‘The Little Mermaid’ Scores Are Strong, as Long as Audiences Don’t Review Bomb It

in Disney, Movies

'The Little Mermaid'; Ariel closeup on the front and Ariel and Eric in Disney's 'The Little Mermaid' (2023) on the left

Credit: Inside the Magic

Disney’s latest live-action adaptation, The Little Mermaid (2023), has swum over to Rotten Tomatoes, and the reviews are fairly positive. If the trend continues, the film might actually be the best remake since Beauty and the Beast (2017). While that isn’t saying much, Disney’s back-to-back disappointments have set the bar very low. The only thing stopping this film from proving all the haters wrong at this point will be the haters.

Halle Bailey playing Ariel in 'The Little Mermaid' (2023)
Credit: Disney

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Review bombing has been around in the gaming community for years but has recently made its way to film and television. It’s when a group of upset fans band together with one goal: to distort the perception of how a movie is being received. In other words, regardless of the quality of the actual film, the review bombs are meant to give the project a low score out of pure hatred. It’s rather sinister, but for those who partake in the matter, it’s the only way they feel their voices can be heard. It gives power to the powerless.

Yara Shahidi as Tinkerbell in Disney's live-action PETER PAN & WENDY, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Disney. © 2023 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Credit: Disney

A perfect example would be Peter Pan & Wendy (2023), which was recently hit with a wave of review bombs last month. Although the critics found the film to be subpar, the critics’ reviews dropped the film down to a dismal 11% on Rotten Tomatoes. This childish trend isn’t just affecting Disney movies and Rotten Tomato scores. This also happened last year with The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power receiving much backlash for casting black actors to play elves. It got so bad that Amazon had to suspend the reviews for the series.

Sophia Nomvete as Dwarven Princess Disa
Credit: Amazon

We know that Disney remakes are a new target for review bombs, and casting black actors to play white characters will also draw in more attacks. With these two factors alone, The Little Mermaid (2023) has a big bullseye painted all over it.

The Little Mermaid at 70% on rotten

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Currently, The Little Mermaid (2023) sits at 70% on Rotten Tomatoes, which makes it the best live-action remake Disney has released in six years. As of now, the reviews are swaying towards more positive than negative. It’s important to note that the score and reviews are still early, with plenty of criticism left as the film won’t be released for another few days to the public. However, it’s nice to see this adaptation is at least off to a good start.

Do you think The Little Mermaid (2023) will earn more positive reviews than negative? Let us know in the comments. 

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