “Under the Sea” and “Part of Your World,” there will also be four new songs added for the live-action adaptation.

The aforementioned Halle Bailey, best known for her work in the R&B duo Chloe x Halle with her sister Chloe, will be taking on the role of Ariel. The reviews almost unanimously agree that Bailey’s performance is one of the reasons to go see the movie, so this could very well be a star-making turn for her acting career. The cast is rounded out by Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric, Javier Bardem as King Triton, Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, Jacob Tremblay as Flounder, Daveed Diggs as Sebastian, and Awkwafina as Scuttle.

The Little Mermaid isn’t the first live-action remake from Disney, and it will be far from the last. Disney has pulled in over $1 billion dollars each at the global box office for their Lion King, Aladdin, and Beauty and the Beast remakes. We’ll also be seeing a Snow White and a Lilo & Stitch remake in the near future, along with a prequel about Mufasa.

You can check out The Little Mermaid remake in theaters on May 26. The Snow White remake is set to hit theaters in March 2024. We’ll keep you updated on these and other upcoming remakes from Disney.