“The Little Mermaid”, Ariel’s Trio of Friends and Movie Songs Bring Stories to Life

3 min read

Since it was rumored that Ariel in The Little Mermaid is Halle Bailey, I’m a bit pessimistic about this film.

The reason is, Ariel’s figure is so very different from the original version. However, it seems unwise to judge a film by not agreeing with the selection of the cast.

And it turns out that The Little Mermaid isn’t so bad after all. Even I enjoyed the story, thanks to the charm of Ariel’s trio of cute friends. Also, of course, thanks to the songs in the film by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

If you are familiar with the story of the mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen, then the story in this film is not exactly the same.

The story is more closely following the Disney animated version released in 1989, whose script was written by John Musker and Ron Clements.

However, by David Magee, several characters and settings were changed a lot to match the figure of Ariel in a black film.

Narrated Ariel (Halle Bailey), the youngest daughter of King Triton (Javier Bardem) is very obsessed with human life. He likes to collect human stuff from sunken ships.

One time he saw fireworks to celebrate the birthday of Prince Eric (Jonah Hauer-King). He immediately fell in love with her.

During a rainstorm, Eric’s ship sank. Ariel also saves him. He wanted to become human more and more. Knowing this, King Triton immediately stopped him. However, the lure of the witch Ursula (Melissa McCarthy) makes Ariel giddy.

The story follows the animated version but with character changes (image source: Disney on Screen Rant)

A Story That Lives Thanks to the Trio of Friends

Loyal to the story of the animated version of The Little Mermaid, Ariel’s three best friends also appear in this live action. There is the cowardly Flounder (Jacob Tremblay), Sebastian the crab (Daveed Diggs) who is assigned by the king to watch over Ariel, and the fussy seabird named Scuttle (Awkwafina). The role of these three animals is very important in this film.

The interactions between these animals with Ariel, or between them, have succeeded in making the audience laugh out loud. Awkwafina, who also successfully voiced the dragon Sisu in Raya and the Last Dragon, also stole attention through her distinctive voice and singing abilities, of course also with her sometimes annoying jokes.

The three friends in the animated version (Image source Disney in Comicbook.com)

Apart from these three friends, this film is also helped by Ursula, played well by Melissa McCarthy. He can display the figure of the witch who is intimidating and also charismatic when singing. Javier Bardem, even though the portion of the scene is not so much in this film, also gives life in this film.

Unfortunately the two main actors in this film, Halle Bailey and Jonah Hauer-King are less authentic as princesses and princes in fantasy stories.

They appear flat, their presence is less successful in attracting sympathy and leaving an impression. However, Halle’s voice was commendable. Her voice is melodious and beautiful.

Actually, I was one of those who was surprised by Disney’s decision to change many characters in The Little Mermaid. Even though the reason is to uphold diversity, it feels like too much.

Isn’t there already a black Disney princess like Tiana in The Princess and the Frog?! Or Disney can also create a new character so that Ariel fans won’t be disappointed.

Actually there are many question marks for the selection of cast and character settings in this film. In the original script, the setting is in the waters around Denmark, whereas in this film it is referred to as the Caspian Sea. But the location, culinary, and culture in this film seem to refer to the islands in the Caribbean sea.

Impressive Underwater Visuals and Beautiful Songs

If you like underwater panoramas like in Avatar 2 or in Aquaman, then you will also like the visuals of The Little Mermaid. Impressive. Colorful corals with a variety of fish spoil the eye. Likewise with pictures of shipwrecks and deep sea panoramas that seem mysterious. Hello.

This beautiful picture is also supported by songs with lyrics that fit the story. There are times when the lyrics are naughty with a lively tone.

At first glance, I immediately thought of the songs in Encanto. It turns out that the musician who created it is indeed the same, namely Lin-Manuel Miranda.

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