Dive under the sea with “The Little Mermaid”

Published 1:05 pm Tuesday, July 11, 2023

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Splashing across the screen this week is the live adaptation of “The Little Mermaid”, the magical maritime tale that captured audiences’ hearts in 1989. This recent adaptation brings Ariel’s world, and her beautiful voice, from the animated screen into breathing sound and color. In translating this story to live action, great care has been taken to humanize and develop some of the animated version’s “flatter” characters. Moreover, the film has successfully translated the beloved songs of the original to this newer interpretation, with the new voice talent performing wonderfully in their given roles. “The Little Mermaid” is a winning, but more importantly, loving reimagining of a cherished story, and one that will hopefully provide the film’s joy and music to a new generation. 

Bringing “The Little Mermaid” to life was dependent upon the casting choice for its protagonist, Ariel. Her character, and her appeal, has always been inseparable from and indebted to her spirit. Ariel’s youthfully adventurous and curious vivacity is the propelling rhythm to her music, her very being electric with potential and passion. Her entire journey is inspired by her boundless desire to experience and appreciate life, in its full scope. This optimism and joyful tenacity is what enamored her to so many young audience members through the years. In a fortunate casting decision, Disney was able to capture this spirit of Ariel, through the energetic and exuberant performance of Halle Bailey. 

In an admittedly rare turn, Disney was also able to make great and effective use of its supporting cast, with stars such as Melissa McBride, Javier Bardem, and Daveed Diggs, soundly securing their essential roles. Many star studded rosters fall short of their potential upon application, but “The Little Mermaid” has successfully capitalized on its stars, despite their supporting capacity. The success of the film’s ensemble is in large part credit to the director, Rob Marshall, the famed musical director of Chicago (2002), whose talent for managing a sprawling musical is well honed and lauded. “The Little Mermaid” is a successful and passionate adaptation of the beloved classic, bringing it to life with sonorous voices and caring interpretations. We look forward to sharing some songs under the sea with you! 

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On a note unrelated to this week’s film, but impacting the week to follow, we at Tryon Theatre are installing a new projector! The installation and integration of this new equipment will require a few days and will unfortunately impact our typical schedule the week of July 19th, 2023. We will be closed for these behind the scenes operations both Wednesday, July 19th and Thursday, July 20th. We will then re-open with normal hours and showtimes that Friday, July 21st. We appreciate everyone’s understanding and patience during this time, and we are excited to share our films with you, soon to look better than ever!