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ABC casts big names in Live broadcast of Disney’s The Little Mermaid in hybrid format

The idea of hosting a live broadcast version of Disney’s The Little Mermaid on ABC once appeared to be on life support, but it’s been revived with some big names and air date of November 5. Auli’i Cravalho (Moana) will play Ariel, Queen Latifah is Ursula, and Shaggy will portray Sebastian when the classic film is reimagined for a live studio audience.

The special hybrid live and animated production will honor the 30th anniversary of the beloved Disney film. The live production will be based on the original animated classic and its timeless music which takes viewers on a magical adventure under the sea. Live musical performances by a star-studded cast will be interwoven into the broadcast of the original feature film.

This never-before-seen hybrid format will feature beautifully intricate sets and costumes, with music from the original animated film and the Tony Award-winning Broadway stage version, originally composed by eight-time Oscar-winning composer, Alan Menken. Howard Ashman’s iconic film lyrics will also be showcased, while lyricist for the Broadway adaptation, Glenn Slater, will contribute to the star-studded spectacular.

Set design for The Little Mermaid

Following her breakout role as the voice of Moana in the Walt Disney Pictures film “Moana,” Auli’i Cravalho will make a splash as Ariel in the live studio production of “The Wonderful World of Disney presents The Little Mermaid Live!” Oscar-nominated, and Grammy, Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning R&B artist, actor and producer Queen Latifah is set to play Ursula. Renowned reggae musician, singer, DJ, actor and Grammy-winning artist Shaggy will voice the beloved crustacean, Sebastian, in this musical reinterpretation. Additional cast announcements will be made at a later date.

Shaggy, Auli’i Cravalho, and Alan Menken

This is a separate production than the ‘live-action’ movie remake of “The Little Mermaid” that Walt Disney Studios apparently has in pre-production right now.

“The Wonderful World of Disney presents The Little Mermaid Live!” is produced by Done+Dusted. Executive producers include Done+Dusted’s Hamish Hamilton, who will also direct, Katy Mullan, David Jammy, Raj Kapoor and Ian Stewart. Also executive producing is Richard Kraft, producer and director of the acclaimed Hollywood Bowl productions of “The Little Mermaid” and “Beauty and the Beast.”

“The Wonderful World of Disney presents The Little Mermaid Live!” will air Tuesday Nov. 5 (8:00 – 10:00 p.m. EST), live on ABC.