John Musker, the co-director of Disney’s beloved 1989 animated classic “The Little Mermaid,” recently shared his candid thoughts on the 2023 live-action remake. In an interview with Spain’s El País, Musker expressed his concerns about Disney’s trend of adapting their animated hits into live-action films, questioning the need for these remakes and their impact.

Musker pointed out that companies often remake films to reduce risk, saying, “They like this, right? We’ll just do it again and sell it to them in a different form.” He believes that “The Little Mermaid” remake missed the crucial father-daughter story that was at the heart of the original movie. Halle Bailey and Javier Bardem starred as Ariel and King Triton, respectively, but according to Musker, the depth of their relationship wasn’t fully explored.

He also critiqued the film’s portrayal of sea creatures, noting that the live-action adaptations lack the expressiveness that animation offers. “You could look at live animals in a zoo, and they have more expression,” Musker remarked, referencing Disney’s own “The Lion King” remake. Animation’s appeal and Disney’s strength, he insists, lie in its ability to convey emotion and charm through exaggerated expressions.

Musker, who has an impressive portfolio with Disney, including “Aladdin,” “Hercules,” “The Princess and the Frog,” and “Moana,” remains hopeful yet apprehensive about future live-action adaptations of his work. Regarding the upcoming live-action “Moana,” he stated, “I hope that they do it well, but we have nothing to do with it.”

Ultimately, Musker advocates for Disney to prioritize storytelling and character engagement over simply delivering a message. Both versions of “The Little Mermaid” are currently streaming on Disney+, offering fans a chance to compare and reflect on Musker’s insights.

What do you think of the live-action remakes? Do you agree with John Musker’s views? Share your thoughts in the comments and join the conversation!