‘The Little Mermaid’ Is So Good, Thanks to Halle Bailey’s Perfect Ariel


Uproar, hullabaloo, ruckus, or pure pandemonium. Whatever you want to call it, that was undoubtedly the atmosphere in a packed theater, full of excited people clamoring for the best seats to see a story they’ve already seen dozens of times: Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. That energy is fitting, since the same amount of fuss has been surrounding The Little Mermaid for the better part of five years. Yes, that’s half a decade, for those keeping track of how long racist “fans” have been petitioning to have a white actress in the lead role of Ariel the mermaid in place of star Halle Bailey.

Those controversies—some completely unfounded (casting a Black Ariel), some impossible to ignore (a string of preview clips where next to nothing was visible; updated song lyrics)—set some gargantuan expectations for The Little Mermaid to meet, when it hits theaters May 26. If the film failed to live up to the grandeur of the beloved original, animated iteration, it would be leverage for the internet’s most vile talking heads to racistly crow about schadenfreude. A lousy movie would also be bad news for the House of Mouse, as Disney’s track record for their live-action remakes hasn’t exactly been sparkling.

How truly gratifying, then, that The Little Mermaid splashes salt water into the eyes of its detractors. The film is far from a mere remake; it expands the universe of the original movie, with a sprawl that jumps off the screen and directly into its viewers’ hearts. The charm of the original doesn’t just remain intact, it’s augmented tenfold. Some new songs and shaky visual effects may not feel so seamless when jammed into an already bloated runtime. But even when its pacing stumbles, The Little Mermaid remains magical, thanks largely to the brilliance of Bailey, who is destined to bring this iconic role to a new generation.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Source: ‘The Little Mermaid’ Is So Good, Thanks to Halle Bailey’s Perfect Ariel

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