The Lowdown on The Little Mermaid

This new live-action movie is an adaptation of Disney’s 1989 classic animated film of the same name. Ariel, played by Halle Bailey is a young mermaid fascinated with the human world but is forbidden to explore it. After saving a Prince from a shipwreck and falling in love with him, she becomes determined to be with him in the world above water. 

The story is loosely based on the 1836 Danish fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen. Unlike the Disney films, Andersen’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ is a tragic story of suffering & extreme sacrifice.

The original animated movie won 2 Academy Awards for Best Original Score and Best Original Song for “Under the Sea”.

The Little Mermaid has been immortalised with statues at 2 locations in both Denmark & Monaco. The infamous Danish statue was gifted by Carl Jacobsen, the son of the founder of Carlsberg, after he was enthralled by a ballet adaptation of the fairy tale.

Eight time Oscar winner, Alan Menken, who co-wrote the songs for the original animation has teamed up with ‘Hamilton’ creator Lin-Manuel Miranda to write four new songs for the film. The new songs will feature alongside new renditions of the classic songs from the original film.

Considered one of Disney’s most iconic villains, Ursula the sea witch is played in the new movie by Melissa McCarthy. The original animated character was inspired in both appearance and demeanor by legendary drag queen Divine, who had previously starred in John Water’s film ‘Hairspray’, Ursula even shares Divine’s signature eye-makeup & jewellery. Shantey You Stay!

Christian Navarro revealed that he sent in an audition video to Disney that helped him win the role of Prince Eric. Meanwhile, pop star sensation Lizzo also made an audition video & campaigned for the role of Ursula. She even dressed like Ursula and sang ‘Poor Unfortunate Souls’ on her Instagram page, but ultimately Melissa McCarthy got the role.

To get into ship-shape condition to play Ariel, actress Halle Bailey had to wake up at 5am every day for stunt training & workouts, followed by mid-air swimming in front of a blue-screen while hanging from straps. Halle has revealed that her favourite part was going into ​“the tank” for a swim. ​“I did diving training for the first time and discovered that I have a passion for it,” she said, ​“We didn’t end up diving a lot during filming, but it’s harnessed this newfound love for being in water.”

In a recent interview, Halle Bailey mentioned her version of Ariel would be a modern role model for viewers. “I’m really excited for my version of the film because we’ve definitely changed the perspective of just her wanting to leave the ocean for a boy,” revealed the actress. “It’s way bigger than that. It’s about herself, her purpose, her freedom, her life & what she wants… As women we are amazing, we are independent, we are modern, we are everything & above,” she continued “I’m glad that Disney is updating some of those themes.”

THE LITTLE MERMAID is at cinemas from May 26th