Have you been bouncing off the walls with as much excitement about The Little Mermaid live-action reboot as we have here at World Of Kidz? The upcoming Disney movie has long been anticipated by adoring fans of the iconic Little Mermaid story—especially considering that it was delayed twice due to Covid since its originally intended release date back in 2020.
Now that the official, full-length The Little Mermaid trailer is here and a final release date has been confirmed, we couldn't be more psyched! It's time to rejoin the magical world of Ariel, an angelically-voiced and spirited mermaid who dreams of a life above the waves after falling in love with a human prince.
Updates reveal that we can expect to rediscover all of our favourite The Little Mermaid songs and characters, however, it's also thrilling to know that this eagerly anticipated revisit of a beloved Disney classic will bring the tale's many themes firmly in the 21stcentury. This is equally great news for a fresh wave of contemporary fans as well as those whose love for Ariel traces right back to the namesake 1837 fairytale by Hans Christian Andersen.
It boggles the mind to think that the first Disney version of The Little Mermaid came out as long ago as 1989. For sure, after more than three decades, the time has come for a remake—and if the latest Little Mermaid trailer is anything to go by, the movie won't disappoint!
Amazing recent advancements in fluidly blending live action and animation mean that this adventure into the underwater Kingdom of Atlantica is going to be a true deep dive into aquatic fantasy. The Little Mermaid story invites us to join Ariel, the youngest daughter of King Triton, in a visually stunning submerged reality. From here, she's set to rebel against her father's wishes by engaging with the forbidden human world above.
So the story goes, after rescuing the handsome Prince Eric from a shipwreck, Ariel's desire to join him beyond the water leads her on an intrepid adventure. Soon, she strikes a deal with the malevolent and tentacled sea witch Ursula to exchange her beautiful voice for human legs. The ultimate question is, will she swim or walk her way to a happy ending as she risks everything in the pursuit of her sweetheart's affection?
Casting rumours have swirled throughout production for this latest retelling of The Little Mermaid's story. After the project set sail in 2016 and director Rob Marshall climbed aboard in 2017, the names of stars such as Lindsay Lohan, Ariana Grande, and Zendaya were heard whispered over the waves. However, it was the enchanting Halle Bailey who ultimately landed the titular role of Ariel in 2019.
Those filling out the incredible cast of remaining Little Mermaid characters include Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric, Javier Bardem as King Triton, Melissa McCarthy as the dastardly Ursula, Simone Ashley as Indira, and Noma Dumezweni as Queen Selina.
Meanwhile, voicing some of The Little Mermaid story's CGI characters, we find Awkwafina tackling the role of seagull Scuttle, Jacob Tremblay as Flounder the fish, and Daveed Digs bringing his signature charm to Sebastian the crab. Without a doubt, this is a cast of glorious diversity and talent that can't fail to captivate movie aficionados.
Production details tell us the Little Mermaid movie was filmed primarily at Pinewood Studios in England, with additional footage captured on the spectacular Mediterranean island of Sardinia. Alan Menken, who composed for the 1989 classic, also returned to develop the new musical score alongside Lin-Manuel Miranda. Clearly, Disney has mastered the art of live-action remakes, with The Little Mermaid following closely on the heels of much-hyped Peter Pan & Wendy.
It would be impossible to talk about the casting and production of The Little Mermaid live-action movie without mentioning the bizarre controversy that whirl-pooled when Walt Disney Studios dropped a teaser trailer for the feature in September 2022. Sadly, some people seemed to be unhappy that an African-American actress had been cast in the role of Ariel.
As shocking as this reaction may be, why did Disney choose Halle to be Ariel? Well, according to director Rob Marshall, “After an extensive search, it was abundantly clear that Halle possesses that rare combination of spirit, heart, youth, innocence, and substance—plus a glorious singing voice—all intrinsic qualities necessary to play this iconic role.”
The good news is that, while some may not have been so keen on the casting choice, others were absolutely delighted. In fact, numerous parents took to TikTok to share videos of their kids reacting with glee to seeing a Disney princess who looked just like them!
Halle went on to share more about why she was so proud to play the updated part of Ariel in the new Little Mermaid trailer and film, explaining that “We’ve definitely changed that perspective of just her wanting to leave the ocean for a boy. It’s way bigger than that. It’s about herself, her purpose, her freedom, her life and what she wants. As women we are amazing, we are independent, we are modern, we are everything and above, and I’m glad that Disney is updating some of those themes.”
Simultaneously, we can also expect the reimagined Eric to have some added depth and dimension. Speaking of Ariel's human love interest, Marshall shared that although in the original animated film, he was “a wooden, classic prince character with not a lot going on,” the updated character's journey on dry land “has a very similar trajectory in a way to Ariel. He doesn't feel like it's where he fits in, his world.”
The director continued illuminating his vision for the adoring duo: “These two kindred spirits find each other and really teach the world about prejudice and about breaking down barriers and walls between these two worlds.” Now, that's a message that we at World Of Kidz can totally get behind!
Now that we all know to brush up on the lyrics for all those amazing The Little Mermaid songs, how much time do we have to wait for The Little Mermaid release date? Well, the answer is not long at all, because The Little Mermaid is scheduled for global release on May 26 2023, including right here in the UK.
The next question you'll be asking is of course, where can I watch the new Little Mermaid movie? At this point, we know that this spellbinding and subaquatic story is first headed for local theatres. Alongside conventional screenings, cinema goers can expect to find the film in RealD 3D, IMAX, Dolby Cinema, and 4DX formats, which should certainly each make the Little Mermaid live action all the more immersive.
And when does The Little Mermaid come out on Disney Plus? Walt Disney Studios fans may well be wondering if the movie will be released on Disney+ in parallel—as Peter Pan & Wendy was—or if it will only land after its theatrical run has finished. At time of writing, the company is yet to announce when The Little Mermaid will be arriving on the streaming platform. For now, at least, we'll all have to watch that space!
As you can imagine, a fresh adaptation of The Little Mermaid means a new wave of stunning character collectibles for a multi-generational army of fans to enjoy. As ever, World Of Kidz has your back with on-the-pulse and exclusive access to the latest drops and pre-orders. So, be sure to explore our expanding offering from The Little Mermaid and sign up for our email newsletter for first looks and news of upcoming releases!