Photo Credit: Disney
After several years since the production company’s original release of the animated film, Disney’s The Little Mermaid will now receive a live-action remake. The film has become familiar and widely known over the span of several generations. The racial depiction, however, as shown in the recent Disney video, is what caused the live-action to go viral.
Social media was flooded with footage of Black females and kids responding well to the tan Ariel.
“Mommy! … She’s brown like me!” exclaimed a young girl in a TikTok video.
Following the teaser’s publication by Disney, identical videos circulated on Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok. The hashtags #representationmatters and #Blackgirlmagic were used by users when posting the videos. The Little Mermaid trailer has received over 12 million views so far.
The D23 Expo, which was hosted by Disney, was when the teaser debuted. Other movies, including the Enchanted sequel, are also expected to be released in 2023. Halle Bailey, a member of the R&B duet Chloe x Halle, took on the leading character role and sang a section of the well-known song “Part of Your World” in the video, which sent fans into a craze.
Other actors in the movie include Awkwafina as Scuttle, Jacob Tremblay as Flounder, Javier Bardem as Triton, Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, and Daveed Diggs as Sebastian.
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Some do not approve of the casting
Many people were thrilled to see a girl of color playing a character who was considered to be white, but others did not enjoy the concept. Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale, in which Ariel is a white girl, inspired The Little Mermaid. Others believe Disney’s live rendition of the book went against the wishes of the author as a result. Some people have expressed their displeasure by using the hashtag #NotMyAriel.
Bailey remarked that although it affected her, her grandparents had given her some helpful guidance on how to deal with criticism.
“It was an inspiring and beautiful thing to hear their words of encouragement, telling me, ‘You don’t understand what this is doing for us, for our community, for all the little Black and brown girls who are going to see themselves in you,'” said Bailey.
“I want the little girl in me and the little girls just like me who are watching to know that they’re special and that they should be a princess in every single way.”
Bailey is the perfect person for the role
According to the film’s director, Rob Marshall, Bailey was a natural in front of the camera.
“Halle had this incredible facility to be able to dig deep, find the truth of Ariel’s passion and her heart. It was like watching a great film actor being born,” recalled Marshall.
Bailey’s performance of “Where Is The Love” with her duet, Chloe, during the 2019 Grammy broadcast was when Marshall first saw her. Marshall thought Bailey had a lovely voice, and he wondered if the young lady could act. He then went up to Bailey and requested if she may sing “Part of Your World” by Ariel for an audition in The Little Mermaid.
“When she finished, I was in tears because she’s so soulful. You could tell right away that she was able to harness Ariel’s passion, her fire, her soul, her joy and her heart,” said Marshall.
In turn, Bailey expressed thankfulness for the chance to play the part. Being the main character in a beloved animated movie is both a challenging and enjoyable undertaking.
“I find myself learning things from these characters and trying to adopt them and keep them with me as I go about my life. It’s like the universe is trying to give these themes to me, like ‘Here, do it! We’re putting it in through the characters,'” said Bailey.
This coming May 26, 2023, The Little Mermaid will be released in cinemas.