The Little Mermaid Review: 5 Ups & 5 Downs

Another middling live-action Disney remake.

The Little Mermaid Ariel

Disney's industrious effort to remake their most beloved animated films continues with The Little Mermaid - an undeniable gemstone of Disney's animated canon which now finds itself remade in "live-action" form courtesy of director Rob Marshall (Chicago).

Despite their general commercial success, Disney's spate of remakes have been all over the map quality-wise, and to that end, the new version of The Little Mermaid is itself a wildly mixed affair.

Broadly well-received by critics so far, this is a competent enough yet mostly unremarkable retelling which saddles the classic original with almost a full hour of extra material that it really doesn't need.

Some heroic central performances and the sheer power of the original songs provide plenty of nostalgic relief, but ultimately The Little Mermaid 2023 still feels like a relatively pale facsimile of the 1989 film.

While thankfully ranking far from the bottom of Disney's many remakes, it doesn't make a particularly encouraging artistic argument for the Mouse House's ongoing quest to rehash their finest works for a new generation.

And with that in mind, here's what doesn't work about The Little Mermaid...


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.