This article was originally published on BLAC Detroit.

A Wave of Anticipation and Controversy

The Little Mermaid live-action remake has been making waves since its announcement, with fans eagerly anticipating its release, while others expressed concerns over the casting of Halle Bailey (Grown-ish, Beyonce’s Homecoming, The Lion King 2019) as Ariel.

The debates and heated discussions surrounding the movie were ugly to say the least. But now that some time has passed and people have seen it, there’s only one question on everyone’s mind: is it any good?

Music: A Modern Spin on Classic Tunes

The remake features a mix of new and old songs, with Halle Bailey and Melissa McCarthy delivering standout performances. However, the quality of the music noticeably drops when these leading ladies aren’t involved. The new songs vary from decent to boring and uninspired.

Acting: A Cast That Shines Under the Sea

Bailey and McCarthy deliver the best performances, with Ariel’s innocence and Ursula’s villainous diva persona shining through. Supporting characters, such as Prince Eric and King Triton, become more interesting when interacting with Ariel. However, Daveed Diggs‘ portrayal of Sebastian falls short due to a less-than-convincing Caribbean accent.

Courtesy of The Walt Disney Company

Special Effects: A Mixed Bag of Visuals

While the practical sets, such as Prince Eric’s castle and the vibrant marketplace, are visually stunning, the film struggles with its CGI elements. The movement of characters’ hair underwater and the CGI sea creatures are unnatural and distracting, leaving room for improvement.

A Charming, Yet Flawed Remake

This version of The Little Mermaid is simply okay, offering much to enjoy while leaving much to be desired. It’s one of the better Disney remakes, but that’s not a particularly high bar to reach. If you resist the urge to compare it to the original, you might find yourself enjoying the unique charm and magic at the core of this film.

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