The Little Mermaid reviews: First reactions praise “best Disney remake”

Halle Bailey as Ariel in The Little Mermaid live-action remakeDisney

The Little Mermaid, the latest live-action Disney remake to emerge from the House of Mouse, is nearly here – and ahead of the reviews, some have hailed it as the best one yet.

Alice in Wonderland was a bad omen. The 2010 film, directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, wasn’t received particularly well by critics, but was a smash hit with audiences. It grossed more than $1 billion worldwide, making it one of the highest-grossing movies of all time.

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Over the past decade, we’ve had remakes of The Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast, Pete’s Dragon, Dumbo, Aladdin, The Lion King, Lady and the Tramp, Mulan, Pinocchio, and Peter Pan. Reviews have varied, but – with the exception of the straight-to-Disney+ releases – the box office hauls have been consistently huge.

After seven years in development, The Little Mermaid is the newest Disney classic to return to the big screen in live action – so, here are a few of the reactions so far, as well as when to expect reviews and the Rotten Tomatoes score.

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The Little Mermaid remake reactions

While the movie has been met with a fair amount of skepticism ahead of its release, early reactions to The Little Mermaid have been mostly positive, with only a few quibbles in much of the praise.

Critic Zoë Rose Bryant wrote: “#TheLittleMermaid is a live-action remake that retains the heart and soul of the story we know and love, and it’s elevated even further by a note-perfect star-making performance from Halle Bailey – she was born to be on the big screen, & she’s why this new take is worth watching.”

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Big Screen Leaks also tweeted: “TheLittleMermaid is FANTASTIC! Rob Marshall’s great direction gives us one of Disney’s best live-action remakes and a joyful theatrical experience. @HalleBailey is PERFECT as #Ariel and is the heart of the movie. It’s an ENCHANTING journey under the sea I can’t wait to rewatch!”

DiscussingFilm’s Felicia Wade said the film “makes it pretty close to being the best live action Disney movie, however it still struggles in the villain department. Halle Bailey IS Ariel and I had literal chills throughout her performance. This is a Little Mermaid retelling like you’ve never seen before.”

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Critic Gillian Blum wrote: “#TheLittleMermaid is the best Disney live-action adaptation to date. Halle Bailey IS Ariel. Major props to the sound effects team. Good changes, though one new song with too much autotune. Could watch this version’s Under the Sea all day, it was the highlight of the whole thing.”

Are there reviews of The Little Mermaid remake?

There aren’t any full reviews of The Little Mermaid remake right now.

The social media embargo lifted on May 8, and with the movie hitting cinemas on May 26, we’d expect to see reviews drop on the week of release.

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We’ll update this space once any reviews are released.

Is there a Little Mermaid remake Rotten Tomatoes score?

No, there’s no Rotten Tomatoes score for The Little Mermaid remake right now.

There won’t be any score on the website until the review embargo lifts, so check back here when the critics are let loose.

The Little Mermaid will swim into cinemas on May 26, 2023. You can find out more about the remake’s cast here.

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