Disney drops live-action ‘The Little Mermaid’ trailer

  • The upcoming live-action Disney film debuted its first full-length trailer during the Oscars on Sunday
  • The film stars Halle Bailey in the titular role, Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric and Melissa McCarthy as Ursula
Tribune News Service |

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Based on the 1989 animated film of the same name, Disney is remaking the beloved tale with an all-star cast and team. Photo: Twitter/@LittleMermaid

The full trailer for The Little Mermaid has finally come up for air, premiering during the 95th Academy Awards where the film’s stars Halle Bailey and Melissa McCarthy presented during the Sunday ceremony.

Following a tease in September at its D23 Expo, Disney unveiled its most detailed look yet at the R&B singer and Spy star as live-action versions of its iconic princess Ariel and the villainous sea witch Ursula, respectively. The new film, due in theatres May 26, is a remake of Disney’s animated classic and, based on the new trailer, recreates (and hopefully updates) the plot of the 1989 film.

It opens with the harrowing storm that throws the swashbuckling Prince Eric (Jonah Hauer-King) overboard, putting into motion Ariel’s infatuation with the land-dwelling prince, much to the chagrin of her father King Triton (Javier Bardem). This, while Bailey’s version of “Part of Your World” crescendos.

“You cannot live in that world unless you become a human yourself,” Ursula tells the lovelorn mermaid.

“Is that even possible?” Ariel responds.

“It’s what I live for,” Ursula promises, as the two strike a deal swapping the mermaid’s voice for human legs.

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The trailer also recreates Atlantica, the mer-people’s colourful underwater world, Ariel’s iconic hair flip and the romantic-but-problematic “Kiss the Girl” boat scene.

Also among the star-studded Mermaid cast are Daveed Diggs as Sebastian, Jacob Tremblay as Flounder and Awkwafina as Scuttle.

The new movie musical is directed by Rob Marshall and features four new original songs written by Alan Menken, who won two Oscars for the music of the original film, and Hamilton scribe Lin-Manuel Miranda (Moana, Encanto and Mary Poppins Returns).

Melissa McCarthy (left) and Halle Bailey introduced the first, full-length trailer for Disney’s live-action adaption of the animated classic during Sunday’s Oscars. Photo: TNS

Appearing on the Oscars red carpet before Sunday’s ceremony, Bailey dropped hints about the trailer reveal by saying she was “here for a reason” during an interview with Laverne Cox on E!. She also told the host about the Disney princess-inspired gown she donned for the occasion: an edgy, sea foam Dolce & Gabbana confection that immediately had people thinking “Under the Sea.”

“I was really excited to wear this beautiful, poofy dress to go into the fairy-tale world and give them princess for one day. So I’m loving it,” the 22-year-old said.

The Chloe x Halle singer – making up half of the duo with her sister Chloe Bailey – has treated the racist backlash to her casting with grace. On the red carpet, she also praised the creatives involved in the project.

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“Alan Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda are a wonderful duo but I was really excited to sing the original songs that I loved so much,” she said. “And the new ones I think people will just embrace and really love – and I hope they do but I cannot wait for people to see a little sneak peek of something tonight.”

While presenting at the ceremony Sunday, Bailey and McCarthy said that making the film was “a complete joy” and “a dream come true.”

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