Review The Little Mermaid Live: A Mostly Solid Tribute to a Disney Classic

Little Mermaid Live ABC

Disney premiered a new type of live musical November 5th, combining the animated film with live songs. It wasn't the animated movie and it wasn't the Broadway musical version either, it was something in between.

So let's start off with what worked.

Queen Latifa as Ursula was a standout and every time she came on stage she stole the scene. Her costume and her singing were top-notch and Disney should be considering her for the role in the full live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.

John Stamos as the chef was also a standout, turning a somewhat forgotten number from the film into a hilarious showstopper. It's a shame he only came out once. Also, it would have been better if Shaggy had come out to be the crustation in this number as opposed to some extras.

Amber Riley was also amazing, but really underused in her one number early on in the night, leaving us wanting more.

Auli'i Cravalho was also great as Ariel, but she didn't have any standout moments which is a shame considering how amazing her voice is.

The costumes and sets for this show were also amazing, and it was great seeing how they were able to turn the space they had into all of the different scenes from the movie. They perfectly recreated numerous classic moments in live-action, and that made the night feel special.

Finally, the duet between Prince Eric and Ariel was great, from the staging to the vocals. It felt the most like a stage production of all the musical numbers of the night. It was grounded and perfectly choreographed.

Now moving on to what definitely did not work.

Shaggy as Sebastian was fine, but his costume was awful. Every other costume went all out and yet he was minimalist. It would have been fine if every costume was minimalist, but with him being the only one it stuck out and just did not work.

The transitions between the live-action and animated sequences were also sloppy, with the only one that really worked being the transition from Vanessa to Queen Latifa as Ursula in the mirror. Overall they just did not work at all.

The musical was put together well, and despite a few less than stellar moments, it flowed together pretty well, serving as a great tribute for a classic Disney movie that kickstarted the Disney Reinassance.

Honestly for their first attempt at a live musical Disney did a pretty good job. It was not a perfect production but a good first attempt at a live musical. Hopefully, they will do this again in the future as it was a lot of fun, and they take some pointers from this production to help guide them as they begin to develop a full live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. Take more inspiration from the stage production and make some interesting casting choices! Although if they do another live musical, let's do more of the show live next time ok? Also if you have Jodi Benson, let her do more than just introduce the show!

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