Fantasy,  Musical

7 Greatest The Little Mermaid 2023 Dislikes

The Little Mermaid

Director: Rob Marshall

Date Created: 2023-05-26 12:16

Editor's Rating:

The Little Mermaid 2023 dislikes inspired me to write a song. Here it goes:

*clears throat*

I wanna be where the Disney Executives are

So I can beg them to stop the remakes

Thank you.

*uproarious applause*

But really though, name one single live-action remake within the past 10 years that has been better than the original. 

I’ll wait…

the little mermaid 2023 dislikes 1
The Little Mermaid 2023 Dislikes
Another live remake of the classic Disney story stars Halle Bailey as Ariel, a mermaid who falls in love with a human Prince and longs to be part of his world.

Ever since the trailer for the latest version of The Little Mermaid was released in March 2023, the number of The Little Mermaid dislikes on the trailer’s video have been through the roof for a movie nobody had even seen yet. Over 3 million dislikes!

Many were upset that the actress chosen to play the main role of Ariel did not have the same physical features as the original cartoon Ariel. 

Without even giving the remake a chance, people were quick to thumbs-down the film. But I’ve seen the film, and I gotta say, the new Ariel, played by singer Halle Bailey, is actually one of the only few redeeming qualities of this lackluster remake.

Now that the movie is available for viewing, it’s time to reevaluate the reasons why we dislike The Little Mermaid 2023. Let’s judge The Little Mermaid not for the color of its skin but for the content of its cinematography.

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The Biggest The Little Mermaid 2023 Dislikes

1. The Music Is Poorly Mixed

Never once in all my movie-viewing years have I been so off put by the audio levels in the movie theater.  

And I don’t mean that the sound wasn’t loud enough, it’s the balance between the sound levels of the vocals and the instrumentals that is uneven.

In many of the musical numbers in The Little Mermaid 2023, the orchestral score far outweighs the sound of the vocals. It’s nearly impossible to hear the lyrics, arguably the most important part of a musical number for story comprehension. 

I confirmed with my sister that it wasn’t just my ears that noticed how the instrumental was absolutely drowning out the vocals. 

Apart from that, the voices underwater sounded like there was too much reverb, too much echo. I know that we’re under the sea, but does it have to sound so much like it? 

The muted vocals definitely lowered the quality of the film. 

I’m baffled how it got past post-production being so poorly balanced. 

This disruptive imbalance in sound is strikingly present during the new musical number for Prince Eric called, ‘Wild Uncharted Waters.’ The overwhelming orchestra doesn’t allow the audience to hear the Prince’s voice or understand anything he was saying. 

Even listening to the soundtrack separately on streaming, it still sounds this way, like his voice is being buried in the instruments. 

Maybe they tried to hide imperfections in Prince Eric’s voice by covering it with the instrumental track…

‘Under the Sea’, a musically vibrant and busy song also drowned out the main voice of Sebastian. If there were any fun, new lyrics to appreciate, you could barely hear them. 

Only Halle Bailey’s high, delicate yet strong voice was able to cut through the sound. Almost like the whole soundtrack was mixed to suit Halle’s higher tone as the lead while neglecting to bring lower tones to the forefront of the music. 

2. The New Music Doesn’t Fit

Still, on the same note, Lin Manuel Miranda’s musical influence is particularly strong in one of the 3 new songs, ‘The Scuttlebutt.’ 

With Awkwafina’s abrasive tone leading the song, we get the classic Miranda lyricism and lyrical flow, Daveed Diggs joining in easily, accustomed to the pace having played lead in Miranda’s hit Broadway musical Hamilton.

Despite the Caribbean instrumental infusion, the song still feels oddly out of place. It’s a very fun song but it literally feels like the estranged younger sibling of the Hamilton soundtrack.

3. They Didn’t Have An Opening Musical Number

The Little Mermaid doesn’t establish itself as a musical, mystical world in the beginning with the first musical number of the movie not starting until about 15-20 minutes into the film.

Because the world wasn’t established as a musical one from the very first moment, transitioning into and out of the musical moment felt a bit awkward and unnatural.

Apart from the music being introduced too late, the first song was also the highlight song of the film, ‘Part of Your World.’ 

This climatic moment did not have the necessary narrative and musical build-up to maximize the experience for the audience. 

A few palette cleansers and unrelated songs could have been sung beforehand so that the audience is primed, eager, and excited to hear Halle Bailey’s stunning rendition of ‘Part of Your World.’ 

4. The Colors Are Murky

I’m convinced that they are telling these live-action remakes to suck all the life and wonder out of these perfectly lovely, well-established Disney movies. 

We are in a Mermaid’s world. A magical place full of vibrant colors and whimsy. Why does everything feel so muted?

5. The CGI Takes Some Getting Used To

The under-the-sea visuals look like moving Snapchat filters. Once you see the mermaids, and King Triton out of the water it’s offputting how plain they look. There’s a sense of disillusionment there. 

6. The Characters Are Strongly Neglected

We see Ariels’ 6 supermodel sisters who have all undergone a physical change from the original characters, just like Ariel. 

Each sister looks like they came from a different mother and father entirely. 

With the effort put into casting 6 enchanting and uniquely gorgeous sisters, it’s a huge shame that we never learn even a hint more about who they are as individuals. This remake could have included them a little more in the story, giving them more of a role beyond looking like the contestants of a Miss World Pageant. 

We never get an explanation of Ursula’s estranged relationship with her brother Triton or why she’s an octopus while he’s a merman. 

It seems that physical characteristics are chosen at random when you reproduce under the sea.

We get a hint that King Triton bans Ariel from the surface world because of some incident that occurred with their mother but expounding on that, maybe giving a flashback would have significantly supported the film’s narrative some more.

7. There is No Narrative Momentum

This story is not new. Most people are already familiar with the narrative of The Little Mermaid

It’s HOW this version tells the story that brings the appeal.

Instead of imbuing the story with more life, given that it’s a live-action remake, filling in areas where the original was weak, and reimagining the original’s creative choices, The Little Mermaid 2023, presents a flat, uninventive downgrade of the original story. 

There is absolutely nothing that keeps you engaged in watching after Bailey performs ‘Part of Your World.’ After that song, you pretty much got your money’s worth and can leave the theater.

The lack of energy makes the movie feels so long. I heard someone snoring in the theater and that was one of the things that actually kept me awake because I was two long blinks away from being that guy. 

The Biggest The Little Mermaid 2023 Likes

Halle Bailey

I have been following Halle Bailey and her sister Chloe since they were 12 when they were just two sisters singing harmonious covers on Youtube. I’m fond of them because we’re the same age and they’re crazy talented vocalists.

Knowing this, I was afraid that I would be particularly harsh on her performance given that I already know her as a separate character. It may have been more difficult for me to mentally fit her into this tight Ariel-shaped mold that she doesn’t naturally fit physically. 

However, her execution of Ariel is impressive. She doesn’t press too hard into trying to be this sweet, rebellious, angel-voiced character because it already suits her aura. It’s difficult to not fall in love with her on the screen.

On top of that, her rendition of ‘Part of Your World’ is undeniably exquisite. It is hands down the highlight of the whole movie. 

When she gets on top of that rock and belts out that powerful high note, the movie poster-perfect shot, she creates one of the few hair-raising moments of the film. 

Melissa McCarthy

McCarthy plays a very animated and wickedly funny version of Ursula in this remake. She understood the assignment and fully leaned into this deranged, witchy creature. 

A slight change from her usual loud, wordy, riotous characterization, McCarthy fits her funny personality into the evil, Ursula-sized container seamlessly showing us just how expansive her acting chops can be. 

The Orchestra

Despite how unbalanced the music was when vocals were added, the orchestra on its own produced a beautiful, Disney-magic-filled soundtrack. 

The music is full and robust which may have been too heavy for some voices to compete with, but otherwise, a really well-performed soundtrack.

In Conclusion

There is much to dislike about The Little Mermaid 2023, but Halle Bailey is not one of those things. Along with Bailey, Melissa McCarthy also redeems the film with a wicked take on Ursula. Otherwise, the rest of the cast is not so remarkable, playing into classic character traits that audiences have become accustomed to seeing them in.

The bold and full orchestral soundtrack carries the film well but has a habit of drowning out the vocals and lyrics of the songs, many of the new songs ill-fitting and underwhelming.

Rather than brighten and build on the original classic, The Little Mermaid 2023, exploits its name for a duller, less inventive version of the story. 

The Little Mermaid 2023 is trying to fix something that isn’t broken, smudging it in the process.      

With the murky lighting, muted sound, and tired plotline, you may just want to opt out of being part of that world. 

Rating: 3/10

What did you think of The Little Mermaid 2023? Let me know in the comments below!

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Peace, love, and lots of popcorn,



  • IMO Flicks

    When I'm not over-analyzing movies, I'm eating chocolate, belting my favorite songs, and binge-watching reality dating shows. Feel free to share your opinions with me and follow me through my social links!

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