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Disney Offers ‘The Little Mermaid’ First Look at D23 Expo 2022

The Little Mermaid - Halle Bailey

This weekend at D23 Expo 2022, Disney offered a first look trailer for its upcoming live-action adaptation of “The Little Mermaid,” highlighted by appearances by its star, Halle Bailey, and director Rob Marshall.

About the Film

“The Little Mermaid” is a live-action remake of Disney’s hit animated 1989 film of the same name – which itself is based on a fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen.

Halle Bailey stars as Ariel, daughter of King Triton (Javier Bardem) and a mermaid princess, who makes a bargain with the sea witch Ursala (played by Melissa McCarthy) in an attempt to become human and win the love of Prince Eric (Jonah Hauer-King).

Daveed Diggs voices Sebastian, Jacob Tremblay voices Flounder, and Awkwafina voices Scuttle.

Also cast are Jessica Alexander, Noma Dumezweni, Jude Akuwudike, Lorena Andrea, Art Malik, and Kajsa Mohammar.

“Little Mermaid” is directed by Rob Marshall (“Mary Poppins Returns“), who said about it: ” I have a special connection to this film. In 1989, I don’t know if you remember the excitement to hear a musical again. It was sort of dead — musicals were gone. Even though it was animated, we could hear people singing again and again. … When Disney asked me to do this, it felt like this incredible moment. It felt like fate.”

In addition to the original music, the director also asked Disney Legend and original “Little Mermaid” composer Alan Menken to team up with the award-winning Lin-Manuel Miranda (“Hamilton,” “Encanto”) to come up with four new songs.

The Little Mermaid - Halle Bailey

The Trailer

The teaser trailer shows the underwater world that Ariel lives in, set to the song, “Part of Your World,” before coming in on a close-up of the Princess singing.

Bailey definitely shows she has the vocal chops to carry the musical.

Talking about the scene, Bailey said, “Being a little girl swimming in the pool, imagining I was a mermaid, I never imagined that would come to life [like this]. … The three days filming ‘Part of Your World’ was the most beautiful experience of my life — feeling all the feelings she feels, her passion, discomfort, everything she’s experiencing. It was so exciting for me to play those emotions and to have Rob directing me and being such a moving force on this film was really an honor.”

Take a look:

New Disney Studios Logo

Eagle-eye viewers will notice the trailer started with a new logo for The Walt Disney Studios, inspired by the Disney100 celebration of the company.

Created by Disney Studios and Industrial Light & Magic, and featuring an all-new arrangement of “When You Wish Upon a Star” by award-winning composer Christophe Beck (“Frozen,” “WandaVision”), the new Disney castle introduction will play in front of all Disney theatrical and streaming releases starting this fall.

The Walt Disney Studios - 100 logo

The Release Date

“The Little Mermaid” is currently set to splash into theaters on May 26, 2023.

Are you excited to see the film? Let us know in the comments.