Political commenter Matt Walsh does not want “The Little Mermaid” to be part of his world.
Walsh is not repelled by the original 1837 fairy tale by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. Walsh is also not troubled by the 1989 Disney animated musical version of the story, which has endured as a favorite for both critics and audiences. What Walsh objects to is the current Disney rip-off remake of its earlier cartoon classic.
Using an ugly mix of live action and CGI, the 2023 “Little Mermaid” is an example of contemporary, creatively bankrupt Disney trying to squeeze more money out of nostalgic fans. Efforts to modernize the well-known story led to questionable decisions. One creative choice involved adding a new song that Walsh, in a segment of Tuesday’s episode of “The Matt Walsh Show” on Twitter, critiques this way:
“If I heard this song, and then over the next 12 hours my house burned down, and I lost my job, and I was diagnosed with a terminal illness, the song would still be the worst thing that happened to me that day.”
Walsh dryly noted the tune, “The Scuttlebutt,” performed by actress Awkwafina, is appropriate for “The Little Mermaid” soundtrack because it makes him want to throw himself into the sea.
One of the new Little Mermaid songs has gone viral…and words cannot capture how terrible it is.
If in one day I heard this song, my house burned down, I lost my job, & was diagnosed w/ a terminal illness, the song would still be the worst thing that happened to me that day. pic.twitter.com/oj5gc6awjW
— The Matt Walsh Show (@MattWalshShow) May 30, 2023
In a clip posted to his Twitter account, Walsh included a sample of the song at the 5:15 mark. It supports his assertions.
Walsh admits he has not seen the movie he is panning, stating he is already familiar with Disney’s terrible track record of late. He compares the company’s multimillion-dollar productions to poorly made, bottom-feeder fast food.
A big driver of Disney’s titanic-scale failures is the company’s stubborn emphasis on woke politics instead of entertainment.
Gratuitous leftist activism injected into what were supposed to be family-friendly films contributed to major flops like “Lightyear” and “Strange World.” It is estimated the failure of just those two movies cost Disney over a quarter of a billion dollars in 2022.
Not content to just taint its films with ideological content, Disney also got into a costly virtue-signaling battle with Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
For some reason, Disney honchos like then-CEO Bob Chapek felt compelled to go on a rampage against Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act, which banned age-inappropriate sexual education in schools.
The bill passed. As a result of Disney’s interference, the Florida legislature stripped Disney of long-standing tax perks and special self-governance privileges regarding how it ran its theme parks in central Flordia. The litigation regarding the changes continues.
Just like Disney hopes activist courts will bail it out from the consequences of its woke agenda, Disney is relying on woke allies in the establishment media and Big Tech to rescue its flailing films.
The creators of the current “Little Mermaid” built a shield against criticism into their movie by race-swapping the main character, casting a black actress to play the title role of Ariel.
As Walsh said, “The reviewers have generally agreed that ‘The Little Mermaid’ is derivative and pointless and unnecessary and dull and it has dreary animation and some subpar voice acting, yet they’ve given the film high marks anyway.”
Walsh notes the critics are writing skewed reviews because they are afraid of being called racists.
Movie review sites are doing their part to cook the books on the critical response. The Internet Movie Database has “The Little Mermaid” ranked at a 7 out of 10 currently, based on 36,000 ratings.
However, the site also added this vague disclaimer: “Unusual activity. Our rating mechanism has detected unusual voting activity on this title. To preserve the reliability of our rating system, an alternate weighting calculation has been applied.”
The actual count of ratings on the site shows 39.1 percent of the respondents gave the movie a score of 1 out of 10. The unweighted mean was 4.7 out of 10. That is an impressive thumb-on-the-scales action by IMDb.
Technology website Gizmodo defended the IMDb by blaming, you guessed it, racists and bots for the negative scores.
“The Little Mermaid” just missed its projections for its first weekend, $117 million against projections of $120 million.
A non-woke movie could have done much better. In comparison, the non-political animated video game adaptation “Super Mario Brothers,” produced by Universal Pictures, the Illumination animation studio and Nintendo, posted a box office take of $146 million in its opening weekend, according to Variety, That was on its way to earning well over a billion dollars worldwide.
It’s doubtful the progressive pandering rehash of “The Little Mermaid” will have legs like that. This fishy tale is likely to end up as another Disney disappointment.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.