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"Exploring Disney's Live-Action Adaptation of The Little Mermaid: A Charming Yet Flawed Experience"

Disney's Live-Action "The Little Mermaid": A Charming Yet Flawed Adaptation

By Fathima RaheemaPublished 12 months ago 4 min read

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For nearly 14 years, I have been a creature of habit, and this extends to my eating habits as well. However, that doesn't mean I don't enjoy exploring new flavors and meals that tantalize my palate. Moreover, since grocery shopping is not particularly enjoyable for me, the idea of having fresh meals delivered right to my door is simply delightful. Now, let's dive into Disney's latest live-action adaptation, The Little Mermaid.

Upon leaving the theater, my initial impression of the film was positive. It was cute and surprisingly enjoyable. However, as I reflected on my drive home and prepared to share my thoughts in this video, the nitpicks began to surface. There were numerous details worth mentioning, though I won't list them all here. Instead, I'll begin by highlighting what I liked about the movie, providing a bit of sweetness before delving into its shortcomings.

First and foremost, Halle Bailey's portrayal of Ariel was fantastic. She embodied the character's sweetness, endearment, and curious nature. Her voice was remarkable, and she truly brought Ariel to life. Additionally, Jonah Hauer-King's performance as Prince Eric was commendable. Unlike the animated version, this live-action adaptation delves deeper into Eric's character, shedding light on his hopes and dreams. This additional development added depth to their relationship, making their connection feel more genuine.

The heart and soul of the movie lie in the love between these two characters. While the animated Little Mermaid depicted a somewhat hasty and infatuated romance, this live-action version managed to convey sparks and chemistry between Ariel and Eric. Although the movie does have its flaws, this strong chemistry serves as the film's nucleus, outweighing its shortcomings.

That being said, The Little Mermaid suffers from what can be described as "death by a thousand cuts." Those who didn't enjoy the film likely arrived at their negative views through numerous minor grievances that gradually accumulated. Allow me to highlight some of the more glaring issues, moving from the most noticeable to the seemingly trivial.

One of the most prominent concerns is the clash between the animated and live-action styles. The animated version possessed a distinct and impactful style that perfectly suited The Little Mermaid's narrative. While this live-action adaptation does retain some animated elements, particularly in the "Under the Sea" musical segment, it lacks the same punch. The animated segment was like a cup of coffee in the morning, invigorating and memorable. In contrast, the live-action version feels routine, lacking the same energy and impact.

Furthermore, certain character changes alter the dynamics of the story. For instance, Ursula openly calling people "pathetic" while singing about those who seek her help diminishes the cunning nature of her character. Additionally, Ariel's failure to question Ursula's use of the word "pathetic" suggests a lack of intelligence, which seems out of character for her. Ursula's underground lair, which resembles a skeleton dungeon, serves as another red flag for Ariel. However, this aspect is brushed aside, and Ariel's departure from Ursula's lair is abrupt and lacks the necessary skepticism.

In the realm of Disney playing it safe, Ursula no longer transforms merpeople into little seaweed monsters. Instead, they simply meet their demise. While the original animation may have chosen the lesser evil of turning them into seaweed slaves, the change in this adaptation feels darker and more unsettling. As a child, this particular aspect of the original film scared me, and I believe it added a necessary sense of peril and consequence to the story.

Melissa McCarthy's portrayal of Ursula was a cause for concern initially. I anticipated her comedic style overpowering the character, but to my surprise, she successfully embodied Ursula's sinister humor for the most part. However, there was one scene where McCarthy's comedic style stood out and felt out of place in the overall tone of the film. It seemed like an unnecessary addition, simply included for the sake of comedy, without seamlessly fitting into the narrative.

The inclusion of new musical segments not present in the original animation is another point of contention. While these new songs add extra runtime to the film, they feel disconnected from the original music and disrupt the overall coherence. Some of these new segments could have been omitted, trimming the film's length and improving its pacing. However, it must be acknowledged that the extra runtime does allow for more development of Eric's character and the chemistry between him and Ariel.

The movie's pacing and timing seem at odds with themselves in several scenes. It feels as if certain dialogues were included to replicate the original animated version, but they don't flow as naturally in this live-action adaptation. Moreover, the absence of the wedding scene at the end, which was replaced by an engagement party, changes the impact of the climax. While the urgency of stopping the wedding in the animated version added a sense of impending doom, the engagement party doesn't carry the same weight.

Despite these criticisms, the core charm of The Little Mermaid lies in the chemistry between Ariel and Eric. This aspect salvages the film and makes it an enjoyable experience, particularly for families. However, it is important to acknowledge that the film is overshadowed by numerous annoyances and inconsistencies. The enduring charm feels overshadowed by the weight of the nitpicks.

In conclusion, Disney's live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid is a mixed bag. The delightful performances of Halle Bailey and Jonah Hauer-King as Ariel and Eric, respectively, along with their strong chemistry, breathe life into the film. However, the movie is marred by stylistic clashes, questionable character changes, disjointed musical segments, and pacing issues. While it manages to deliver an enjoyable experience, it falls short of capturing the magic of the original animated classic.


About the Creator

Fathima Raheema

As a seasoned writer, your captivating prose has entranced readers worldwide. Your unique style blends vivid imagery with raw emotion, drawing inspiration from your diverse experiences. storytelling,

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