Javier Bardem’s King Triton in The Little Mermaid 2023: How the Character Got a Fresh, Emotional Makeover

A Fresh Spin on King Triton

A wave of excitement has swept over fans since Disney announced its live-action rendition of “The Little Mermaid“. One of the focal points of discussion is King Triton, the powerful and sometimes misunderstood ruler of the sea. In both the animated and live-action versions, Triton’s relationship with his daughter, Ariel, is a cornerstone of the narrative. This relationship, filled with love, misunderstanding, and eventual reconciliation, is one of the aspects that has always endeared fans to the story.

Yet, while Triton’s character remains familiar, his portrayal in the 2023 version offers audiences a fresh perspective. King Triton’s past, fears, and motivations have been further fleshed out, providing viewers a more nuanced and layered understanding of the character. The star-studded cast, led by Javier Bardem’s portrayal of King Triton, brings depth, emotion, and passion to this iconic role.

Javier Bardem: A Stellar Choice

Few could deny that Spanish actor Javier Bardem was a match made in cinematic heaven for King Triton. An actor renowned for his versatility, Bardem has a track record that speaks volumes of his talent. From his award-winning performance in “The Sea Inside” to his chilling role in “No Country for Old Men”, Bardem brings a gravitas to his roles that’s hard to match. His opposing dynamic with Melissa McCarthy’s Ursula, in particular, adds a richness to the plot, enhancing the iconic battle between Triton’s world and Ursula’s dark designs.

Notably, Bardem isn’t new to the limelight of blockbuster hits. His roles in films like “Skyfall” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” solidify his position as a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood. Yet, even amid the action and drama, Bardem has demonstrated his versatility, taking on diverse roles in movies like “Dune” and “Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile”.

Reimagining King Triton for 2023

What truly sets the 2023 version of “The Little Mermaid” apart from its predecessor is the added depth to King Triton’s backstory. The narrative dives deeper into Triton’s inherent mistrust of humans, revealing a tragic past where his beloved wife is slain by a human. This heart-wrenching revelation lends credibility to Triton’s protective instincts over Ariel, making his character more relatable and empathetic.

Furthermore, the remake introduces a direct familial link between Triton and the notorious sea-witch Ursula. By making Ursula Triton’s sister, the film delves into a personal vendetta, one that goes beyond the battle for the throne, making the stakes even higher. This fresh twist adds layers to the conflict, making the plot more gripping and intense.


Disney’s live-action “The Little Mermaid” promises a whirlwind of emotions, a journey through the familiar yet refreshingly new seascape of King Triton’s realm. With Javier Bardem at the helm, portraying a more complex and intricate King Triton, audiences are set to embark on a deeper, more emotionally charged adventure. It’s a tale that captures the essence of the 1989 classic while offering a fresh perspective, proving that even the most cherished tales have new depths waiting to be explored.