The Little Mermaid live-action film: Release date, cast, trailers, and more

Eleni Thomas
The Little Mermaid header

The Little Mermaid is getting the Disney live-action treatment in 2023, so here is everything you need to know about the upcoming adaption of the beloved animation before it releases in theatres. 

The original Little Mermaid first came out in 1989, became a massive hit, and is now one of the most beloved animated films of all time.

Disney has been re-imagining many of their most famous animated films and transferring them into the live-action world. From Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, to Aladdin, The Little Mermaid is the next classic to be given the live-action treatment.

So without further ado, here is everything we know about the upcoming Disney live-action The Little Mermaid film, from its cast, plot, and much more.


The Little Mermaid release date: When is the film coming out?

The Little Mermaid is set to splash into theatres on May 26, 2023.

The release of this live-action adaptation is coming over 30 years since the animated version was created back in 1989. 

The Little Mermaid cast: Who is in the movie?

One thing is for sure, The Little Mermaid has a fantastic cast led by the talented Halle Bailey as Ariel. Next to Bailey, the biggest and most exciting actor featured in the cast that has fans anticipating her performance is Melissa McCarthy, who is taking on the role of the villainous Ursula. 

As well as these two, the cast boasts an impressive line-up of experienced actors as well as some younger faces. And with multiple sea creatures featured in the film, some well-known actors are also lending their voices to the movie. The full list of actors can be seen here:

  • Halle Bailey as Ariel
  • Jonah Hauer-King as Eric
  • Daveed Diggs as Sebastian
  • Awkwafina as Scuttle
  • Jacob Tremblay as Flounder
  • Noma Dumezweni as Queen Selina
  • Javier Bardem as King Triton

In terms of major faces behind the scenes, Rob Marshall is directing, and Lin-Manuel Miranda is covering the music.

The Little Mermaid plot: Will the live-action be the same as the animation?

The official synopsis for the movie reads: “The youngest of King Triton’s daughters, Ariel is a beautiful and spirited young mermaid with a thirst for adventure. Longing to find out more about the world beyond the sea, Ariel visits the surface and falls for the dashing Prince Eric. Following her heart, she makes a deal with the evil sea witch, Ursula, to experience life on land.”

The Little Mermaid
Halle Bailey as Ariel in The Little Mermaid

From what we’ve seen and heard so far, The Little Mermaid will maintain the heart and soul of the animated film. There will be singing, a transformation scene, and a love story. However, in the same way that the live-action Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin updated their stories for a more modern audience, it is likely that The Little Mermaid will also do that in some way, shape, or form.

The Little Mermaid trailer: Does the film have a trailer?

A brand new trailer for the movie was recently released, giving audiences their best look yet at the film, from its stunning visuals, costume design, and of course, star Halle Bailey’s captivating voice.

The new trailer for The Little Mermaid can be viewed here:

From the trailer, the film appears to be following a very similar narrative to the original animation. Ariel saves Prince Eric after his ship crashes, she then enlists the help of Ursula, played by Melissa McCarthy, to become a human and walk the earth.

Fans have also been given a glimpse at the “Kiss the Girl” scene, as a clip was released at the MTV Awards. The scene features most of the main characters, including the – controversially – photo realistic Flounder and Sebastian.

The clip also shows how some of the lyrics have been changed for the live-action film. As stated by Marshall in a press release: “We asked Lin-Manuel to make some slight adjustments to the original lyrics for ‘Kiss the Girl,’ because it’s important to remember that the culture and sensitivities have changed over the last 34 years, and it’s vital that we are respectful to those changed.”

This article will be updated as we learn more.

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