Disney is ramping up to begin shooting a big-screen live-action adaptation of ‘The Little Mermaid’, but can we ever get enough of Ariel and her escapades? Next month, ABC is delivering ‘The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live!’, a hybrid of the classic 1989 animated film with live musical performances from Auli’i Cravalho (‘Moana’) as Ariel, Queen Latifah as Ursula, Shaggy as Sebastian, Graham Phillips as Prince Eric and John Stamos as Chef Louis.
The network has now released a brief teaser video for the special event, which you can watch below:
The music for the original film was penned by Alan Menken, with lyrics by the late Howard Ashman. Menken won the Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Score, and both won for Best Song for ‘Under the Sea’. (‘Kiss the Girl’ was also nominated for both awards.) ‘Under the Sea’ also won a Grammy for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television, and the full soundtrack won Best Recording for Children.
Jodi Benson provided both the singing and speaking voice for Ariel in the original movie, with Pat Carroll as Ursula, Samuel E. Wright as Sebastian, and René Auberjonois as Chef Louis. Eric didn’t sing in the original, but the character does sing in the Broadway musical adaptation in new songs with lyrics by Glenn Slater, and some of the songs from that will be included in this special, so that explains why an Eric was cast.
Choreography is by Nick and RJ Durrell, who worked on P!nk’s recent ‘Beautiful Trauma Tour’, which was the highest-grossing tour ever by a female artist.
Meanwhile, the casting process continues for the film version, with Rob Marshall (‘Mary Poppins Returns’) attached to direct, and Halle Bailey starring as Ariel. Melissa McCarthy may or may not be playing Ursula in that version, with the voices of Awkwafina and Jacob Tremblay as Scuttle and Flounder, respectively.
‘The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live!’ airs on Tuesday, November 5 on ABC.