A young mermaid makes a deal with a sea witch to trade her beautiful voice for human legs so she can discover the world above water and impress a prince.


HALLE BAILEY- As good as advertised. I don’t know if there’s much to take from the original version of this cartoon to incorporate into this character, but this is one of the better leading performances from any of these Disney remakes. The second act really is where she gets to shine… Even though she’s not saying a word. Her performance in the second act of this movie is like a really good silent film performance. Even though Ariel doesn’t say a word, she is easy to read, and the performance doesn’t suffer a bit from it. Not one bit.

The musical numbers in the film are presented in a much flashier way than in the animated movie. (as is the case with every one of these Disney live-action remakes). Sometimes this is a positive thing, and sometimes the modern-day renditions of the songs really don’t work at all. (I’ll get to those songs in a second) In the case of literally every song that Ariel has, this film lands in the positive category because of Bailey and her performance.

DIGGS & McCARTHY- I don’t know about you guys, but when it comes to these live-action remakes, anything that can bring me back to my childhood whilst I watch is an absolutely positive thing. I’m not going to sit here and say that Diggs and McCarthy bring nothing new to these performances, I will simply say that these performances are not too far off from the ones that I remember as a kid. I don’t believe that is a harsh criticism of the performances themselves, and I’ll acknowledge that it does take some skill to give off the same exact vibes.

These Disney remixes try too hard to make things modernized, and in some cases, that’s absolutely needed. But the retro-level campiness helps a great deal. If there would have been modernized original takes on the personalities of these two characters, the film would have suffered from it.

POOR UNFORTUNATE SOULS- In my humble opinion, this song is not only the best song to come from the little mermaid, it’s one of the five or six best Disney songs that there has ever been. It’s one of those odd songs that really doesn’t have a poor rehashing of it on YouTube, no matter if somebody’s really singing it or not.

It’s one of those Disney songs (like “Hakuna Matata” or “Never Had A Friend Like Me”) that don’t necessarily require you to have American Idol-style chops…just a lot of personality, which is something that Melissa McCarthy has always had in spades. My opinion of this movie heavily hinged on if this movie happened to somehow butcher this song, and thank goodness it didn’t do that.

THE (kinda sorta) BAD STUFF

THE OLD JAMS- Simply put… There are mostly respectable renditions of the songs that came from this movie. “Kiss The Girl” and “Under the Sea” are all-time slappers in the Disney song department, and they’re fine here…but if you are someone of a certain age who grew up with these Disney films, then it’s almost impossible to be totally satisfied with how different these songs sound.

With every single one of these live-action remakes, there’s going to come a point where people of a certain age are just going to have to grit their teeth and understand that although the music is well done… You’re going to respect it more than you like it.


THE NEW MUSIC- Whether it be the songs “Evermore” from beauty and the Beast, “Spirit” from THE LION KING, or “Speechless” from ALADDIN, for example, the additional music that has always been added to these remakes have always sounded a little bit too out of place in contrast to the songs that came before, and that is certainly the case here more than any other live-action remake. The two new songs in this movie are the worst of the film, and I’ll even take it a step further to say are the worst new original songs of any of these remakes.

“Wild Uncharted Waters” is a bland song that you could just listen to and easily forget…except it’s the song that directly follows Bailey’s beautiful rendition of “Part of Your World”. Not a wise choice. “Scuttlebutt” is a rap song by Awkwafina. Awkwafina is a nice actress who used to be a…not a nice rapper. This is a song so bad that immediately after it was over, I was kind of wondering why it existed and who thought it was a good idea.


Although the music was very good in the 1989 animated film, I always thought the story of The Little mermaid was middle of the road in juxtaposition to other Disney classics. This is a much better film than the film it’s remaking, even though the songs are not up to par.

All of the performances here are very good, especially Bailey. Outright calling her a superstar right now might be jumping the gun a little bit, but she’s right there.

Go in expecting a little, and you will get a lot of this movie. ย 

THE LITTLE MERMAID is in theaters now

Eli Brumfield

Eli Brumfield in an actor/screenwriter from Seattle Washington, living in Los Angeles.

He is the host of the RV8 Podcast.

He hates the word cinefile, but considering how many films he consumes in a week...and how many films he goes out of his way to see, no matter the genre...he kinda seems to be one.

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