Take a Look At the Characters of “The Little Mermaid” in the Just-Released Trailer!

Jean S.
halle bailey and melissa mccarthy oscars
Getty | Myung J. Chun

Disney has finally released the trailer for its upcoming live-action remake of the 1989 classic The Little Mermaid.

Meet the Cast

Halle Bailey
Flickr | Mulderville

The trailer, which can now be watched on YouTube, was first unveiled at the Oscars 2023 by Halle Bailey and Melissa McCarthy, who are starring as Ariel and Ursula, respectively.

Halle Bailey as Ariel

little mermaid trailer
youtube | Walt Disney Studios

22-year-old Halle Bailey is dazzling the screens as Ariel. Everyone's favorite mermaid seems to have undergone a design change, with her bright red wavy hair now in light brown dreadlocks.

Her brassiere and tail look different as well – her top is now made of iridescent scales instead of purple seashells, and her solid green tail now has hints of purple and pink.

Backlash Over the Race-Swap

ariel little mermaid

If you may recall, there was a bit of backlash over Halle Bailey's casting as the iconic redheaded, green-tailed mermaid. The criticism is the same as the one Disney received after casting Yara Shahidi as Tinkerbell in the upcoming Peter Pan & Wendy live-action remake.

Many fans, especially those who grew up on the original The Little Mermaid, didn't appreciate how different Halle looked from the Ariel everyone knew and loved.

Halle's Voice Is Perfect For Ariel

ariel in the little mermaid trailer
youtube | Walt Disney Studios

But while we will admit that Halle doesn't exactly look like the original Ariel, one thing's for sure: she sounds just as amazing.

The trailer shows just how powerful the gorgeous young actress's vocal cords are, and we can't wait to see her bring Ariel–and her beautiful voice–to life!

Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric

prince eric in the little mermaid trailer
youtube | Walt Disney Studios

27-year-old Jonah Hauer-King is cast as the leading man, Ariel's beloved Prince Eric. We gotta hand it to the casting team – the British actor does look quite similar to the original depiction of Prince Eric.

His Biggest Film Yet

prince eric in the little mermaid

Jonah has been acting for almost a decade now, although he mostly stars in TV series. He was in A Dog's Way Home (2019) and Postcards from London (2018), but other than that, The Litte Mermaid seems to be his biggest billing yet. We're excited to see him on the big screen!

Javier Bardem as King Triton

king triton in the little mermaid trailer
youtube | Walt Disney Studios

Javier Bardem is a 54-year-old Spanish actor who's best known for his performance in the 2007 film, No Country for Old Men. In fact, Javier won an Academy Award for being the Best Supporting Actor for that film.

An Overprotective Father

ariel and king triton hugging

Javier is starring as Ariel's uber-protective but loving father, King Triton. The last scene between Ariel and King Triton in the original film has always been our favorite (who's chopping onions here?!) so we're looking forward to seeing what Disney has in store for the ruler of Atlantica in the live-action version.

Melissa McCarthy as Ursula

ursula in little mermaid trailer
youtube | Walt Disney Studios

Melissa McCarthy is an amazing actress, particularly in romcoms and comedy films, but we're withholding our judgment here.

The Baddest Sea Witch in the Ocean

ursula  in the little mermaid

The 52-year-old actress is playing the part of Ursula, the sea witch who tricked Ariel into giving away her voice in exchange for human legs. It's a pretty big role to fill, so hopefully, she does it justice!

Jacob Tremblay as Flounder

little mermaid trailer
youtube | Walt Disney Studios

Although he only had one line in the entire trailer, 16-year-old Jacob Tremblay sounds like he'll make a solid Flounder.

That said, what exactly is happening here? That's Flounder on the right, and we feel like the CGI and art team could've maybe come up with something better, given Disney's multimillion-dollar budget.

Daveed Diggs as Sebastian

little mermaid trailer
youtube | Walt Disney Studios

Again, what in the abomination is this?! Regardless, we hope that the talented 41-year-old Daveed Diggs – who's perhaps best known for his role in 2020's Hamilton – will be able to save this well-loved character.

Awkwafina as Scuttle

scuttle in the little mermaid trailer
youtube | Walt Disney Studios

Lastly, Awkwafina is voicing Scuttle, the scatterbrained seagull that Ariel became friends with in the film.

No Longer a Seagull

scuttle the seagull
Giphy | Disney

Weirdly enough, he doesn't seem to be a seagull anymore in this new version.

"I’ll be there, babes."

Fans were quick to share their opinions online, especially on Twitter.

One fan tweeted, "I’LL BE THERE BABES"

"What did they do to Sebastian and Flounder?"

Another tweet pointed out, "WHAT DID THEY DO TO SEBASTIAN AND FLOUNDER THEY LOOK SO BAD!! (The rest of the movie looks pretty good)"

"her voice is so pretty, but what have they done to Sebastian????" says another commenter.

"Hard pass."

Of course, it's impossible to please everyone, even with stellar casting. Somebody tweeted out, "Hard pass, another woke movie? How much money you guys have to lose until you get it???"

Another said, "This is a shoddy knockoff that only exists to virtue signal how woke you are. Thanks for ruining a classic Disney."

"The CGI looks atrocious."

Others made fun of the arguably bad CGI scenes in the trailer.

"The CGI looks atrocious. Avatar the way of water was amazing and the fact the little mermaid is about a MERMAID and the CGI underwater looks like shit is just sad"

Another tweeted a GIF of Homelander from the Prime series, The Boys. "James Cameron seeing the underwater sequences during The Little Mermaid trailer…."

Coming to Theaters on May 26

Nevertheless, we're just as excited as you are to see (and listen to) this remake! Coming to theaters near you on May 26, 2023!