The Little Mermaid was brought up from under the sea to the stage —
and Disney audiences were torn over the production.
On Tuesday evening, ABC honored the 30th anniversary of the iconic Disney animated film with a live special that was performed in front of an audience on the Disney lot as the original movie was shown on a giant projection.
The two-hour live musical event took “viewers on a magical adventure under the sea as live musical performances by a star-studded cast” were “interwoven into the broadcast of the original feature film,” ABC shared ahead of the show.
Starring as Ariel was 18-year-old actress Auli’i Cravalho, who donned long red tresses and eyebrows to become the Disney princess. (Jodi Benson, the original voice of Ariel, also made a special appearance to introduce the production.)
The villainous sea witch Ursula, meanwhile, was portrayed by Queen Latifah, who suited up in velvet tentacles, white hair and gold shell necklace for the role. Shaggy played Jamaican crab Sebastian, John Stamos portrayed Chef Louis, and Prince Eric was played by actor Graham Phillips, best known for his roles in Riverdale and The Good Wife. (Phillips also dated Ariana Grande.)
So what did viewers think? As The Little Mermaid Live! production aired, fans of the fan-favorite Disney film shared their mixed reviews on social media.
Some loved the production.
“The little mermaid live is beautifully stitching together live performances with clips from the original movie. I love the transitions, and the small things they’re adding,” tweeted one user.
the little mermaid live is beautifully stitching together live performances with clips from the original movie. I love the transitions, and the small things they’re adding.— some sarcastic teacher shit™? (@teachercurses) November 6, 2019
Man the Little Mermaid is my favorite, and this live rendition is so good. Gettin me right in the feels of my childhood #LittleMermaidLive— ????????Sam I Am???????? (@Vesuvia30) November 6, 2019
OKAY BUT THE LITTLE MERMAID LIVE IS GIVING ME FEELS— Christmas Soon! (@ot7_bts20) November 6, 2019
As one of my all time favorite Disney movies, the idea of bringing The Little Mermaid to life combining a live cast with the original movie is awesome, loving it so far. #TheLittleMermaidLive— #CowboysNation ? (@TheHavanaNation) November 6, 2019
Watching The Little Mermaid live and my heart is so happy. My favorite princess ?????????????????????— April Gallardo (@aprrilnicole) November 6, 2019
Im loving the live little mermaid, it’s so nostalgic ????????????— Rod (@rod882) November 6, 2019
They hit the nail on the head with the cast of the little mermaid Awesome is too small a word!!!— Gary E Davis (@Gary_E_Davis) November 6, 2019
The little mermaid live has me feeling like a kid all over again! ????— Bri SkinnyMinnie (@BriLilBooty) November 6, 2019
Okay so it's official— AmberDawn Landrum (@AmberDawnLand) November 6, 2019
Queen Latifah is an actual goddess — watching The Little: Mermaid Live on ABC
Shaggy was the best part of this whole production! #LittleMermaidLive— Janaya Williams (@janaya) November 6, 2019
But others weren’t as impressed.
“I’m not hate watching. I love The Little Mermaid, but my heart is hurting for this live production,” wrote another Twitter user.
I'm not hate watching. I love The Little Mermaid, but my heart is hurting for this live production.— Brian Leung (@WriteLeungWrite) November 6, 2019
Umm I need something to happen on this #TheLittleMermaidLive because right now I’m now impressed. I am too much of a Disney fan for y’all to be playing with the little mermaid like this. ????— Just??Aaron???? (@KINGGMOCHA) November 6, 2019
Im watching the little mermaid live and not to be that person BUT wow that was bad and its only the first song ????— ????Sadie???? (@Sadie99001936) November 6, 2019
The little mermaid live ....— Abi???? (@pibbers_) November 6, 2019
I’m not mad, just disappointed
so i’m watching the little mermaid live and it’s...not good— lyss (@zingbothot) November 6, 2019
This is a huge let down for someone that’s favorite Disney movie is the little mermaid. #TheLittleMermaidLive— idgafawyhtsydt (@zombiesgorawrzz) November 6, 2019
not loving the live version of the little mermaid........I need them to act more animated idk— Randa (@Randa_Leigh21) November 6, 2019
Production is anticipated to begin in early 2020.