Halle Bailey in The Little Mermaid Movie Review

The Litte Mermaid Live Action

Halle Bailey in The Little Mermaid is everything! 

Disney released the live-action version of The Little Mermaid on Memorial weekend and it is projected to bring in an estimated 163.8 million globally. I have not been to see a movie on opening night in a very long time but had to see this one. The thing is, The Little Mermaid is one of my all-time favorite Disney movies. I remember watching it so many times when I was younger that I knew all the lines and songs by heart. So I have to admit, I was a little skeptical when I heard they were doing a live-action version. Despite the backlash about the Halle Bailey casting, that was one thing that I was elated about because I had been following her career since her and her sister’s Youtube days. I am a fan of hers and already knew she would be special in the role. 

Halle Bailey is beyond special in the role. Her voice was perfect and she was perfect. Also starring in the film are Johna Hauer-King and Eric, Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, Awkwafina as Scuttle, Daveed Diggs as Sebastian, and Javier Bardem and King Triton. Shout out to Simone Ashley from season 2 of Bridgerton who appeared as one of the sister mermaids. I enjoyed all of them in their respective roles. Needless to say, since I am a huge fan of the original, I am a bit biased, but I loved it and I do plan to return to the theater to watch it a second time. 

This is not to say that The Little Mermaid was perfect. There were elements and some things that could have slightly (just a touch) been improved upon. However, overall, it was giving chef’s kiss. I even enjoyed some of the changes they made to the background of Eric and the island which are little nuances that were missing in the original version. 

Halle Bailey as Ariel was divine. I just loved her in this role. Her voice, her acting, and the subtlety of the way she put her own little touch into it while staying true to the original came together very well. 

Jonah Hauer-King was solid as Eric. I thought he did a little overacting when he had his solo. It was giving me Prince Edward (James Marsden) from Enchanted vibes for a minute there. Honestly, I am on the fence if that may have been appropriate given that it was a Disney movie. At any rate, he played his role well. 

Melissa McCarthy as Ursula was more enjoyable than I expected. She took that role and made it her own and it was just the right amount of dark and sass that the character called for. Then again, I also enjoyed Ursula as a villain in the original so she did a good job of pulling it off while making it her own as well. 

Daveed Diggs as Sebastian took a little to warm up to me because his accent in the beginning was a little off. I think after a while I got used to it and it stopped bugging me because he was entertaining. I think the difficult part of these remakes is living up to the original version and I have to say all the actors did that while still putting a little bit of their own flare to it. It was so much fun to have him be a part of it. He also interacted well with Awkwafina as Scuttle. Their additional musical number was a welcomed addition that brought some fun and modernization to the movie. It was very Hamiltonesque or should I Lin Manualesque. 

Javier Bardem as King Triton was just right. I mean can you really say something negative about Bardem’s acting skills. He just rounded out the team very well. Lastly, big kudos to the writers for providing the actors with material that they then internalize and brought out a piece of themselves in the roles. 

Honestly, I know there was and is still a great deal of hate against this film or should I say against Halle Bailey because she dared to be Black and the best fit for the role regardless of her color- the nerves of her to be talented in all areas that this role required- but the film was just a delight. It actually reminded me a little of Brandy and Whitney Houston’s Cinderella. They added a multicultural flair to it which being that we living in the proverbial melting pot should be something we aspire to. 

9/10 from a huge fan of the original


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