A Review of "The Little Mermaid": A Deep Dive Into a Magical and Enchanting Journey

No spoilers here!
by Mark Acido   |  Jun 10, 2023
Image: The Little Mermaid/Disney
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In the vast ocean of live-action adaptations, Disney's highly anticipated adaptation of The Little Mermaid finally surfaced last May 24. With breathtaking visuals, a star-studded cast, and a nostalgic yet innovative approach, the film transcends its audiences into a mesmerizing underwater world experience. As we dive into the enchanting tale once more, let us explore how this contemporary retelling compares to the beloved animated classic that first captured our hearts. 

ALSO READ: Ariel in 'The Little Mermaid' Film Shows Skin Color Doesn't Matter Under the Sea

Keep reading to find out what you can expect from the latest The Little Mermaid film, minus all the spoilers: 

A Breath of Fresh Air

Directed by filmmaker Rob Marshall, The Little Mermaid takes audiences on a visually appealing voyage beneath the sea. Starring the talented Halle Bailey as Ariel, the film stays true to the core of the original film while infusing it with a fresh perspective. Marshall's keen eye for detail and imaginative storytelling breathe new life into this timeless classic Disney fairy tale.


A Star-Studded Cast

The Little Mermaid came out with an impressive ensemble cast that brought the film to new depths. Halle delivers a captivating performance as Ariel, capturing both her curiosity and longing to experience life above the sea. Melissa McCarthy is a delightful surprise as Ursula, the villainous sea witch, infusing her unique blend of humor and menace into the role. The live-action film also features talented actors such as Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric, Javier Bardem as King Triton, Daveed Diggs as Sebastian, and Jacob Tremblay as Flounder, who all infuse their characters with charm and depth. 

A Melodic Journey

The original animated film is well-known for its unforgettable soundtrack, and the live-action adaptation preserves this iconic aspect while adding a few refreshing twists. The classic songs we know and love, such as "Part of Your World" and "Under the Sea," are given new renditions that pay homage to their origins while taking into consideration contemporary elements. The film also introduces new songs like “Wild Uncharted Waters” to add emotional depth to the narrative and ensure a harmonious blend of the familiar and the novel.

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A Mesmerizing Display

One of the standout elements of the live-action adaptation is its breathtaking visual presentation. Utilizing cutting-edge technology, the film immerses viewers in an awe-inspiring underwater world. The vibrant colors, intricately designed sets, and jaw-dropping CGI effects bring the enchanting realm of Atlantica to life like never before. Truly, every frame is a work of art, capturing the essence of the ocean's mystique and timeless beauty. 

A Modern Spin

The Little Mermaid creatively updates certain aspects of the story, reflecting a more modern and inclusive approach. The casting of Halle as Ariel showcases Disney's commitment to diversity, paving the way for more representation in their timeless tales. Additionally, the film incorporates subtle changes to the narrative, further empowering Ariel as a strong and independent woman. 

While The Little Mermaid stands on its own as a visually stunning and captivating adaptation, it is impossible to discuss it without referencing the original animated film. The contemporary reimagining ensures that fans of the original will find moments of joy and nostalgia, while others who are unfamiliar with the tale will be enchanted by its timeless magic. 


All in all, The Little Mermaid is a dazzling dive into one of the most awaited Disney classic tales, blending the familiar with the extraordinary. As the film washes over audiences with its magical storytelling, it reignites the enchantment of a timeless classic and reminds us of the power of dreaming big, loving unconditionally, and most especially, believing in your own strength. 


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About the author
Mark Acido
"Parang iniisip ng mga tao na mataray ako, suplado, but actually may nafi-feel kasi ako sa umaga na bigat."