We have all, to a greater or lesser extent, been touched by Disney movies. Their classics stayed with us throughout our lives, and turned into films for generations to share, connecting adults with their children all around the world. Walt Disney Pictures is an industry giant in constant innovation, and boasts a very solid repertoire of animated films, especially considering those produced alongside Pixar Animation Studios. Among their most important films are The Lion King, Toy Story, and Beauty and the Beast, to name just a few. In recent years, they have also released major hits such as Frozen, Coco, Encanto, and Moana. In addition to their great success in the animation world, of course, Disney has also produced non-animated films that managed to conquer audiences, such as Mary Poppins and Hocus Pocus, among many others.
However, there is a growing trend in recent years, which involves the use of the company’s classic stories to create spin-offs, remakes, and live-action films based on them. Thus, for example, they released a number of live-action versions of well-known Disney productions, such as Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and Cinderella, all of them featuring a stellar cast. Last September marked the release of the live-action Pinocchio, starring Tom Hanks as Geppetto and Benjamin Evan Ainsworth as the voice of Pinocchio, but this film was not well reviewed. Still, if there is one upcoming movie that has audiences buzzing, it is The Little Mermaid, coming in 2023. Let’s take a look at its cast and other roles you’ve seen them play.
The Little Mermaid leading actress launched her career early in life, performing in films such as Last Holiday and Let It Shine. But Halle Bailey‘s most important project so far is her musical duet with her sister, Chloe x Halle. Their musical career kicked off on YouTube, where they first posted a cover of a Beyoncé song that made them go viral, and subsequently released two albums. In 2016, they were both featured on the singer’s visual album, Beyoncé: Lemonade.
Jonah Hauer-King kicked off his career in 2014, and his portfolio boasts films such as Old Boys, A Dog’s Way Home, and Ashes in the Snow. Just three years later, the actor portraying Eric gained more recognition thanks to his appearance in the TV series Howards End and Little Women, in which he shared an ensemble cast with Maya Hawke and Emily Watson. In 2019, he was cast in the war drama series World on Fire, of which a second season is expected.
The actress playing Ursula is an industry legend, with a career spanning more than 25 years. Her first major role was as Sookie St. James in the TV series Gilmore Girls, but the project that really made her a hit with critics was the film Bridesmaids, for which she was nominated for the BAFTA Award, SAG Award, and Academy Award, among others. Among her most notable projects are the Ghostbusters reboot, Identity Thief and the biographical film Can You Ever Forgive Me? in which Melissa McCarthy starred as Lee Israel.
Javier Bardjem‘s casting as King Triton comes as a surprise, since the actor has not been involved in many projects for children, with a few exceptions such as Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales or the 2022 film Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile, where he played Hector P. Valenti, Lyle’s owner. Among this Spanish actor’s most renowned films are No Country for Old Men, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, and the blockbusters Skyfall and Dune.
Noma Dumezweni is a British actress with an extensive career, mostly on stage and TV, with a large number of awards to her name. For her work in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child as Hermione Granger, Noma won the Laurence Olivier Award and was nominated for a Tony Award. Among her best-known projects are the films The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind and Mary Poppins Returns, as well as the series Black Earth Rising and The Undoing. Dumezweni also starred in The Watcher, one of Netflix’s latest series created by Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan. In The Little Mermaid, Noma plays Queen Selina, a new character.
In The Little Mermaid, Art Malik is Grimsby, Eric’s butler and confidant. This actor’s career is quite extensive, and includes a large number of roles in TV series, such as Holby City, The Jewel in the Crown, Borgia, and Homeland, where he played Bunny Latif. He has also been involved in several films, such as A Passage to India, The Infiltrator, Sex and the City 2 and the 2013 production Diana, starring Naomi Watts.
In The Little Mermaid, Lorena Andrea is Perla, another new character in the story. This British actress has been working for some years on films, TV shows, and plays, and her acting debut was in the 2018 film Jesters, which took a few years to produce. Andrea was also featured in Papillon, the drama film by Michael Noer based on the autobiographies of Henri Charrière. In 2020, she gained more recognition by joining the cast of the Netflix show Warrior Nun, in which she plays Sister Lilith.
The actress responsible for bringing to life Karina, a new addition to the story of The Little Mermaid, has been part of several films and shows in recent years, and at the same time she worked as a model. Among Kajsa Mohammar‘s most important projects are the 2018 film Viking Destiny, where she played Tait, as well as minor roles in Misbehaviour and Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga.
Daveed Diggs is one of the voice actors on The Little Mermaid, and plays the wary and grumpy Sebastian. This actor, rapper, and composer has been in the industry for many years, working in a number of film, television, and even stage productions. He is best remembered for playing Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s play Hamilton, for which he won several accolades, including a Tony Award. He is also one of the main stars of the TV series Snowpiercer, and appeared in films such as Soul, Wonder, and DC League of Super-Pets.
Jacob Tremblay‘s career is pretty impressive, considering he is only 16 years old and has already received all kinds of awards and nominations, including a Critics’ Choice Movie Award and a Young Artist Award. He achieved worldwide recognition by co-starring in the movie Room, for which he received a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination, becoming the youngest nominee in history. Among his greatest roles we can mention that of August Pullman in the 2017 film Wonder, alongside Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson, and the leading role in Luca, Pixar’s 2021 film. In The Little Mermaid, Tremblay voices Flounder, the little fish who follows Ariel on her adventures.
Awkwafina rounds out the cast of this film as Scuttle, a seagull who seems to know everything about the human world, and thus fuels Ariel’s fantasies. This actress, comedian, and rapper started to gain popularity thanks to YouTube and, after working on her debut album Yellow Ranger, she got involved in different film and TV projects. She was cast in Ocean’s 8, Raya and the Last Dragon and The Farewell, a project for which she was widely acclaimed. Since 2020, the comedian has starred in Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens, the Comedy Central series that got renewed for a third season earlier this year.