My Thoughts: Live Action The Little Mermaid

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So, anyone who knows me knows that my favorite Disney movie is The Little Mermaid. Ever since I was a kid, I have wanted to be a mermaid and Ariel has always been my favorite Disney princess. I know this movie pretty much word for word.

Back when Disney announced their slate for the live action remakes, I remember seeing The Little Mermaid being part of that list but it didn’t seem to be finalized like the others were. If read any of my other pieces about the live action, you know that I’m okay with these remakes. They don’t bother me the way they seem to bother other people. I loved LOVED Aladdin, I loved The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast.

You can also check out My Thoughts: Disney Remakes. I’ll probably do another post similar to this now that we have more of these.

I think TLM would be a nice big challenge to do live action and to do well. We’ve seen mermaids in other mediums but they never really show them having an entire kingdom and conversations under water. It’s always above water and what not but then after watching Aquaman, which I thought was just okay, it’s clear that it can be done. Now, I would imagine that with the resources and funds that Disney has, their effects would look a lot better than they did in Aquaman.

The Cast

So, we have a few confirmed actors for the characters.

Halle Bailey as Ariel

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Ariel has always been my favorite Disney princess and I’ve always related to her curiosity and wonderment. Sure, everyone likes to pick on her because she gave up her life to be with a guy, and while I’m not saying that’s not true, she wanted to go to the surface BEFORE she even saw Eric. She sings “Part of Your World” before she even sees him. So, let’s not act like she saw him and it was a wrap. ANYWAYS, I like this casting.

I know a good majority of people wanted Zendaya and don’t get me wrong, I was up for that as well, especially when the picture below surfaced. It’s lovely fanart and I like Zendaya, I know she can act, I like her singing voice (they would just have to make the music in a lower range since Zendaya’s voice is just a tad deeper) but I’m not surprised as she’s doing her thing in her new HBO show AND she’s Michelle “MJ” Jones in Spider-Man.

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But I’m not mad at Halle Bailey’s choice because I think she’s cute, she’s young (19) and has a wistful look about her AND she can SING. I am always impressed when she and her sister perform because they both have beautiful voices. I also really like her look and I love the fact that she has locs and I REALLY hope they keep that look and if they want to keep the red, which I am partial too, then just dye her locs a lovely red color.

I have not seen her act, I know she’s on Grown-Ish but I don’t watch that show right now, so I’m not familiar with her acting, but Ariel spends a majority of the movie silent. So, a lot of her acting will be emotional/dramatic and physical. It was cute to see her try to fit in with the humans and it’s funny. They also gave Ariel some great emotional and dramatic moments in the animated film and she’s animated beautifully whenever she’s surprised, sad or anything of the like. So, I really hope that Halle Bailey can do all of that and more. It would really give her the chance to show what’s she got. I have faith in her.

Prince Eric

*swoons* He was one of my first movie crushes. Him and Aladdin lol. We do not have a Prince Eric just yet BUT I have some thoughts on this. So, I wouldn’t necessarily be mad if they kept Eric, Caucasian or if they race bended him to Asian, Hispanic whatever, but I would assume that his Kingdom would be just about located in/around the Caribbean so it makes more sense for him to also be black, plus, it would probably just sit better with people that Ariel didn’t leave her black family behind, or gave up her voice because she fell for a white guy. Just saying. I had a few ideas come to mind for him.

If they didn’t make Eric black then I would pick Shawn Mendes because I like him. I think he’s the right age, he’s cute and he can sing, they can give Eric a song in the movie lol and he’s biracial… his father is Portuguese.

My top choice right now is Jordan Fisher.

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I actually thought of Kelvin Harrison Jr. first, well his face not his name lol, I think he is super cute but I saw Jordan Fisher mentioned in an article about it and I was like OMG! Why didn’t I think of him sooner? I love Jordan Fisher. He has a great voice, singing and speaking, he is super charming and I think with his personality, they would give Eric way more to do (at least I hope so). He’s 25, which I think should be the cutoff age in terms of casting someone now that wouldn’t be too much older than Halle Bailey. I would assume when they start filming will be 2020 so she’ll be 20 and he’ll be 26 which keeps a healthy gap. Anyone older would be too weird.

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This is Kelvin Harrison Jr. He’s also super cute, he’s 24. Now, I don’t know about his acting just yet (He’s in the movie adaption of Walter Dean Myers’ book Monster, called All Rise which I’ve been waiting to see). I also think he’d look great with Halle Bailey.

 

 

Also also, my coworker just mentioned this, Avan Jogia could be a possible contender for Prince Eric. I still prefer Jordan Fisher but I wouldn’t be mad at making Jogia a Disney Prince.

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King Triton

My instant thought when I saw Halle Bailey’s casting was Idris Elba or Morris Chesnutt lol, which people are agreeing with me hahaha.

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I think he’ll be amazing, plus with his great voice, whether he keeps his accent or not, I think he’d be great! He has that majestic feeling about him. I think he’d be great. Also give him locs like he has in Thor, make them nice of course, but give him silver hair instead of white hair.

Ursula

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I don’t like this casting at all. I enjoy Melissa McCarthy for the most part but the funniest I ever found her was Bridesmaids and Spy. Ursula is humorous yes, but she is also devious, she is cunning, a little sexy and she’s scary. Right now, I cannot see McCarthy pulling this off, in fact, in my mind, she’s doing her same old shtick. I have not seen the movie she was recently nominated for but this is a Disney movie, and I feel like she’ll go overboard. I don’t like it.

Queen Latifah

Some years ago, Annie Leibowitz, the photographer, does a series of photos where celebrities are Disney characters and they had Queen Latifah pose as Ursula. I think this is inspired casting because Queen is regal like Ursula, I think she can pull off the sexy and the terrifying!

LIZZO

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I was introduced to Lizzo from RuPaul’s Drag Race, she was a guest judge and I loved her energy and humor. I heard that she expressed her want to play Ursula and I even saw her Twitter video of her singing a bit of “Poor Unfortunate Souls”, which of course needs to be SLAYED by whoever plays Ursula and I want an anthem, not some kind of talk/jokey hybrid. I enjoyed what I saw. I’m not super familiar with her music just yet, but I do plan on checking on her because I have liked what I heard so far. I’m down for it. She would be a younger Ursula but why not as Jafar was younger lol.

Sebastian

Obviously, he wouldn’t be an actual person but I wonder what he’s gonna look like because I mean, he’s a crab lol who looks a bit like a lobster. It shall be interesting. I heard someone mention Lin-Manuel Miranda for the part, but I think he should just stick to doing the music as the music was a nice highlight for Moanaso he should just do that and let someone else play Sebastian.

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Tituss Burgess played Sebastian in The Little Mermaid on Broadway and he was excellent. I saw it on YouTube years ago and it was great quality lol. He can totally reprise the role again here, he just won’t be on stage this time, but he has great energy, he’s sassy and he can SING. Let’s get it.

 

 

Jacob Tremblay as Flounder and Awkwafina as Scuttle

These two are together because they were the first cast announcements.

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I adore Jacob Tremblay ever since I saw him in Room, he was fantastic. He’s done well in everything I saw him in even if I don’t particularly like the movie lol but I think he’s a perfect choice for Flounder.

As for Awkwafina, she annoys me, her voice, she’s not that funny and I get this try-hard vibe from her so I’m like…

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but I guess I’m okay with it in the end because Scuttle is also annoying so I guess it works out in the end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ariel’s Sisters/Atlantica/Eric’s Kingdom

Atlantica should just be a very diverse place as should Prince Eric’s kingdom. I’ve seen a lot of push for Eric to be Asian, so regardless if he’s Black or Asian, just make sure his kingdom has a bit of everyone in there, especially living on the water. Perhaps his Kingdom is a bit of a port city, a lot of immigrants I would think.

As for Ariel’s sisters, there are a lot of jokes out there right now, but I do think they should have Chloe Bailey be one of her sisters, perhaps the second to youngest, and maybe Ariel is really close to her. I’ve seen a lot of “King Triton should be white and some of her sisters should be” and I’m like “No, give me a black family.” So, they can clearly have different colored hair if you want to be funky, just make sure it doesn’t look ridiculous when doing it, but I do believe her sisters were all blondes and brunettes, so it could also just simple hair colors and have Ariel stand out with her having red locs. I think it would be pretty cool.

The Music

We know that they are bringing back the classic songs, which is great, and Alan Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda are working together and I think there might be some new songs, which is cool. I think Eric needs a song lol. I just hope we keep the same feeling of the music, particularly in ‘Part of Your World’ but update it to fit the new world and Halle Bailey’s lovely voice. I really liked what they did to the music in Aladdinso it can be done in a contemporary way.

The Story

The story is well-known if you’ve seen the animated feature. It is very different from the original story by Hans Christian Anderson, thank goodness because that story is dark lol. But mermaid wants to go to the surface world as she has collected so many trinkets, one day she sees actual humans, including a human prince who catches her eye and now she really wants to go in order to meet him. She saves his life which allows him to have some idea of the woman who saved him and then shenanigans ensue.

I think in order to update this story line more, so it’s not just this girl giving up her life to be with some guy, but perhaps give her more opportunity to see him, or maybe even talk to him. Something so we see her have the chance to fall for him more. I’m thinking, we see the opening as usual, so skip forward to when she sings “Part of Your World” and of course the fireworks and the boat and all that. So, she manages to climb up high enough to watch the men on the boat, I would even say throw some women on there, women can be sailors, and they’re having a party, dancing, singing some song, sharing food and laughter. It would be a grand sight and she’s intrigued by all of this. Of course she sees Max, something she’s never seen before, but then maybe they break out into some sailor’s song or something and Ariel hears Eric sing (which leads into Jordan Fisher singing his song), something quick and she’s enamored by his voice, which I feel like it would be a nice connection because she loves music, she’s supposed to have this beautiful voice compared to her sisters and Eric also has a nice voice. She watches him as he dances, mingles and sings with his people and she likes his energy and charm.

So of course, she saves him as usual, she sings her song and then swims off. I WANT THEM TO MEET AGAIN as it would make more sense. This movie will probably be two hours long as it’s not animated and has the chance for more meat on its bones.

Hear me out.

After she runs off the first time, she comes back maybe a few more times. Eric walks the beach often with Max, maybe with the hope of seeing the mysterious girl again. Maybe Eric has a solo song? Something about his duty and freedom, lol I don’t know. Then later, Ariel goes a bit early, hiding in the same place among the rocky area and hums the song she sang or “Part of Your World” which she sang the reprise to him. He comes right on time and recognizes the song and she’s hiding in the rocky part of the beach and he’s like “It’s you isn’t it?” and then they have this awkward conversation, where she refuses to show herself to him. I feel like they could do this a few times to give them a chance to talk and for her to fall for him more which would attribute to her growing want/need to be on the surface.

When her father finds out she’s gone multiple times, talked to a human AND has fallen in love with him, it gives him way more of a reason to destroy her grotto and more of a reason to go into Ursula’s arms. Also, I feel like Triton should mention something about her mother, perhaps Ariel looks just like her and she was killed, like in the prequel movie. This is all good stuff. When Ariel finally shows up on land, of course she can’t talk so Eric doesn’t recognize her voice or her singing voice which means she just has to go off of her personality which is charming too as she is literally a fish out of water.

I think that they should give Ariel and Eric more interactions so she doesn’t just leave her family behind like others like to point out so often. Then the rest can follow as normal, just throw in more meat to fill in that runtime.

I think it’s important for their relationship to feel organic and not just rushed. I think it can be done if done correctly. I’m a little wary of Rob Marshall as the director but hopefully everyone surrounding him helps create a lovely story that is the one, we know and love but also updated.

Overall

I’m excited for the movie and to see what becomes of it. I am a bit nervous just because it is my favorite Disney movie and Ariel is my favorite Disney princess, so I definitely hold this one really close to my heart, but I’m not going to hate it before I even see anything. I always try to be open-minded so I can’t wait. Film production begins in 2020 and I think 2021 would be too soon so I anticipate May 2022 for release. We’ll see though lol.

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Thanks for reading!

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