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Disney's The Little Mermaid

Opening Date
25 May 2023
PG Some Intense Sequences
135 mins
English with Chinese subtitles
Family, Musical
Rob Marshall
Halle Bailey, Jonah Hauer-King, Javier Bardem, Melissa McCarthy, Daveed Diggs, Jacob Tremblay
“The Little Mermaid,” visionary filmmaker Rob Marshall’s live-action reimagining of the studio’s Oscar®-winning animated musical classic, opens exclusively in cinemas May 25, 2023. “The Little Mermaid” is the beloved story of Ariel, a beautiful and spirited young mermaid with a thirst for adventure. The youngest of King Triton’s daughters and the most defiant, Ariel longs to find out more about the world beyond the sea and, while visiting the surface, falls for the dashing Prince Eric. While mermaids are forbidden to interact with humans, Ariel must follow her heart. She makes a deal with the evil sea witch, Ursula, which gives her a chance to experience life on land but ultimately places her life – and her father’s crown – in jeopardy.
By InCinemas  23 May 2023
A grand retelling of a beloved classic.
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Disney’s The Little Mermaid live-action remake is finally here to prove critics and doubters wrong.

Star Halle Bailey's endearing charm and innocence as Ariel verifies she’s the perfect choice for the role of the young and misunderstood mermaid princess. It helps that the singer-actress has a stunning voice that is most ideal for this musical.

Daveed Diggs (voice of Sebastian) and Melissa McCarthy who plays Ursula are clear highlights of this live-action remake. The hyper realistic look of Sebastian may throw you off at first glance but you’ll fall in love with him easy thanks to Diggs' effortless flair and magnetism. The same level of commitment comes from McCarthy who (despite glaring instances when her unmoving eyebrows can’t seem to keep up with her impassioned voice work) eats up every scene she’s in as the evil sea witch.

While the remake mostly stays true to the beloved classic, it introduces refreshing tweaks that boosts this version and sets it slightly apart from the 1989 film of the same name. Most notably, Prince Eric taking on a role bigger than being a token male in a princess film. It takes awhile to warm up to Jonah Hauer-King's alluring presence as the leading man but even you’d be begging to leave the seas by the time he’s done belting his dramatic ballad “Wild Uncharted Waters” (a personal favourite of this writer). 

Time under the sea is a little rough but the immersive big screen experience still proves a visceral treat if you don’t catch yourself making comparisons with the recent Avatar: The Way of Water. Thankfully, the exploration of the shore up above makes up for it with livelier and more interesting characters and set designs.

Lin Manuel-Miranda, on a fast track to becoming a Disney legend, once again lends his expertise to new songs on the soundtrack. Other than the aforementioned prince’s song, “The Scuttlebutt”–a catchy ditty that plays to the strengths of Awkwafina (voice of Scuttle) and Diggs–has potential of being a new Disney classic, especially among fans who couldn’t get “We Don’t Talk About Bruno" out of their heads for weeks. 

It’s also an undeniably tough feat to cover songs fans can only hear in Jodi Benson and Pat Carroll’s voices but Bailey’s melodious voice and McCarthy’s delicious evil passion elevates the familiar tunes of “Part of Your World” and “Poor Unfortunate Souls” to greater heights here. 

Disney’s The Little Mermaid preserves the heart of one of the studio's greatest classics with gratifying elevation that fans would appreciate. 
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