Disney fans were torn over the live production of The Little Mermaid

By Natalie Stone Christina Dugan
November 05, 2019 09:12 PM

The Little Mermaid was brought up from under the sea to the stage — and Disney audiences were torn over the production.

On Tuesday evening, ABC honored the 30th anniversary of the iconic Disney animated film with a live special that was performed in front of an audience on the Disney lot as the original movie was shown on a giant projection.

The two-hour live musical event took “viewers on a magical adventure under the sea as live musical performances by a star-studded cast” were “interwoven into the broadcast of the original feature film,” ABC shared ahead of the show.

RELATED: The Little Mermaid Live: Everything to Know, from Who Is in the Cast to How to Watch on ABC

Starring as Ariel was 18-year-old actress Auli’i Cravalho, who donned long red tresses and eyebrows to become the Disney princess. (Jodi Benson, the original voice of Ariel, also made a special appearance to introduce the production.)

Auli’i Cravalho, Queen Latifah and John Stamos

The villainous sea witch Ursula, meanwhile, was portrayed by Queen Latifah, who suited up in velvet tentacles, white hair and gold shell necklace for the role. Shaggy played Jamaican crab Sebastian, John Stamos portrayed Chef Louis, and Prince Eric was played by actor Graham Phillips, best known for his roles in Riverdale and The Good Wife. (Phillips also dated Ariana Grande.)

RELATED: Disney’s Original Ariel Reacts to Halle Bailey Being Cast in Live-Action The Little Mermaid

So what did viewers think? As The Little Mermaid Live! production aired, fans of the fan-favorite Disney film shared their mixed reviews on social media.

Some loved the production.

“The little mermaid live is beautifully stitching together live performances with clips from the original movie. I love the transitions, and the small things they’re adding,” tweeted one user.

But others weren’t as impressed.

“I’m not hate watching. I love The Little Mermaid, but my heart is hurting for this live production,” wrote another Twitter user.

Currently, Disney is gearing up for the production of a live-action feature adaptation of the 1989 animated film, starring Halle Bailey as Ariel.

Production is anticipated to begin in early 2020.

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