In recent years, Disney has been furiously announcing and releasing live-action remakes of animated classics, even opting to modernize some of them with more diverse casting choices. 2020 brought about Mulan, and the following two years gave us both Cruella and Pinocchio. Up next on the list are fan favourites such as Peter Pan & Wendy, and The Little Mermaid starring Halle Bailey in the leading role.
While Ariel is traditionally depicted as a fair-skinned, blue-eyed mermaid with bright red hair, producers are switching things up this time around. The R&B songstress, who's best known for her vocal talents, perfectly captures the character's singing voice, and she held on to some of the original's appearance by colouring her long, wavy locs a ginger colour. As the movie's May 26th premiere date nears, Bailey's excitement is growing more and more.
Halle's The Little Mermaid Doll
In her most recent Instagram upload, she gets emotional while revealing The Little Mermaid doll designed to look like her. "This means so much to me and to have one that looks like me, that's my favourite Disney character, is very surreal," the 22-year-old gushed to the camera on Monday (March 6). "The little girl in me is pinching herself right now."
The emotion was evident in Bailey's face and voice as she spoke. "I am literally choking up because this means so much to me," the actress said. "And look – she even has my mole! Look! And the hair, and the tail... And it can be in water!" she excitedly added. "I'm just stunned, so I don't quite know what to do with it but I'm going to steal this and take it home and hide it forever."
Disney Faces Racist Backlash
Halle Bailey's excitement and happiness are shining so bright that it's hard to dim, but that doesn't mean there aren't those out there trying. The Atlanta native has heard constant criticism from racists upset with Disney's decision to cast Ariel as a Black woman, not to mention the complaints about Peter Pan & Wendy. Another young woman of colour, Yara Shadidi, is facing similar backlash for accepting the role of Tinkerbell, who's also usually white. Read what Twitter has been saying about that here, and check back later for more pop culture news updates.