Ursula might be an expert at oceanic magic, but Queen Latifah is the one who pulled the ultimate trick during "The Little Mermaid Live" by making some viewers' doubts about the production disappear.
As the villainous sea witch, Queen Latifah proved herself to be the much-praised standout in a show that otherwise had high and low tides, so to speak.
She brought the bravado needed to pull off both the big dialogue and the even bigger signature number, "Poor Unfortunate Souls," which was one of the best performances of the night.
Queen Latifah's spot-on performance was further helped by a costume department who put together an impressive ensemble worthy of one of Disney's greatest villains.
There are two women I can always count on to never let me down: My mother, and Queen Latifah. In that order. #TheLittleMermaidLive— Andy Swift (@AndySwift) November 6, 2019
Hi, yes, Disney? Please hire Queen Latifah for the live-action The Little Mermaid film. Please and thank you. #TheLittleMermaidLive— Krystin Stiefel (@KrystinStiefel) November 6, 2019
Sadly, had the costume department used a fraction of the effort put toward constructing one of Ursula's tentacles toward Shaggy's Sebastian outfit, perhaps he would have hit the stage in something a little more crab-like and less Britney Spears in her "Oops I Did It Again" video.
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His red, latex-like jacket and pants combo lacked the pop needed to standout in a ocean floor filled with robotic puppets and costumed sea creatures, and it was one of the most jeered aspects of the production. (That, and John Stamos' unfortunate flub where he referred to Ariel's love as "Prince Albert.")
Other highs, meanwhile, included the dreamy vocals of Auli'i Cravalho, whatever Shawn Mendes-esque vibes Prince Eric (Graham Phillips) was giving out, the dog (because of course) and "Jimmy Kimmel Live's" Guillermo Rodriguez dressed as a blowfish.
Cumulatively, however, there was little question about who proved themselves to be the queen of the sea and the stage.