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Don't listen to the critics—Disney's new 'Little Mermaid' brings its own kind of magic

Finally, a live-action remake that breaks out of its shell in a cool way. The haters are just Poor, Unfortunate Souls.

little mermaid 2023, little mermaid tickets, halle bailey

You'll want to be part of this world.

Look, like many, I have utterly loathed Disney’s live-action remakes. In my opinion, they have either been a lazy, frame-by-frame rehashing of what we already know (“Beauty and the Beast,” “Lion King”) or the original essence is lost in trying to be cutting edge or topical (“Mulan”). Either way, audiences young and old are robbed of that special feeling promised by the Disney brand. Instead, we’re left wondering if we’ll ever have that feeling again.

This is, sadly, exactly what I expected for Disney’s live-action remake of 1989’s “The Little Mermaid.” To be more specific, I expected to get a wondrous performance by Halle Bailey as Ariel, which would ultimately be drowned out by mediocre storytelling.

And honestly, why shouldn’t I? Even before the movie premiered, there have been some questionable choices, such as changes to the song lyrics (not inherently bad, IMO, but would lead me to wonder if the songs themselves were dulled in some way), and having the animal characters like Sebastion and Flounder look like they belong in National Geographic…which I guess is still technically Disney nowadays but just ain’t right, ya know?

Headlines that have rolled in since the premiere, cleverly calling the film a “shallow,” “not bad…but not good,” and “poor unfortunate remake” certainly didn’t lessen my skepticism. All that to say, I went in thinking I’d come out completely unchanged, unmoved and unimpressed.

Boy, was I pleasantly surprised.

(Avast! Mild spoilers ahead, though I was purposely cryptic throughout.)


First off—the design is gorgeous. The mermaid kingdom is colorful and mesmerizing. The land kingdom is given a really cool Caribbean, Barbados-y flavor that adds a whole new dimension. The beginning scene on the ship brilliantly captures the mysterious beauty and dangerous majesty of the sea that once filled the hearts of sailors and brought us mermaid lore in the first place. 10/10. No notes.

Scene from "The Little Mermaid."

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Next, the musical numbers were on point. The classics hit in all the right places but were given a light, fresh touch by the incomparable Lin-Manuel Miranda, who also added in a fun new rap song called “Scuttlebutt,” which as you can imagine, incorporates Miranda’s next-level wordsmith skills.

Also, the supporting characters definitely held their own, not least of which being Melissa McCarthy’s portrayal of the sassy, brassy, kinda scary sea witch Ursula.

via GIPHY

I know that I am probably the only one on the planet who wasn’t entirely excited when it was announced that McCarthy would be playing the role. (She’s talented and lovely, don’t get me wrong…I just don’t normally resonate with her usual shtick.) But, as the kids say, McCarthy ATE AND LEFT NO CRUMBS. The way she honored Ursula’s vocal mannerisms alone had me sold. And that belt at the end of “Poor Unfortunate Souls”…fuggedaboutit.

We even got a much more fleshed out Eric, who sings his own song of yearning from the “Little Mermaid” Broadway show. In the movie, we see that Eric and Ariel really are two kindred spirits with a ton of innocent, heartfelt chemistry. The moment in the “Kiss The Girl” boat scene where Eric learns Ariel’s name using the stars in the sky is romantic and sweet in all the right ways.

via GIPHY

And yes, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the Sebastian and Flounder designs actually make sense. Looking back, if they had made them closer to the cartoony style we’re familiar with, it would have felt very wonky and out of place. There, I said it.

I haven’t mentioned much about Ariel herself, because what is there to say really other than Bailey is phenomenal. She brings the necessary purity and dreaminess, but adds her own sense of courage and determination. This Ariel steers her own course…quite literally.

via GIPHY

Overall, I think there are plenty of treasures untold to be gleaned from this delightfully creative retelling. It’s a movie that, despite the alluring siren song of criticism, can infuse a healing dose of magic into kids’ hearts—and even the heart of our own inner child, if we let it.

Angelina Jordan blew everyone away with her version of 'Bohemian Rhapsody."


At Upworthy, we've shared a lot of memorable "America's Got Talent" auditions, from physics-defying dance performances to jaw-dropping magic acts to heart-wrenching singer-songwriter stories. Now we're adding Angelina Jordan's "AGT: The Champions" audition to the list because wow.

Jordan came to "AGT: The Champions" in 2020 as the winner of Norway's Got Talent, which she won in 2014 at the mere age of 7 with her impressive ability to seemingly channel Billie Holiday. For the 2020 audition, she sang Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," but a version that no one had ever heard before.

With just her Amy Winehouse-ish voice, a guitar and a piano, Jordan brought the fan-favorite Queen anthem down to a smooth, melancholy ballad that's simply riveting to listen to.

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Unique Vintage is making fashion more fun and inclusive, one killer look at a time

Unique Vintage blends classic designs with contemporary sensibilities, making vintage-inspired fashion for every body.

Everyone loves the timeless allure of vintage fashion. But let’s face it: vintage fashion doesn’t love everyone back. The golden eras of style we so admire were not exactly known for their diversity or size inclusivity, so the silhouettes and sizes of retro fashion leave a lot of people feeling left out. But are you ready for some good news? One LA-based brand called Unique Vintage has set about rewriting fashion history by recreating vintage styles to fit the modern world. With a commitment to diversity and inclusivity, this company is making sure that anyone can rock their favorite vintage looks. If you’re looking for a fashion brand that actually celebrates the things that make us unique, you need to keep reading.

What is Unique Vintage?

In the heart of LA, at the dawn of the new millennium, Katie Echeverry’s love of vintage fashion set her on a course to change the fashion industry forever. Fueled by her passion for the elegance of bygone eras and the thrill of thrift store treasure hunts, Katie opened her own online vintage store, Unique Vintage. However, what Katie noticed was that there were tons of people who loved vintage clothing who could never actually wear. And it was this gap in the vintage fashion market that led her to turn Unique Vintage from an online vintage store to a fullblown vintage-inspired fashion label. Today, Unique Vintage has blossomed into an iconic brand that transforms nostalgia for the past into the fashion statements of the present.

But Unique Vintage isn’t just revered for its style. This company is committed to making diversity and inclusivity the norm in fashion. Their goal is to create classic looks for every body, celebrating our individuality and making everyone feel fabulous. To that end, they partner with a variety of charitable organizations that support women’s rights, animal welfare, and LGBTQ+ communities.

Ready to take a look at what Unique Vintage has to offer? Then lets dive in.

The Western Collection

The bold Western Collection gives you the timeless allure of country and western fashion, updated for the modern world. This collection is a celebration of classic Western aesthetics, reimagined for today's fashion-forward individual. From bold print dresses that capture the vibrant essence of frontier towns, to metallic cowboy boots that look like a sunset over the Vegas strip, each piece is meticulously designed to make a statement.

The Western Collection is where nostalgia meets contemporary style, offering a range of sizes to ensure that everyone can find their perfect fit and embrace their adventurous spirit. Whether you're getting dressed up for a girls night out, or you just like to look amazing when you go to the grocery store, these pieces are designed to turn heads.

Unique Vintage x Barbie

Born in 2017, the Unique Vintage x Barbie collaboration reimagines Barbie’s iconic styles for today's diverse and fashion-forward audience. Unique Vintage has meticulously crafted a collection that transcends time, bringing the nostalgic charm of Barbie's wardrobe into the present day with pieces that celebrate every body type.

From chic pencil dresses to playful A-line skirts, each item in the collection is an homage Barbie’s classic style, updated to ensure that everyone can find their perfect fit and feel fabulous.By blending Barbie's classic appeal with Unique Vintage's inclusive sizing, this collaboration invites everyone to experience the joy of dressing like a true fashion icon.

The Prom Collection

If you’ve got a special occasion coming up and you want to make a statement, the Unique Vintage Prom Collection offers a wide array of styles that cater to every taste. From the timeless elegance of the 1950s, to the bold glamor of the 1980s, and everything in between, this collection proves that classic styles never truly go out of fashion.

Each dress in this collection is a masterpiece specifically designed to make you feel like a prom queen. If you love the intricate details of vintage dresses, but have a hard time finding ones that fit—or that you can actually afford—Unique Vintage can make your dreams come true.

Vintage Inspired Fashion For Every Body

Thanks to Unique Vintage, gone are the days of rummaging through thrift stores, only to face the disappointment of not finding the right size, style, or price. Now everybody can experience the joy and nostalgia of vintage fashion—without even leaving the house. Whether you're in love with the flapper dresses of the roaring '20s, the swing skirts of the '50s, or the bold prints of the '70s, Unique Vintage offers a meticulously curated collection that spans the decades. Shop by clothing category, or by your favorite era, and find the classic looks you want while supporting a company that champions diversity, body positivity, and ethical practices.

So, why wait? With Unique Vintage, every purchase contributes to a broader movement towards a more inclusive and conscious fashion industry. If you’ve always loved vintage fashion, but have never been able to make it work for you, go check out the growing Unique Vintage community on social media for some fashion inspiration. Then check out Unique Vintage online and start building the vintage-inspired wardrobe of your dreams.

via Tod Perry

What’s this for?


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Steve Burns at Galaxy Con in 2023


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But a beacon of light from Nickelodeon still shines in Steve from "Blue's Clues." Steve Burns may have broken children's hearts when he left the show to go to college, but the beloved host has remained a wholesome icon for millennials and Gen Zers who watched him growing up.

In fact, Steve is still bringing comfort to millions, and his latest video on TikTok is a perfect example of how. In a one-minute TikTok, he says only a handful of words, but people are finding themselves tearing up if not outright bawling by the end of it.

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Courtesy of Kisha Rose Woodhouse

Man surprises partner by performing haka alone at her graduation

Graduations can be emotional no matter if it's preschool, high school or college. Something about watching a loved one close one chapter to open a new one just does something to you. But sometimes people have a few more challenges getting across the stage that make it feel even sweeter.

One new mom, Kisha Rose Woodhouse, who goes by @kiisha.rose on TikTok, became pregnant and gave birth while finishing up her college degree. Clearly, determined to finish, Woodhouse walked across the stage at graduation with her baby on her hip. But that wasn't what got people all choked up while seeing her video, it was Woodhouse's partner who stood alone in the auditorium.

The man was visibly filled with pride from Woodhouse's accomplishments when he began doing the Tautoko, also known as the haka. Immediately the auditorium fell silent as the man's words and sharp movements filled the air. Seeing him perform such an emotional dance alone to honor his partner is enough to get just about anyone's eyes to water.

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A man and woman looking over their bills. Representative image.

The United States is the second most expensive country in the world to give birth, after Japan. In Japan, it costs around $61,000 to have a vaginal delivery, although those costs can be offset by government health insurance.

In the U.S., it costs around $14,000 to have a child without insurance, although there are a lot of factors that affect the price, including where you give birth, the type of insurance you carry and if there are any complications.

While $14,000 is a lot of money for most people, Hanna Castle from the Columbus, Ohio, area received a $4 million hospital bill after having quadruplets and that didn’t even include the delivery. All 4 of the children needed to spend time in the NICU for lengths between 64 and 147 days.

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