'The Little Mermaid' Live Event Set on ABC With Auli’I Cravalho as Ariel, Queen Latifah and Shaggy

Not only is The Little Mermaid headed to a big screen near you, ABC is also officially broadcasting a live special of the Disney film, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Most of the core cast has been set, with Moana star Auli'I Cravalho as Ariel, Queen Latifah as Ursula and Shaggy as Sebastian. The Wonderful World of Disney Presents The Little Mermaid Live!, will feature a mix of live action, animation and puppetry and will air Nov. 5 to mark the feature's 30th anniversary.

ABC initially announced in May 2017 that it would stage a live production of the underwater film, slating it for Oct. 3, 2017. In August of that year, the network announced plans have been put on hold.

Billed as a tribute to the original animated classic, The Wonderful World of Disney Presents The Little Mermaid Live! will feature live musical performances by its star-studded cast interwoven into the broadcast of the original film. The hybrid format will allow for intricate sets and costumes created for the special with music from the original animated film.


Since joining ABC last December as President of Entertainment, Karey Burke expressed strong support for live specials, a passion that was likely reaffirmed in May after the success of Jimmy Kimmel's live staging of two classic Norman Lear sitcoms, All in the Family and The Jeffersons. ABC also announced Monday that it is planning two more Live in Front of a Studio Audience specials for the 2019-2020 season — one slated for November and the other for the spring — with additional details to be announced at a later date.

The news of The Wonderful World of Disney Presents The Little Mermaid Live! comes as Disney is getting up for production on a live-action feature film adaptation of the original movie. Halle Bailey has been set as Ariel in the movie, Awkwafina as Ariel’s seagull friend Scuttle and Jacob Tremblay as Ariel’s friendly fish pal Flounder, while Melissa McCarthy has been rumored for the role of Ursula and Harry Styles for Prince Eric.