I just watched The Little Mermaid live action remake and have thoughts, even though no one else cares.

A part of me loved it because I still love the story and music, it’s still my favorite Disney animated film ever. I really do think the original is a near perfect animated film. Well, as perfect as a story about a 16-year-old getting married after a week can be. Also, I found the visuals amazing. I was constantly asking myself how they filmed that – the hair, the body movement, everything really looked underwater. It’s impressive.

But I hated the little things that made the live-action remake different – every single thing made it less good. Some of it is unavoidable. Like, the animal characters are animals. But you lose all of the expression and emotion of the animation. You just can’t get emotion out of a fish or a crab, and the good parts of the animation were all missing, their fear, joy, anger whatever. It’s a huge part that’s missing.

What’s weird though is that even King Triton felt emotionally flat to me. In the original, he’s stern, but it’s coupled with a huge amount of self-doubt and regret. Bardem just played him straight stern. It felt a lot less compelling to me. In general, there was just not a lot of emotional range in the movie, which is really odd – you’d think real humans would make it more emotional, but it just felt flatter to me.

The animals being real also hurt Under The Sea. A bunch of the lyrics are about the sea creatures playing instruments. Makes sense to show when animated. Doesn’t in live-action. So they just skipped it, while still singing the lyrics about animals playing instruments. Made no sense. Really bothered me.

Finally, the movie itself was just visually dark, even difficult to see. Maybe unavoidable, so much being under the murky water. But it lent an atmosphere of gloom, which I also didn’t like.

I actually think I like the original film too much, everything related that came after I’ve been a little bothered by. I didn’t like the 2 direct to video sequels because of how they retconned the original. I was extremely bothered by the Broadway musical. Flounder having a crush on Ariel? Just awful. And now this movie. The original is so good, just leave it alone.

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