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  • Writer's pictureSteve

The Little Mermaid (2023)

If I have an issue with this, it is the fact that it shits on my warm, cosy history. I would say childhood, but I was already too old (20) for it to be really called that when the animated version of this was released and I then promptly fell in love with Ariel.

I have been helplessly attracted to redheads ever since. More so if they can't talk (ducks from flying objects).

The main criticism levelled is at the casting, from what I have read, but my personal focus of indignance is the lack of a purpose of necessity, save for Disney to make a ton of cash all over again, by doing something so predictable and rebooting an IP instead of trying to be new, fresh and imaginative, doing something as good as the original was. It both follows and precedes the idea of live-actioning a back catalogue that has made older audience wince for some time already, and concerned for what the hell the next memory Disney will inevitably ruin.

Ultimately, this didn't need remaking and it really shouldn't have been. To the naysayers, just don't watch it. Bleating about the casting and bastardising the spirit of the original is nihilistic and without real purpose. I imagine there is a raft of audience members that never saw the original and would feel completely different about this new version, not clouded by jaded judgement of 'the good old days'.

Purely as a form of entertainment, I did enjoy this new version, though I have a memory of this being better. Taken as a standalone story, if there wasn't a previous incarnation of the entire thing, then this would have fared much better critically, I imagine.

As it stands, the songs aren't as satisfying, the story lurches in ways that the animated version glided and I don't think there can be any argument that Disney's voice talent, when tasked only with that, are streets above actors who are having to act, sing, hit their mark and deliver their lines all at once.

Nonetheless, this is perfectly acceptable if you have no recollection of the original in the same way that Aladdin and The Lion King were. None as great as their predecessors, but these were classics and Disney is simply no longer able, for whatever corporate reason and direction, to perform miracles. That much should be obvious to all of us already.


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