Fans Disappointed With ‘Little Mermaid’ Choice

in Entertainment, Movies

Littler Mermaid

Credit: Disney

The live-action The Little Mermaid comes out this weekend, and while projections and expectations are all over the place, it hasn’t stopped fans from speculating and expressing their opinions about what’s been revealed so far.

The soundtrack was released last weekend, with some fans excited for the vocals and others disappointed by songs being changed. Early reviews of the film are positive but it’s box office numbers are still uncertain. Fans are disappointed about the choices made for Flounder and Sebastian while others say it doesn’t affect anything. And now, a video on TikTok is drawing attention to the conservative approach the production took with Ursula’s makeup.

Credit: Disney

The animated version of Ursula was modeled after famous drag queen and actor, Divine, who was known for her shock of white hair, high brows, and dramatic makeup. When it was first announced that Melissa McCarthy had been cast for Ursula, fans were upset by the lack of representation and missed opportunity to cast a drag performer to fill the role. While McCarthy has done drag performances in the past and pulled inspiration from current drag performers to inspire her performance, her character still leaves something to be desired.

divine as ursula inspiration
Credit: baltimore fishbowl

The video, posted by @axelmalibu, calls out the understated makeup that McCarthy wears as Ursula in the live-action Little Mermaid. He says it’s “badly applied” and “a half-hearted attempt at bare bones drag makeup.” The creator explains that Ursula is a representation of an aging social outcast trying to maintain the standard of beauty she knows. Her exaggerated makeup is an extension of that, unable to “doll herself up the way she wants to” while maintaining a level of presentability due to her business.

Ursula smiling with her tentacles writhing about, animated Little Mermaid
Credit: Disney

He references the played-down appearances of characters in previous Disney movies, including Maleficent, Jafar, and Lady Tremaine, stating that Disney wants to be as palatable as possible and the animated look of some of their characters wouldn’t translate well enough to appeal to a broad audience. He states in his video that Ursula’s hair in the live-action film is total CGI, and one comment points out that if the hair and makeup were cleaned up with CGI, they never intended to put that much effort into it in the first place.

Ursula looks up at Ariel in the live-action Little Mermaid
Credit: Disney

It’s unfortunate that with so many colorful and vibrant characters in the animated films, Disney has chosen to downplay their defining features for the live-action films. As several comments point out, it lacks the soul and defining traits that the animation gave the films in the first place. Hopefully, once McCarthy’s Ursula is seen in the overall context of the film, it’ll make more sense. For now though, it’s just another tally against Disney’s live-action remakes.

What do you think about Ursula’s live-action look? Share your opinion in the comments below!

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