While Disney has cornered the market on live-action feature remakes, The Little Mermaid is also getting a stage adaptation that'll go under the sea in November for a live musical adventure on ABC. News about the live television musical came not long after Halle Bailey was cast to play Ariel in the live-action adaptation of the beloved Disney animation. With The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live! set to debut soon, ABC has finally offered some visual magic by releasing a new behind-the-scenes video showcasing the spectacular musical dances.
“It’s never been done before!” So says Shaggy, who will be portraying Sebastian in The Little Mermaid Live!, and it’s true. The staged version of the animated classic will be different from previous live television musicals, as the movie will be playing in the background throughout the special, and it will be split into a dozen choreographed musical numbers. This hybrid is definitely unique and should make for an interesting live show.
You can watch the behind the scenes video from the television musical below!
Fuller House's John Stamos, who is playing Chef Louis, claims that fans will see all of the beloved characters popping out of the action and coming to life. The television musical will include twelve songs showcasing detailed costumes, daring dance numbers, and impressive high-flying feats. At one point, Auli’i Cravalho’s Ariel is on a wire and spinning while looking upwards, which is mostly likely taken from the scene where Ariel sings “Part of Your World” in her own version of the Cave of Wonders.
Moana star Auli’i Cravalho will also be joined by Queen Latifah as the villainous Ursula. I’m going to be honest, Queen Latifah is one of the best Disney castings of all time for Ursula, and she’s no stranger to musicals, either. While the live-action adaptation hasn’t yet found its Prince Eric, The Little Mermaid Live! version of the character will be played by Graham Phillips of The Good Wife.
Interestingly, this isn’t the first time John Stamos is set to play Chef Louis, as he'll be reprising the role he played in a performance of The Little Mermaid at the Hollywood Bowl.
The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live! marks the first time that Disney is venturing into the live television musical arena. NBC was the first network to air and popularize live musicals and released The Sound of Music and The Wiz, among others.
Fox followed suit not long after, with their most popular live musical event being Grease. Earlier this year, however, the live musical version of Rent proved to be a disaster after one of the actors broke his foot hours before the show went live. Fox decided to air the pre-recorded dress rehearsal instead of using an understudy and later received backlash over their decision. But, as they say, the show must go on and it did.
The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live! Airs Tuesday, November 5 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. To see what else is coming to television in November, be sure to check out our complete guide for every new and returning show.