Disney is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, as is Warner Bros. (Discovery). Both studios had featurettes during the ceremony marking their milestone years.
Really, they were more advertorials, Disney straight up debuted the full trailer for The Little Mermaid, and Warners went with a sizzle reel of mostly recent hits and snippets of upcoming films—the Flash weaseled his way into the Oscars again!—with a handful of their most famous historical films (but nothing from pre-1950).
There was a better way to do this that wasn’t janky as hell, but it seems like Disney just wanted to put their flashy summer trailer in the show itself, which is against the rules, and so had to let Warners do the same thing, and we got these busted commercials mid-show.
Anyway, let’s talk about this trailer. Halle Bailey (in Dolce & Gabanna, which would be prettier if D&G wasn’t permanently mired in controversy) and Melissa McCarthy (in Christian Siriano) were on hand to introduce the trailer into the show. Yep, it looks like The Little Mermaid. People keep complaining about how dark this movie looks, and yes, SOME of the underwater shots are dark. But others are not.
I don’t think we can condemn the whole movie just yet, because it seems pretty clear they’re doing a thing with the contrast underwater. Also, the underwater backgrounds in The Little Mermaid ARE dark! With contrasting, brighter principal elements, and that is the look of this trailer. Ariel’s cave is a dark background, but there is no issue seeing her or Triton in that scene. Everyone just needs to chill out, let’s see what it looks like on the big screen.
We get our first look at Javier Bardem as the autocrat King Triton in this trailer, as well as a better look at McCarthy as Ursula. Eh. I maintain there were more interesting options out there.
My favorite part of Ursula, so far, is the bioluminescence on her tentacles. We also get to hear a little bit of Jacob Tremblay as Flounder, Awkwafina as Scuttle, and Daveed Diggs doing a Jamaican accent as Sebastian (yikes???).
Not unlike the update of The Lion King, this pretty much looks like a shot-for-shot remake of The Little Mermaid, which is a little bit like “why?” and “so?” but I love mermaids enough to go with it, for now. But I swear to Poseidon, if they ruin “Part of Their World” like they did “Be Our Guest” in the unholy Beauty and the Beast remake I WILL riot. I don’t care how dark you make an underwater merperson kingdom, don’t f-ck up Ariel’s best song!