Ariel’s Popularity Could Be Short-Lived

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Halle Bailey as Ariel in The Little Mermaid (2023) with cartoon Ariel edited

Credit: Disney, Inside the Magic

Now that Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid is officially out, many viewers are already praising and promoting this new version of the animated classic. Halle Bailey’s Ariel has assumed the mantel left by Jodi Benson to a very warm reception, but will it really last?

Halle Bailey playing Ariel in 'The Little Mermaid' (2023)
Credit: Disney

The original film was a game-changer for the Walt Disney Company, and many movie buffs mark it as the official start of the Disney Renaissance. With that in mind, it’s no wonder audiences were so divisive before the film premiered.  Although it’s great that new voices and talents are getting their chance to shine in this retelling, it likely won’t have the same cultural effect as the original did.

The Legacy of The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid; 1989 and 2023
Credit: Inside the Magic

While the remake is indeed making an effort to put a new spin on Disney’s original adaptation, it’s hard to say it will make the impact the animated version did. Even as the new Ariel makes her way into the media and Disney Parks, she might already be losing her momentum with fans.

Related: ‘Moana’ Star Confirms She Will Not Reprise Role for Live-Action Remake

When most people think of The Little Mermaid or even the word “mermaid” in general, Ariel is likely the first image that comes to mind. The original film was the right cocktail of ingredients that pulled Walt Disney Animation out of the dark ages. Not only that, but the original music by Howard Ashman truly turned the page for modern Disney songs. So where does this remake really stand?

Related: ‘The Little Mermaid’ Live-Action Could Shine Light on King Triton’s and Ursula’s Family Dynamic

2023’s live-action adaptation is a fairytale for a new generation, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, it’s not going to take the place of the one millions grew up with decades ago. There’s definitely a place for Halle Baliey’s portrayal of Ariel, and she definitely brings something new to the role, but it’s hard to say if she will have the longevity of her predecessor.

Will the new Little Mermaid will make a big splash, or will it flounder with other live-action remakes? Tell Inside the Magic what you think in the comments below!

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