Our first look at Disney’s new live action The Little Mermaid film is here and parents have been filming their kids’ reactions to seeing a Black woman, Halle Bailey, as Ariel. Warning you now, you will cry. No seriously, you will.
Parents have been playing the teaser trailer to their kids or teens, who didn’t know about the film or that its star was a person of colour, and then posting the videos to TikTok, picking up hundreds of thousands of views.
Pretty much every kid reacted the same way and absolutely freaked out with joy when they saw the new Ariel was Black.
The production faced some racist and idiotic backlash over Bailey’s casting when she was announced in 2019. Some criticised it for straying away from the original story written by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen almost 200 years ago. Didn’t realise children’s booked needed to be historically accurate. While others were attempting to argue that a mermaid couldn’t be Black because of some nonsense about melanin, but hunny, mermaids aren’t real!!!!
This is a fictional creature living in a fictional underwater world with talking animals and magic powers. As a children’s movie maybe the entire point is that it’s whimsical and unscientific and meant to make kids fkn feel something.
Anyway, anyone who had any reservations about the film or the casting needs to watch little Black girls’ eyes light up when they see an Ariel who looks like them on screen because this is exactly why representation in entertainment and popular culture is so important.
Ok, get the tissues.
@workingmama My daughter’s reaction 😭 to the little mermaid trailer. #littlemermaidtrailer #representationmatters ♬ original sound – 💕 Workingmama💕
@candikane__ Sienna loves Ariel #thelittlemermaid #theelittlemermaid #hallebailey #ariel #blindreact #fyp #Sienna #blackgirljoy ♬ original sound – Candie
One TikToker posted a video of their child saying “she’s brown like me!” with the caption “Representation matters” and yep, that pretty much sums it up.
@authentically_aja Representation Matters 🧜🏾♀️❤️ @halle @Disney #thelittlemermaid #hallebailey #halleisariel #blackgirlmagic #blindreaction ♬ original sound – authentically_aja
Another mum posted the caption “This made my whole entire day” and I couldn’t agree more.
@doveineambition22 This made my whole entire day; she loves Ariel!!! #blindreaction #littlemermaid23 #disney23expo #hallebaileyismyariel #hallebailey ♬ original sound – Michele Walcott
I don’t know how I’m going to watch the actual film because just hearing Bailey’s angelic voice has me blubbering like a puffer fish but I cannot wait for this.
The Little Mermaid starring Halle Bailey is due to be released in May 2023.