‘The Little Mermaid Live:’ Disney Reveals Exclusive ‘First Look’ Into ABC’s Musical Production

Life is the bubbles when you’re a fan of The Little Mermaid. Now, there’s a new version of this musical, premiering this November, and Disney fans are flipping out. Who will portray Ariel in this production? How is this different from the live-action adaptation of the animated film? Here’s what we learned from Disney’s first look at ABC’s live production of The Little Mermaid.

Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ is coming to ABC, for a live musical special

The animated version of The Little Mermaid premiered roughly 30 years ago. Still, it’s revered as one of Disney’s most beloved stories. Now, there will be a new way to see Ariel, Sebastian, and all her friends. ABC is making a live stage production of this musical to premiere this November. This is a different adaptation to Disney’s live-action adaptation, which presumably premieres in 2020.

According to a press release, ABC’s production of The Little Mermaid features “beautifully intricate sets and costumes, with music from the original animated film and the Tony Award-winning Broadway stage version.”

The cast and producers of 'The Wonderful World of Disney presents The Little Mermaid Live!'
The cast and producers of ‘The Wonderful World of Disney presents The Little Mermaid Live!’ | Image Group LA/ABC via Getty Images

Who is in the cast of ABC’s ‘The Little Mermaid Live!’

The cast of ABC’s The Little Mermaid Live stars Auli’i Cravalho as the title character. (Disney fans may remember her as another princess — Cravalho voiced the animated character, Moana.) Ariel’s crabby sidekick, Sebastian, is portrayed by the singer, Shaggy. In this production, Queen Latifah portrays the evil sea witch, Ursula. Other cast members include Full House’s John Stamos as Chef Louis and Graham Phillips as Prince Eric.

Thanks to this exclusive look from Disney, fans saw the cast looking swimmingly in their costumes. Fans even got an Ariel hair-flip moment! Although the musical is a few months away, some fans took to social media, sharing their excitement at the upcoming production.

The cast and producers of 'The Wonderful World of Disney presents The Little Mermaid Live!' |
The cast and producers of ‘The Wonderful World of Disney presents The Little Mermaid Live!’ | Image Group LA/ABC via Getty Images

When does ‘The Little Mermaid Live!’ premiere on ABC?

The wait is almost over — this version of The Little Mermaid premieres on the television network, ABC, on Nov. 5, 2019, at 8 p.m. EDT. For fans of Ariel and her fishy friends, another production of The Little Mermaid is coming to screens.

Disney’s live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid features singer and actress Halle Bailey as the title character. Disney has not yet announced who will portray other roles. Reportedly, Melissa McCarthy is “in talks” to play the sea witch, Ursula. There is no official premiere date for this live-action movie. Until then, fans can watch ABC’s adaptation this November.

“I’m not really worried about overshadowing the other,” Karey Burke, ABC Entertainment President, said during the Television Critics Association’s panel. “The timing is so different. Ours premieres in the fall. The movie will hit theaters long after that.”

“It’s also a testament to the strength of the Disney IP that these classic stories can continue to have iterations that are so different,” she continued. “Ours is really built for television. It’s unlike anything any other network has done before in terms of a live musical. It really is a combination of a seamless interweaving of the live-action musical and the animated film itself.”

The Little Mermaid Live! premieres on ABC Nov. 5, 2019.