Inside New ‘The Little Mermaid’ Show Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios

New Little Mermaid Show Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Grab your snorkel, because today we’re diving in with the Disney Live Entertainment creative team working “behind-the-seas” on “The Little Mermaid – A Musical Adventure” – an all-new theatrical production coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios this fall.  

And when I say all-new, I do mean all-new! In a brand-new reimagining of the Walt Disney Animation Studios classic “The Little Mermaid,” the show features all-new physical sets, cast of puppets, live performers, and stunning visuals. 

“We thought about what Ariel’s room may look like and came up with this collage style that you’ll see woven throughout the production,” said Sarah Schmidt, Creative Concept Artist & Illustrator for Disney Live Entertainment. “This new look really informed every design decision – from scenic, to the puppets, even the custom digital content being created for the show.” 

Blacklight puppets in development for new Little Mermaid show coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios

To pull off this artful blend of practical and projected scenic design, of real and digital puppetry, the team is pairing some tried and true methods (the blacklight puppets are back!) with state-of-the-art technology. 

“We’re using some really cutting-edge tools like motion capture technology, which you may have seen used in blockbuster films,” said James Silson, Show Director.  “Basically, we have a live performer in a suit covered in sensors, and the data captured from their performance helps us create a digital animation of the character, which our animators then use to bring them to life on stage.” 

Motion capture technology at work for new Little Mermaid show

This cutting-edge digital imagery will be used throughout the show to accent what is happening on stage, bringing to life characters like King Triton, Ursula, and even Ariel’s sisters, who kick the production off with an all-new “Daughters of Triton” number.  

“We’re really blending the line between real and digital in ways we’ve never done before to completely fill the stage for these show-stopping scenes,” said James. “You’re going to see these large new physical set pieces we’ve created blend seamlessly with a digital environment in a way that really fills the stage. You’ll see digital puppets transform into real ones right before your eyes. You’ll even see animated characters performing in the same space as real actors. It’s going to feel like magic!” 

Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog as we share more sneak peeks in the coming months.