We met the director of the new The Little Mermaid, Rob Marshall, and his producer John DeLuca: they described their experience and their artistic aims for the remake of the Disney classic. The film is in theaters today.
It’s in Italian cinemas The little Mermaid, remake from life of the historic animated musical Disney of 1989, and for the occasion we met the director Rob Marshall and the producer John DeLucawho took care of the complex operation: this new version of the fairy tale still makes use of music by Alan MenkenOf three new songs written with lin manuel miranda and of the felt interpretation of Halle Bailey.
The little mermaid, beyond the controversy over the casting, the importance of the great themes and identification
The casting reactions of a black protagonist for the new The little Mermaid they seemed to Rob Marshall e John DeLuca archaic and “from another century“: these reactions however, which show how people are afraid to open up, paradoxically made them more aware of the message itself of acceptance and communication between differentbasis of the story. “We didn’t have an agendawe didn’t have to cast a black woman for this role, we were just looking for who Ariel wasperiod.” They invite a watch the movie before judging whether or not Halle Bailey is suited to perfectly embody all of Ariel’s qualities and feelings. The different ethnicity went anyway contextualisedand decided to explore the mythology of Tritonchoosing the path of “Daughters of the Seven Seas“, which then made the story breath too more global and universal, inclusive yes, but also because they themselves feel they are inclusive (in their entire career they claim to have always made choices in this sense, well before the discourse on “agendas”). They aimed at choices that homogenized the narrative.
The ecological theme been touched deliberately, given the setting it was a very natural and – they hope – unforced occasion to remember how much the oceans are a living entity: il King Triton Of Javier Bardem he becomes the mouthpiece of those considerations, and the actor himself is an activist in that direction. Regarding the greater space given to Prince Eric, less two-dimensional than in the previous animated film, more multifaceted, Rob and James explain:
It was very important for us first of all to have our own Romeo & Juliet story, e if we knew Juliet we must have known Romeo! We wanted to know who it wasgive him gods elapsed, don’t cage him in the formulaic role of the one who falls in love with the pretty face. Working on the concept that, when he becomes King, he will bring new ideas, sharing that adventurous spirit with Ariel. (…) He too does not feel understood, out of context, they meet on a deeper level, they both feel like outsiders, they feel that no one understands them. It’s something that deepens the story: if you fall in love with someone, you want to know who it isbeyond the superficial reasons (of the spark).
The story of Ariel triggers theidentification in so many young people because at that age one often feels out of context that surrounds us. In the film Ariel doesn’t feel heard by her father, and everyone has like her secrets that no one else would understand. The beauty of her is that she does what she wants: she aspires to be part of that world, against everything and everyone, and chase the dream. “She doesn’t sit there complaining. In the end he also proves to his people that one shouldn’t be afraid of those on the outside. A beautiful message. He has the innocence of spirit and the strength to exceed your limits.”
To work they needed to see the film as an opportunity for reimagine the originalgoing beyond the concept of a simple remake. For this they referred directly to the Andersen’s fairy tale, discovering some very modern material, about a girl who feels out of place. The powerful themes were already there and there was a reason not to re-propose the original verbatim. “It took us four and a half years to make this film, it was important to us that it rest on something solid: it was a “perfect antidote to the divisive times we live in“.
Go out to the cinema is crucial: this will be the first live-action Disney film since the pandemic to have a regular, extended theatrical release. Immersive then as it was conceived, The Little Mermaid must be for them lived on the big screen and shared with the next (maybe even in 3D IMAX): watch it in streaming it won’t be the same in the living room.
Re-enact”At the bottom of the sea” was one of more difficult tasksbecause there was only one cast member filmed from life (Halle Bailey in fact) and it was necessary create from scratch what was around her. Rob then went straight to Walt Disneyremembering that he had worked with ballet companies for the sequence of Nutcracker in Fantasiaso he did the same to build le dances of marine fauna in that sequence, choosing the most suitable creatures to give life to those movements, then animated in CGI.
The Little Mermaid, composer Alan Menken: “I am the custodian of tradition”