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Disney's "The Little Mermaid" embraces a traditional fairytale with more modern concepts

Photo Courtesy of TV Insider/Walt Disney Studios

On September 9, Disney published the first teaser trailer for their upcoming live-action version of "The Little Mermaid," transporting viewers back to the wonder of the ocean and the well-known tale of the mermaid Ariel. Halle Bailey, who will play the lead in the 2023 movie that will hit theatres on May 26, sang a little of the song "Part of Your World," showcasing her vocal range.

The teaser trailer establishes the film's underwater world right away, complete with a wide variety of aquatic life and perhaps a fleeting glimpse of the sunken ship where Ariel stashed her riches from the surface of the earth. The mermaid herself, who flaunts an iridescent purple-green tail and red hair that looks to be styled after Bailey's own hair, is of course a necessity for the trailer to be complete.

The live-action adaptation of this timeless story attracted curiosity in the film's variety as well as in the anticipated outcomes of the overall production. Bailey playing the part of Ariel has drawn attention to the underrepresentation of black people. This is a crucial choice to take into consideration, especially given that the character of Ariel has traditionally starred primarily white performers in films and plays. Another crucial detail to note is that Javier Bardem will portray King Triton and Noma Dumezweni will play Queen Selina in the movie, which appears to integrate mixed-race relations into the 2023 plot.

Disney also provided additional details on the movie's primary cast, which includes well-known performers Awkwafina, who will voice Scuttle, and Melissa McCarthy, who will play the iconic nemesis Ursula. Not to mention that the breathtaking musicianship and craftsmanship were recreated with help from famous producer and composer Lin-Manuel Miranda and composer Alan Menken. It will be intriguing to observe how the storyline has changed and been consistent given their knowledge in these fields.

Another feature of the trailer to point out is Bailey’s vocals of the last part of the song “Part of Your World,” where she sang with more runs that brought something unique to this rendition. Bailey is known for singing as a duo with her sister Chloe Bailey, both of them starting out their singing careers on Disney since their win at the 2012 Radio Disney’s NBT (Next Big Thing). So, Bailey’s singing capabilities may mean a different interpretation of how the lyrics will be sung, perhaps with a more soulful touch that Bailey introduced in the trailer.

In the forthcoming year of 2023, "The Little Mermaid" will finally bring another fairytale to the live-action realm after simply giving a hint of what was to come back in 2016. Looking back at Disney's previous live-action adaptations of Disney princess tales, such as "Beauty and the Beast" in 2015 and "Aladdin" in 2019, Disney has demonstrated that they are prepared to go all out in creating their own worlds of vibrancy, variety, and happy endings for these film sets. The story is accurate in these remakes, despite the fact that these movies often alter or expand the plot to match a live-action rendition.

Another Disney story that showcases a princess's goals and aspirations is "The Little Mermaid." Because it is set in a more contemporary environment, it may contain social and cultural elements related to the current fights for social justice and diverse representation in race and ethnicity. Regardless, this Disney princess will once again inspire fresh generations of children to appreciate music and the beauty of the ocean.

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