The Little Mermaid remake has received mixed reviews from critics, following its world premiere in Los Angeles on Monday.
A live-action reproduction of the 1989 animation, Disney’s latest film is expected to make a big splash when it debuts over the U.S.’s Memorial Day weekend.
Current projections show the blockbuster pulling in $110 million (£87m) over its four day opening weekend, according to Deadline.
And while some experts claimed it was close to being ‘the best live action Disney movie’ while praising Halle Bailey’s performance as Ariel, others insisted it ‘can’t’ escape its animated legacy.
Felicia Wade from DiscussingFilm wrote on Twitter, ‘#TheLittleMermaid makes it pretty close to being the best live action Disney movie, however it still struggles in the villain department.
Divided: The Little Mermaid remake has received mixed reviews from critics, following its world premiere in Los Angeles on Monday (Halle Bailey pictured as Ariel)
Iconic: A live-action reproduction of the 1989 animation, Disney’s latest film is expected to make a big splash when it debuts over the U.S.’s Memorial Day weekend
‘Halle Bailey IS Ariel and I had literal chills throughout her performance. This is a little mermaid retelling like you’ve never seen before.’
Erik Davis of Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes agreed, ‘Disney’s #TheLittleMermaid is definitely one of the better live-action adaptions.
‘Halle Bailey pours incredible emotion into Ariel and I got chills watching her, while Melissa McCarthy’s Ursula and Daveed Diggs’ Sebastian steal scenes all day.’
Zoë Rose Bryant, writer at Loud And Clear Reviews, penned, ‘#TheLittleMermaid is a live-action remake that retains the heart and soul of the story we know and love, and it’s elevated even further by a note-perfect star-making performance from Halle Bailey – she was born to be on the big screen, & she’s why this new take is worth watching.’
But Kirsten Acuna from Insider wasn’t so impressed, tweeting: ‘#TheLittleMermaid is filled with a few great performances from Halle Bailey and Melissa McCarthy, but it’s a mostly paint-by-numbers remake that’s isn’t as good as the animated masterpiece.’
Simon Thompson, who writes for publications including Forbes and Variety, said, ‘Endearing but uneven, #TheLittleMermaid doesn’t deliver the magic of the animated classic but there are plenty of creative touches from Rob Marshall to float the audience’s boats.
‘Halle Bailey and Melissa McCarthy are great. Daveed Diggs and Awkwafina provide solid comic relief.’
Courtney Howard, of Variety The AV Club and Fresh Fiction concluded, ‘#TheLittleMermaid: Charming, but incredibly spotty. Halle Bailey, Jonah Hauer-King, Melissa McCarthy & Javier Bardem put their heart & souls into a film that can’t escape its animated legacy.
Wow! Current projections show the blockbuster pulling in $110 million (£87m) over its four day opening weekend, according to Deadline
Yay: Some experts claimed it was close to being ‘the best live action Disney movie’ while praising Halle Bailey’s performance as Ariel
Oh dear: Others insisted it ‘can’t’ escape its animated legacy (Melissa McCarthy pictured as Ursula)
‘Best when it leans into campy bonkers, yet limits its fantasy elements for no reason.’
The film stars Halle as Ariel, Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, Javier Bardem as King Triton, Daveed Diggs as Sebastian and Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric and is directed by Rob Marshall.
According to the official synopsis, The Little Mermaid tells the story of Ariel — the youngest of King Triton’s many daughters.
The ‘bright and spirited young mermaid with a thirst for adventure’ — who longs to ‘find out more about the world beyond the sea’ — makes a trip to the surface and meets Prince Eric.
‘Following her heart, she makes a deal with the evil sea witch, Ursula, to experience life on land,’ the summary read.
Iconic songs from The Little Mermaid soundtrack have had their lyrics changed to reflect consent in the upcoming live action remake of the 1989 Disney film.
Composer Alan Menken told Vanity Fair last month: ‘There are some lyric changes in Kiss the Girl because people have gotten very sensitive about the idea that [Prince Eric] would, in any way, force himself on [Ariel].
The lyrics to the original song – which encourage Prince Eric to kiss Ariel before it’s too late and without asking for her consent – include the chorus lines: ‘Yes, you want her. Look at her, you know you do. Possible she wants you too. There is one way to ask her. It don’t take a word. Not a single word. Go on and kiss the girl.’
Her take: Felicia Wade wrote on Twitter, ‘#TheLittleMermaid makes it pretty close to being the best live action Disney movie, however it still struggles in the villain department’
Menken added: ‘We have some revisions in Poor Unfortunate Souls regarding lines that might make young girls somehow feel that they shouldn’t speak out of turn.
‘Even though Ursula is clearly manipulating Ariel to give up her voice.’
In the original song, Ursula sings: ‘The men up there don’t like a lot of blabber. They think a girl who gossips is a bore!
‘Yet on land it’s much preferred for ladies not to say a word
‘And after all dear, what is idle babble for? Come on, they’re not all that impressed with conversation. True gentlemen avoid it when they can
‘But they dote and swoon and fawn. On a lady who’s withdrawn It’s she who holds her tongue who gets a man.’
The lyrics for the songs on the 1989 soundtrack were written by the late Howard Ashman and composed by Menken.
Menken has joined producer Lin-Manuel Miranda to write new music for the remake and rework the original songs.