Something smells fishy: “The Little Mermaid” live action


By Sasha Poradun, Staff Reporter

A live-action version of the beloved fairy tale and classic Disney narrative that we grew up on “The Little Mermaid” was released on May 26. As we all know, the tale is about a headstrong mermaid princess named Ariel who is obsessed with the human world. Ariel strikes a risky bargain with the sea witch Ursula in which she agrees to exchange her voice for legs and the opportunity to experience the outside world with her true love, Prince Eric.

Disney aimed to create a picture that appealed to both young and old audiences. They aimed to produce a film that the younger generation would remember warmly and one that the older generation could reminisce over. Since it is live-action, I was initially eager to see how they would execute the water in the movie. The CGI was excellent and did a wonderful job of simulating being underwater, from the mermaids’ swimming, to the way their hair flowed when submerged to the camera filter they used. In contrast to the water CGI, I was disappointed by the sea animals’ unrealistic depictions.  I was shocked by how poorly they handled Flounder. He genuinely made me feel uncomfortable to look at because of his protruding eyes and his childish speech.

In the movie they focused on the backstory of the characters. For instance, they added extra scenes with Prince Eric’s backstory, which made their romance seem less hurried. With the addition of a new song, “Her Voice” viewers learned about Prince Erics affection for the girl who rescued and sang to him.

 The soundtrack to the movie has some modifications from the original “Little Mermaid.” Classic tunes like “Kiss the Girl” and “Part of Your World” received some modern tweaks. All of these additions to the remake made the movie 52 minutes longer than the original animated movie.

In terms of character design I thought Ursula’s attire and makeup did a great job of capturing her nasty tendencies. King Triton is another character that I thought was well-designed. I really enjoyed his crown, which created the impression that he was the King of Mermaids due to its sparkling and ancient appearance. Another character I would like to highlight is Ariel and her similarities to the original film. In the first movie her red hair, green tail, and purple bra. The only difference is her race, but I appreciated that the new “Little Mermaid” had greater diversity than the original. Ariel’s sisters are all of various ethnicities. Furthermore, Disney’s diversity is increasing in their newest live-action features, such as the upcoming ¨Peter Pan and Wendy¨ movie.

Overall, the movie’s vibrant colors and sea depiction, particularly my favorite scene, including King Triton’s adviser, Sabastian’s “Under the Sea” song, made it enjoyable for me. I rate this film overall a 3/5.