Remakes of Disney animations are usually eagerly awaited.
Live action versions of “The Lion King”, “The Jungle Book”, “Dumbo” were eagerly awaited. With moderate enthusiasm, viewers looked even at the new “Aladdin”, “Cruella” and “Cinderella”.
However, “The Little Mermaid” is not only not awaited with the same excitement, but is also on the way to become the most disliked remake, even before it was released in theaters.
One proof is that the first trailer of the production already has about 2 million thumbs down on YouTube, although this option is already hidden from users.
It has been known for a long time that the role of Ariel will be played by the young black actress Hallie Bailey.
Already at the announcement of the caste, the disgruntled were already piling up, but now that we have the first frames of the film, those annoyed by the colored woman in the image of the Little Mermaid are really many.
A significant number of them emphasize that they do not find anything wrong with Bailey herself, but only insist on faithfulness to the book original.
In the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale that served as the inspiration for the original Disney animation, the mermaid is described as having skin so white it’s almost transparent, with cheeks like a rose leaf and blonde hair.
Some sarcastically note that the Dane Andersen hardly ever even saw a black woman in his life, let alone wrote fairy tales about her.
Other users point out that replacing characters that should be lighter skinned with darker skinned ones is getting out of hand.
After initial reviews of the trailer in YouTube by Disney is trying to contain the situation by starting to delete negative comments.
Their unsuccessful effort to silence the dissatisfaction gave rise to a new trend – under the first frames of the new “The Little Mermaid”, visitors competed to write famous lines from other films and series and attribute them to Ariel.
In this way, the comments are both ridiculous and mocking, and there is no reason to delete them. And even the few positive comments are overwhelmed by ones that read, for example, “The part where Ariel said: Asta la vista, babe brings me to tears every time.”
Publications such as Rolling Stone and Forbes have labeled criticism of Halle Bailey as racist and anti-woke culture.
Forbes, for example, points out that The Little Mermaid is a completely fictional character from a fairy tale, leading to the idea that the woman in the role could easily be dark-skinned.
Rolling Stone points out that young women of color are incredibly happy with Bailey’s choice because they see themselves in the image of Ariel. Parents are filming their kids’ reactions and posting them on TikTok to show how excited they are about what they saw in the trailer.
“She looks just like me!” exclaims one little girl, while Bailey herself also makes no secret of how happy she is to hear from her fans of color.
“These reactions mean the world to me,” the young actress wrote on Twitter.
The more sensible, in turn, believe that the truth about the new remake of “The Little Mermaid” is somewhere in the middle.
They point out that if viewers insist the film be completely faithful to the original, it means Ariel cutting off her tongue in order to have legs, experiencing excruciating pain as she steps on the ground, and finally dying and transforming in sea foam.
And in the 1989 adaptation, Disney allows itself enough interpretations – Ariel has bright red hair, not blonde, her deal with the witch does not involve cutting out the tongue, and the ending is happy, as befits a good animation.
Therefore, in the end, what matters most is whether children will like the new Little Mermaid movie, and not so much what their parents think.