At long, long, last, The Little Mermaid 2023 has landed in cinemas, telling the same story that made the original animated film so beloved upon its release back in 1989 and featuring many of the classic tunes.


Fans of the original will recognise many familiar characters in the 2023 version, from the titular character, Ariel (pop star Halle Bailey), and Prince Eric (Jonah Hauer-King) to King Triton (Javier Bardem), though some have been updated for a modern audience.

"Ariel is not afraid to show her strength and her passion," Bailey told Variety of the 2023 film's version of the Disney princess.

"There's so much power in all that she is and the fact that she is just so headstrong and willing to go for what she wants, I think, is more clear in this film."

Similarly, Melissa McCarthy, who plays sea witch Ursula in the movie, recently spoke about how one key change to her character has a huge impact on the emotional stakes of the film.

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"There were small changes on paper to the script, but I think they really had big effects on the story," she explained during an exclusive interview with

Talking about the fact that the evil sea witch is now shown to be King Triton's estranged sister, she added: "I think making us brother and sister makes it so much more complicated. Maybe [in the original] it's a little more one-dimensional, kind of good versus evil."

She continued: "Well, now it's siblings and family, and to have your family shun you and isolate you and banish you has a lot more emotional impact than just simply good and evil... It's like they really made it modern and relevant."

Read on for everything you need to know about the cast of The Little Mermaid, including who they're playing and where you might have seen them before.

The Little Mermaid 2023 cast

Halle Bailey plays Ariel

Halle Bailey as Ariel in the sea
Halle Bailey plays Ariel. Disney

Who is Ariel? A mermaid princess and King Triton's youngest daughter who is fascinated with the human world – especially after she meets Prince Eric.

What else has Halle Bailey been in? Bailey and her sister Chloe first found fame as the musical duo Chloe x Halle, while she had her first major acting role as part of the cast for the Black-ish spin-off series Grown-ish. She will also appear in the upcoming movie musical version of The Color Purple.

Jonah Hauer-King plays Prince Eric

Jonah Hauer-King as Eric on a rope ladder
Jonah Hauer-King plays Eric. Disney

Who is Eric? A human prince whom Ariel falls in love with after saving him from drowning.

What else has Jonah Hauer-King been in? Hauer-King has had key roles in a number of TV dramas in the UK, including the BBC adaptations of Howards End and Little Women in 2017, and a main part in the 2019 Second World War drama World on Fire. Previous film credits include The Last Photograph, A Dog's Way Home and This is the Night.

Jacob Tremblay voices Flounder

Jacob Tremblay press image alongside a photo of Flounder
Jacob Tremblay voices Flounder. Disney

Who is Flounder? An anxious yet noble tropical fish who is Ariel's best friend.

What else has Jacob Tremblay been in? Tremblay broke out as a child actor with his acclaimed performance in the Oscar-nominated film Room, and he has been working consistently since then – with key credits including Wonder, Doctor Sleep, Luca, and My Father's Dragon.

Daveed Diggs voices Sebastian

A photo of Daveed Diggs alongside a photo of Sebastian
Daveed Diggs voices Sebastian. Disney

Who is Sebastian? A loyal crab and King Triton's trusted servant and court composer who watches over Ariel.

What else has Daveed Diggs been in? Diggs has found success in music, on stage and on screen – with career highlights including originating the roles of Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson in Hamilton, playing the lead role in the TV series Snowpiercer, and writing and starring in the film Blindspotting. Other screen credits include Black-ish, Central Park, The Good Lord Bird, and Extrapolations on TV, and Velvet Buzzsaw and Soul on the big screen.

Awkwafina voices Scuttle

A photo of Awkwafina next to a photo of Scuttle
Awkwafina voices Scuttle. Disney

Who is Scuttle? A dim-witted northern gannet and a friend of Ariel's who provides inaccurate descriptions of any human object Ariel finds.

What else has Awkwafina been in? Another star who has found success both as a rapper and an actor, Awkwafina has had a string of high-profile film roles in recent years including Ocean's 8, Crazy Rich Asians, The Farewell, Jumanji: The Next Level, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Renfield. Meanwhile, on the small screen, she co-created, writes, and stars in the sitcom Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens.

Javier Bardem plays King Triton

Javier Bardem as Triton
Javier Bardem plays King Triton. Disney

Who is Triton? Ariel's overprotective father and the King of Atlantica who is prejudiced against humans.

What else has Javier Bardem been in? One of the most acclaimed actors of his generation, Bardem won an Oscar for playing antagonist Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men, while he also played Bond villain Raoul Silva in Skyfall. Other major credits include Before Night Falls, Collateral, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Biutiful, mother!, and Dune.

Melissa McCarthy plays Ursula

Melissa McCarthy as Ursula
Melissa McCarthy plays Ursula. Disney

Who is Ursula? A treacherous sea witch with octopus tentacles whom Ariel makes a deal with to become a human, which is secretly part of Ursula's plan to conquer Atlantica.

What else has Melissa McCarthy been in? Having broken out with roles in TV series such as Gilmore Girls, Samantha Who?, and Mike & Molly, McCarthy is best known for comic roles in films such as Bridesmaids, Identity Thief, The Heat, St. Vincent, and Spy.

She has received Oscar nominations for both her part in Bridesmaids and her more dramatic role as Lee Israel in Can You Ever Forgive Me?, while more recent credits include the TV shows Nine Perfect Strangers and God’s Favorite Idiot.

The cast also includes Noma Dumezweni (The Watcher) as Queen Selina, Jessica Alexander (Get Even) as Vanessa (Ursula's human alter ego), Emily Coates (Cursed) as Rosa, John Dagleish (Mary Poppins Returns) as Mulligan, Martina Laird (Dreamland) as Lashana, Art Malik (Holby City) as Grimsby, Lorena Andrea (Warrior Nun) as Perla, Simone Ashley (Bridgerton) as Indira, Kajsa Mohammar (Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga) as Karina, Nathalie Sorrell as Caspia, Karolina Conchet as Mala, and Sienna King as Tamika.

The Little Mermaid will arrive in cinemas on Friday 26th May 2023. Check out the best movies on Disney Plus and best shows on Disney Plus, read more of our Film coverage, or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to see what's on tonight.

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