With the return of our childhood films such as the live-action adaptations of “Cinderella”, “Beauty and the Beast”, “Christopher Robin” and “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms”, Disney has been making a comeback with modern versions of movie classics. That being said, Netflix has been creating plenty of original shows and movies that turn out to be great; and they often choose good films to add to their repertoire. Not this time.
Although “The Little Mermaid” was released in August, it came out on Netflix on Dec. 1, which seems a bit odd considering that I can’t recall any advertisements for this film. It came as a surprise to see a live-action Disney classic just randomly appear on Netflix. After you watch it, you will realize why; it’s not what you think.
Here is Netflix’s short description of “The Little Mermaid”: “In this take on the classic tale, a captive circus mermaid transforms the lives of a skeptical journalist and his wide-eyed young sister.”
First, Netflix made a mistake. The part of the sentence that says “a skeptical journalist and his wide-eyed young sister” is wrong; that isn’t his sister, Netflix, that’s his niece. Second, notice that this film is a “take on the classic tale.” So, you won’t actually be watching “The Little Mermaid” you grew up with, you will be watching a “take” on it.
Opening with a weird, animated storytelling scene, a mermaid wishes for a pair of legs, makes a deal with a wizard and proceeds to give the wizard her soul. The film then follows a journalist and his niece, Elle, as they travel to Mississippi to find “mermaid water” at a circus that apparently can heal you. The film goes on and they meet Elizabeth, the silly mermaid that made the silly deal to give away her silly soul and they all fight to get it back. Don’t worry, I know everyone is dying to see this movie, so I won’t spoil anything.
To make things clear, despite the often cringey acting, there isn’t as much of a problem with the movie; the issue is with the title. Don’t take the name of a beloved Disney classic, “The Little Mermaid”, and make a film that is not “The Little Mermaid”. They should’ve named it “A Film Where There so Happens to be a Mermaid in it.”
All in all, the movie is alright. Word to the wise: don’t go into it expecting to be transported back to your childhood; you will be disappointed.
If you are a true fan, wait for Disney’s remake.