Star-studded cast honors original animation, but breathes new life into live-action ‘The Little Mermaid’

PHILADELPHIA — The highly anticipated live-action version of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” is now in theaters.

It took director Rob Marshall and his A-list cast of stars about five years to bring the 1989 animated classic to life.

In the new movie, you will hear the beloved classics, and some new music, courtesy of a magical collaboration between the film’s original composer Alan Menken and powerhouse Lin-Manuel Miranda.

The film expands the original storyline while honoring the timeless tale.

“It’s been a beautiful journey of us taking on this reimagination of the film,” said Halle Bailey, who plays Ariel. “I couldn’t be more grateful.”

Ariel and her cast of treasured friends under the sea is star-studded. Melissa McCarthy is Ursula.

“It was daunting and terrifying and delicious,” she laughed.

Javier Bardem is Ariel’s father, King Triton.

“Ariel is really fighting for her own voice in a way that, maybe in the original, was different,” Bardem said. “Now, she really is commanding her destiny.”

Akwafina is Scuttle, and she gets a brand new song, one of three new tunes.

Another belongs to Prince Eric, whose character undergoes a deep dive.

“Getting to know him, we understood them so much better and understood why they fell for each other,” said Jonah Hauer-King, who plays Prince Eric. “Their relationship really felt like they were coming out of a friendship and coming together as kindred spirits.”

Jacob Tremblay, also the voice of Disney’s “Luca,” voiced Flounder three years ago when he was 13.

“My voice changed so much,” Tremblay said. “I almost couldn’t recognize myself, but it was really, really cool.”

Hamilton’s Daveed Diggs is the beloved crab, Sebastian.

“I think the diversity of the cast, of this film, will give a lot of kids a chance to see themselves in this story,” Diggs said.

“The Little Mermaid” is from Walt Disney Studios, owned by the same parent company as this station.

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