Last night The Little Mermaid world premiere took place in Hollywood and now the first reactions have landed.
Disney’s latest live-action remake adapts the first of their Renaissance animated classics, which originally hit cinemas back in 1989.
The red-headed Ariel has been reimagined as an African-American with Halle Bailey in the starring role, who has received ample praise.
Joining the cast of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale are Hamilton’s David Diggs as Sebastian, Awkwafina as Scuttle, Jacob Tremblay as Flounder, Jonah Hauer-King as Eric, Javier Bardem as King Triton and Melissa McCarthy as Ursula.
The first reaction reviews are in from last night’s screening and critics have a lot of good things to say about Rob Marshall’s Disney blockbuster, but others don’t think it quite lives up to the magic of the original.
Disney’s The Little Mermaid is definitely one of the better live-action adaptions. Halle Bailey pours incredible emotion into Ariel and I got chills watching her, while Melissa McCarthy’s Ursula and Daveed Diggs’ Sebastian steal scenes all day.
We Live Entertainment
The Little Mermaid is a live-action remake that retains the heart and soul of the story we know and love, and it’s elevated even further by a note-perfect star-making performance from Halle Bailey – she was born to be on the big screen, and she’s why this new take is worth watching.
Big Screen Leaks
The Little Mermaid is FANTASTIC! Rob Marshall’s great direction gives us one of Disney’s best live-action remakes and a joyful theatrical experience. Halle Bailey is PERFECT as Ariel and is the heart of the movie. It’s an ENCHANTING journey under the sea I can’t wait to rewatch!
The Little Mermaid makes it pretty close to being the best live-action Disney movie, however, it still struggles in the villain department. Halle Bailey IS Ariel and I had literal chills throughout her performance. This is a little mermaid retelling like you’ve never seen before.
The Little Mermaid is the best Disney live-action adaptation to date. Halle Bailey IS Ariel. Major props to the sound effects team. Good changes, though one new song with too much autotune. Could watch this version’s Under the Sea all day, it was the highlight of the whole thing.
Beyond The Trailer
Disney’s best live-action adaptation, in that it succeeds not just as nostalgia but as an often stunning film in its own right. Not PERFECT, but it’s got the Disney magic! And should definitely be seen on the big screen.
Endearing but uneven, The Little Mermaid doesn’t deliver the magic of the animated classic but there are plenty of creative touches from Rob Marshall to float the audience’s boats. Halle Bailey and Melissa McCarthy are great. Daveed Diggs and Awkwafina provide solid comic relief.
Charming, but incredibly spotty. Halle Bailey, Jonah Hauer-King, Melissa McCarthy & Javier Bardem put their heart & souls into a film that can’t escape its animated legacy. Best when it leans into campy bonkers, yet limits its fantasy elements for no reason.
It’s real simple. Are you excited for The Little Mermaid? You’ll like it. It’s exactly what you think it is. Are you sceptical and worried about it? That’s valid too. It looks weird and disjointed. Bailey is great, McCarthy rules, the songs work but it just feels so unnecessary.
Next Best Picture
It may look visually rough under the sea, but The Little Mermaid eventually recreates some of the original’s magic through its timeless story & cast. Daveed Diggs & Melissa McCarthy are highlights but Halle Bailey is the one [who] astonishes with her gorgeous singing & empathetic charm.
The Little Mermaid hits UK cinemas on May 26, 2023 and reviews arrive on May 22 at 2pm BST.