For almost a decade now (longer if you count 2010’s Alice in Wonderland), Disney has been on a tear with its live-action remakes of the classic animated movies in its library. Pinocchio released exclusively to Disney+ subscribers this week, and next year will see the arrival of The Little Mermaid, the next remake to be shown in theaters. We now have our first trailer for this take on The Little Mermaid, and it sees Halle Bailey’s version of Ariel singing a classic song from the 1989 original.
As is fitting for a teaser trailer, this first preview for The Little Mermaid doesn’t delve deeply into what to expect from the story, although unlike reimagining like Maleficent and Cruella, The Little Mermaid will be hitting the main narrative beats of its animated predecessor. Instead, we dive underwater and visit a familiar shipwreck that fans of the original Little Mermaid will recognize. Yes, we’re getting a peek at Halle Bailey’s Ariel stumbling upon some trinkets from the human world with her buddy Flounder, then going back to her hideout where she keeps her prizes. So naturally you can guess which song we hear Bailey’s Ariel sing at the end of the trailer: “Part of Your World,” which we first heard Jodi Benson sing over three decades ago.
Outside of a quick peek at Flounder and some sea turtles, Ariel is the only character who shows up in this first trailer for The Little Mermaid. It stands to reason the next trailer will show off folks like Eric, Ursula, King Triton and Sebastian, but considering this upcoming movie is eight months away, it’s hard to say when that next look will arrive. Still, for anyone who grew up watching Disney’s original Little Mermaid, hearing Halle Bailey belt out “Part of Your World” was likely quite the nostalgia trip, so no doubt they’re now looking forward to hearing the new takes on the other classic songs. I’d be remiss if I also didn’t mention that The Little Mermaid remake will also feature new songs that returning composer Alan Menken co-wrote with producer Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Speaking of talent, Halle Bailey (who appeared in the first four seasons of Grown-ish with her sister Chloe) is joined in the cast of the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid by Jonah Hauer-King as Eric, Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, Javier Bardem as King Triton, Daveed Diggs as Sebastian, Jacob Tremblay as Flounder, Awkwafina as Scuttle, Jude Akuwudike as Grimsby, Lorena Andrea as Perla and Kajsa Mohammar as Karina, the latter two being new characters. Mary Poppins Returns’ Rob Marshall is directing off a script written by Jane Goldman and David Magee. Principal photography began at the end of January 2021 and concluded in July of the same year, with Bailey commemorating the wrapped shoot with a look at her version of Ariel.
The Little Mermaid swims into theaters on May 26, 2023. Learn what other movies will arrive next year with our 2023 release schedule.
Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.
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