Melissa McCarthy meets her match in Halle Bailey's Ariel in live-action 'The Little Mermaid'

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Friday, May 26, 2023
Melissa McCarthy meets her match with Halle Baily in "The Little Mermaid"
"When I first saw the original 'Little Mermaid,' my whole world changed," said Halle Bailey, who plays Ariel. Sandy Kenyon reports.

NEW YORK -- A new version of Disney's Oscar-winning classic "The Little Mermaid" opens Friday in theaters everywhere.

It combines live action with animation to update the 1989 original. Director Rob Marshall, most famous for big musicals like "Chicago," guides an all-star cast, and the title role features a young star familiar to TV viewers of the series "Grown-ish."

As kids, they were inspired by the original animated movie.

"When I first saw the original 'Little Mermaid,' my whole world changed," said Halle Bailey who plays Ariel.

Now they are bringing a new version to the big screen.

"It's probably as responsible for me falling in love with musical storytelling as anything in my life," said Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Miranda provides lyrics to new music from the original composer Harold Ashman, and among those interpreting the songs is Daveed Diggs from the original cast of Miranda's "Hamilton."

Diggs lends his voice to Sebastian the crab and Awkwafina is Scuttle the sea bird.

She's part of a distinguished cast that also includes Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, the sea witch who makes a crooked deal with Ariel.

She's worth the price of admission all by herself, but the veteran has met her match in Bailey.

"Just to feel Halle be that Little Mermaid, I think we're going to feel that for a long time," McCarthy said.

Little girls have already seen and reacted to the trailer and now they're in for a treat as a star is born.

"In my heart, my 5-year-old little self, if she could've seen me now, I think she'd be just blown away," Bailey said.

"The Little Mermaid" is from Walt Disney Studios, owned by the same parent company as this station.