The Little Mermaid (2023) Film Review: A Visually Stunning but Disappointing Tale

The Little Mermaid 2023 Film Review

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I know by now you’ve all heard the news. Disney will release a live-action version of The Little Mermaid on May 26, 2023. The original “The Little mermaid” is a classic that has continues to be loved by millions since 1989. As a HUGE Little Mermaid fan, I was eagerly awaiting this upcoming release. It features the wonderfully talented Halle Bailey and many others whom made some of the story come together! I did, however, leave the screening feeling a tad disappointed. Let’s dive deep into what you can expect from this retelling, that was so gorgeous in the visual aspect, but lacked in the parts that mattered most.

Women standing in front of The Little Mermaid Poster

To start, I went into the film the same way I do any other live-action remake… Without any expectations. I went in with an open mind. Filming a live remake of a movie that is primarily set under water, would be a very tough challenge. However, there were plenty of parts that had no reason being as disappointing as they were. 

Retelling Of The Little Mermaid

The Positive Note

Halle Bailey At The World Premier of The Visually Stunning Little Mermaid 2023 Live-Action Remake

Halle Bailey did her thing! Her voice was so beautiful. She looked stunning. I even shed a few tears when I heard her sing “Part Of Your World”. Whoever designed the “wardrobe” for Triton’s seven daughters made sure that Tamika (Played by Sienna King), had the most GORGEOUS scales! I was living for the prints. I’m letting you know, since you were curious… the sisters’ names HAVE been changed for the new live-action. It was a little shocking to me since their names pretty much make up one of the first songs in the original, but I barely remembered that to be the case once we were further into the film. 

Ariel Surround by her Visually Stunning Sisters in The Little Mermaid 2023 Remake.

There were many times where I felt like I was straining to see the visual on screen, but I didn’t know where it was the seats we were in or the film just forgetting to put up their brightness. HOWEVER, When those vibrant colors and neon visuals came on screen… We couldn’t help but get pulled in. I laughed at scuttle quite a lot, but it was definitely a surprise when I realized “he” was now a “she”. I guess I missed the trailers that showed that change, but it was fine. She cracked me up. Ursula was a queen! I loved the songs, the visuals, her reactions. I just loved Melissa McCarthy!

An epic sea battle between Ariel and Ursula, is visually stunning . Melissa McCarthy as Ursula In The Little Mermaid 2023 Remake

The Disappointing Tale of The Little Mermaid Live-Action Remake

Flounder, Sebastian, and Scuttle in the Ocean for The Little Mermaid 2023 Live-Action Film

Sebastian was always one of my few favorite sidekicks and I knew there was no way to make him 100% like his animated counterpart, but I couldn’t get past his vocals. The way he speaks to Ariel was neck and neck to the animated classic so I loved that, but when he started singing… I was asking for Simon to press the Red X. We were all waiting for the masterpiece that is “Under The Sea”, but when it started I found myself annoyed that the visuals were NOT matching the words of the songs! Like Why are we riding sea turtles. I can’t forgive that. They tried to reel me in with new songs by the prince, they were unfortunately very forgettable. Flounder was ugly… I loved that he still had his adorable little voice and sweet vibes, so I forgave the visual. 

I may receive a whole lot of backlash for this post, but I can’t lie to y’all. The Little Mermaid (1989) is my FAVORITE movie and I tried Hard to love this 2023 Remake, but I just couldn’t. Not 100% at least. Would I watch it again? Sure… But would I play it on repeat any chance I get? No. I guess it just didn’t live up to the standards of the original for me. I expected…More.

Will You be taking your family to see the film? Have you seen it? What were your thoughts?

The Little Mermaid 2023 Film Review

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