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Audiences were finally granted more than just a glimpse under the sea on Sunday with the long-awaited debut of a full-length trailer for Disney’s live-action “Little Mermaid.”
Halle Bailey and Melissa McCarthy, who play mermaid Ariel and sea witch Ursula, respectively, appeared onstage at the 2023 Oscars to unveil the trailer for the movie, due out May 26.
“It has been such an honor stepping into the iconic role of Ariel,” Bailey said. “It’s been an extraordinary experience, a dream come true for me.”
The Academy Awards aired on the Disney-owned network ABC, and teasing the release of a forthcoming Disney film during the live broadcast hit a sour note among some.
Melissa McCarthy (left) and Halle Bailey introduced the new “Little Mermaid” trailer at the 2023 Oscars ceremony.
Kevin Winter via Getty Images
Those willing to overlook the not-so-subtle attempt at cross-promotion, however, were not disappointed. The trailer features Bailey’s tender version of “Part of Your World,” along with a colorful assembly of underwater scenes that recreate many of the 1989 animated classic’s most beloved moments.
The clip also offers a first look at Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric, Ariel’s human love interest, and Javier Bardem as her stern father, King Triton.
Making the most buzzed-about appearance, however, is McCarthy as Ursula, complete with purple tentacles and wicked cackle, who strikes a deal with Ariel to allow the mermaid to experience life beyond the ocean ― at a devastating price.
“It’s what I live for,” the character proclaims in a line lifted directly from the animated version.
The live-action “Little Mermaid” is directed by Rob Marshall, an Academy Award nominee for 2002’s “Chicago” whose Disney résumé includes 2014’s “Into the Woods” and 2018’s “Mary Poppins Returns.”
In addition to the classic musical numbers “Under the Sea” and “Kiss the Girl,” composer Alan Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda, the Tony-winning creator and star of “Hamilton,” have written four new songs for the movie.
Catch the full “Little Mermaid” trailer.