The New York Times came under fire after their film critic said The Little Mermaid didn’t have enough “crease”.
Writer Wesley Morris sparked controversy with his review, saying the PG-rated film, aimed at young girls and boys, didn’t have enough mystery, risk or trickiness for his liking.
It has already grossed $117 million at the US box office on opening weekend.
The NYT review begins: “The new live-action ‘The Little Mermaid’ is everything no one should want in a movie: dedicated and defensive, but desperate for approval. It reeks of obligation and noble intentions.”
“Joy, fun, mystery, risk, flavor, anomaly – they are missing.”
While the word kink also refers to a “pronounced twist or curve”, it is more commonly known as shorthand for a person’s unusual sexual preference.
The Little Mermaid has already grossed $117 million at the US box office on opening weekend. The casting of Halle, who is African American, as the lead led to a racist backlash against the film
NYT reviewer said ‘kink’ was missing from the movie
Among those who found a problem with the NYT review was political commentator Ian Miles Cheong, who said, “The New York Times wants ‘kink’ in a movie made for kids, and they’re sad that La Little Mermaid has none of it.’
Another person said: “The New York Times” wrote a review of the children’s movie “The Little Mermaid” and lamented that it lacked crease. I think we have a pedophilia problem, not a gender identity crisis in children.
One outraged reader said, “The kink was missing, huh? Amazing.’
Another wrote online: ‘Kink? Kink is missing from The Little Mermaid? WTF?’
A fifth said: ‘Not enough KINK?! In The Little Mermaid? What do you want them to do, have Eric lick Ariel’s cock?? What does it mean?’
This follows news that the Little Mermaid reboot earned the highest fan rating of any live-action Disney movie on review site Rotten Tomatoes.
The musical, which was released on Friday, currently enjoys 95% approval from more than 5,000 moviegoer audiences.
NYT writer Wesley Morris penned the controversial review
The film is expected to gross millions over Memorial Day weekend
It eclipses Guy Ritchie’s previous record Aladdin, which has a 94% viewership rating.
Despite a backlash to Halle’s casting, the film topped the box office at number one Memorial Day weekend in the United States with a whopping $117 million debut.
That would make it the fifth-highest Memorial Day opening in history, according to Variety.
Last year, Top Gun: Maverick became the highest-grossing film to debut Memorial Day weekend at $160.5 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Although it won over audiences, the film received mixed reviews from critics and currently sits at 67% approval.
While some pundits claimed it was poised to be “Disney’s best live-action movie” and praised Halle’s performance as Ariel, others insisted that he ‘couldn’t’ escape his animated legacy, which has an overall rating of 92%, with an 88% fan rating.
A crude Bloomberg review called the film a “water-soaked enigma” and described new rap song The Scuttlebutt, a track sung by Awkwafina’s Scuttle and Daveed Diggs’ Sebastian, as particularly cringe-worthy. .
“Scuttle is voiced by Awkwafina, who is never funny except here. At the screening I attended, many adults covered their faces to avoid staring at the screen. Both songs sound like early drafts,” Bloomberg noted.
Halle Bailey attends the World Premiere of Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ on May 8, 2023
One of the most iconic scenes from the original film, Under The Sea, also puzzled the reviewer.
‘The original is adorable and cheerful, and features sea creatures with smiling, angelic faces. But in the 2023 version, they’re faceless, and so (sorry, fish) they’re just not as fun to watch,’ Bloomberg wrote.
“The old and new numbers end with the camera quickly cutting between all the ‘dancing’ sea creatures.
In the animated version, this moment is a triumph. In the modern iteration – as the camera leaps between a manta ray’s belly and a snail’s arm and the… hole of a starfish, I guess – you just wonder “What the hell is this?” what am I looking at?”
NPR, meanwhile, captioned their review, “The Little Mermaid Is Last of Disney’s Poor Unfortunate Remakes,” in reference to Ursula’s song Poor Unfortunate Souls.
They also described Under The Sea as “dead in the water” and called the Scuttlebutt rap “ridiculous”. Like Bloomberg, there were also criticisms of how underwater life was portrayed: “Underwater scenes have a flattened sheen reminiscent of early 2000s video games.”
Halle also revealed how she broke down watching videos of children happily reacting to her role as Ariel in the live-action movie The Little Mermaid.