Little Mermaid star Halle Bailey discusses how Disney ‘updated’ Ariel’s character for movie remake
The Little Mermaid star Halle Bailey has shared details on how her character Ariel in the film’s remake has been updated.
Bailey, 22, plays the classic underwater princess in the Disney movie, released in May, alongside Javier Barden and Melissa McCarthy.
The Grammy-nominated singer and actor has responded to accusations that the film includes sexist plot points, as the original 1989 picture saw Ariel ditch her life as a mermaid to be with Prince Eric.
Bailey has assured that the remake is focused on “Ariel’s purpose” and “what she wants”.
She told Edition: “I’m really excited for my version of the film because we’ve definitely changed that perspective of just her wanting to leave the ocean for a boy.
“It’s way bigger than that. It’s about herself, her purpose, her freedom, her life and what she wants.
“As women we are amazing, we are independent, we are modern, we are everything and above. And I’m glad that Disney is updating some of those themes.”
It has been disputed that Ariel does not leave the sea for a man in the movie, as she sings of her desire to live on land in the film’s iconic song Part of Your World.
The Little Mermaid has also faced criticism of issues with consent as Ariel loses the power of her voice above ground, leaving her unable to communicate properly, and is only unleashed of this limitation with “true love’s kiss”.
It’s also been brought to attention that the underwater character is merely a teenager when she gets married to Eric, who is depicted as an older gentleman.
The changes made to the upcoming Disney adaptation follows updates made in previous live-action remakes.
The character of Belle was written as more independent in 2017’s Beauty and the Beast, adapted from Disney’s 1991 animated original, while Jasmine in 2019’s Aladdin was more involved in actions scenes alongside the title character.