Griffin Gazette reviews ‘The Little Mermaid’

Here’s what the Griffin Gazette thought about the new “The Little Mermaid” movie


Adalie Landa

The Griffin Gazette crew in the wild at the Harkins theater in Cerritos to see the new “The Little Mermaid” movie.

LOS ALAMITOS, CA — On Memorial Day weekend, Griffin Gazette members met up for a special get-together and saw the live-action “The Little Mermaid” movie at the Harkins theater in Cerritos. Here are some of our staff writers’ thoughts about the film.

Bella Kim

“‘The Little Mermaid’ has always been one of my favorite Disney movies – the songs, the characters, and of course, Ariel. I was really looking forward to watching the live-action version, and I think Disney did a great job with the cast, graphics, music, and sticking to the original story while making positive changes. For example, I liked how Disney changed why Ursula took Ariel’s voice. Instead of taking her voice because men like quiet girls, Ursula took it to rob Ariel of her siren powers. I think this sends a more positive message to young girls.

In my opinion, ‘The Little Mermaid’ is the best Disney remake so far. I also had a more personal connection to this movie after writing my editorial ‘A black Ariel is now part of our world’ last semester. I was really excited to see Halle Bailey shine in this role and prove all the naysayers wrong. I think she captured Ariel’s character beautifully – her curiosity, innocence, and spark of defiance. When Bailey sang “Part of Your World,” I got chills.

Melissa McCarthy, Daveed Diggs, and Awkwafina also added great comic relief with their performances. However, I wasn’t a fan of Scuttle and Sebastian’s rap duet or Eric’s new song; I thought they were unnecessary. Another part I was disappointed by was Eric’s castle. I expected to see a real-life version of the iconic wide, circular towers on the beach from the original movie. I also missed the scene at the beginning of the original with Ariel’s sisters giving a concert to King Triton, all of them singing their names that began with ‘A.’” But overall, I loved the movie and had a great time seeing it with Journalism!

Katie Arnoult

“I loved this film because ‘The Little Mermaid’ was my favorite Disney movie growing up. Seeing it again with my friends was the best, and I loved all the new takes on classic characters. I thought that the visuals were beautiful and colorful, and I loved the way the sea creatures seemed to be actually dancing during the song ‘Under the Sea.’

In this remake, I’m glad that Prince Eric was made into more of a real character – the audience was able to know his desires and internal conflicts, and he wasn’t just a side character with good looks. I noticed how, during the scene with the giant, evil Ursula, it was Ariel who steered the shipwreck into Ursula, which ultimately kills the sea witch. But in the original movie Eric does this! #girlpower! And the fact that this movie is taking on a new approach in diversity makes it all the better because then it brings joy to so many more people who now feel seen.”

Sydney Forsyte

“I thought it was an amazing movie, and I particularly enjoyed the colorful, vibrant visuals. I thought Halle Bailey was a very convincing Ariel, and I especially liked her rendition of ‘Part of Our World.’ I thought the added scenes in the marketplace and Eric’s study and the changes they made to the scene at the lagoon added to the overall narrative in order to make it more developed and concise. I think my favorite scene was when they sang ‘Under the Sea’ because it was so bright and colorful, and Daveed Diggs was absolutely fantastic, despite the unnerving appearance of his animated character.”

Jason Khan

“I didn’t have very lofty expectations going into the movie based on the poor quality of previous Disney remakes, such as “Aladdin” in 2019. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find this movie retold its story decently well. I was especially enthralled by the deep-sea imagery throughout the film, as it was almost on-par with “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”’s level of underwater visual spectacle.

The character work with Ariel’s animal companions, Sebastian, Scuttle, and Flounder, played by Daveed Diggs, Awkwafina, and Jacob Tremblay, respectively, was passable. The characters weren’t too offputting to see, other than the design of Flounder. As far as the bigger characters, I greatly enjoyed Halle Bailey’s performance as Ariel. She pulled off the wistfulness and joy of the character really well, but she really shined through her singing ability. I was thoroughly moved by Bailey’s vocal power in the scene where she sings ‘Part of Your World (Reprise).’

Moreover, Melissa McCarthy’s cheekily comedic demeanor lent itself well to Ursula, though she would have really flourished if given more screen time. I found Javier Bardem a rather intriguing casting choice for the role of King Triton, but I ended up not really caring for his performance. I didn’t think too much of Jonah Hauer-King’s performance as Prince Eric either, though he sang decently well. Overall, this movie was a visual treat, and I would recommend it to those who want a treat for the senses.”

Isabella Gasper

“Surprisingly for me, before I watched this movie, I had lower expectations for what the movie and the graphics were going to look like because of how everyone was talking about it beforehand. However, when I went to watch the movie on Monday, May 26, I was pleasantly surprised! The graphics were well done, and the movie’s bright and playful colors contributed to the overall feel of the movie.

Halle Bailey was an amazing Ariel, and I wouldn’t be able to picture anyone else in this role. Jonah Hauer-King, who played Prince Eric, came in clutch with the newest love song, ‘Wild Uncharted Waters.’ He put his whole soul into that performance, and it came out on top. The movie as a whole was extremely exciting, and it had the movie theater cracking up at a number of scenes. The slight changes also added so much to the movie and its excellence, especially the slight show of feminism hidden in the movie now! It was an amazing movie, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I ended up watching it again very soon!” 

Kate Schumacher

“I honestly did not know what to expect because of how different some of the characters looked. They were different species as in the original of some of the voice actors were surprising. I definitely missed the “Daughters of Triton” from the original which was not a part of the new version. I definitely felt a mixture of different emotions throughout the movie; at some points, I was trying not to laugh and others, I was like, ‘Why is this so much darker than the original?’. I especially enjoyed Halle Bailey’s vocals as well as the recognizable voice acting of David Diggs playing Sebastian. Each song was perfect and, in a way, magical. While I liked some more than others, every song was remarkable. I overall loved the movie and can definitely see myself watching it again!”