Review: Live action 'Mermaid' sinks - The Lookout - LCC's Independent Student Newspaper Since 1959
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Review: Live action 'Mermaid' sinks


The 2023 live action version of Disney's "The Little Mermaid" is available for streaming on Prime Video, among other streaming services.  Photo from Deviant Art

Abby Cowels

One out of Five Stars

By Abby Cowels
Staff Writer

In the recent years of pushing for live action classics, Disney once again takes its stab, now at the 1989 story of “The Little Mermaid.”

Directed by Rob Marshall (“Mary Poppins Returns,” 2018), “The Little Mermaid” in 2023 was brought to life by Disney Studios to portray the film in a new cinematic masterpiece.

After seeing it advertised on Amazon Prime, YouTube, Vudu and other streaming sites for only $5.99, I thought, “why not?”

Despite my previous disappointment with “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Lion King,” I thought “The Little Mermaid” would be worth the watch simply for the experience. It is now part of my least favorite movie list.

A once beloved “tail,” turned into a hallow shell and a cash grab with little regard to the original’s nuances, “The Little Mermaid” is one of the greatest disappointments in live action Disney history so far.

With neurotic control, Disney kept the story as close to the original script as possible, allowing for no creativity for the actors to express any amount of their own individuality within the story.

Chemistry between the actors is relatively non-existent. The most chemistry in the film can be seen while Prince Eric is being coerced into kissing a girl who cannot even give her verbal consent.

This is not to mention the surface-level script met with stifled performances by otherwise talented actors who couldn’t possibly be redeemed by its messy and unorganized animation.

The lazy CGI has left no interaction with the actors and the ocean environment. To say Disney is not capable of creating a set with a combination of motion capture suits, layered with CGI, would be underestimating its budgets and resources.

The poor and unfortunate cast is lucky to have Halle Bailey, though her character is rendered mute for a majority of the film. She still nearly carried the whole film on her shoulders and provided a decent performance.

“The Little Mermaid” of 2023 was truly disappointing. There is no satisfaction to be felt after the film, only dissonance. I am looking forward to never watching it again.



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