These Heartwarming Reactions to the New ‘Little Mermaid’ Movie Show Why Representation Matters


Unless you’ve lived under the seachances are you’ve already heard of the new trailer for ‘The Little Mermaid’ – and the controversy surrounding it because of Halle Bailey’s portrayal as Ariel.

That said, we are crying tears of joy over videos of black girls reacting to seeing themselves portrayed in the film.

Accumulating millions and millions of views in just a few days, the trailer for “The Little Mermaid” shows jaw-dropping underwater footage, celestial fish scenes, a sunken ship and treasure, and most importantly, Bailey’s phenomenal singing “Under The Sea” as our favorite mermaid Ariel.

Hitting all the most epic high notes and reinventing the classic Disney track, there’s no doubt that Bailey already sounds like an Oscar. and Grammy bells – and if you know his musical duo Chloe x Halle alongside his sister, you to know her voice is amazing. The trailer shows off her gorgeous iridescent mermaid tail and, of course, the trademark, flowing red hair.

Another must-have? Like a twitter user explained, the super-talented 22-year-old actress “practiced holding her breath for three hours in order to REALLY shoot the movie in the Gulf of Mexico.” As in, fully underwater. No words!

Still, some people have taken to social media to question the cast of the upcoming film, saying Ariel is meant to look like the version from the 1989 animated film – AKA white with red hair and blue eyes. . To that, we’d like to remind everyone that Ariel is actually a mythological sea creature that doesn’t exist in real life, and could be any race under the sun (or sea).

As TikTok user @anitaconswing best explained, Ariel can be of any race as she’s a “half-fish” and a “mythological creature that doesn’t actually exist.” As actress Lynda Carter asked her about Twitter, “Are people mad that The Little Mermaid is black? The lady who is also a fish? Who lives under the sea? Whose best friend is a talking crab? Make sense!

As the ‘controversy’ is discouraged, parents of black girls have taken to social media to show their adorable reactions to the trailer – seeing themselves dramatically portrayed by Bailey’s Ariel.

twitter user @ normanination4 went viral for creating a thread showing “little black kids who are thrilled to see their favorite princess look like them.” And the videos don’t disappoint.

A TikTok video from @preciousavery shows an adorable three-year-old watching the new trailer on the couch, jumping up realizing the new Ariel is black. The toddler smiles and exclaims, “I think she’s brunette,” and we melt.

Another TikTok video courtesy of @shavonne_3 shows a precious girl watching the trailer from a tablet in the car, singing the iconic song. Her mother asks her, “Does she look like you?” and the girl replies, “Yeah…well, she’s got brown skin.” Smiling, the girl said, “I liked her…she’s pretty.”

Another video shows a child utterly mesmerized by the trailer, stopping it just to stare in awe at Bailey’s Ariel.

Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” hits theaters on May 26, 2023. We can’t wait to everything its untold treasures.

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