Halle Bailey, of 'Grown-ish' fame, will play the iconic mermaid in the new live-action movie.
This won’t be a very popular opinion, but I’ve never liked Ariel or her movie. Not to be a purist, but even as a little girl (whose first Disney VHS movie was actually The Little Mermaid) I always thought that Hans Christian Andersen’s tale was much more fascinating than the story Disney came up with (and I’m a super Disney fan!). Why? I always thought Ariel was just a spoiled brat whose “dream” was stupid and could put her whole family and people at risk. I get it, she lived under very strict rules, but they actually made a lot of sense if you think about it.
Now, with Disney’s stubbornness to make new versions of all their classics, it was just a matter of time before the company set their minds on this classic. Though I wasn’t very happy with some of the ones that have been made in the last few years (nor the ones that are coming), I do think The Little Mermaid could use a little bit retelling to make it more interesting and less simplistic, and the live-action is finally happening.
Recently, Melissa McCarthy's name came up in terms of who would play the only cool character in the movie, the awesome and incredibly relatable Ursula, and opinions were divided. Some loved the idea, others claimed that, though McCarthy made sense physically, she wasn't as evil and sassy as Ursula (agree). Others suggested a more suitable choice, the so-hot-right-now singer Lizzo, who uploaded a video last year dressed up as the Ursula to the tune of "Poor Unfortunate Souls" with the caption "I'M URSULA. PERIOD." After fans made a petition on change.org, the singer seems to be on board with the idea.
But enough of Ursula. Who will be our clueless Ariel? According to several media outlets, the lucky girl is none other than Halle Bailey, member of the R&B duo Chloe x Halle. She’s also had some experience in acting having appeared in several movies and the hit show, Grown-ish.
Though many people have questioned the casting, I must say seeing Disney diversifying is kind of exciting and that the selection could actually give this simpleton character new, interesting depths. The fact that most Disney princesses are white is worrying, and choices like these, that purists are calling forced by purists, can actually make a change in how we are all represented in mass media.
The movie, which will hit theaters after 2020, counts already with actors like Jacob Tremblay (from Room  and Wonder ) for the part of Flounder and Awkwafina (from Crazy Rich Asians  and Ocean’s 8 ) as Scuttle. Also, it’s said Lin Manuel Miranda is already working with Disney’s legendary musician, Alan Menken, on the songs for the film (which actually sounds very exciting).
So, while the project is still in its early stages, let’s just hope they bring their all to the game and make of this classic and beloved character one really worthy of admiration.
Cover picture @aaronmalibu
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