THE LITTLE MERMAID Reviews: Here's What Critics Are Saying About Disney's Latest Live-Action Remake

The reviews for The Little Mermaid have finally splashed down, but what are critics saying about Disney's latest live-action remake? Here's a roundup of some of the most noteworthy verdicts thus far...

Disney's live-action remakes have always had something of a tough time with critics. When they adhere too closely to the animated classics they're based on, it's a boring retread. However, if they attempt to reinvent the wheel, then those hoping to see the cartoon brought to life are left underwhelmed. 

Finding the right balance is something the House of Mouse has struggled with, but there are plenty of critical and commercial hits (such as Aladdin and The Jungle Book). 

The Little Mermaid has generated a lot of headlines, both for the decision to cast Halle Bailey as Ariel and for various changes which have been made to the songs and story. Now, though, the reviews are in, so what are critics saying about this latest live-action remake? 


Between Bailey’s wide-eyed urchin and McCarthy’s over-the-top octo-hussy, the movie comes alive — not in some zombified form, like re-animated Disney debacles 'Dumbo' and 'Pinocchio,' but in a way that gives young audiences something magical to identify with, and fresh mermaid dreams to aspire to. - Variety

The live animation techniques are weakest on land, as when Ariel and Eric spend the evening on the lagoon. The inert quality of these scenes makes Ursula’s subsequent appearance to wreak havoc feel more welcome than it probably should. At last, I thought, a reminder of the more vibrant world our little mermaid left behind. - The Hollywood Reporter

McCarthy, as Ursula, offers her best tribute to the character’s original inspiration, the drag queen Divine. It’s a commendable performance that will make you wonder what might have been if Disney had the guts to feature an actual drag queen in the role. But it speaks to a wider issue here: Bailey aside, this Little Mermaid is yesterday’s fish served up dry and inedible. [2/5] - The Independence

The Little Mermaid doesn’t lack for talent or audience goodwill – director Rob Marshall did wonders with Mary Poppins Returns – but the siren call of supposedly surefire box office has sunk it nonetheless. There is dry land in sight though, and it’s the same outcrop on which the House of Mouse was built: the realisation that some stories – the most magical ones, in fact – are best told with animation. [2/5] - The Guardian

The Little Mermaid retains the heart and spirit of the animated classic, while adding new elements that offer a fresh perspective on familiar events. Thanks in large part to Bailey's outstanding performance, this adaptation has the potential to captivate a new generation of Disney fans. [4/5] - Digital Spy

[In] a clamshell, this is a fun, fresh adventure, one of Disney's best live-action remakes by a nautical mile. [4/5] - Total Film

The human world, it's a mess, but with Halle Bailey, life under the sea is better than anything Disney live-action has done in nearly a decade. [A-] - Entertainment Weekly

The CGI animation is stunningly done, technically speaking, but the heart and spirit of such beloved characters like Flounder is sadly compromised. Running at a reasonably tight two hours, The Little Mermaid adds enough spin, talent and new story to make the remake a more worthy endeavour than most – but the bulk of its success is down to Bailey who is surely flipping her fins to stardom. [4/5] - Metro

As with all these Disney remakes, the main question is: is it as good as the original? This time, the answer is very nearly, so dive in an enjoy the swim. [4/5] - Radio Times

As you can see, the reviews are a little mixed, but for every negative verdict, there's a positive one to counter it. 

While we'd say these verdicts skew more positive than they do negative right now, it won't be until that all-important Rotten Tomatoes score is generated that we get a better idea of the overall consensus. Either way, we'd imagine The Little Mermaid will still be a box office his this weekend. 

SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE Star Hailee Steinfeld Cosplays As Gwen Stacy For Recent Media Appearance

SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE Star Hailee Steinfeld Cosplays As Gwen Stacy For Recent Media Appearance

TRANSFORMERS ONE Producer Explains Why Chris Hemsworth Is Replacing Peter Cullen As Optimus Prime
Recommended For You:

TRANSFORMERS ONE Producer Explains Why Chris Hemsworth Is Replacing Peter Cullen As Optimus Prime

DISCLAIMER: This post was submitted by a user who has agreed to our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines. As a user-generated content platform, and Best Little Sites LLC is protected under the DMCA... [MORE]
SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE Star Hailee Steinfeld Cosplays As Gwen Stacy For Recent Media Appearance
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse star Hailee Steinfeld has shared photos of her doing the press rounds for the sequel in a costume that was clearly inspired by Gwen Stacy's Into the Spider-Verse uniform.
TRANSFORMERS ONE Producer Explains Why Chris Hemsworth Is Replacing Peter Cullen As Optimus Prime
Thor actor Chris Hemsworth will lend his voice to Optimus Prime in the Transformers One animated series, and the movie's producer now explains what led to him replacing Peter Cullen as the iconic Autobot.
SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE Animator Shares First Look At Sequel's LEGO Scenes
Teenage animator Preston Mutanga has taken to Twitter to confirm that he did indeed create the LEGO sequences in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse...
TRANSFORMERS: RISE OF THE BEASTS' Post-Credits Scene Has Been Revealed - SPOILERS Follow!
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is a movie that often feels like the animated series come to life, and we're sure fans of that will appreciate an exciting development in the post-credits scene...
SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE Producers Share Their Thoughts On Superhero Fatigue
The "superhero fatigue" conversation pops up every time a new comic book movie his theaters, but do the producers of the highly successful Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse feel?

The Best Little Sites Network (BLS)

Action Movie and TV News -
Anime News, Trailers & More -
Superhero News, Videos, Rumors & More -
Horror News -
Video Game News, Reviews, Trailers & More -
Sci-Fi and Fantasy News, Videos, Rumors & More -
Cartoon and Animated Film News, Videos, Rumors & More -
Professional Wrestling News, Videos, Rumors & More -