As Disney prepares to bring The Little Mermaid to the big screen, the Mouse House is also primed to revive another Little Mermaid project that's been on the back burner for quite a while. ABC is planning a live tv special stage production based on the animated classic, and has announced the cast for its production.
So, who does Disney have on the cast so far? There's already been a fair few musical talents tapped for the production, and while we only know a few key roles at this time, it's safe to say this is shaping up to be an event many may want to tune into come Tuesday, November 5.
Auli’i Cravalho - Ariel
Some may recognize her from the short-lived NBC series Rise, while others may recognize the voice of this Disney princess. Auli'l Cravalho was the voice of Moana, and will now portray yet another princess in the Disney brand by playing the mermaid Ariel. The casting is a strong show of faith by Disney, who will put the young and relatively new actress at the front of this production.
Auli'i Cravalho does not have the look of the red-headed animated Ariel, so one has to wonder if audiences will react to the casting the same way some did when Halle Bailey was announced as Ariel for the live-action movie. Disney knew that reaction could happen going in, so one would imagine it's ready and willing to step up and defend Cravalho should any haters have something to say.
Queen Latifah - Ursula
Queen Latifah (who actually has a connection to the live-action movie's Ariel) has been a staple in the world of music, television, and movies since the early 90s, and she isn't slowing down at all in 2019. Disney tapped her to take on the evil Ursula, and while some may be sad Lizzo didn't get the gig, who doesn't love a great role for Latifah?
This will be the second time in recent memory Queen Latifah has been a part of a televised stage musical. Latifah appeared in NBC's live production of The Wiz, in which she played the title character. Her performance there was pretty great, so we're eager to see if she can bring that same energy to the tricky Ursula.
Shaggy - Sebastian
That's right, Mr. Bombastic himself is making a rare on-screen appearance to play one of the most-beloved Disney sidekicks of all time. Shaggy will play Sebastian the Crab, and we're assuming, will be singing "under the sea," more than "it wasn't me."
As mentioned, seeing Shaggy in television or film as an actor is not at all a frequent thing. His most recent appearance was in the Netflix movie comedy Game Over, Man! in which he played himself. It will be interesting to see what acting chops Shaggy brings to the table in The Little Mermaid, and whether he'll elevate the role of Sebastian with his presence.
Get ready for ABC's live stage production of The Little Mermaid, which is set to air Tuesday, November 5 at 8:00 p.m. ET. CinemaBlend will keep an eye out for additional castings, and continue to keep an eye out for the latest news in television and movies.