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Halle Bailey's Groundbreaking Journey as Ariel: Inspiring Diversity in "The Little Mermaid"

Updated: Sep 29, 2023

Halle Bailey, the second Black Disney princess in history, is making waves as Ariel in the upcoming "The Little Mermaid" movie. Despite facing racist backlash on social media, Bailey has found inspiration and support in heartwarming videos of Black children and their parents celebrating her historic role.

Halle Bailey

One video that touched Bailey deeply was sent by her mother, capturing her grandparents watching the film's trailer. Her grandfather was moved to tears as he watched it repeatedly. Bailey recognizes the significance of these special moments, knowing that her grandparents have endured many struggles. Her grandmother even remembers seeing her family members working in cotton fields.

Halle Bailey

Although the casting of Bailey as Ariel brought both celebration and challenges, she chose to embrace her groundbreaking role. In April, she read the book "The Little Mermaid: Make a Splash" to children at the White House, cherishing the positive reactions and adorable videos from her young fans. Bailey believes that the greater purpose of her role is to allow children to see themselves represented and know their worth.

"The Little Mermaid," directed by Rob Marshall, is set to make a splash in theaters this Friday. The film is based on the beloved 1989 animated classic and Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale. It follows the story of Ariel, a mermaid who trades her voice for legs to reunite with Prince Eric after rescuing him from a shipwreck. The star-studded cast includes Jonah Hauer-King as Eric, Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, and Javier Bardem as King Triton. Voice actors include Daveed Diggs as Sebastian, Awkwafina as Scuttle, and Jacob Tremblay as Flounder.

To prepare for her role, Bailey even took mermaid lessons, immersing herself in the underwater world of Ariel. Synchronized swimming coaches visited her every Sunday, teaching her the art of swimming like a mermaid.

Acting veteran Melissa McCarthy, who portrays the sea witch Ursula, was thrilled to take on the role. McCarthy had a deep connection with Ursula ever since she watched the original animated film in theaters when she was 20 years old. She appreciated the opportunity to explore Ursula's fears and loneliness, bringing depth to the character.

Both Halle Bailey and Melissa McCarthy are poised to make a splash in "The Little Mermaid" with their captivating performances. The film promises to be a magical adventure when it hits theaters, enchanting audiences of all ages.


By Updated May 25, 2023 22.08 pm TH

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