The Little Mermaid: The first reactions to the live-action adaptation hit social media following the premiere

The new Disney reimagined classic has been unveiled to an audience. The reactions have been mixed, with most praising the cast and music.

Last Updated on May 25, 2023

The Little Mermaid recently swam into its first screening with its premiere in Los Angeles, and the audience in attendance have posted reactions to social media. It has been reported that the film was privately screened for a few people prior to the premiere. The few, who were guests of director Rob Marshall, were said to have applauded after each musical number. Variety now unveils some of the reactions of those who were present at the premiere.

While some were more astonished by the movie than others, most of the reactions agree that the positive aspects are the performance of the film’s star, Halle Bailey, as Ariel, as well as Melissa McCarthy’s turn as Ursula. Variety’s own Jazz Tangcay would call the live-action film “emotional and enchanting.” She followed up, “Rob Marshall just directed Disney’s best ever live-action film. Lin-Manuel Miranda and Alan Menken’s beautiful music shines. Halle Bailey is absolutely extraordinary! and Melissa McCarthy is a bad-ass Ursula.” Meanwhile, journalist Simon Thompson would share that he thought it was “endearing but uneven.” And added that it “doesn’t deliver the magic of the animated classic, but there are plenty of creative touches from Rob Marshall to float the audience’s boats.”

A correspondent for The Insider, Kirsten Acuna, praised Bailey and McCarthy but referred to it as a “mostly paint-by-numbers remake that’s isn’t as good as the animated masterpiece.” Germain Lussier of Gizmodo and io9 says, “It’s real simple. Are you excited for #TheLittleMermaid? You’ll like it. It’s exactly what you think it is. Are you skeptical and worried about it? That’s valid too. It looks weird and disjointed. Bailey is great, McCarthy rules, the songs work but it just feels so unnecessary.”

Next Best Picture’s editor-in-chief Matt Neglia calls it “visually rough under the sea” but also feels it still managed to “eventually recreate some of the original’s magic” due to the timeless story and the cast delivering on their performances. Nearly all of the reactions would unanimously praise the music — from the covers of the original show-stopping numbers to the new songs brought to the film by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Although it will inevitably be compared to the original animated Disney classic, some still think it’s one of the better live-action adaptations that the House of Mouse has put out.

The Little Mermaid hits theaters on Memorial Day weekend, on May 26.

Source: Variety

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E.J. is a News Editor at JoBlo, as well as a Video Editor, Writer, and Narrator for some of the movie retrospectives on our JoBlo Originals YouTube channel, including Reel Action, Revisited and some of the Top 10 lists. He is a graduate of the film program at Missouri Western State University with concentrations in performance, writing, editing and directing.