A new behind-the-scenes video from The Little Mermaid Live! reveals how the television spectacle plans to bring the animated characters to life during the live performance segments. Using Loriel Hennington’s aerialist (Ariel-ist?) choreography, performers will dance and twirl through the air in the studio—but on TV, they’ll be swimming like mermaids under the sea.
“I’m so excited and so nervous—I’m going to be flying!” says Auli’i Cravalho, who will play Ariel. Queen Latifah, set to play Ursula, says she’s never been part of anything like this before—even though she is a veteran of live musical broadcasts after NBC's The Wiz.
The Little Mermaid Live! will also star Shaggy as Sebastian, John Stamos as Chef Louis, and Graham Phillips as Prince Eric.
Richard Kraft serves as executive producer for the TV event, having devised 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”).
The Little Mermaid Live! airs November 5 on ABC at 8 PM; check local listings.