'The Little Mermaid': Disney releases enchanting trailer for live-action remake

Teasers for new versions of 'Snow White' and 'The Lion King' were also shown at an event in California

Halle Bailey stars as Ariel. She was part of the team who unveiled the trailer to audiences on Friday. Photo: Disney / YouTube
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Disney has released the first official trailer for its long-awaited live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.

Set for release in May next year, the film is directed by Rob Marshall and stars Halle Bailey as Ariel. It will reimagine the beloved animation from 1989.

The teaser was released at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, on Friday, with Bailey taking to the stage to introduce it, saying it was also her first look at the film.

“I’m sure all of you in here can relate to Ariel and how special she is to all of us,” she said. “Being a little girl swimming in the pool, imagining I was a mermaid, I never imagined that would come to life.

“The three days filming Part of Your World [a song in the film] was the most beautiful experience of my life — feeling all the feelings she feels, her passion, discomfort, everything she’s experiencing. It was so exciting for me to play those emotions and to have Rob directing me and being such a moving force on this film was really an honour.”

Marshall said being asked to do the film was an “incredible moment”.

“I have a special connection to this film,” he said. “In 1989, I don’t know if you remember the excitement to hear a musical again. It was sort of dead — musicals were gone. Even though it was animated, we could hear people singing again and again. When Disney asked me to do this, it felt like this incredible moment. It felt like fate.”

The 80-second trailer offers the first look at Marshall’s underwater world, as well as at Bailey’s Ariel, and the first snippet of her singing one of the film’s most famous tracks, Part of Your World.

Disney also treated fans to first looks from other upcoming live-action films Snow White and Lion King spinoff Mufasa: The Lion King.

The corporation's chief executive Bob Chapek launched the three-day event before panels commenced.

D23 is expected to feature further announcements from the Marvel and Star Wars universes over the weekend.

Also revealed was the sequel to the 2015 animated film Inside Out, starring US comedian and actress Amy Poehler, who will reprise her role as the emotion Joy.

Directed by Kelsey Mann and written by Meg LeFauve, Inside Out 2 will be released in the summer of 2024.

Also included in Friday's showcase were looks at original films Enchanted, Peter Pan and Wendy, Haunted Mansion, and the highly-anticipated Hocus Pocus 2, starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Bette Midler and Kathy Najimy.

Earlier, famous faces including Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Ellen Pompeo, Josh Gad and Jonathan Groff were presented with Disney Legend Awards.

The brother of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman also accepted a posthumous honour on his behalf.

Updated: September 10, 2022, 7:19 AM