Although some of the Walt Disney Company’s live-action remakes will go straight to Disney+, the anticipated reimaginings of Little Mermaid (2023) will bring in a new cast to play this iconic character on the big screen. Major companies seem to be diversifying how they release their next remake Pinocchio And Peterpan & Wendy was released as a Disney+ exclusive. A surprising move considering the box office success other live-action remakes have enjoyed. However, Disney is most likely getting the hang of the new iteration of Little Mermaid is a special event that needs to be seen on the biggest screen possible.

The original 1989 classic is known to fans for more than just a solid Disney princess movie. It was the massive hit it needed for the animation giant to return to the top of the industry, and it was also the film that officially launched the legendary “Disney Renaissance.” Packed to the brim with revolutionary animation, catchy melodic tunes, and perhaps most importantly, memorable characters, this animated film easily cements itself as one of the crown jewels in the ever-expanding empire of the House of Mouse. This gives a wide variety of actors who are ready to take the story into live-action shoes (or fins) big enough to fill, but with a cast that includes seasoned veterans and talented newcomers (not to mention direction from Rob Marshall and music from Lin-Manuel Miranda), it shouldn’t matter much.


Remember, this cast and character guide contains minor spoilers for the original 1989 film and its upcoming remake.

The Little Mermaid 2023 poster

The Little Mermaid (1989)

Release date

Rob Marshall

Awkwafina, Melissa McCarthy, Jacob Tremblay, Javier Bardem, Jonah Hauer-King, Daveed Diggs, Halle Bailey


Main Genres

Fantasy, Adventure

Hans Christian Andersen, Ron Clements, Jane Goldman, David Magee, John Musker

Halle Bailey as Ariel

Halle Bailey as Ariel in 'The Little Mermaid' 2023
Image via Walt Disney Studios

Following the release of the first teaser trailer for Little MermaidDisney fans everywhere were thrilled to see one of cinema’s most beloved princesses brought to live-action by Grown star Halle Bailey. Bailey is going to have a big year in 2023 with her starring in the upcoming remake Purple. If the “Otherworldy” actor auditions are on the rise according to Rob Marshall and producers John DeLuca is any indication, it’s a worthy start to a promising career.

The youngest of six children and a member of the Atlantica royal family, Ariel is a star-eyed mermaid whose rebellious nature leads to an absolute fascination with the surface world, much to the chagrin of her over-protective father, King Triton (Javier Bardem). Together with his guppy friend Flounder (Jacob Tremblay) and the semi-strict court composer Sebastian (Daveed Diggs), Ariel spends most of her time collecting treasure from the surface that has found its way into the depths, keeping her own treasure that she keeps secret from her father, who consistently teaches her and her siblings that the surface is too far away. dangerous for them.

One fateful night, Ariel saw a large ship burning on the surface and saved the life of a handsome prince named Eric (Jonah Hauer-King). Ariel has become infatuated with Prince Erik and now wants to walk the land more than ever if it means the chance to be with him. It doesn’t take long for her father to discover Ariel’s hideout and King Triton ravages it for his own good, leaving a distraught Ariel to make a reckless decision. Against warnings from her friends, Ariel strikes a bargain with the dreaded sea witch Ursula (Melissa McCarthy). The shady witch offers to give Ariel’s legs in exchange for a vital resource – her voice. Ariel agrees and must now find a way to communicate with Eric without using her melodious singing voice.

Related: Halle Bailey on the Pressure of Singing “Part of Your World” in ‘The Little Mermaid’ and Her New Favorite Sequence

Jonah Hauer-King as Eric

Jonah Hauer-King as Eric in 'The Little Mermaid' 2023
Image via The Walt Disney Company

Jonah Hauer King (Dog Walk) will play Prince Eric, the dashing seafaring prince who is the apple of Ariel’s eye.

Despite being 100% human, Eric also spends most of his time out in the ocean, searching for what magic might lie beneath. He is also often accompanied by two of his own friends, with his cute shaggy dog, Max, and Grimsby’s loyal but seasick butler (Malik’s Art). While venturing into a violent storm, Eric finds himself falling into the depths of the ocean. Even though the prince kept falling unconscious, he remembered that his savior was a beautiful woman with an absolutely enchanting singing voice. Eric becomes obsessed with his savior and tries to find him and properly thank him. He eventually found Ariel, but her inability to speak made him doubt that she was the woman who saved him. Still, Eric and Ariel quickly forge a bond that might even be the start of true love.

Melissa McCarthy as Ursula

Melissa McCarthy as Ursula in 'The Little Mermaid' 2023
Image via The Walt Disney Company

The dreaded manipulative sea witch Ursula is renowned for her sharp sense of humor, so it makes sense that she would be played by a comedy legend. Bridesmaids star Melissa McCarthy.

Once upon a time, Ursula lived in Atlantica as a servant to King Triton, but was later exiled entirely from the kingdom. Since then, Ursula has harbored a bitter hatred for Triton and everyone close to him, searching for a way to control the all-powerful trident and in turn the entire kingdom. Meanwhile, Ursula has spent most of her time tricking desperate merpeople into signing impossible contracts in exchange for their “poor souls,” all with the help of her cunning pet eels, Flotsam and Jetsam. When Ursula learns of Ariel’s desire to swap her mermaid tail for human legs, the sea witch sees the perfect opportunity to get revenge on Triton. Ursula gave Ariel exactly what the naïve princess wanted, but now armed with a fee for her voice, Ursula sets in motion her plan to rule the seas.

There are significant changes to Ursula’s character in the remake, namely into a surprising new relationship with Ariel and King Triton which we won’t spoil for you here.

Javier Bardem as King Triton

Javier Bardem as King Triton in 'The Little Mermaid' 2023
Image via The Walt Disney Company

Academy Award winner Javier Bardem terrorizes the seas as the evil Capitan Salazar Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Talesbut now he will once again be working with Disney as the preferred character with King Triton.

As well as being the revered King of Atlantica, Triton is also a single father of seven daughters. He loves them all more than life itself, but his youngest child, Ariel, can’t seem to stay out of trouble. Her fascination with the surface is the subject of deep concern for the loving yet introverted king, and she feels the only way to prevent this is to destroy Ariel’s vast collection of thingamabobs and whatsits. When all this was done to push Ariel towards her nemesis, Ursula, Triton must now learn to let his daughter be free to be herself.

Related: ‘The Little Mermaid’ Melissa McCarthy & Javier Bardem on Landing Iconic Role & Singing “Unfortunate Souls”

Jacob Tremblay as Flounder

Side by side with Jacob Tremblay and Flounder

Jacob Tremblay made a big splash in the industry with his gorgeous breakout look Roomand he continues to ride that wave of success as the voice of Flounder.

Flounder is a lively young fish who accompanies her best friend Ariel on almost all of her adventures, even if they are as dangerous as exploring shark-infested shipwrecks. What Flounder lacks in courage, he easily makes up for in his loyalty to Ariel and their friendship, always trying to help wherever he can.

Daveed Diggs as Sebastian

Daveed Diggs and Sebastian side by side

Voicing everyone else under stress, Sebastian is Daveed Diggs, who made his Disney debut when his Broadway hit hit. Hamilton hit Disney+ in 2020.

Sebastian’s official role in Atlantica was that of court composer, performing and directing various musical performances. Many of these involve performances from King Triton’s daughter, but when Princess Ariel consistently fails to show up for shows, Triton entrusts Sebastian with watching over Ariel. He also believes Sebastian will convince Ariel that life “under the sea” is much more interesting than life on land. Still, apart from being a court composer, Sebastian is also a hopeless romantic, and he aids Ariel in her quest to win Eric’s love despite her loyalty to Triton.

Awkwafina as Scuttle

Awkafina and Scuttle are side by side

Comedian and actress Awkwafina no stranger to Disney appearing as the main character in Raya and the Last Dragon And Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and now she’ll be making her Disney live-action remake debut as Scuttle. The energetic bird was a seagull in the original film, but Awkwafina’s character will be a gannet – a bird capable of staying underwater for longer periods of time.

The third member of Ariel’s group of friends, Scuttle is Ariel’s squeaky walking dictionary of all the human objects she finds in the ocean. However, despite Scuttle’s enthusiasm, the bird was far from a master of human artifacts. Scuttle often gives completely inaccurate names to objects and their uses, leading to some hilarious misunderstandings when Ariel finally gets her feet together and sees the surface for herself. Still, Scuttle’s heart is totally in the right place, and is Ariel’s best friend.

Noma Dumezweni as Queen Selina

Noma Dumezweni as Queen Selina in The Little Mermaid
Image via Disney

Noma Dumezweni is no stranger to Disney live-action films, having previously played Miss Penny Farthing Mary Poppins Returns. This time, however, Dumezweni will be playing some of the remake’s original character, Ratu Selina.

Selina is the antithesis of King Triton, the human adoptive mother of Prince Eric. Although he is not as strict as Triton, Selina still disapproves of Eric’s sense of adventure and exploration, seeing it as a dangerous hobby that will inevitably end with him being injured or even killed. When Eric gets into a near-fatal shipwreck, he can’t help but be reminded of the time Eric came ashore as a child in another ship disaster.

Art Malik as Sir Grimsby

Art Malik as Bunny Latif in 'Homeland'
Image via Showtime

Art Malik is perhaps best known as the evil Aziz from A true lie (1994), but a slightly friendlier presence like Sir Grimsby.

Grimsby is Prince Eric’s loyal servant, but he is also a dedicated and loyal confidant. He handled most of the day-to-day bureaucratic processes that Eric was not interested in. In the original film, Grimsby is tasked with teaching Ariel the etiquette and workings of the human world, but unfortunately still doesn’t know her true identity as a mermaid. daughter. This remake takes Grimsby’s role one step further by being a helpful father figure, helping Eric and Ariel avoid the Queen’s gaze, so they can spend some time together.

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