The mermaid from under the sea finally becomes part of your world in the live action remake of the 1989 Walt Disney Animation Studios classic, “The Little Mermaid.” Halle Bailey shines as Ariel as she rescues Prince Eric and then trades her mermaid song for legs so she can walk on land. The remake features the same basic plot as the animated classic but features some new songs en route to one of the better live action remakes Disney has produced.

Let’s start with the good. The CGI aspect of the ocean is absolutely beautiful. The ocean looks stunning and most of the CGI works well, although there are a few that don’t look that great. Halle Bailey is a wonderfully talented singer who really embodies the same mermaid spirit as Jodi Benson in the original. All of the songs that she sings in the film, even the new one written for the live action version, sound beautiful. Her talent can not be understated. Also, there is a great cameo from Jodi Benson, herself, as the woman who hands Bailey a fork. It’s a nice way to incorporate the fork as a brush scene in the original, while making it look different and involving the woman who originally voiced Ariel.

There were some aspects of the film that weren’t bad but didn’t stand out as good either. The CGI for Sebastian was only okay. The new songs didn’t stand out. There was no “Part of Your World,” “Under the Sea,” or “Kiss the Girl” level new song. Those three are still there and still amazing, but only one of the new songs sticks with you in any way and it’s not good. The others are just fine. I also wish there was a bit more of an original plot development. While I understand remakes are going to follow the same formula as the original, some like “Dumbo” have been helped by new aspects. While some like “The Lion King” have been hurt by the lack of new aspects. I would’ve liked to have seen more originality from this film, but it didn’t hurt it at all.

Now to the bad. While Flounder’s CGI actually looks like a fish, it’s still not very good. There’s a lot of potential for improvement with the Flounder CGI. The other truly bad moment is the “Scuttlebutt” song. I get what they were trying to do with the phrase “scuttlebutt,” scuttle’s name and how scuttlebutt and gossip are linked. Unfortunately, it was just bad in every way. It’s a bad song. It’s a bad moment. It took me out of the film and I wish Disney would take it out of the film. There are better ways to relay the information conveyed in that scene.

Overall, this was a really fun experience. I saw the film at a drive-in theater and really loved getting to sit in the back of my truck watching this movie with my entire family and sharing the experience with others who want to enjoy the film. It was good. It was better than “The Lion King” and “Pinocchio” but not as good as “Aladdin” or “The Jungle Book.” I would still heartily recommend it for those who enjoy the live action remakes.

Rating: 4 stars

What did you think of “The Little Mermaid?”

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Jeremy Brown

Jeremy has been a big Disney fan since he was a kid growing up during the Disney Renaissance. One day he hopes to go to every Disney Park in the world.

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