The director of the animated version of “The Little Mermaid” criticizes the live-action adaptation: Telling a good story is more important.

Last year, Disney’s live-action film “The Little Mermaid” faced criticism from audiences for casting the black actress Halle Bailey and for its unrealistic CGI effects.

Recently, the director of the animated version of “The Little Mermaid,” John Musker, also spoke out against the live-action adaptation, stating that animals in the zoo have more expression than the characters in the film.

John Musker pointed out that the live-action “The Little Mermaid” failed to capture the core story and emotional depth of the animated version. He specifically criticized the performances of CGI animal characters such as Sebastian and Flounder.

John Musker said, “If you want to see crabs, go to the zoo to see the living ones; they have more expression.” He emphasized that the real charm of Disney animation lies in its ability to express emotions through clever exaggeration, a trait that was lost in the surreal CGI transformation. “One of the basic characteristics of Disney is the appeal of the characters, which is what animation excels at.”

John Musker acknowledged the current trend in the film industry of remaking classics into live-action films, which is a conservative approach taken by studios to reduce risk. He criticized this for lacking originality and for reducing the quality of the story while increasing visual effects.

In addition, regarding Disney’s pursuit of “political correctness,” John Musker also offered suggestions. He believes that while it is important for works to keep up with the times, so-called correctness should be secondary; telling a good story and character development are more important.

“Classic Disney movies were not initially intended to convey certain messages but to resonate with the audience in terms of characters, plot, and the movie’s world. I believe this is still the core value of making animations today.”

John Musker hopes that future adaptations will be more faithful to the original spirit of the animation. He calls on Disney to re-evaluate the definition of creativity from its predecessors and to consider how to introduce these beloved stories to a new generation of audiences.