Disney will soon be taking a dive under the sea once more with The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live. The two-hour ABC special event will revisit the classic story of Ariel and her ichthyic friends, and it’s billed as a hybrid of the original 1989 animated movie and live-action performances.
This isn’t the first time Ariel’s tail tale has been brought to life, having been performed both on Broadway and at a recent Hollywood Bowl performance. Casting info for the ABC special has yet to be announced, but we couldn’t help but wonder who we’d like to see tackle Howard Ashman and Alan Menken’s classic songs.
Check out our dream casting ideas below — and if you have any other suggestions for who’d you like to see as a part of this world, let us know in the comments!
Ariel: Auli’i Cravalho
Cravalho is no stranger to aquatic-based princesses with angelic voices, having voiced the seafaring Moana and shown us all how far she can go. Plus, we know she can power through any potential live TV technical difficulties: Remember when she accidentally got hit in the head with a flag during her Oscars performance, and she didn’t skip a beat?
Other good choices? Sara Bareilles tapped into her inner mermaid last year to play Ariel at the Hollywood Bowl performance. Alternatively, Emma Stone already won an Oscar for her portrayal of a spunky, singing redhead in La La Land, and Anna Kendrick already showed off her Ariel impression on Saturday Night Live. And for a more teenage Ariel, may we suggest Hailee Steinfeld or Empire’s Serayah?
Prince Eric: Aaron Tveit
For the guy who kisses the girl, who better than dreamy Broadway vet Aaron Tveit? Besides, remember when he lit up the stage as Danny Zuko in Fox’s Grease: Live? Swoon.
That being said, Darren Criss seems like an obvious choice, too, having played the dark-haired prince at the Hollywood Bowl last year. We wouldn’t object.
Ursula: Lady Gaga
Disney has no greater diva than the sea witch Ursula, so the live-action musical needs a powerhouse singer who can do her justice. Maybe Mariah Carey? Adele?? Or how about Lady Gaga, who has the pipes, fashion sense, and flair to deliver a killer version of “Poor Unfortunate Souls”???
Alternatively, if Disney wanted to go less pop star and more theatrical diva, just imagine what Broadway vet and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s Donna Lynne Champlin could do.
Sebastian: Lin-Manuel Miranda
The Hamilton mastermind is the ultimate Little Mermaid superfan: Not only is he signed on to work with Alan Menken on Disney’s upcoming live-action film reboot, but he literally named his son Sebastian. So it’s about time we hear his take on “Under the Sea.”
Speaking of Broadway, we also wouldn’t be opposed to seeing Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s Tituss Burgess reprise his role as Sebastian from the Broadway version of The Little Mermaid.
Flounder: Gaten Matarazzo
He may have rocketed to stardom for his role as the curly-haired Dustin on Stranger Things, but Gaten Matarazzo has pipes, too: He previously starred on Broadway in Les Misérables. He could definitely play Ariel’s fishy friend.
The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live will air on Oct. 3.