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The New ‘Little Mermaid’ Has Intriguing Effect on Audiences

the little mermaid disney+
Credits: Disney and Canva

The new Little Mermaid film made plenty of headlines when it premiered in theaters earlier this year, but now that it’s come to Disney+, the movie (which stars Halle Bailey as Ariel and Melissa McCarthy as Ursula) has been all the rage again.

In a post online, Disney confirmed that the Little Mermaid remake broke a record and brought in “16 million views in its first five days streaming”.

halle bailey at the little mermaid world premiere

Halle Bailey at the ‘Little Mermaid’ premiere. Halle Bailey stars in the Rob Marshall film as Princess Ariel; she plays her role opposite Melissa McCarthy, Jonah Hauer-King, Awkwafina, Daveed Diggs, and Javier Bardem. This movie is a remake of the animated 1989 film, which starred Jodi Benson as Ariel. Credit: AP

A “Tremendous” Effect

However, Disney also revealed an intriguing observation: “the release of the live action The Little Mermaid has also given a boost to Disney’s existing library resulting in tremendous engagement for The Little Mermaid animated films on Disney+.”

There are several Little Mermaid films to watch, ranging from the 1989 animated film to its 2000 sequel The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea to its 2008 prequel The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning. 

Revisiting the Past

The classic Little Mermaid TV show also has a cult following, and a Disney Junior show about Ariel has recently come to fruition as well!

animated ariel glares at halle bailey ariel

Halle Bailey stars in the Rob Marshall film ‘The Little Mermaid’ as Princess Ariel. She plays her roleopposite Melissa McCarthy, Jonah Hauer-King, Awkwafina, Daveed Diggs, and Javier Bardem. This movie is a remake of the animated 1989 film, which starred Jodi Benson as Ariel. Credits: Disney

The fact that Disney fans are reportedly feeling nostalgic after watching the new live-action Little Mermaid (or feeling inspired, alternatively, if they’ve never seen the original Little Mermaid films at all before) does make sense, but it also poses an interesting question about Disney’s controversial live-action remakes.

Many Disney Fanatics have been questioning Disney’s reasons for its live-action remakes of its classic animated movies, since Disney fans clearly want to see more original content instead of watching older stories being rehashed — but what if Disney has found a different reason for its remakes?

What’s the Real Reason?

Since new and old Disney+ subscribers have just watched The Little Mermaid and decided that they want more “Under the Sea” plotlines, and have satisfied that desire by rewatching or exploring additional Disney+ Little Mermaid content, it stands to reason that Disney’s older animated movies can experience a resurgence if their respective live-action remakes are made.

Disney's Tim Rice calls remakes a mistake

The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin Live-Action remakes. Credit: Disney

After all, even Disney’s haters had to rewatch the original Beauty and the Beast from 1991 in order to properly roast the 2017 remake! 

Do you think that this increase in Disney fans’ interest in older animated movies could be a factor in Disney’s consistent decision to announce live-action remakes, even when Disney Fanatics are demanding that the company stop creating them?

Did you watch the new Little Mermaid yet, and did you watch it in theaters or on Disney+ if you’ve already seen it?

About Sharon

Sharon is a writer and animal lover from New England. Sharon's two main focuses in her work are Disney's correlations with pop culture and the significance of Disney princesses (which was the basis for her college thesis). When she's not writing about Disney, Sharon spends her time singing, dancing, and cavorting with woodland creatures!

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