In case you were living under a rock and not under the sea, this year marks the 30th anniversary of the release of Disney’s animated classic, “The Little Mermaid”. In honor of this hallowed occasion, the ABC Network decide to stage a live show. While it was certainly quite the spectacle, it was not anything like the live televiaion musicals we have become accustomed to in the last few years or so. This was not a complete stage production taking place beneath the lights and cameras of a television sound stage, this was something else. A mash-up of movie clips, behind the scenes action, and live musical numbers, Twitter, at the very least, had a very enjoyable evening.
If you were expecting fun and flashy costumes, well, at least we can say the costumes were memorable. Shaggy, the Jamaican reggae musician cast as Sebastian the crab, originally seemed like a perfect choice. While his live “Under the Sea” number was both whimsical and memorable, what got more attention online was his costume. Red jeans and a red leather coat which, according to Twitter, was very reminiscent of Michael Jackson’s, “Thriller” jacket. I’m sure that’s not the sort of attention this family-friendly special was looking for.
Twitter was so outraged by Sebastian’s outfit that even television executives had to get involved on Wednesday morning. Robert Mills, ABC’s Senior Vice President of Alternative Series and Specials & Late-Night Programming, explained that Shaggy didn’t wear claws or further costume accouterments because in rehearsals it, “looked ridiculous.” I guess we will never really know what might have been.
Audiences loved the original film, that’s why 30 years later everyone is celebrating. That being said, “The Little Mermaid Live!” was supposed to bring something new and spectacular to the table. When everything was said and done more time was spent replaying old scenes from the movie than bringing anything special to the stage. Next time everyone would just like to request a little more Queen Latifah.
Queen Latifah is a real queen and should take over ruling the oceans from King Triton immediately because she was both the scene stealer and the saving grace of “The Little Mermaid Live”. Twitter is not usually the social media platform one goes to when looking for agreement, but everyone admitted that Latifah’s performance as Ursula the Sea Witch, and her incredible rendition of “Poor Unfortunate Souls,” was the winning performance of the night.