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The First Trailer for Disney's Live-Action 'The Little Mermaid' Is Now Part of Your World

It's about to get better down where it's wetter again, with Halle Bailey swimming into cinemas in 2023 as Ariel.
By Sarah Ward
September 10, 2022
By Sarah Ward
September 10, 2022

It didn't happen with Sofia Coppola in the director's chair, but taking a live-action swim in The Little Mermaid's ocean is definitely happening — in 2023, in cinemas everywhere, and with Halle Bailey (Grown-ish) slipping into Ariel's scales and tail. Wondering how that might turn out? Disney has just unveiled the initial teaser trailer for its latest double dip in its beloved catalogue, because the Mouse House just keeps giving its animated hits the flesh-and-blood treatment.

Released at this year's D23, the company's fan expo and convention, the first sneak peek at the film doesn't dive into the story that viewers already know and adore — it doesn't need to given how popular the original movie is — but it does show Bailey as Ariel. More than that, it swishes through the mermaid's underwater realm, sunken ships, circular caves and all, and shows her staring up at the light above, pining for a different life. The soundtrack: the flick's star singing 'Part of Your World'.

Fans of the original 1989 movie, aka everyone given how popular The Little Mermaid-themed events have proven over the years — such as screenings with live orchestral scores and cocktail experiences at aquariums — are well aware that Ariel dreams of being human, and is willing to make a deal with a sea witch to see her wishes come true. That involves a trade, though: giving up her voice to get legs in return, which'll allow her to live above the water.

As well as Bailey as Ariel, this new version of The Little Mermaid features Jonah Hauer-King (World on Fire) as Eric, the human prince that Ariel falls for; Melissa McCarthy (Nine Perfect Strangers) as Ursula, said sea witch; and Javier Bardem (The Good Boss) as King Triton, Ariel's protective father.

Also among the cast, on voice duties: Daveed Diggs (Snowpiercer) as Sebastian the crab, Jacob Tremblay (Doctor Sleep) as Flounder and Awkwafina (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings) as Scuttle.

Behind the camera, filmmaker Rob Marshall adds The Little Mermaid and its take on Hans Christian Andersen's 1837 fairy tale of the same name to his many big-screen musicals, alongside Chicago, Nine, Into the Woods and Mary Poppins Returns. And as for the tunes, they come courtesy of Alan Menken — returning from the original movie, as do all those old songs — and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

If you're keeping track, when it hits cinemas next year, The Little Mermaid will join a hefty list. That's the list of animated Mouse House fare remade either with actors on-screen, photorealistic CGI or both, that is, and it includes Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Dumbo, Aladdin, The Jungle Book, The Lion King, Lady and the Tramp, Mulan, Pinocchio and more.

Check out the first trailer for The Little Mermaid below:

The Little Mermaid will release in cinemas Down Under on May 25, 2023.

Top image: Photo courtesy of Disney. © 2022 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Published on September 10, 2022 by Sarah Ward
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