The Little Mermaid Live Action Hits the Cinema


In May 2016, Walt Disney Pictures started working on a live-action remake of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale The Little Mermaid. After 7 years, the movie has finally come to theaters. Although the original and the live action are not as similar as some fans would have liked, it was still a success. As the original struck all of our childhoods the live action has also sparked interest in the fanbase at Becton.

The Little Mermaid is the well-known story of Ariel, a lovely and adventurous little mermaid. Ariel, the youngest and most defiant of King Triton’s daughters, longs to learn more about the world beyond the water and, when visiting the surface, falls for the dashing Prince Eric. While it is unlawful for mermaids to have contact with humans, Ariel must follow her heart. She strikes a pact with the evil sea witch Ursula, who allows her to experience life on land, but Ariel eventually jeopardizes her life and her father’s crown.

As the live action hits theaters, the music in the movie has been a major part of the reason for the movie’s success. Halle Bailey, who plays Ariel, is known for her incredible singing. The most famous song in the movie, “Part of Your World” brought chills to viewers of the live action. One student stated, “My favorite character is Ariel, which is the obvious choice, but she is so amazing. Her voice, her tail, her hair, everything about her was amazing”.  As Bailey played this part, she brought chills with not only her singing but her great performance as an actress.

On the same note, the main controversy of this remake was the comparison of the original to the live action. A change that struck controversy was that Ariel was played by a black woman instead of a white woman. Rose Padovano exclaimed, “I loved it just the same! The Little Mermaid was my favorite Disney princess movie as a kid, so to see it remade as a live action movie was really enjoyable and it was very exciting to see Halle Bailey get to play Ariel!” Despite the fact that Ariel was played by a black woman, Bailey put her all into the role and blew the minds of viewers. In an interview Bailey said that she was excited to play this role to be an inspiration for all the young black girls that get to see a colored Disney Princess. 

Here at Becton, we have our very own Film and Literature class. The students recently went to watch The Little Mermaid in theaters and have been stunned by the contents of the film. Peter Schumann stated, “I absolutely loved the updated CGI as well as the actors casted who were incredibly remarkable in this movie.” Julyanna Sanchez commented, “It was so engaging and colorful. There was a lot of diversity and everything ran more smoothly in the live action. Everything was easy to piece together!” Both students specialized in the Film & Lit elective have found this movie to be impactful and inspiring.

Overall, the movie was a great success and will bring a new source of magic to present and future generations.