The Little Mermaid is finally in theaters, and you should RUN, not walk, to your nearest movie theater to see it.
Don't be slow like Flounder, because you do NOT want to miss Halle Bailey singing "Part of Your World" in surround sound.
If you loved the 1989 version and are worried about what the reboot might change, rest assured that most of the changes only enhance the story and give you more to love while staying very faithful to the original.
My authority for saying this is a lifelong obsession with The Little Mermaid and Ariel herself, and countless hours spent in beaches and swimming pools trying to re-create the iconic hair flip.
So here are all the best changes in the live-action reboot, along with some of the more unfortunate ones:
🚨SPOILER WARNING for The Little Mermaid (both versions) beyond this point!🚨
1.BEST: Ariel kicks butt in this movie.
2.BEST: Ariel and Eric have plenty of things in common before they ever meet.
3.BEST: The movie gives a more specific backstory for Ariel's family, including Ursula's relationship to Triton.
4.BEST: Scuttle is a gannet, not a seagull.
5.BEST: Ariel and Eric have more scenes together to explore their connection.
6.BEST: The reboot really plays up Ariel's curiosity and fascination with humans over her infatuation with Eric.
This was always the case! She sang "Part of Your World" before ever laying eyes on Eric! But in the reboot, she's slightly less obsessed with Eric based on physical attraction. Cartoon Ariel was very into that statue of Eric.
7.BEST: Some of the changes in “Poor Unfortunate Souls” make Ursula even more threatening — and they even resolve a plot hole from the original movie.
8.WORST: Removing the "body language" verse, which wasn't necessary!
I always thought Ursula was trying to convince Ariel to take the deal, not that she was espousing the values young girls should live by. This is Ursula we're talking about. She was lying and being manipulative! Plus, it's the best verse in the song. Melissa McCarthy was the perfect Ursula, so it's a shame we don't get to hear her sing those lines.
9.BEST: Three of the new songs written by Alan Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
10.WORST: "The Scuttlebutt."
11.BEST: Cutting "Daughters of Triton" and "Les Poissons."
There is nothing wrong with "Daughters of Triton," but cutting it means that the first song we hear is Ariel's "Part of Your World," which is way more impactful.
As for "Les Poissons," if Disney insists on making the CGI animals in these reboots so realistic, it's probably for the best that the song about how fun it is to kill fish got the axe.
12.WORST: There was literally almost no screentime for Ariel's sisters.
13.BEST: Vanessa's spell barely works on Eric.
14.WORST: Ursula sneakily changes the terms of her deal with Ariel to make her forget about kissing Eric.
When Ursula turns Ariel into a human, she also throws a little bit of amnesia into the spell so Ariel won't remember that she only has three days to kiss Eric. The writer-director probably added this so that Ariel wouldn't have any hidden agenda during her interactions with Eric and their connection would be even more organic. And you can see the good intentions there...but it honestly just made things confusing. It's never clear what Ariel does and does not remember from her visit to Ursula.
Ultimately, this little detail doesn't change anything about Eric and Ariel's relationship anyway, so it feels kinda unnecessary.
15.BEST: Ariel and Eric's "happy ending" isn't just a wedding.
Did you love the live-action remake, do you prefer the OG, or will you join me in rewatching both for all eternity? Comment below!
*whispers* I might actually like the remake even more.
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