Little Mermaid Live’ sets up fans to be part of a world of hurt
Disney is messing with us poor unfortunate souls.
When ABC announced “The Little Mermaid Live!” TV musical project at its Upfront presentation on Monday, the internet rejoiced — perhaps prematurely.
“ABC is doing the live version of Little Mermaid musical. I’m excited!!!,” said Twitter user Kerritweetz. “This makes me extremely happy omg can you believe these two amazing geniuses are now working on a live action THE LITTLE MERMAID together,” tweeted space_alien221b.
But, unfortunately for Mr. Alien and Ms. Tweetz, ABC’s actual statement was much murkier.
“Fans of The Little Mermaid and Alan Menken and Howard Ashman’s Oscar-winning songs will enjoy this never-before-seen live action/animation hybrid television experience featuring a soon-to-be announced roster of some of their favorite celebrity artists, whose performances will weave seamlessly throughout the original animated film,” read the fishy press release.
Nowhere did the network name a director or a choreographer with Broadway bona fides. It didn’t say Ariana Grande is gonna strap on Ariel’s tail and serenade a spork. There’s no promise of a giant, Cirque du Soleil-esque pool.
In truth, what ABC described sounds nothing like Fox and NBC’s live, Broadway-style presentations, such as “The Sound of Music,” “Grease” and “The Wiz.”
Disney says in the release that the event — which airs October 3 — will mostly be the original 1989 cartoon.
The House of Mouse has blended 2-D animation with flesh-and-blood humans before. “Mary Poppins” and “Bedknobs and Broomsticks include trippy scenes where drawings awkwardly pal around with Julie Andrews or Angela Lansbury. Warner Brothers did it with “Space Jam” and Michael Jordan.
Maybe Disney will green-screen Bruno Mars into “Under The Sea,” in the style of a strange “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” sing-along. Or they could go for something even kitschier, like Celine Dion duetting with a hologram of Sebastian the crab during “Kiss The Girl.”
All we know right now is that “The Little Mermaid Live” won’t be a singing, dancing, musical spectacular.
But will this surreal stunt turn out to be a chicken of the sea?