It’s only three months until the release of “The Little Mermaid,” Disney’s newest live-action remake of a classic animated film/license to print money. The second teaser trailer is here, and this one gives us a dimly-lit glimpse of (and listen to) Melissa McCarthy as the evil sea witch Ursula.
The original Disney adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s tale from 1989 won two Oscars—Best Score for Alan Menken, and Best Original Song for “Under the Sea” for Menken and Howard Ashman. The film is also widely credited as sparking the “Disney Renaissance,” which put the studio back on top as a cultural powerhouse with a string of movies based on classic fables. Two years later they released “Beauty and the Beast,” the first animated film ever to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.
Naturally, anticipation is high for “The Little Mermaid (2023)” The new iteration comes from a slew of heavy-hitting creatives. Rob Marshall, director of the Oscar-winning “Chicago,” is at the helm, and the script was written by Jane Goldman (a frequent collaborator of Matthew Vaughn’s) and “Finding Neverland” and “A Man Called Otto” scripter David Magee. Producers include Marc Platt, who produced “La La Land” and is the force behind television events like “Rent Live” and “Grease Live,” and also Lin-Manuel Miranda, the Tony-winning content whirlwind often involved in high-profile Disney productions.
Miranda has written new songs with Menken. He’s already got the Emmy, Grammy, and Tony, so there’s a pretty strong chance he’ll secure his EGOT next year thanks to this, but it’s still a bit early for that kind of talk.
Halle Bailey, still shy of her 21st birthday, is cast as Ariel, the teenage fish girl who wants to be “part of your world.” The “your” in this case is a human prince (Eric) played by Jonah Hauer-King. In addition to McCarthy, other stars in the mix include Javier Bardem as King Triton, Daveed Diggs voicing Sebastian the Crab, Jacob Tremblay as Flounder, and Awkwafina as Scuttle, a bird. Jokes will ensue.
This and the previous teaser show off much of the computer-generated underwater landscape, which looks impressive so long as you haven’t just come from a screening of the Oscar-nominated “Avatar: The Way of Water.”
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