With a hot crustacean band at its disposal, ABC’s The Little Mermaid Live! served up a dozen musical numbers on Tuesday, which ranged from “the bubbles” to [in Ursula voice] “pathetic.”
Now, before I formally slip on my old-timey judge wig, let’s get one thing clear: This was an incredible feat — if not just a really expensive commercial for Disney+ — and everyone involved should be proud of the work that was accomplished tonight. As an embarrassingly vocal fan of both the original 1989 film, as well as the 2008 Broadway adaptation, I give The Little Mermaid Live! my official stamp of approval.
I also appreciated (for the most part) all of the Live! production’s surprise additions, including lyrical changes and — in some cases — entirely unexpected reprises. (When Queen Latifah appeared in Vanessa’s mirror, you’d better believe I gasped.)
That said, it wasn’t perfect. Notes were missed, lines were flubbed and some truly questionable decisions were made. And I’m not just talking about that Flounder puppet, which will surely be swimming around in the recesses of my nightmares for the rest of my days.
It feels odd to call this a “best and worst” list, as even the least-impressive numbers in the show were still entertaining. But this is the internet, and so we must rank them.
Browse our gallery of the best and worst musical numbers from The Little Mermaid Live! — you can click here for direct access — then drop a comment with your own ranking below.