It’s been almost four years since we learned that Halle Bailey would be playing Ariel in the live-action remake of the beloved The Little Mermaid, and now, the movie is finally here. After having its world premiere on Monday, Disney hosted the press conference for the film on Tuesday 5/9, moderated by Entertainment Tonight’s Michelle Turner, with the cast and crew participating in it, including Triton himself, Javier Bardem.
King Triton, The Helicopter Parent
Bardem was briefly teased in the trailer about the translation of the animated character, the “helicopter parent” as Turner put it during the press conference, always looking for her child to be no more than five feet away. During the conference, the moderator asked the actor whether that father-daughter relationship was also extended off-screen, with Bardem developing paternal feelings towards the young actress playing Ariel. Bardem replied:
Oh, yes, right in the moment that I met her I just felt for her so the rest will be just have fun with it, and enjoy the process. It fairly was easy for us just to connect and do, and pretend together, and I was always mesmerized by the quality of her as a performer let alone the singing. That I knew.
But but as an actress, how willing and courageous she is! And in going to the places that she had to go to. And that was amazing. I know when I saw the film a big moment for me was when you were singing part of your world, and there’s that shot of her single on your face, and you’re holding that note.
In other The Little Mermaid news… New clips!
We are just a couple of weeks away from the release of the film, and Disney has finally opened the floodgates of the marketing. After debuting the first teaser during D23 Expo in September, they waited six months to show more from it, until they finally premiered the full trailer during the Oscars.
However, much of The Little Mermaid lives and dies on the musical numbers, and the studio has finally started to pull the curtain on them. They showed the whole sequence of Melissa McCarthy’s Ursula singing “Poor Unfortunate Souls”, which played very well with attendees, and now they’ve also shown minute-long clips from two other musical numbers in the movie. First, Disney’s YouTube channel dropped a clip from Halle Bailey singing “Part of Your World”, perhaps Ariel’s signature song from the film, and as we expected, she is amazing in it:
But the truth is that this clip really only shows her vocal range. The trailers have mostly been cutting around her, showing plenty of stuff from the movie, but not allowing us to really appreciate her turn as Ariel. We have the entire movie for that, of course, but as we try to get excited about the film, her performance as the lead character should be a huge selling point.
Well, Entertainment Tonight might help us with that, as they revealed another minute-long clip from an iconic song from the animated film. It’s “Under the Sea”, and while Bailey doesn’t really sing much in it, we get to see her act opposite a CG character, Sebastian the crab, allowing us to get a sense of what she can do on screen:
Director Rob Marshall is at the helm for the remake; he’s kind of Disney’s go-to guy at this point, after directing 2011’s Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and later Mary Poppins Returns. But the weight of The Little Mermaid now lies on his shoulders. His cast includes Bailey as Ariel, Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric, Daveed Diggs as Sebastian, Awkwafina as Scuttle, Jacob Tremblay as Flounder, Noma Dumezweni as Queen Selina, Art Malik as Sir Grimsby, Javier Bardem as Triton, and Melissa McCarthy as Ursula.
The Little Mermaid release exclusively in theaters on May 26, 2023.
About The Little Mermaid
Release date: May 26, 2023 (USA)
Director: Rob Marshall
Producers: Marc Platt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, John DeLuca, Rob Marshall
Executive Producer: Jeffrey Silver
Adapted from: The Little Mermaid
Music by: Alan Menken
Production companies: Walt Disney Pictures; DeLuca Marshall; Marc Platt Productions
Distributed by: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Cast: Halle Bailey, Jonah Hauer-King, Daveed Diggs, Awkwafina, Jacob Tremblay, Noma Dumezweni, Art Malik, with Javier Bardem and Melissa McCarthy
“The Little Mermaid” is the beloved story of Ariel, a beautiful and spirited young mermaid with a thirst for adventure. The youngest of King Triton’s daughters and the most defiant, Ariel longs to find out more about the world beyond the sea and, while visiting the surface, falls for the dashing Prince Eric. While mermaids are forbidden to interact with humans, Ariel must follow her heart. She makes a deal with the evil sea witch, Ursula, which gives her a chance to experience life on land but ultimately places her life – and her father’s crown – in jeopardy.
What did you think of Javier Bardem’s quote? Did you enjoy these last two clips from the film? Are you looking forward to it? Let us know your thoughts on The Little Mermaid on our social media, and stay tuned for more on the film’s press conference coverage!