The Little Mermaid” is showing on Wednesday, May 24th in our darkrooms. But where and when is the Disney live-action movie shown?
The live-action version of the Disney classic, The Little Mermaid, will be released on Wednesday, May 24 in our darkroom. Rob Marshall’s film takes us from colorful underwater depths to luminous landscapes alongside the film’s heroine, played on screen by singer Halle Bailey.
In the feature film, Ariel, the youngest daughter of King Triton (Javier Bardem), is a mermaid with an adventurous temper. A rebel at heart, she is constantly drawn into the world beyond the waves. During her adventures on the rooftop, she will fall under the spell of Prince Eric (Jonah Hauer King).
While mermaids are forbidden to interact with humans, Ariel still feels she must follow her heart. Then she makes a deal with Ursula (Melissa McCarthy), a terrible sea witch, that grants her the power to live on land, but not suspecting that this agreement puts her life – and her father’s crown – in danger…
Where was the movie filmed?
If the underwater scenes were filmed on a blue screen at London’s Pinewood Studios, then the outdoor sequences were shot in Sardinia. In May 2021, the production has already gone to the Italian island for several weeks of shooting.
Rob Marshall explains: “IIt was important to find a location that could provide the epic setting the story required. Sardinia ticked all the boxes. Crystal clear blue waters, dramatic coastline, steep cliffs, forts, vast beaches and country roads.”
The 1989 film is based on a story by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, published in 1835. However, in the animated feature film directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, we don’t know where Prince Eric’s castle is located, in what part of the ocean Ariel lives and when the events of the film. So many elements that the production of the remake of The Little Mermaid had to imagine.
Where and when does the film take place?
So the screenwriters chose to set the feature film’s action in 1830, the date Hans Christian Andersen wrote the tale, on a fictional island in the Caribbean.
The director chose this geography in part because of the accent of Ariel’s crab-boyfriend Sebastian (who was dubbed by Daveed Diggs in the original). In addition, the Caribbean was heavily colonized by the British during the Napoleonic Wars, which allowed the team to include characters of different nationalities in the cast.
So Rob Marshall imagined a multicultural coastal island with its own government led by Queen Selina (Numa Dumezweni). Production designer John Mayer states in the film’s press release that he had carte blanche to design Eric’s Castle because this style of construction did not exist in the 1830s Caribbean.
“It was such a pleasure to be able to create a castle in the Caribbean. One of the first things we thought of was the circulation of air in the building. So, with the exception of Eric’s library, there are hardly any windows in the whole space and the openings remind us of the water shapes, like The Waves We started with these castles in the south of France and on the Italian coast that seem to have sought to create a sea-swept castle, but with a Caribbean colonial touch.“
The production designer displayed paintings and drawings by Rob Marshall from the 19th century before designing a castle on a rocky outcrop looking out to sea, with light and airy interiors, plenty of patios and terraces but also green spaces. Imagery of Portuguese castles influenced some of the interiors including murals framed by hand-painted blue and white tiles.
Because unlike the original movie, the little Mermaid 2023 unveils the world of Prince Eric in greater detail: the sailors, his castle, his office, the island and its inhabitants. So many details that had to be imagined that gave free rein to the imagination of the film crew.
The Little Mermaid hits theaters on Wednesday, May 24.