A new The Little Mermaid clip gives Sebastian his best showcase yet with a snippet of his iconic song “Under the Sea.” Starring pop singer Halle Bailey as the titular mermaid princess Ariel, the 2023 live-action adaptation is based on the 1989 classic of the same name, which in turn was inspired by Hans Christian Anderson’s 1837 fairy tale. Wonder and Hamilton star Daveed Diggs portrays the diminutive crab, a loyal servant of King Triton (Javier Bardem) and musical composer for the king’s court.
In an attempt to convince Ariel to not venture into the surface world, Sebastian sings “Under the Sea,” a jaunty calypso tune with lyrics highlighting the beauty of life beneath the waves. However, Sebastian finds himself alone as Ariel quietly escapes her friend mid-song.
How Sebastian Has Changed In The Little Mermaid Remake
Early reactions for The Little Mermaid have been largely positive, pointing to outstanding performances by Bailey and Melissa McCarthy. However, some have criticized the film’s use of CGI, calling its visual effects subpar while specifically targeting both Sebastian and Flounder’s (Jacob Tremblay) unsettling new appearances. Tremblay recently defended the remake’s Flounder redesign, stating that “it works out perfectly.“
Originally conceived as a British lobster butler, Sebastian in 1989’s The Little Mermaid won over audiences with his playful demeanor and catchy song. His body was remodeled from a lifelike crab appearance to one with a more anthropomorphic face. The character’s design was perfect for a Disney animated film, but may look far too unrealistic when directly translated for the live-action Little Mermaid.
Viewers voiced similar concerns regarding Simba’s appearance in The Lion King‘s 2019 remake, even sparking talented artists to use digital tools to revamp the new character models to match the original animated counterparts. However, audiences have seemingly grown to appreciate The Lion King‘s new looks, giving promise for Sebastian’s live-action appearance. With The Little Mermaid releasing into theaters this month, time will soon tell what the ultimate consensus is.