In 1989 the world was put “under the sea” and “a part of this [new] world” of Disney, where we got to see an animated love story between a mermaid named Ariel and a prince named Eric. Disney received high reviews from the “Little Mermaid” movie, and it became a favorite for thousands even as the decades rolled by us.
The story revolves around Ariel, feeling as though she was made for a life different than the one she was born into. All of her sisters, family, and friends feel connected to the sea and believe it is where they are meant to be, yet Ariel is constantly drawn to what the world is outside of the water. She dreams of being somewhere that people like her have not been, and imagines what her life would look like if she got the chance to be a part of life on land. She believed she would do anything possible, whatever it took, to get there.
As the story continues, Ariel meets Ursula, a woman and octopus who decides to trick naive Ariel into giving her the chance to be above the water and gain human legs, yet there are two things that get in her way. She takes away Ariel’s voice and also only gives her three days to find love with Eric, the prince. Ursula finds every way to make this impossible for Ariel to do, and even finds herself above the ocean and calls herself “Vanessa”. She prepares to marry Eric by enchanting him; however, the love of Ariel and Eric is too strong, and they end the story being together, happily ever after.
On May 26, 2023, Disney officially brought to theaters everywhere the live action version of The Little Mermaid, starring Halle Bailey. Ever since the trailer has been released, there have been countless mixed reviews on Halle and the film as a whole. Commenting on everything from the new Ariel being a POC, her hair not being the right color red, how Flounder (her fish best friend) doesn’t look how he was expected by fans, and how live actions are never as good as the original.
As every movie, series, or truly anything in society nowadays that is seen by hundreds of people, is being noticed, it becomes known that there is a large spectrum of answers that will be received from everyone. Some people will talk about how it was the best thing of their entire life, others will say the complete opposite, and most people range somewhere in the middle. With this being said, The Little Mermaid experienced all sides of the spectrum immediately.
The film brought a whole new world to Disney that had been missing, and that is just because an animated movie from over 30 years ago had a white mermaid, does not mean that she needs to look exactly the same in her life action. There is so much more that goes into a character than how she or he physically looks, but more so how they draw the audience in, and how they take on the role they were initially given. Halle Bailey, through her character Ariel, gave everything possible, and beautifully displayed the character in a perfectly princess way. Halle brings a princess atmosphere everywhere she goes, and brings Ariel to life through her own personality and light that she gives off.
Although Disney live actions have received mixed reviews in the past, the new rendition of The Little Mermaid has received some of the highest reviews regarding it being an enjoyable watch for everyone involved. Rotten Tomatoes has given the film a 67% on the tomatometer and 95% on the audience score, leaving the film to be noted as something everyone should go see once and experience.
Halle Bailey has stolen the show, and has been able to bring the remake back to life. Some critics have pointed out other points to the film that were not to their exact liking; however, everyone seems to admire the actresses work and the other actors who were able to bring animation to life through their own unique personalities.
At the end of the day, The Little Mermaid has been brought to life in a new way, brings forward great inspiration for everyone (whether you’re watching at 6 years old or 60), and shows that Disney always finds a way to bring magic into any room it accompanies.
If you have been going back and forth on whether you should head to your closest movie theater to watch the 1989 film brought to life in a new way, I highly recommend making the decision to buy your ticket soon. A Disney film is something that always leaves you feeling warm inside by the end, especially when we receive the happily ever after we were all waiting for.
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