The latest Disney live-action adaptation trailer of the 1989 classic animated film, The Little Mermaid, was finally unveiled at the D23 Expo 2022.
The classic story of Ariel is finally confirmed to be back on the big screen despite the production being pushed around and delayed by the pandemic. From its original slated release in November 2019, it is now set for release in May 2023.
Adapted from the 1989 film by John Musker and Ron Clements, which was based on the Hans Christian Andersen 19th century fairy tale of the same title, it tells the story of Ariel—the youngest daughter of a sea king. She falls deeply in love with a handsome human prince after saving him from a shipwreck.
A Grammy-nominated actress, Halle Bailey, is set to play the role of Ariel. This marks her first starring role in a feature film. However, along with the waves of joy coming from Black children who have watched the teaser and initially admired its racial representation also comes the racist backlash towards the casting of the lead role.
In its initial trailer release, hashtags of #representationmatters have been seen across social media as videos of little Black kids being happy to see a princess who is a person of color trends. However, despite the constant universal call for equality, an opposing hashtag, #NotMyAriel has surfaced on the internet.
"I want the little girl in me and the little girls just like me who are watching to know that they're special and that they should be a princess in every single way," says Hailey.
The Little Mermaid's upcoming American musical fantasy film is directed by Rob Marshall from a screenplay by Jane Goldman and David Magee.