The release of the highly anticipated live action remake of The Little Mermaid on Disney Plus is finally almost here. This reimagining of the beloved 1989 animated classic stars Halle Bailey as Ariel and features an expanded world and revised take on the timeless story.
With the film skipping theaters for a Disney+ streaming exclusive launch, fans are eager to dive under the sea with this new Little Mermaid. Disney is betting big on the remake to draw viewers and continue the successful formula of recreating animated hits.
But when and how can you watch The Little Mermaid Disney Plus edition? Let’s deeply dive into the streaming release strategy and viewing options for the biggest Little Mermaid release in over 30 years. Keep reading for details on how to be among the first to stream Little Mermaid on Disney Plus.
Little Mermaid Disney Plus Release Date and Timing
Disney has officially set the Little Mermaid Disney Plus streaming release for September 3, 2022. The film will become available for all subscribers worldwide on Saturday, September 3 at 12 AM PT/3 AM ET.
This Disney+ premiere comes before any theatrical or digital release. Disney aims to drive new sign-ups and engagement from fans seeking the remake by sending Little Mermaid directly to its streaming service.
The early September timing also continues a pattern of high-profile Disney+ originals landing on the service in the late summer into fall. For example, films like Cruella and Pinocchio also landed in August and September.
So circle September 3 on the calendar to be among the first to watch Little Mermaid on Disney Plus right when it drops.
Watching Little Mermaid on the Disney+ Service
Once the Little Mermaid Disney Plus release date arrives, viewing the remake will be simple for existing and new Disney+ subscribers. Here are the steps to stream Little Mermaid on Disney Plus:
- Sign up for a Disney+ account if you don’t already have one. New users can start a 7-day free trial to watch Little Mermaid.
- On September 3 at 12AM PT, open the Disney+ app or website and log into your account.
- Search for “The Little Mermaid” or scroll to the New Releases or Originals sections.
- Click on The Little Mermaid tile or thumbnail. This should have Halle Bailey on the art.
- Select Play and the Little Mermaid Disney Plus version will start streaming!
- Sit back and enjoy watching the new live action Little Mermaid remake!
Disney+ offers monthly and annual subscription options to access Little Mermaid and thousands of other movies/shows:
- $7.99 per month or $79.99 per year
- Bundle with Hulu and ESPN+ for $13.99 per month.
Make sure to have an active subscription by September 3 to prepare for the highly anticipated Little Mermaid Disney Plus release! The remake will be available to all regions worldwide at launch.
Little Mermaid Viewership Records on Disney+
Disney hopes the Little Mermaid Disney Plus release will drive significant viewership records on the streaming service. Early indicators and predictions suggest the remake could top the platform.
Within the first day, Little Mermaid is projected to draw over 5 million US households based on tracking metrics. This could beat hits like Cruella (2.2 million) and Mulan (1.6 million) for the biggest premiere day on Disney+.
Globally, first week viewership for Little Mermaid on Disney Plus could surpass 12-15 million households. This would rival the biggest original movie launches on the service yet.
Driving these potential Little Mermaid streaming records is enormous pent-up demand from:
- Fans of the original are eager for a remake.
- Viewers who made hits of other live action remakes like The Lion King
- Subscribers drawn in by robust Little Mermaid marketing.
Little Mermaid will affirm Disney’s digital-first strategy for major remake titles if it hits projections. Kids and families signing up to stream the new Little Mermaid could provide a nice boost to Disney+ subscriber growth as well.
We’ll have to wait for the official premiere numbers, but all signs point to Little Mermaid being one of the biggest – if not the biggest – Disney+ original movies yet upon its release.
Casting and Controversy Around Halle Bailey as Ariel
One of the most significant talking points around the Little Mermaid Disney Plus remake is the casting of Halle Bailey as Ariel. She becomes the first woman of color to portray the iconic mermaid princess in a live action adaptation.
When first announced, some fans expressed resistance and even racism towards a black Ariel. However, many have praised the casting as a positive representation milestone.
In response to the scrutiny, Halle has remained graceful. She understands the importance of playing such a beloved character and being “a vessel to inspire young black and brown girls like me,” as she told Variety.
Halle brings her incredible singing talent featured on soundtracks like The Lion King remake. And she shares great chemistry with co-star Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric.
While change can be hard, Bailey’s performance seems poised to make her a worthy successor to Ariel. And it continues Disney’s increased efforts to reflect diversity in remakes after films like Aladdin.
Regardless of ethnicity, the Little Mermaid Disney Plus remake will include role execution and music. And Halle Bailey appears ready to do justice to one of Disney’s most iconic fantasy heroines when it premieres.
Changes and Additions Compared to the Original
While the core story remains the same, Disney has made several notable changes to the live action Little Mermaid retelling:
- New original songs co-written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, such as “Part of Your World” reprise
- Expanded backstories for Princess Ariel and Prince Eric, adding depth
- Updated dialogue and more character development
- Increased diversity in casting beyond just Ariel
- Enhanced CGI environments and visuals of Atlantis
- More elaborate costumes, sets, and production design
- A few new scenes and sequences to fill out the runtime
However, the spirit of the original is intact, including all the classic songs from the 1989 animated version. Fans can expect:
- “Part of Your World”
- “Under the Sea”
- “Poor Unfortunate Souls”
- “Kiss the Girl”
- Beloved characters like Sebastian, Flounder and Scuttle
While purists may be wary of changes, the additions aim to complement, not overwrite, the qualities that have made The Little Mermaid so timeless. The Disney magic should still be strong.
Critical Reception and Reviews of the Remake
Early reactions leading up to the release have been mostly positive for the Little Mermaid Disney Plus remake. Here is a sampling of what professional critics are saying:
The Hollywood Reporter calls it “a faithful and enchanting rendition…a visual feast that retains the heart and soul of the original but adds modern flourish.” They praise Halle Bailey’s vocal talents and earnest performance as Ariel.
IGN says, “The magic is still there…young viewers will fall under this Little Mermaid’s spell just like we did in ’89.” They credit the new original songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda as catchy additions.
Variety notes some pacing issues but says it “honors what generations of fans adore about the original while finding some clever ways to update it.” They highlight the fun cast chemistry between Bailey and Melissa McCarthy as Ursula.
While comparisons to the instant classic animated film are impossible to avoid, most reviews agree this remake captures enough of that same heart and wonder. The visual splendor, music, and Halle Bailey’s breakout performance anchor it.
Of course, the ultimate verdict will come from fans when The Little Mermaid is released on Disney+. But overall, the critical consensus suggests a fitting adaptation.
Future Live Action Disney Remakes After Little Mermaid
Given the popularity of recent remakes like The Lion King and buzz for Little Mermaid, Disney is far from finished mining its animated library for future live action retellings.
Some top contenders for movies that could follow Little Mermaid on Disney Plus include:
- Hercules – Could lend itself well to modern live action with colorful Greek mythology.
- Lilo and Stitch – CGI advances could bring Stitch to vivid life while retaining the heart.
- The Princess and the Frog – A chance to spotlight Disney’s first black princess freshly.
- The Black Cauldron – A darker fantasy that could be reimagined with today’s effects.
- The Emperor’s New Groove – Kuzco’s transformation and hijinks could pop up in live action.
- Atlantis – The sci-fi adventure could become an underwater visual spectacle.
And of course, animations like Frozen, Moana, and Zootopia are inevitably destined for the remake treatment sooner rather than later. The possibilities are endless!
While the reaction is mixed with Disney’s remake initiative, the formula connects with new generations and pulls in major viewership. We’ll have to wait and see which animated classic gets tapped next after The Little Mermaid lands on Disney+.
The Adventure Begins Again for The Little Mermaid
Almost 34 years after captivating audiences, The Little Mermaid is ready to enchant a new generation when it splashes onto Disney+ on September 3.
Halle Bailey carries on Ariel’s legacy with her mesmerizing presence and vocals. The stunning underwater visuals and enchanting music will transport fans, young and old alike.
While some Disney purists resist remakes, the additions and updates promise to tell this ageless story freshly. The Little Mermaid on Disney+ has the makings of a new classic that can swim alongside the animated gem.
The streaming-first release ensures The Little Mermaid has the platform for massive exposure as Disney’s next big live action remake event. Early projections point to record viewership for a Disney+ original movie release potentially.
So get ready to venture under the sea again when The Little Mermaid releases on Disney+ on September 3. Have your subscription active and queues prepared for a new take on one of Disney’s most beloved fantasies. The magic is ready to be rediscovered once again.
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