Young Black Girls Delighted at Representation In ‘The Little Mermaid’ Remake Despite Racist Backlash

in Disney, Movies

Three young Black girls smiling in shock as "The Little Mermaid" trailer plays.

Some fans of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ classic The Little Mermaid (1989) have mass-disliked trailers and expressed disdain for the live-action remake, starring Halle Bailey, premiering in 2023.

Halle Bailey as 'The Little Mermaid' sings.
Credit: Disney

Disney first shared the trailer for the long-anticipated film at D23 Expo last weekend. The film features a star-studded cast, directed by Rob Marshall, with original music by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Alan Menken. Bailey is Ariel, Melissa McCarthy is Ursula the Sea Witch, Jonah Hauer-King is Prince Eric, Javier Bardem is King Triton, Daveed Diggs is Sebastian, Jacob Tremblay is Flounder, and Awkwafina is Scuttle the seagull.

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Bailey has spoken out against the racist backlash against The Little Mermaid (2023) on multiple occasions, saying that she is grateful to have a strong support network and to provide representation for young Black girls like herself on the big screen.

Halle Bailey Little Mermaid
Credit: Halle Bailey Instagram

It seems Bailey’s fans are equally thankful for her. Parents of Black girls have shared their little ones’ blind reactions to the trailer on TikTok. @victoriaalxndr combined a few of the videos into a heartwarming compilation:

@victoriaalxndr

Black people deserve to see themselves in fairytales 🤎 These beautiful little Black and brown girls are giving me all the life this week #TheLittleMermaid #ariel #BlackTikTok #RepresentationMatters

♬ original sound – Victoria Alexander

In the video, some girls excitedly yell, “She’s Black!” Many scream and giggle in pure delight. “She’s brown like me, Mom,” one girl says.

Another video from @_speakinfreely_ shows a little girl frozen, mouth gaping in shock for most of the trailer:

@_speakinfreely_

#representationmatters #hallebailey #thelittlemermaid #prettylilredhead #blackgirlmagic #lovelightenergy

♬ The Little Mermaid: Part of Your World – Geek Music

“MOM! It’s a Black woman with my hair color,” she says excitedly. “When is it going to come out?”

We hope all these adorable little ones enjoy The Little Mermaid when it hits theaters on May 26, 2023.

More on The Little Mermaid (1989)

Princess Ariel in The Little Mermaid
Credit: Disney

The Little Mermaid stars Jodi Benson as Ariel, a mermaid stuck between two very different worlds. From Disney:

With unforgettable characters, thrilling adventures, soaring Academy Award®-winning music (1989: Best Music, Original Score, and Best Music, Original Song, “Under The Sea”), The Little Mermaid is one of the most celebrated animated films of all time. Now available on Digital, Blu-ray™ and 4K Ultra HD. Venture under the sea where Ariel, a free-spirited mermaid princess, longs to be part of the human world. After bravely striking a bargain with Ursula, a sneaky sea witch, Ariel embarks on the adventure of a lifetime. With Flounder and Sebastian at her side, Ariel will need all of her courage and determination to make things right in both her worlds.

Are you excited about The Little Mermaid (2023)? 

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