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Sink or Swim?

“The Little Mermaid” Review

Photo by Nsey Benajah on Unsplash

We all know “The Little Mermaid” as Disney’s 1989 classic including Ariel, a kindhearted, independent and passionate mermaid with a growing curiosity about the human world above, and Prince Eric, the kingdom’s heartthrob with an enchanting smile and a warming heart. The only issue is that one is a human while the other is a mermaid. Can these two worlds coexist or will Ariel be stuck in the sea forever?

On May 26, 2023, Disney shared the live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid”. Most have seen the original, animated movie, but when Disney revealed that they would be making a  live-action version, fans went crazy. Tons of merch was being sold, from mermaid-themed makeup products to bright and colorful mermaid tails, it was clear that the younger audience was not disappointed. Despite the younger generations instantly falling in love with the movie, the real question lies within everyone else: is the new Little Mermaid worth watching for all ages?

“The Little Mermaid” is about a mermaid named Ariel (Halle Bailey), whose father King Triton (Javier Bardem) forbids her from going up above the water. When a shipwreck occurs, Ariel saves a man who goes by Prince Eric (Jonah Hauer-King) and brings him to shore, disobeying her father's rules. Immediately submerging back into the water, the two never got the chance to introduce one another. Ariel did everything in her power to go beyond the surface, but King Triton prevents this from happening. This part in the movie leaves fans wondering if the two star-crossed lovers will ever reconnect and if the barrier between sea and land will ultimately ruin their relationship.


The visual effects are one of the most impressive parts of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid”. In fact, not a single scene was filmed fully underwater. This ranges from all the exotic sea animals throughout the movie to any mermaids that seem swimming freely underwater. This was done by special effects, meaning each strand of hair on the actors and actresses had to be attached to a string, in order for them to move like they were really underwater, even though in reality, they were not completely emerged in any water. Seeing how much effort was put into this aspect of the movie is what made it so successful and fun to watch.

Another feature of the movie that grabbed the viewer's attention was the singing. Ariel stunned the audience with her famous song, “Part of Your World” and all her other original and new songs. The difference to the soundtrack of the cartoon movie to the live-action movie, some songs were added and some weren't re-recorded at all. For example, this movie included a new reprise of “Part of Your World”, “For the First Time” and “The ScuttleButt”. These songs gave life to the movie and were all big hits on the radio. Overall, the singing in “The Little Mermaid” was one of the most magical parts of the movie and really tied the whole movie together.

While for the most part, “The Little Mermaid” had terrific components, the acting in the movie could have been improved in some scenes. Throughout many instances, King Triton often lost his accent mid-sentence and seemed to break character. Although this was one of the only issues with the acting, it made the movie less enjoyable knowing that acting is one of the most important factors in any movie. However, one thing that positively shocked many viewers was that the voice behind the animated Ariel (Jodi Benson) made an appearance in the movie and was a merchant in the market. Joining this small but powerful element into the live-action movie really captured the hearts of fans all around, knowing a piece of the old movie was still with them and would not be forgotten.


Overall, Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” was a fantastic release and reminded the audience that nothing can get in the way of true love. The visual effects, singing and acting really wowed the audience and caught the eyes of many fans, both young and old. The old, animated movie will remain in the hearts of viewers, but the new live-action “The Little Mermaid” takes the storyline to a whole new level and brings the art of both imagination and reality to life.

<Star Rating>

Visuals: ★★★★★

Acting: ★★★★

Singing: ★★★★★


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Andy Poll

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