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The Little Mermaid: Everything you need to know about Disney’s Live-Action

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The Little Mermaid is coming as a Disney Live-Action. Here you will find everything about the cast, the soundtrack, trailers and the release date.

The Disney animated classic The Little Mermaid will be remade: The Little Mermaid Live-Action (in the original: The Little Mermaid). We will inform you here about everything you need to know about the latest Disney live action Live-Action. In this article you will find:

The Little Mermaid Release Date: Disney’s Live-Action?

The Little Mermaid Live-Action opens in cinemas on May 25, 2025. After filming repeatedly stalled amid the Corona pandemic, shooting officially wrapped as early as July 2021. After that, it still needed time for post-production (for visual effects, etc.).

Pictures and trailer for Disney’s The Little Mermaid Live-Action

Lead actress Halle Bailey was the first to present an The Little Mermaid insight, but it left the most important question unanswered.

It took over a year for the first short teaser trailer for the The Little Mermaid Live-Action to properly introduce the new singing leading lady.

Another short teaser trailer was released in February 2023 for Disney’s Live-Action of The Little Mermaid:

The Little Mermaid Plot: What is the Live-Action about?

Initially, The Little Mermaid is a fairy tale by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, which he published in 1837 as Den lille havfrue. For Disney’s 1989 animated film The Little Mermaid, the original tale was revised and given a happy ending.

The Little Mermaid - Ariel
© Disney

In Disney’s version, Ariel the mermaid lives with her family under the sea in a kingdom ruled by her father, King Triton (making the title character one of the official 11 Disney princesses). She loves to sing and her confidants include the fish Fabius, the crab Sebastian and the seagull Scuttle. Unlike her family, she longs for the surface of the water and rescues a shipwrecked prince one day.

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To see the king’s son again, Ariel sells her beautiful voice to the sea witch Ursula and receives legs instead of her fish tail. But Ursula forces her way into the prince’s life with the mermaid’s voice.

The Little Mermaid Cast: Disney Live-Action

There was a lot of speculation in advance about who would play the main character in The Little Mermaid. Frequently, Spider-Man star Zendaya was assumed to be cast, not least because she showed interest and even presented herself with red hair on Instagram at one point.

In the end, however, a previously unknown face was cast as the iconic main character: actress Halle Bailey from Grown-ish, whom we already introduced to you in more detail.

The Little Mermaid Live-Action - Ariel
© Disney
  • Ariel (Halle Bailey) is the young mermaid who is curious about life above the water’s surface.
  • Prince Eric (Jonah Hauer-King) is the king’s son with whom the swimmer falls in love when she rescues him during a storm complete with shipwreck.
  • Ursula (Melissa McCarthy) uses magic to give Ariel human legs, but in return silences her and uses the mermaid’s voice to approach the prince herself.
  • King Triton (Javier Bardem) is Ariel’s father and rules his kingdom under the surface of the water with his trident.
  • Sebastian (Daveed Diggs), the king’s voiced faithful crab, tries to keep law and order under the sea as the steward.
  • Fabius (voiced by Jacob Tremblay) is called Flounder in the original. The yellow and blue fish is Ariel’s best friend.
  • Scuttle (voiced by Awkwafina) is a seagull (female this time) who introduces Ariel to strange human things like forks above the surface of the sea.
  • Grimsby (Jude Akuwudike), as Eric’s loyal steward, strives to get the prince finally married.
  • Queen Selina (Noma Dumezweni), a new character.
  • Karina (Kajsa Mohammar), a new character
  • Perla (Lorena Andrea), a new character
  • Bridgerton star Simone Ashley is also said to be joining the cast in a secret Ariel role.
  • The roles of Jessica Alexander, Russell Balogh, Emily Coates and Adrian Christopher are unknown.
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As things stand, the cast of Disney’s The Little Mermaid Live-Action now looks like this:

In the meantime, the Sea Witch to Sea Witch rumor mill looked like Lady Gaga was a possible Ursula. Harry Styles’ casting as Prince Eric also lingered as a persistent rumor for a long time, until the singer and performer publicly declared that he had “respectfully declined” the role. Instead, a short time later, two new Eric actors entered the conversation as competitors for the role, but only one of them prevailed.

The Crew Behind Disney’s The Little Mermaid

Disney's Mermaid Experience in Pirates of the Caribbean 4
© Disney

Disney’s live-action of The Little Mermaid is in the hands of director Rob Marshall, who first came under discussion for it in December 2017. He previously had plenty of musical experience with films like Chicago, Nine, Into the Woods and Mary Poppins Returns. He had even previously directed Mermaids in Pirates of the Caribbean – Stranger Tides.

The screenplay for The Little Mermaid Live-Action was in the hands of Jane Goldman (The Star Wanderer, Kingsman), David Magee (Life of Pi, When Dreams Learn to Fly), and Rob Marshall himself and John DeLuca. The costumes were designed by four-time Oscar winner Colleen Atwood (Fantastic Beasts, Alice in Wonderland).

The Music: Disney’s The Little Mermaid will be a musical again

The Little Mermaid - Ariel
© Disney

Alan Menken, who previously wrote the songs for the original Disney film and co-released the film as a Broadway musical in 2008, returns as composer for the Live-Action of The Little Mermaid. Lin-Manuel Miranda will support him musically, who has made a name for himself in Hollywood with successes such as the musical Hamilton and the songs for Vaiana.

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Unlike Disney Live-Action such as the altered Mulan, it was clear from the start that The Little Mermaid’s Live-Action was to be a musical. Lead actress Halle Bailey had already made waves as a singer before being cast, as she and her sister Chloe Bailey form the R&B duo called Chloe x Halle. In addition, Daveed Diggs is said to rap (as he did in Hamilton) and a new song is said to await The Little Mermaid on land.

Controversies Surrounding the Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid - UrsulaThe Little Mermaid Live-Action - Ursula

Once apart from the fact that some perceive a renewed Disney Live-Action of an animated classic as a progressive ride into a creative dead end, especially the casting of the dark-skinned Halle Bailey caused a lot of talk, so that the actress had to defend herself against negative comments, which unfortunately came across partly racist.

Only the finished film can show whether the critics, who don’t want to see a single element of the Disney film changed, can be convinced. By the way, in ranking your favorite Disney animated films, the original animated film was well in the front midfield in terms of popularity.

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