“The Little Mermaid”, Disney’s Next Live Action that will bring us More Diversity

After its Announcement and Subsequent Trailer, "The Little Mermaid" has not Stopped Generating Divided Comments from Fans. How Much is Known about this Project and the Controversies Surrounding it?.

Frame from the movie 'The Little Mermaid'

Photo: YT-Disney Studios

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Leer en español: “La Sirenita”, el próximo live action de Disney que nos traerá más diversidad

Disney continues to make plans to adapt all of its animated classics into live-action movies, despite the fact that most of these have not impressed as many expected. The recent edition of the D23 Expo left a preview that is exciting on the one hand and generates controversy on the other, and it is the film "The Little Mermaid", which will hit theaters on May 26, 2023. But why so much controversy?

After years of secrecy, we have finally been able to see the first minutes of a film that promises to captivate this new generation of boys and girls. The Disney Live-Action studio panel, led by actress Halle Bailey, presented a short but magical trailer, with a scene in which the protagonist sings the iconic theme "Part of Your World" and was well received by the public.

There, we also witnessed two details that will be worth seeing on the big screen. The first is Disney's trademark visual technique, something many consider the high point of their live action productions. While the second goes through Bailey herself, whose acting and voice leave that hopeful feeling that makes her the Ariel we all want to see.

Under the direction of Rob Marshall, "The Little Mermaid" will tell the story we know from the 1989 animated classic, and which in turn is based on a homonymous novel by Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen. Ariel is a mermaid who is fascinated by the world of humans, and to try to discover more about them, she makes a deal with a sea witch to exchange her melodious voice for some legs.

For its part, another highlight of the film is that the renowned composer Lin-Manuel Miranda co-wrote new songs for the live action with Alan Menken, composer of the animated film. And it is that music, as everyone knows, is an essential part of these classic Disney stories. In addition to Bailey, the cast will include Melissa McCarthy (Ursula), Javier Bardem (King Triton), Jonah Hauer-King (Prince Eric), Daveed Diggs (Sebastian), Jacob Tremblay (Flounder), and Awkwafina (Scuttle).

Also read: Inside Out 2: What Other Emotions Will Pixar's Sequel Make Us Feel?

Why so much controversy around "The Little Mermaid"?

From "forced inclusion" to "ruined childhood", the negative comments have not ceased to appear on social networks. All the controversy has been generated by the simple fact that this little mermaid is dark-skinned, something that contrasts with the image we have of the animated character with white skin and red hair.

In that sense, the only thing that should really matter here is that the live action will tell the same story that we all know. Disney's commitment is that the new generations accept and approve diversity in every way. In fact, in past decades, film productions have been full of stereotypes that have left people of color and other races invisible or underrepresented.

But just as there are people who have expressed their discontent with the protagonist, there are also those who support her and consider her the ideal actress for the character. Just remember that the real target audience here is children, who don't see any problem with the Little Mermaid's skin color. An example is seen in several Tik Tok videos that have gone viral and that show the reactions of joy and emotion of girls with features similar to those of this Ariel de Bailey.

So, if "The Little Mermaid" is focused on the new generations and they accept diversity, why should the older ones judge and demand that everything be as they remembered? In fact, mermaids are mythological beings that never existed, and as such there is nothing certain about their appearance. Moreover, in Hans Christian Andersen's own novel, Ariel's physique is not described and everything is based on a reinterpretation made by Disney.

It is still hard to believe that in the middle of 2022 these issues will not be approved by the entire society, but we are sure that with the premiere of "The Little Mermaid", many will begin to reflect. In the end, not everything is about the physique, but about the talent of those who play the role of that Disney classic.

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