Walt Disney's live-action remake of the 1989 animated classic 'The Little Mermaid' didn't fail to keep up with the authentic and delightful escapist fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen. The 23- year-old American singer, songwriter, and actor Halle Lynn Bailey, who had faced massive racist backlash ever since the release of the trailer, splendidly essays the naive little mermaid, silencing her detractors.
Melissa McCarthy, who plays treacherous sea witch Ursula in the film, had said she "doesn't have any patience for the racist backlash to the film". The cast and crew of the film had said fans can expect a modern take on the tale even as the message stays the same, and director Rob Marshall and producer John De Luca deliver on the promise.
Bailey's mermaid princess Ariel has a thirst for adventure and wants to know more about the world beyond the sea. She makes a deal with sea witch Ursula to impress Prince Eric, trading what she values most, her voice. Even as the classic tale takes a modern form, its shape and intent stay the same, and Bailey's phenomenal voice enhances the charm of the proceedings.
Alan Menken, who worked on the original film's soundtrack, returns to give a new rendition of the classic songs, including 'Part of Your World', 'Under the Sea', 'Kiss the Girl', 'For the First Time', and 'Poor Unfortunate Souls'. The Broadway musical style that the movie adopts adds to the allure of the film.
The movie is visually stunning with grand the rich CGI underwater world and coral life, and beautifully designed mermaid costume with iridescent scales and gossamer fins.
Jonah Hauer-King plays charming and sensitive Prince Eric, with a warm voice and demeanour. Javier Bardem as the Mighty King Triton, Awkwafina as the quirky and flighty Scuttle bird, Jacob Tremblay as the adorable little Flounder who's also Ariel's bosom buddy, and Melissa McCarthy as the dark, flamboyantly, and maliciously devious sea witch, are a treat to watch.
Despite the few changes, the live-action version stays true to the original. The movie's final message, "worlds of sea and land should live in harmony," is indeed a relevant one for all times.