You would be hard-pressed to find anyone of the generation who was affected by Disney‘s 1989 animated classic, THE LITTLE MERMAID. The release of its live-action adaptation directed by Rob Marshall finally is before us after a five-plus year labour of love getting it readied and after having seen it myself, I can say without a doubt fans will adore it. Spectacular visuals, affecting song and superb performances from its Ensemble sweep you away into Ariel’s (Halle Bailey) world as she must choose between leaving her family behind for love, after meeting Prince Eric (Jonah Hauer-King) whose life she saves.
One of the Film’s stars, our very own Jacob Tremblay returned to Toronto to walk the Blue Carpet. The Vancouver-born star who got his big break mesmerizing us in Toronto-made and Oscar-winning “Room” certainly is growing-up quickly, now 16-years-old. Tremblay plays Flounder in the Film, one of Ariel’s confidantes and a key part of the story in her overcoming the villainous Sea Witch Ursula, played by Melissa McCarthy.
We had the joy of reuniting again with Tremblay, having followed his career from the start.
We ask Tremblay about his fondest memories of the City.
Tremblay: “I really like visiting the Aquarium and what was really cool was one time I got to go to a Blue Jays game. That was a really cool experience.”.
The comraderie shared between him, Awkwafina who plays Scuttle the Seagull and Daveed Diggs who plays Sebastian the Crab is so palpable and a key component to the Film’s success. We ask him about the bonding process and actually having the luxury of doing voice work in-studio.
Tremblay: “Well yeah, you’re right. We were able to do it literally right before COVID happened, so getting to work with everyone was really cool and it was really great having the ability to just riff off one another when we were recording altogether. It definitely helped the performance a lot.”.
We ask him on a personal level what The LIttle Mermaid means to him.
Tremblay: “I don’t even remember watching it for the first time because I had been so young when I was shown it. These songs have been on replay for most of my childhood. This Movie was definitely a family favourite of ours and I watched it a bunch. Being able to part of the live-action is very exciting for me.”.
Tremblay‘s Wonder Co-Star Millie Davis also came out to show support and walk the Carpet with him!
After its debut in 1989, Disney animated feature THE LITTLE MERMAID would go on to become a global phenomenon, winning Golden Globes and Oscars, in addition to winning the hearts of a generation of fans. Some 34 years later, we get Rob Marshall‘s live-action adaptation of this tale of a mermaid who seeks to carve her own path, finding love with a human prince is about to enchant a new generation once again.
We were delighted to join a global press conference with the Director, Composer and Producer of Disney’s THE LITTLE MERMAID. In-attendance were:
Halle Bailey (Ariel)
Jonah Hauer-King (Prince Eric)
Daveed Diggs (Sebastian)
Jacob Tremblay (Flounder)
Melissa McCarthy (Ursula)
Javier Bardem (King Triton)
Noma Dumezweni (Queen Selina)
Alan Menken (Composer)
John DeLuca (Producer)
Rob Marshall (Director/Producer)
Two-time Oscar nominee Melissa McCarthy plays Sea Witch Ursula. She talks about the excitement of people finally seeing this labour of love, which began production five years ago. She and her castmates attended last night’s Hollywood Premiere, which was a grand street-shutting affair.
McCarthy: “It’s really exciting. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve done it, you’re like ‘Do they really shut it down? Is the whole street blue?’. This is why I love movies, making them and everything got kind of exciting. It’s been such a long labour of love. It’s taken a while to make this beautiful thing. It’s like sending the kids off on a bus.”.
“This is the first time my kids have wanted to come to a premiere. I was nervous, but also excited they were there. They loved the Movie so much. It was fun seeing them be excited about seeing people and meeting them. They were like, ‘Oh my God, Halle is sitting behind us!’”.
Halle Bailey who stars in the plum role of Ariel, talks about her sister Chloe, who happens to be other half of their duo Chloe x Halle, finally seeing her breakthrough performance on-screen last night.
Bailey: “My sister is my best friend, she’s my rock and so yesterday was her first time seeing the Film! She cried. She was squeezing my hand so tight the whole time. I’m just so happy she loved it. And I can pat myself on the back that my big sister loved it.”.
Bailey also recalls the moment she learned she got the call from Director Rob Marshall.
Bailey: “My first reaction was sobbing. I think we had just celebrated my sister’s birthday, before renting an Airbnb and I got this call from Rob. I don’t answer unknown numbers. And my baby brother said. ‘Answer your phone!’ and I was like okay. It was Rob and he said, “Hello, I’m looking for Ariel!’. I was just crying the whole day.”.
Jonah Hauer-King is a real revelation as Prince Eric in this live-action adaptation and he talks about the warm reception the Film has gotten already.
Hauer-King: “It’s horrendous having to sing on-screen with a Grammy-nominated Artist in a film. That’s not fun for anyone. It was an amazing night and I think the reaction from the audience to the music was incredible. It felt like such a warm reaction, so much great energy in the room. It was quite special.”.
Hamilton star Daveed Diggs plays lovable crab Sebastian and though his castmates had seen the Film prior, it was his first time seeing it. He compares the experience working on The Little Mermaid to that of his theatre roots.
Diggs: “It was my first time seeing it and this song came on that I hadn’t heard before, and the audible ‘SING!’ in the audience. I was unaware you could do that!”
“It’s big, but the way we worked on it wasn’t big. We worked on it like it was a small thing. It felt like Community Theatre, pushing boxes around. We got in this groove and this is how you make Art. We understand something everyone could wrap their arms around and knew it inside and out. When you watch it on this massive screen, we never saw any of that. It’s really cool to see something you only thought existed in your imagination. I thought we were just building a world inside of our heads.”.
Academy Award-winner Javier Bardem stars as King Triton, Ariel’s father and describes taking-in the Film for the first time and also working with on-screen daughter, Bailey.
Bardem: “I’m sorry about my voice. That’s why I don’t have a song in the Movie! I loved the energy, it was amazing. People were honestly truly, deeply moved by it. Everybody was cheering and supporting the hard work a lot of people have done with this Movie.”.
“Right in the moment I met her (Bailey), I fell for her. She has this thing where you can’t help but love her unconditionally. That was the first day. The rest of the Movie we just had fun and enjoyed the process. It was easy for us to connect. I was mesmerized by the quality of her performance – as an Actress and how much courage she had going to places she had to go.”.
Canada’s Jacob Tremblay continues to make us proud and he voices Flounder, one of Ariel’s three confidantes on her journey. He talks about the experience voicing his role in-person. And despite being born long after the timeless 1989 predecessor of this new version, it still was a part of his growing-up.
Tremblay: “We were all together for quite some time in-studio in England and got to know each other so well. That helped with the voicework. I preferred it more than being in a booth or on Zoom like during Covid. It was a privilege to be together and to do our scenes together.”.
“I think just because it came out quite some time before I was born, I don’t remember not knowing the characters. It was still a big part of my childhood. I watched it quite a few times before going-in to film. I had to embody Flounter’s anxiety, but at the same time make sure I made it my own. It was great with everyone there, being able to riff off each other.”.
Awkwafina is a real scene-stealer as Scuttle, the seagull who joins forces with Sebastian and Flounder. Like Tremblay, she describes the unique experience of collaborating in-person here. She also talks about the importance of diversity on-screen – which feels seamless here – and also how she relates to her character.
Awkwafina: “This is the first time I’ve ever read a scene with other Actors. Usually we’re in a booth, while other Actors or the Director reads with you. It all just happened there and there were other people there too. That one day was where most of our performances came from.”.
“It really reflects the world we live in and everyone deserves to see themselves on-screen. This Movie also just celebrates really amazing performances. I did enjoy Scuttle and enjoyed watching it. I am Scuttle after like two Margaritas on a Tuesday. I’m very neurotic. I am Scuttle for sure.”.
Bailey tells us about the kinship between her and her character Ariel.
Bailey: “I tell people all the time that Ariel has helped me find myself and this young woman version of me. This was five years of my life, 18 to 23, those were intense transformative years developing as a young woman. The Film’s themes of what she had to go through – her passion, drive and speaking up for herself. What might be scary, she went for it. I try to adopt and give to Halle now.”.
Hauer-King talks about how while The Little Mermaid is fantastical, it actually is quite grounded in reality. He also reveals how this Film approaches the love story between Ariel and Prince Eric from a new lens.
Hauer-King: “It was a great privilege and a huge honour. The whole Film feels grounded in reality. Watching it last night made me realize for all of us even though we were living in a fantasy space, it feels really connected to the real world. Being a Disney Prince is weird, isn’t it?”.
“Disney romances are always filled with instinctive attraction to one another. What was fun about this was that it came from our off-screen selves. Looking at Ariel and Eric as two people who were kindred spirits, restless and behind four walls of their respective castles looking outward and not in. Their relationship feels earned, teaching each other things, excited and fascinated by each other’s worlds and didn’t know it till the end. That’s what makes it last and special – the friendship tied to it.”.
Laurence OlivierAward-winning Thespian Noma Dumezweni stars as Prince Eric’s mother Queen Selina in the Film. She attributes the Film’s perfection to Director Rob Marshall.
Dumezweni: “It’s the spectacle and herding cats of it. It’s about making extraordinary people feel comfortable with what they’re doing. Rob and Jon (DeLuca, Producer) are theatre babies. Having a rehearsal on-set is such a rare thing in the TV and Film world. This is what we’re aiming for and we can be free when we’re doing it.”.
McCarthy also talks about the supportive space that Marshall created for her and her castmates.
McCarthy: “I remember the crazy 60-foot clamshell and trying not to cry every time I sang a melody. Rob sets-up this world like it is and this is why I fell in love with plays. It feels so small and you know it’s this enormous thing. If we all do our best, maybe we can make a show and it becomes so personal and everyone’s doing their best. And he’s swaddled in cashmere, quietly cheering everyone on from Actors to gorgeous camera moves and the Sound Department’s killing it. I have an appreciation of all the moving parts it takes to make a movie work. Having a cheerleader like that – we’re just so fortunate. The world wouldn’t be so mad if it had such a soft, gentle cheerleader.”.
Legendary Composer Alan Menken gets to see his compositions for The Little Mermaid take on a second life here in this new adaptation. He sings high praise for Bailey.
Menken: “She’s adorable, so talented and you can’t take your eyes off her. The emotion is on her face and in her voice, she’s Halle Bailey, a delicious person and amazing Ariel. You see it in levels.”.
Rob Marshall recalls Bailey being the first person he had seen for the role of Ariel and she set the benchmark with her audition off the bat.
Marshall: “The first Actor we saw for role was Halle. The first thing she did was sing for us and sang that song. She shut her eyes and sang that song. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. She’s so deeply connected to what she’s singing about, so emotional and beautiful. How is it that we’ve been doing it for five minutes and already have found Ariel? We saw hundreds of Actors, every ethnicity, but she claimed the role for her.”.
Walt Disney Studios Canada release THE LITTLE MERMAID May 26, 2023.
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada x Mr. Will want to give Readers a chance to win a free Digital Download of Disney and Pixar‘s LUCA!
Set in a seaside town on the Italian Riviera, Disney and Pixar’s Luca is a coming-of-age story about a young boy experiencing an unforgettable summer. Luca (Jacob Tremblay) shares his amazing adventures with his friend Alberto (Jack Dylan Grazer), but their fun is threatened by a deeply held secret: they’re sea monsters from a world below the water’s surface.
The Film also is available soon on DVD, Blu-ray™, 4K ULTRAHD™.
Disney and Pixar’s Luca Bonus Features*
Our Italian Inspiration – Experience the joy of discovery as Pixar artists travel to Cinque Terre, Italy, to absorb the beauty and culture of the coastal region which inspired the characters and the quintessential Italian backdrop of Luca.
Secretly A Sea Monster – Explore the artistry and technical innovation of Luca’s transformation from sea monster to human, and how the theme of transformation is central to the emotional journey of the main characters.
Best Friends – Best friends can challenge us, inspire us, annoy us, and encourage us. The cast and crew of Luca share their own stories about how besties influenced their lives, and how those experiences informed the creation of screen pals Luca, Alberto, and Giulia.
Introduction – Director Enrico Casarosa introduces scenes not included in the final version of Luca.
Starfish Hunt (Alternate Opening) – Luca explores the shore and the sea, gathering mussels and starfish, in this serene alternate opening to the film.
Isola Del Mare (Alternate Opening) – Luca welcomes viewers to the quiet island he calls home.
Festa Del Mare – The boys go to a festival filled with fun…and danger.
Here Comes Giulia – Giulia explores Isola Del Mare, where she meets Luca and Alberto, and asks so many questions.
Gelato Trouble – Giulia offers to treat Luca and Alberto to something called “gelato.”
Sea Monster Cannery – Luca dreams about a magical place filled with Vespas and gelato, but things aren’t quite what they seem.
*bonus features vary by product and retailer
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Disney and Pixar present a Teaser for their next Feature coming this Summer, LUCA!
Set in a beautiful seaside town on the Italian Riviera, Disney and Pixar’s original feature film “Luca” is a coming-of-age story about one young boy experiencing an unforgettable summer filled with gelato, pasta and endless scooter rides. Luca shares these adventures with his newfound best friend, but all the fun is threatened by a deeply-held secret: they are sea monsters from another world just below the water’s surface. Directed by Academy Award® nominee Enrico Casarosa (“La Luna”) and produced by Andrea Warren (“Lava,” “Cars 3”), “Luca” releases Summer 2021.
· Jacob Tremblay (“Room,” “Wonder”) lends his voice to Luca Paguro, a bright and inventive 13-year-old sea monster with endless curiosity—especially when it comes to the mysterious world above the sea.
· Jack Dylan Grazer (“We Are Who We Are,” “Shazam”) voices Alberto Scorfano, an independent, free-spirited teenage sea monster with unbridled enthusiasm for the human world.
· Emma Berman provides the voice of Giulia, an outgoing and charming adventurer who befriends Luca and Alberto.
Justin Bieber releases his brand-new single, scaling things back with LONELY, produced by Finneas and Benny Blanco. The Video stars Vancouver’s Jacob Tremblay as a younger version of himself! Jake Schreier directs the Clip.
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment x Mr. Will want to give Readers across Canada a chance to win a copy of GOOD BOYS on Blu-ray!
After being invited to his first kissing party, 12-year-old Max (Jacob Tremblay; Room) is panicking because he doesn’t know how to kiss. Eager for some pointers, Max and his best friends Thor (Brady Noon, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire) and Lucas (Keith L. Williams, Fox’s The Last Man On Earth) decide to use Max’s dad’s drone – which Max is forbidden to touch – to spy on a teenage couple making out next door. But when things go ridiculously wrong, the drone is destroyed. Desperate to replace it before Max’s dad (Will Forte, The Last Man on Earth) gets home, the boys skip school and set off on an odyssey of epically bad decisions involving some accidentally stolen drugs, frat-house paintball, and running from both the cops and two terrifying teenage girls (Molly Gordon; Life of the Party and Midori Francis; Ocean’s Eight).
BONUS FEATURES ON BLU-RAY, DVD & DIGITAL:
• UNRATED ALTERNATE ENDING
• UNRATED DELETED AND EXTENDED SCENES
o Turtle vs. Tortoise
o Benji Don’t Like That
o Customer Service
o Ball Pit Shenanigans
o Tracking Molly
o Stealing a Glance
o Upsell Fail
o Max Explodes
o Best Friends
o Traffic Jam
o First Kiss Heartbreak
• GAG REEL
• BOYS FOR REAL – A look into the casting process and real-life friendships that evolved on-set.
• WELCOME TO VANCOUVER – Watch as Jacob Tremblay shows off some of his favorite things about his home town.
• A FINE LINE – Hear filmmakers and cast discuss how the film’s stars delivered such colorful dialogue
• without necessarily knowing what the words mean.
• ASK YOUR PARENTS – Cast and filmmakers talk about how they were able to navigate
• adult questions from curious child actors.
• BAD GIRLS – Molly Gordon and Midori Francis discuss how they were able to ramp up the mean, and how Annabelle was able to raise the comedy stakes.
• GUEST STARS – Take a closer look at some of the hilarious guest stars that lent their unique talents to the film.
• FEATURE COMMENTARY WITH DIRECTOR & CO-WRITER GENE STUPNITSKY AND PRODUCER & CO-WRITER LEE EISENBERG
To enter to win, click “like” on this Post at MR. WILL ON FACEBOOK and indicate your City on the comments there. Re-Tweet this from @mrwillw for another chance!
Universal Pictures Canada x Mr. Will want to give Readers a chance to win Advance Passes to see GOOD BOYS! Screenings take place as follows:
Screenings: Wed. August 14 @ 7:00PM
TORONTO // Scotiabank Theatre Toronto
VANCOUVER // Scotiabank Theatre Vancouver
EDMONTON // Scotiabank Theatre Edmonton
Just how bad can one day get? The creative minds behind SUPERBAD, PINEAPPLE EXPRESS and SAUSAGE PARTY take on sixth grade hard in the outrageous comedy, GOOD BOYS.
After being invited to his first kissing party, 12-year-old Max (ROOM’s Jacob Tremblay) is panicking because he doesn’t know how to kiss. Eager for some pointers, Max and his best friends Thor (Brady Noon, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire) and Lucas (Keith Williams,Fox’s The Last Man On Earth) decide to use Max’s dad’s drone – which Max is forbidden to touch – to spy (they think) on a teenage couple making out next door.
But when things go ridiculously wrong, the drone is destroyed. Desperate to replace it before Max’s dad (Will Forte, The Last Man on Earth) gets home, the boys skip school and set off on an odyssey of epically bad decisions involving some accidentally stolen drugs, frat-house paintball, and running from both the cops and terrifying teenage girls (LIFE OF THE PARTY’S Molly Gordon and OCEAN’S EIGHT’S Midori Francis).
See the Trailer:
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Universal Pictures Canada release GOOD BOYS Friday, August 16, 2019.
When sixth grade best friends, The Bean Bag Boys, get invited to a kissing party their day turns into an adventure to learn how to kiss.
Good Boys is a comedic take to the moment in our lives when we think we are mature because we entered sixth grade, however, we are still innocent children. The Script is loaded with hilarious jokes that aren’t there only to make you laugh, but to also move the story along. The cast of The Bean Bag Boys, Jacob Tremblay, Brady Noon and Keith L. Williams, are cast perfectly and make the Film that much more heartfelt.
Good Boys screens at SXSW on March 11 at 9:30 PM at The Paramount Theatre.
It’s day four of the SXSW Festival and things are still moving a mile a minute. We attended two different Panels today that consisted of Actors and Producers of some of our favourite movies.
The first talk was from Ethan Hawke and Jason Blum who are here promoting their newest Film together called Adopt A Highway. It follows an ex-convict who finds a child in a dumpster and changes his life. The two spoke about working on prior projects together, such as Sinister and The Purge, and how Adopt A Highway is different from those. Blum stated that 80 per cent of the Films Blumhouse produces are of the Horror genre, while 20 per cent aren’t. His newest Film falls in the 20 per cent category. He said that he makes sure he really loves the content and the people working on the project if it is going to be outside of the Horror genre. The two also spoke about their long-time friendship, which even got Blum teary-eyed.
The second Panel was for the star and Executive Producer of the new Hulu show, Shrill.Aidy Bryant stars as Annie, a woman who wants to change her life but never her figure. Elizabeth Banks serves as Executive Producer and also attended the Panel. Banks had a lot to talk about in regards to the Show and her career from starting out as an actress to now producing and directing some of the most successful Film and TV Shows. “I am here for the revolution, that is women making more content,” she proudly pronounced to a huge round of applause. Banks also spoke about her upcoming Charlie’s Angels Film which she is directing, producing, writing and acting in! She said she doesn’t want to give too much away, but is really excited for it.
Then the Film Premieres began down at The Paramount Theatre once again tonight. First up was the newest Film from Director Chris Morris called The Day Shall Come. It stars AnnaKendrick, Danielle Brooks, Jim Gaffigan, Marchánt Davis and more. Before the Film started, the stars arrived and each spent time with their fans.
The final Film of the night was Good Boys which has a lot of Canadian talent attached to it. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg produced the Film and Canada’s golden boy Jacob Tremblay stars in it. The Trailer for the Film also dropped today, and for those of you who have seen it, then you know this Film is going to be funny. And we can confirm it is the funniest Film we have seen at SXSW and in a while! The audience constantly was laughing or having “aww” moments during Good Boys. The boys charmed the audience in-person also in their Q&A.
See some Snaps! Hover cursor right to move forward in the gallery:
And in a blink of an eye, another TIFF has passed and this one had us working right to the finish line! It’s only after the fact that we have a moment to take it all in how much we went through. We estimate double our average in Celebrity Snaps this year. That’s how star-studded TIFF ’18 was. It was that kind of a year!
We had the pleasure of previewing several of this year’s Awards Season contenders and we are waiting with baited breath to see A STAR IS BORN and GREEN BOOK, both outstanding, duke it out for Oscars glory in coming months. We loved both, are thrilled the latter was honoured with the People’s Choice Award at the Festival, but something about the former makes our heart sing. We cannot stop thinking about it or its Soundtrack. It takes a magical Film to do that.
Let’s relive some of my favourite star-studded moments of the Festival, as lensed through the Nikon D3400. We wouldn’t have been able to do it without this amazing camera which worked amazingly-well with our Blackberry Key 2 in terms of file transmission to ensure we were able to get our photos uploaded and edited within moments for you all to enjoy! The clarity of these snaps speak for themselves.
A STAR IS BORN Press Conference
We will never stop taking our signature Celebrity Selfies and TIFF ’18 was unforgettable even if we saw many returning faces. We wouldn’t have been camera-ready without the right gear and depending on each scenario, sometimes the Blackberry Key 2 worked best for those Selfies, sometimes the Nikon D3400 worked better. What matters is that more often than not, we got the snap! And many we did.
Here’s some of our faves!
Jamie Lee Curtis
John David Washington
Kelly Marie Tran
In case you missed our Television appearances during TIFF ’18 this is our first year hitting-up the three big media giants: Global, CITY and CP24 (Bell Media). Thrilled! Our brand continues to thrive as a Festival go-to and we are so happy for the recognition.