When will we get a full trailer for The Little Mermaid? Yesterday, we got another teaser, once again using a clip of Halle Bailey singing “Part of Your World” (aka, the second best Disney song), but this teaser shows us Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric, arguably Disney’s best himbo prince, and just a little snippet of Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, as a treat. I’m not super into McCarthy’s casting, I think there are more interesting options for Ursula, but the cackle is good. We’ll see.
It would certainly be easier to get a feel for this movie if we could get a full trailer, but that will probably come in another month or so. The advertising cycle for films is shorter now, with the most intense effort coming about six weeks out from opening weekend. The Little Mermaid doesn’t open till the end of May, we’ve got a way to go. But I am so curious! I like what I see enough to want to see more!
This teaser, for instance, shows off Ariel’s tail to better effect, with the iridescent pink and green color scheme. I remain completely on board with the character design, especially now that we get a glimpse of Ariel’s sisters and their own uniquely colored tails. Some people have been complaining about how “dark” this movie looks but except for contrasting areas of greater and lesser light under the water, it doesn’t look that dark? The detail on the mermaid tails is clear, the shot of Ariel cavorting with bubblegum jellyfish is lovely, and Ursula’s purple-infused first look is eye-catching. You can certainly make a case director Rob Marshall doesn’t know how to best light Halle Bailey’s skin—a common problem between Black actors and white directors, filmmakers should be making more of an effort to learn to close the gap—but I’m not straining my eyes to see detail here. When people say they think The Little Mermaid is “dark”, I sort of think they mean something else entirely.
There is also a conversation to be had about photoreal CG and how it sucks the life and vitality out of animation (see also: The Lion King), but it’s less offensive in context with live-action human performers. But again, this is the kind of thing we can’t fully appreciate yet, we won’t know until we can watch the movie if photoreal Flounder and Sebastian work, or if they are abominations against nature. I am also super interested to see the full effect of Ursula’s octopus body. We don’t really get a sense of it here, beyond a little slithering. But the mermaid tails are so good, Ursula is probably going to look incredible. But the mermaids, at least, look amazing. The tails are magical, the way they move in “water” is a gorgeous effect. I have always thought Ariel is a f-cking idiot for wanting legs instead of a tail, and so far, this new Little Mermaid is doing nothing to change my mind.