The story of Ariel (Halle Bailey) under the sea is almost a mirror image of the animated film. In this human rendition they have added a few other songs and situations to fill in some gaps. Ariel is the youngest daughter of King Triton (Javier Bardem) who is always getting into trouble with her three friends, Sebastian (voice of Daveed Diggs), Flounder (voice of Jacob Tremblay) and Scuttle (voice of Awkwafina). Her biggest fascination tends to be with the humans above the water.
On a stormy sea one day a group of sailors and Queen Selina’s (Noma Dumezweni) son Prince Eric (Jonah Hauer-King) have crashed into the rocks and the prince is gone missing. Rescued by Ariel and left alive on a sandy beach below the castle she sings a quick song before she heads back into the waters. From that moment on the prince stopped at nothing to find this girl with the immaculate voice but had no idea she was a mermaid. Arguing with her father King Triton, Ariel decides to visit the witch Ursula (Melissa McCarthy) and for a trade of legs for her tail Ursula takes Ariel’s voice for three days and if the prince does not kiss her within that amount of time, then Ariel loses her voice to Ursula forever.
Once the Prince and Ariel meet, he does not believe it could be her that saved him because with no voice how could she sing? As time goes by quickly, the couple grow close which concerns Ursula so she decides to step in as the young girl with the beautiful voice who saved the prince. As in life, everyone hopes to have a happy ending and in this final moment I once again as with the animated movie I got goose bumps.
I absolutely loved the film and directed by Rob Marshall you can’t ask for more. From the direction to the writing everything was a fantasy and feast for the eyes. I must admit with having vertigo the opening underwater scene when Ariel is swimming swiftly through coral and rocks, I got a bit dizzy but 5 minutes later all was well. I enjoyed the new songs and of course the originals and the photography were brilliant.
Bailey is spectacular and her voice with song is even more so. She made a beautiful Ariel and her flowing red hair helped to match her animated counterpart. Hauer-King was enjoyable although some people did not like him for the part of the prince personally not as great as Bailey but he holds his own role. Great job on the voices especially Awkwafina who was off the wall just as Scuttle should be and Tremblay came a close third but the number one voice in my book is Diggs, he was the perfect Sebastian. I heard Lizzo tried for Ursula but I must say McCarthy did no wrong except for one brief moment when her voice went out of character. As for Bardem and Dumezweni they both brought justice to their roles as does all the supporting characters. I loved the sea life, the music and the fantasy and I believe you will too under the sea and above.