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The Little Mermaid: When is it released? Casting and streaming details and more


The movie adaptation of Disney’s The Little Mermaid will be released in a few days. Danish author Hans Christian Andersen first wrote the fairy tale in 1837, but the 1989 motion picture is by far the most popular and admired adaptation of the work. So, it’s no surprise that Disney wants to dive under the sea again for this eagerly awaited remake. Here’s everything we know about The Little Mermaid so far.

Release Date

The Little Mermaid, directed by Rob Marshall, will hit theaters May 26.

Back in September of last year, the first trailer for the upcoming movie featured mostly atmospheric footage of the underwater atmosphere, followed by actress Halle Bailey’s Ariel singing a snippet of “Part of Your World.”

During the Academy Awards in March, the second trailer was released, showcasing more of the film’s plot and introducing its other characters. Interestingly, this trailer was unveiled during the awards ceremony and not during a commercial break where ABC – which is owned by Disney – was airing the Oscars, resulting in a clever collaboration between the company.

Cast The Little Mermaid

The iconic mermaid is portrayed in the upcoming film by Halle Bailey, the singer and actress who is best known as one half of Chloe x Halle along with her sister Chloe Bailey. In July 2019, the casting announcement was made, only to spark racial outrage. Prince Eric is portrayed by British actor Jona Hauer King, best known for his work on A Dog’s Way Home. Voice-stealing witch Ariel is played by Melissa McCarthy, while King Triton, Ariel’s father, is played by Javier Bardem.

Ariel’s animal companions are also voiced by famous performers. Rom and Luca actors Jacob Tremblay voice Flounder, while comedian and Farewell star Awkwafina voices Ariel’s avian companion Scuttle. Instead of being a seagull like in the 1989 animated movie, the Scuttle is a bird diving into the ocean in this live-action version. Sebastian, King Triton’s right-hand crab, is voiced by Daveed Diggs in Hamilton.

Art Malek portrays Prince Eric Grimsby’s butler, and Queen Selina is played by Numa Domezoini, a new character created specifically for the live-action film. The names of Ariel’s sisters have also changed. Perla is played by Lorena Andrea, Indira is played by Simone Ashley, Karina is played by Kagsa Muhammed, Caspia is played by Natalie Sorel, Mala is by Carolina Conchit and Tamika is played by Sienna King. Adrienne Christopher, Jessica Alexander, Russell Balogh, Emily Coates, John Dalglish, and others play unspecified roles.

the plot

If you grew up in the ’90s or later, you’re probably familiar with the plot of The Little Mermaid, which is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, although it ends happier than the original. Disney’s official synopsis for the upcoming live-action film reads:

“The Little Mermaid is the story of a beautiful, headstrong mermaid named Ariel who craves adventure and a life outside the sea. When Ariel falls in love with a human prince named Eric and defies her father, King Triton, by striking a deal with the sea witch Ursula, her life and her father’s kingdom are in danger.”

Interestingly, while the ’23’ adaptation shares the same basic plot as the ’89 animated film, it is an hour longer. The animated version runs for 83 minutes, while the live-action adaptation runs 2 hours and 15 minutes. Although the details of the added hour remain a mystery, the new characters and expanded roles of Ariel’s sisters likely contributed to the longer runtime. The Little Mermaid will eventually be made available for streaming on Disney+, but the exact date for its release on the platform is still unknown.

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.