'The Little Mermaid' Live-Action Trailer Debuts During Oscars

Disney was given valuable airtime during the 95th Academy Awards to show off the first full-length trailer for the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. Stars Halle Bailey and Melissa McCarthy introduced the trailer, which looked noticeably darker than the animated film it is based on. The new movie was directed by Rob Marshall, who previously helmed Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Into The Woods, and Mary Poppins Returns for Disney.

After a very dark scene showing Prince Eric's boat being destroyed in a storm, Eric (Jonah Hauer-King) wakes up on a beach to see Ariel (Bailey) had saved him. She is then reprimanded by her father, King Triton (Javier Bardem) for being obsessed with humans. Then, she strikes a bargain with the evil Ursula (McCarthy) to gain legs in exchange for her voice. In other words, the screenplay sticks pretty close to the story in the 1989 film, which was loosely inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's story.

The trailer also introduces Daveed Diggs as Sebastian and Awkwafina as Scuttle, who look like a realistic crab and diving bird. Unfortunately, Flouder, voiced by Jacob Tremblay, is nowhere to be found. Flounder is even missing from the poster Disney released Sunday night!

The Little Mermaid was written by David Magee and Jane Goldman, from a story by Magee, Marshall, and John DeLuca. The cast also features Art Malik, Norma Dumezweni, Lorena Andrea, Simone Ashley, and Jessica Alexander. Dumezweni plays Weeun Selina, a new character introduced in the film.

The songs from the 1989 film, written by Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman, will play prominently in the new movie. Menken also returned to score the film, with Lin-Manuel Miranda enlisted to co-write new songs. The 1989 film won Oscars for Best Original Score and Best Original Song for "Under the Sea."

"Part of Your World" was built as a showstopping number, just as it is in the animated film. "It was really surreal to film. It was really emotional for me," Bailey told StyleCaster last year. "It was three days of intense being all over the place. I was crying the whole time because I was just like, 'What the heck?' We're all connected to that song and it means a lot to each of us."

The Little Mermaid hits theaters on May 26. The 1989 classic is now available to stream on Disney+.