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Disney’s The Little Mermaid Captivates Viewers But There’s Also Some Poor Unfortunate Souls We’re Not Vibing With [Review]

Disney’s The Little Mermaid Captivates Viewers But There’s Also Some Poor Unfortunate Souls We’re Not Vibing With [Review]

Disney’s The Little Mermaid is now available in cinemas nationwide on 25 May.

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Taking more than 4 years to make, the long-awaited Disney’s The Little Mermaid is now finally out in theatres.

Starring Halle Bailey as Ariel, Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, Jonah Hauer-King as Eric, and Awkwafina as Scuttle, this live-action remake of a 1989 classic is set to blow your socks off. Or so they say.

(Credit: Disney Malaysia)

Getting a chance to see the movie firsthand, here’s what I think of the movie as a die-hard fan of Disney’s The Little Mermaid.

What to expect?

If you’ve watched Disney’s original The Little Mermaid which was produced in 1989, you’ll remember the fun musical numbers and the magic atmosphere under the sea.

The story doesn’t stray far from the original movie as the plot flows similarly except for a few new characters, some additional and omissions of scenes.

In the new live-action remake, you’ll witness the breathtaking CGI of the underwater world, although some say that Avatar’s newest movie has a better view of underwater scenes. I mean come on, they paid a lot for it ($350 – 460 million compared to Disney’s $250 million).

(Credit: Disney Malaysia)

However, Halle Bailey said she spent most of her time for the movie underwater and in the air (to replicate intricate but graceful swimming movements in the sea), so I guess Disney did deserve some credit for that.

Besides omitting Chef Louis’s cooking scene, the new movie also has some exciting new scenes to look forward to. They added a little background story for Eric, more dialogue for Ariel’s diverse sisters, and a few more new songs.

What I loved about the movie was Bailey’s beautiful rendition of Part Of Your World. She sang it the same way as Jodi Benson, thankfully, but brought more pizzazz with her vocals and emotions. The way she belted the song and added the run at the end really gave me goosebumps. Bailey’s new version of the song will undoubtedly be etched in the minds of future generations.

(Credit: Disney Malaysia)

Another major thing I was excited about in the movie was the sea witch – Ursula, one of everyone’s favourite Disney villains. And to pair the villain with Melissa McCarthy’s energetic, brazen and raunchy charisma, was a job well done. She was indeed divine during her rendition of Poor Unfortunate Soul. I honestly didn’t think she could sing, but she carried the ballad quite perfectly.

(Credit: Disney Malaysia)

Besides that, I also loved the hilarious goofy character, Scuttle voiced by Awkwafina. Although some people are not fans of Lin Emanuel Miranda’s new and original rap-singing part in the movie, I still like how she nails the silly and comical character in her own way. There’s even a bonus scene in the water which will leave you questioning, “Wait, birds can do that?!?”

(Credit: Disney Malaysia)


Well, I admit, as there are many points of the movie I enjoyed, there are some things I find weird too. As I grew up with the cartoon version of The Little Mermaid, some characters are just perfect the way they are. I don’t mind the diversity feature, in fact, I love it, it’s just, it’s hard to take the cartoon feature out of something.

Since it’s a live remake of the movie, most cartoons are imagined in a real-life form, including the loyal side-kick, Flounder and worrisome guardian, Sebastian. With the real-life concept of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, their characters look a little too realistic, which just takes away their cartoonish expressions.

(Credit: Disney Malaysia)

Like in the original 1989’s movie, you can clearly see Sebastian’s sarcastic and grumpy expressions as well as Flounder’s scaredy-cat face. However, even with the expressions gone, the voice actors – David Diggs and Jacob Tremblay did a good job of voicing out their character’s emotions.

Is it worth watching?

If you’re a devoted Disney fan, then you should definitely watch this, speaking from a fan whose go-to karaoke song in the bathroom is Part Of Your World.

Brush up on the lyrics to your favourite soundtrack and sing along to Part Of Your World, Under The Sea, Poor Unfortunate Souls, Kiss The Girl and many more. It’ll definitely take you down memory lane and bring out the inner child in you.

Disney’s The Little Mermaid is already showing in cinemas starting 25 May 2023.

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