Disney’s highly anticipated live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid” was screened for the first time on Monday night.
The big world premiere of the film took place in Hollywood and a press screening was hosted in Burbank.
KTLA 5’s Sam Rubin attended the screening and was immediately impressed by Halle Bailey’s performance as Ariel.
“After the opening number (‘Part of Your World’), the crowd in Burbank applauds in the theater,” Sam exclaimed. “Halle can really, really sing!”
Sam wasn’t the only person impressed.
While formal reviews aren’t out yet, people took to social media to share their reactions.
Singer Kelly Rowland was over the moon.
“The Little Mermaid is truly AN EPIC WATCH!!! The music in this movie!” she tweeted after attending the premiere. “FREAKINGGGGGGGWOWWWWW!! You laugh, you cry, you sing along!! I know I’m gonna be singing these songs For weeks to come!!!!!!”
Film critic Zoë Rose Bryant, who favored the original animated version of the film, enjoyed the reimagination as well.
“#TheLittleMermaid is a live-action remake that retains the heart and soul of the story we know and love, and it’s elevated even further by a note-perfect star-making performance from Halle Bailey – she was born to be on the big screen, & she’s why this new take is worth watching,” she tweeted.
“The Little Mermaid” is one of many live-action remakes of Disney favorites. Film critic Erik Davis said he favored this one the most.
“Disney’s #TheLittleMermaid is definitely one of the better live-action adaptions,” he tweeted. “Halle Bailey pours incredible emotion into Ariel and I got chills watching her, while Melissa McCarthy’s Ursula and Daveed Diggs’ Sebastian steal scenes all day.”
“#TheLittleMermaid is a tribute to all little girls to dream big. Halle Bailey is sheer magic and Daveed Diggs a delight as Sebastian,” tweeted critic Kathia Woods.
Woods also touched on the emotions she felt having Bailey representing a major Disney princess on the big screen.
“I’m thrilled that little Black girls have Halle as a princess. Like many moms, I remember having to drive 45 minutes to get my daughter born in 01 a Black doll for Christmas,” she explained. “Representation matters. The best part is all little girls are excited to see this.”
Another person took to Twitter to commend Bailey’s performance but didn’t seem too happy with Melissa McCarthy’s portrayal as Ursula, the villainous sea witch.
“#TheLittleMermaid makes it pretty close to being the best live-action Disney movie, however, it still struggles in the villain department,” the viewer tweeted. “Halle Bailey IS Ariel and I had literal chills throughout her performance. This is a little mermaid retelling like you’ve never seen before.”
For those on the fence, Germain Lussier offered this critique.
“It’s real simple. Are you excited for #TheLittleMermaid? You’ll like it. It’s exactly what you think it is. Are you skeptical and worried about it? That’s valid too. It looks weird and disjointed. Bailey is great, McCarthy rules, the songs work but it just feels so unnecessary,” he tweeted.
“The Little Mermaid” hits theaters on May 26.