Disney has unveiled the first look at Sebastian the Crab in their live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, and to be honest, it probably should have stayed, as the crab would say, undah the sea:
Sebastian The Crab First Look From The Little Mermaid
That image (shared by a Twitter user) showcases the revamped look for Ariel’s favorite high-strung crustacean and I’m thoroughly taken aback by it. Sebastian’s eyes look overly sad to me and it’s very hard to imagine the announced voice of Daveed Diggs coming out of him. It reminds me of the uncanny effects in 2017’s Beauty & The Beast remake, which, while well-acted by all the celebrities hired, never quite felt real to me given the character’s bizarre appearances.
Now, of course this is only a book cover, not a live-action shot from the film, but going by this, my hopes aren’t high for the talking animal characters looking fully convincing in their new live-action environment.
Another thing of concern is that The Little Mermaid comes out in the US in May of this year, yet we’ve only received a teaser trailer that didn’t showcase a ton of effects shots outside of the ocean itself and the fish swimming within it.
Ordinarily, Disney would have started the barrage of marketing for their big summer event film by now. For comparison, the 2019 Aladdin remake released its official teaser trailer in October of 2018, followed by a full trailer in March of 2019 to meet a May 2019 release date. The Little Mermaid received a teaser trailer in September of 2022, but has had no further footage shown since then. Many were expecting a new trailer (or at least a teaser to a new trailer as is the style now) during the 2023 Super Bowl, but were left perplexed when the Bowl came and went without Ariel making an appearance.
It’s also entirely possible that either Disney’s recent CEO shakeup may have led to marketing for The Little Mermaid being delayed or, even more plausibly, that the visual effects might not be done yet. Disney has faced heavy backlash from visual effects companies, along with the industry at large in recent years for pushing impossible deadlines and numerous late-game changes on the people working to make their movies magical.
A majority of the Disney live-action remakes have been criticized harshly for unfinished-looking effects, so maybe Disney is letting this particular pie cook in the digital oven a bit longer before revealing too much footage to the general public. Of course, the new design of Sebastian shown here doesn’t look all that pleasing to me now, but perhaps he’ll be better in motion when the final product comes out. We’ll have to wait until May 26, 2023 to dive below and see Sebastian for ourselves.
The Little Mermaid originally debuted in theaters in 1989 and jump-started the Disney Renaissance from 1989-1999. Films released during this era were considered benchmarks for animated storytelling and reaffirmed the all-ages appeal of the Disney brand after an uneven run the in 1970s and ‘80s. Sebastian was originally voiced by Samuel E. Wright, who passed away May 24, 2021 at the age of 74. We at The Illuminerdi will keep swimming to find new and exciting trinkets for you regarding The Little Mermaid and all your other entertainment news needs.
The Little Mermaid opens exclusively in theaters nationwide May 26, 2023. What do you think of the new design for Sebastian the Crab? Are you excited to see the new film or are you skeptical of its sea legs? What’s your favorite song from The Little Mermaid? What’s your favorite Sebastian moment? Let us know in the comments below and on our social media.