Film Review: Disney’s Little Mermaid (live action)

I am Alec and I am London Mums Magazine‘s teenage reporter. I checked out Disney’s Little Mermaid press pre-view and here’s my review. Overall, it’s fair to say that The Little Mermaid is a fantastic live-action adaptation of the original Walt Disney 1989 animated film. 

Film Review Disney’s Little Mermaid

What makes this film stand out from the crowd?

Firstly, you are introduced to the amazing colour and images from the deep blue sea. We are talking about the most magical, vibrant and true to life graphics that are certainly comparable if not better to films such as Finding Nemo and Avatar. In the first few minutes, you are quickly but enticingly introduced to the many fun creatures that help this film flow so easily into each section of the plot. Each character has a link to the original animation film, but also sparks extra fun and humour, to match the original.

The Little Mermaid

But it’s not only the colourful imagery that has each child and parent perched on the edge of their seats – the sound quality of the waves, the thundering explosive action scenes brought to life with such reality – no more proven when an unexpected shark attack within the hull of a shipwreck almost causes the film to end rather prematurely, but thankfully the shark is left to find its lunch somewhere else.

The musical score includes all the original favourites, along with new songs such as the catchy ‘Scuttlebutt’, and ‘Wild unchartered waters’ sung passionately by Prince Eric. The collection of new songs throughout the film are composed by Lin Manuel Miranda, who’s already known for his success on Encanto and Moana.

The trailer

The story

Ariel, the daughter of the king of the sea, hoards treasures from shipwrecks, and longs to know what it would be like to live on the ‘surface world’.  One day, she saves Prince Eric from a treacherous storm out at sea. Prince Eric struggles to forget about the mysterious girl who saved his life. Meanwhile, King Triton discovers Ariel’s secret cave of human memorabilia and destroys it with his trident. His anger is due to his wife, having been killed by evil humans. Ariel resorts to making a deal with Ursula the sea witch, sister of King Triton, to transform Ariel into human form. However, the deal comes with a high price. What ensues is a hysterical series of events orchestrated by her friends.

The characters

For me, it’s the perfect combination of well known and future stars, melded together – The two main characters are reasonably new on the scene compared to others accompanying them – But for the adoring children watching, they were perfect. 

Halle Bailey, as Ariel, with her beautiful hair and heartbreaking eyes captivated the audience with a strong willed manner but loveable persona – helped by the army of Digital animators, she swept along the film with confidence, and a singing voice that was as classy as her smile.

Jonah Hauer-King, played the charming Prince, with his dashing looks and rather rebellious attitude. He did not take any of the characteristics away from the original, but added a bit of rashness that made his character more appealing and realistic.

But this film is a classic and as you would expect, a few famous faces wanting to get in on the act  – with the ever so popular Melissa McCarthy, playing the baddy for once and doing a fine job of it too. Then you have King Triton – A determined king with a grudge against humanity, but also a sensitive heart to protect the world under water, no more confirmed by his protective nature for his daughters – This would have been rather popular for a number of A list actors, but I believe they found a great King with Javier Bardem.

Even though you could assume that these four main characters would steal the show, in reality, it was the superb friends of Ariel that stole the hearts of the audience – Sebastian (the crab), Scuttle (the seagull) and Flounder (the fish) are the heart and soul of the film, with fun songs, funny lines, great characteristics and loving hearts – always going to be a winning combination for children of all ages, whilst also nurturing a few smiles and tears from the adults too.

 family photo at The Little Mermaid screening

The verdict


Score out of 10 – Well a highly deserved 9 from me – A family favourite that I believe respects the original but adds a bit of today’s humour that will stand the test of time.











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