ABC’s concert-film hybrid presentation of The Little Mermaid aired November 5 at 8 PM, starring Auli’i Cravalho (Rise, Moana) as Ariel and Queen Latifah (Chicago, Hairspray) as Ursula.
Joining them were Broadway alums John Stamos (Bye Bye Birdie, Full House) as Chef Louis, and Graham Phillips (13, The Good Wife) as Prince Eric alongside recording artist Shaggy as Sebastian. Original Ariel Jodi Benson introduced the proceedings, which combined a screening of the 1989 Disney animated film with musical numbers from the movie and Broadway musical performed by the live performers.
See how critics responded to the live event below!
Entertainment Weekly (Darren Franich)
The Hollywood Reporter (Robyn Bahr)
The New York Times (Noel Murray)
WATCH: How Aerialists Will Bring The Little Mermaid Live! to Life Under the Sea
Richard Kraft serves as executive producer, having created a similar presentation at the Hollywood Bowl in 2016. Meanwhile, a live-action film adaptation of The Little Mermaid is also in the works, with Lin-Manuel Miranda collaborating with Oscar winner Alan Menken on new songs (Menken won two Oscars for his work on the 1989 movie, including one with the late Howard Ashman for “Under the Sea”).
Check out a behind-the-scenes look of the TV special above and watch Queen Latifah’s preview of her Ursula cackle below.