There's a live-action film trailer for The Little Mermaid making its way around the internet, but make no mistake: This mermaid movie has absolutely nothing to do with your and your kids' favorite tale from under the sea.
Using the same title as the Disney classic seems to leave room for some branding confusion. Yes, the story is about a young (little) mermaid on a magical quest, but that's where the similarities stop.
It all becomes much more muddled when you factor in that Disney is actually making its own live-action version of the story, with the original songs from the 1989 movie and some added new tunes by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Release date: TBD. For now, we've got this creation by Conglomerate Media and Kingsway Productions.
This The Little Mermaid reimagines Hans Christian Andersons' original fairytale, setting it in New Orleans, 1837. A brother-sister duo must help a captured mermaid escape the circus and win back her soul. There's a love story, an evil ringmaster, and plenty of folklore, but no lovable animal sidekicks to be seen.
I have the same emotional reaction to this trailer as if a live-action The Lion King told the tale of a lion cub in a London zoo who journeys back to his homeland to become king of the jungle once more. Don't get me wrong, I would watch the heck out of that movie (there's probably an adorably helpful zookeeper and hijinks definitely ensue, with a tearjerking ending when he finally makes it home...). But coming on the tails of Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast, with note-perfect reenacted scenes from the beloved animated film, it's a bit of a tough sell.
And look, mermaids are so cool right now. It's all about the mermaid life: food, fashion, and even fiction. Sure, it's hard to brainstorm an instantly classic title, but there's got to be something there between the Big Easy setting and the circus and the whole 'heart of a mermaid' concept. This movie seems like it might be a cheesy, magical couple of hours for the kiddos but man, I miss Ariel and Flounder.
Libby Ryan is Editorial Assistant for Parents.com.