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Was First Look at Sebastian Discovered by Eagle-Eyed ‘The Little Mermaid’ Fans?

The feisty crab with a Jamaican accent appears to be modeled after his real-life counterpart in the live-action adaptation, departing from the cartoony style of the animated film.

Has another live-action The Little Mermaid character been revealed? Fans first got a quick glimpse at Melissa McCarthy’s Ursula in the film’s latest teaser, and now eagle-eyed fans have discovered an image of Sebastian on an unreleased puzzle.

Similar to the depictions of animals in other live-action adaptations such as The Lion King, Aladdin, and Lady and the Tramp, Sebastian the crab appears to be modeled after his real life counterpart, departing from the cartoony style of the animated film. While the design is adorable (look at those eyes!), it could lead to an issue with character expressiveness, which was a big fan complaint with The Lion King.

Helmed by Rob Marshall, The Little Mermaid reimagines the studio’s 1989 Oscar-winning animated musical. The film stars singer and actress Halle Bailey (grown-ish) as Ariel; Tony Award winner Daveed Diggs (Hamilton, Snowpiercer) as Sebastian; Jacob Tremblay (Luca, Room) as Flounder; Awkwafina (Raya and the Last Dragon) as Scuttle; Jonah Hauer-King (A Dog’s Way Home) as Prince Eric; Art Malik (Homeland) as Sir Grimsby; Noma Dumezweni (Mary Poppins Returns) as Queen Selina; with Oscar winner Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men, Being the Ricardos) as King Triton; and two-time Academy Award nominee McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Bridesmaids) as Ursula.

Rob Marshall (Chicago, Mary Poppins Returns) directs the script from two-time Oscar nominee David Magee (Life of Pi, Finding Neverland). The live-action story adaptation is by Magee, Marshall, and two-time Emmy winner John DeLuca (Tony Bennett: An American Classic).

Marc Platt (Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, Grease Live!) produces alongside Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton, In the Heights), Marshall, and DeLuca, with Jeffrey Silver (The Lion King) serving as executive producer. Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin) returns from the original animated film to score.

Visual Effects are created by Framestore and MPC, with Tim Burke serving as Production VFX Supervisor.

Disney's The Little Mermaid swims into theaters May 26, 2023.

Laurén Alexa's picture

Cybersecurity specialist by day, investigative journalist by night.