Looks like Auliʻi Cravalho will be heading back to the Disney Universe… and the sea. The Oscar-nominated Moana actress will be taking the lead role in ABC’s upcoming live Little Mermaid concert. The massive televised event will also co-star Queen Latifah as Ursula and hip hop artist Shaggy as Sebastian the crab, and feature live-puppetry and animation. The special will air on Nov. 5 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the classic Disney family flick.
The show was originally announced and set to air in 2017 under the Wonderful World of Disney banner but was pulled later the same year with the official statement saying that the event had been “put on hold.”
According to Deadline, the special’s music will combine the efforts of the film’s composer and lyricist, Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, as well as the input of Glenn Slater, lyricist for the Broadway adaptation. It’s interesting to note that the show, titled The Wonderful World of Disney Presents The Little Mermaid Live!, will air just before Disney+ launches meaning that it’s highly likely that the special will be available on the platform at launch. It’ll be intriguing to see if this is something that the company tries to incorporate going forward especially with the recent slowdown of Fox’s live musical offerings after the less than beloved, low-rated, and critically lukewarm Rent (not so) Live.
This also comes as Disney is about to embark on another live-action adaptation, this time focused on Ariel and her adventures under the sea. If this outing works well for the entertainment powerhouse, this could be a way of creating buzz for their inevitable slate of upcoming remakes and reboots of their classic franchises. Either way, we can’t wait to see the ocean on stage especially after how much fun the Hollywood Bowl Little Mermaid Live concert looked.