‘The Little Mermaid’ Breaks New Disney Record

in Disney, Movies

Halle Bailey as human Ariel petting a dog in The Little Mermaid

Credit: Walt Disney Studios

Despite its mixed reception and initial controversy, Disney’s The Little Mermaid (2023) live-action remake has broken through the waves of cynicism and enchanted audiences worldwide, resulting in a broken record for the Walt Disney Company.

Melissa McCarthy as Ursula
Credit: Disney

Directed by Rob Marshall with music and lyrics written by Alan Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda, The Little Mermaid remake retells the story of the 1989 animated classic with a cast of mostly live performers. The cast includes Halle Bailey as the Disney princess Ariel, Melissa McCarthy as the sea witch Ursula, Javier Bardem as King Triton, Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric, Awkwafina as Scuttle, and Daveed Diggs as Sebastian.

While the film has landed with a mixed reception critically, audiences have had resoundingly positive reactions. Not only did this mean The Little Mermaid did exceptionally well at the box office, but it also received the highest Rotten Tomatoes audience score ever given to a Disney live-action remake.

Audiences Love ‘The Little Mermaid’

Halle Bailey as Ariel in live-action The Little Mermaid
Credit: Disney

Related: Some of the Best Twitter Reactions to ‘The Little Mermaid’

The Little Mermaid is already a beloved film by Disney fans everywhere, having been won over by its classic songs and an incredible performance by Halle Bailey. In fact, it’s done so well that it now has the highest Rotten Tomatoes audience score of any Disney live-action remake, sitting at 95%.

While this is in sharp contrast to its critic score, which is currently at 68%, it just goes to show that critics aren’t always aligned with what audiences want. Just look at The Super Mario Bros. Movie (2023), this year’s biggest film.

Halle Bailey as Ariel talking to Scuttle (Awkwafina) in live-action 'The Little Mermaid'
Credit: Disney

Related: ‘Little Mermaid’ Not Just “Another Disney Woke-A-Thon,” Claims Conservative Critic

That being said, this record-breaking performance does come with some caveats, namely that Cruella (2021) sits higher at 97%, but it technically doesn’t count since it is a prequel and not a pure remake.

Using this standard also means that The Little Mermaid is the seventh highest-rated live-action remake critically, with The Jungle Book (2016) sitting at number one with a 94% critics rating.

What’s your favorite Disney live-action remake? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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