Disney's The Little Mermaid (Live-Action)

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Disney's The Little Mermaid (Live-Action)

Post by Daniel » July 5th, 2019, 2:27 pm

To kick off its own thread, Disney casts Halle Bailey as Ariel. No doubt I was one of the few who misread the headline and thought it was Halle Berry! :lol:

After I clicked and read who it was, the first thought that came to mind was "Who?" Honestly I have no idea who she is. I may have seen her on a commercial for Grown-ish but that's about it. I think if this wasn't coming from Disney, the casting choice would be easier to accept. Or if it was for an entirely new character. It's one thing with the Lion King trying to be more diverse with its voice actors, or the ethnicity change for Aunt Sarah in the upcoming Lady and the Tramp remake... but when it's a main character, it's different. After so many years of seeing the character not just on screen, but on merchandise, in the parks and what have you, their physical image feels as important for recognition as their personality. I'm open until we see something, but I'm not sure.

At the very least, I'm kind of relieved they didn't go with Zendaya. Having seen some of her work, I don't think she would've been a good Ariel. Her character in Homecoming was just obnoxious!

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Re: Disney's The Little Mermaid (Live-Action)

Post by Randall » July 5th, 2019, 9:41 pm

I'm just overwhelmingly grateful that they got someone who can SING!!!! It's all about the performance for me here. Perhaps they've learned their lesson from the Beauty and the Beast fiasco (though that film still earned 1.26 billion dollars, so what do I know? :roll: But it may have hit 1.5 billion with an actress who could sing!)

Sure, not having a Caucasian redhead will seem a little weird, seeing as how this is truly going to be the Ariel from the first film. (They may yet make her a redhead, though it's not really necessary.) However, there's no good reason why Ariel couldn't look like just about anyone, so I'm good with it. The last thing we need is another shot-for-shot remake of a beloved film. I'm glad this will look different, at least from a casting perspective.

I saw one FB post where someone argued that TLM takes place in the Caribbean anyway... because Sebastian was Jamaican! (The Danish origins of the story were hastily pointed out to that person, plus the fact that no one else in the film was Jamaican. Plus, the fact that blacks weren't really indigenous to Jamaica... And, like, I suppose then that The Lion King took place in England because Zazu had a British accent? ;) )

Everyone has their own agenda in how they wish to see these films be made, which is just natural. We need to accept that changes will be made, and just hope for a good film.

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Re: Disney's The Little Mermaid (Live-Action)

Post by droosan » July 5th, 2019, 10:56 pm

Randall wrote:
July 5th, 2019, 9:41 pm
I saw one FB post where someone argued that TLM takes place in the Caribbean anyway... because Sebastian was Jamaican! (The Danish origins of the story were hastily pointed out to that person, plus the fact that no one else in the film was Jamaican. Plus, the fact that blacks weren't really indigenous to Jamaica... And, like, I suppose then that The Lion King took place in England because Zazu had a British accent? ;) )
The location of Prince Eric's kingdom is ambiguous, too .. the design of his palace and the nearby town/countryside have a vague 'Mediterranean coast' vibe to them. It certainly doesn't look like anywhere in Denmark..! :mrgreen:

----------------------------------

I wasn't planning to see this, anyway .. but not because of the casting; I just have zero interest in any of these Disney live-action remakes, in general (the Tim Burton Alice in Wonderland remains the only one of them that I've seen).

But IMO, the notion that a live-action adaptation of any animated property must cast someone who exactly resembles a particular cartoon character design is silly, and certainly not worth being upset over. Scarlett Johansson was just fine in Ghost in the Shell, and I expect that Halle Bailey will make a wonderful Ariel.

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Re: Disney's The Little Mermaid (Live-Action)

Post by Daniel » July 9th, 2019, 3:46 pm

Saw a little bit of Bailey when Entertainment Tonight was talking about the casting controversy. Not half bad, she has charisma. I feel though that she should have red hair to at least bridge a connection. We'll see what Disney decides.

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Re: Disney's The Little Mermaid (Live-Action)

Post by droosan » July 9th, 2019, 5:59 pm

AFAIK, every single Ariel in The Little Mermaid Broadway show portrayed her with red hair .. and I'm pretty sure a majority of them either dyed their hair red, or wore a wig.

We can thank Glen Keane for the red hair; Eisner & Katzenberg apparently wanted to make Ariel a blonde, citing the popularity of their earlier film Splash -- and even Mattel pushed hard for it, claiming that "girls won't play with red-haired dolls" -- but Keane stood firm with his (now iconic) design choice. 8)

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Re: Disney's The Little Mermaid (Live-Action)

Post by Ben » July 9th, 2019, 6:24 pm

...based on his wife! :)

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Re: Disney's The Little Mermaid (Live-Action)

Post by EricJ » July 9th, 2019, 10:48 pm

I always heard the red hair (and the "Jam session" inspiration for doing the project in the first place) was based on the Brothers Hildebrandt:
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/e3/c6/3e ... 24191a.jpg

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Re: Disney's The Little Mermaid (Live-Action)

Post by droosan » July 10th, 2019, 12:37 am

My info came from the 2006 screening of TLM at the El Capitan Theater, which featured a panel discussion with Alan Menken, Glen Keane, Sherri Stoner, Jodi Benson and directors Ron & John ..



I'm somewhere up in the balcony, way offscreen to the left. 8)

But I'd misremembered the doll company .. apparently, it was Tyco; not Mattel.
Last edited by droosan on July 10th, 2019, 12:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Disney's The Little Mermaid (Live-Action)

Post by Randall » July 10th, 2019, 12:38 am

EricJ wrote:
July 9th, 2019, 10:48 pm
I always heard the red hair (and the "Jam session" inspiration for doing the project in the first place) was based on the Brothers Hildebrandt:
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/e3/c6/3e ... 24191a.jpg
One has to admit there's a strong resemblance in the painting. Man, those Hildebrandts do nice work.

Personally, I don't need the red hair to have it be Ariel, but I can see how others would prefer it.

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Re: Disney's The Little Mermaid (Live-Action)

Post by Daniel » July 10th, 2019, 3:44 pm

Jodi Benson shares her thoughts on the casting.

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Re: Disney's The Little Mermaid (Live-Action)

Post by Otis8 » July 15th, 2019, 12:24 pm

Anyone think Disney will change Eric's race to?

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Re: Disney's The Little Mermaid (Live-Action)

Post by Daniel » July 15th, 2019, 3:50 pm

Probably, though likely a different race. For now, here's some casting news. Jacob Tremblay will play Flounder and Awkwafina will be playing Scuttle... Yep, Disney is gender swapping again. Ugh. Just idiotic. Might as well be a new character. :roll:

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Re: Disney's The Little Mermaid (Live-Action)

Post by EricJ » July 15th, 2019, 9:06 pm

Otis8 wrote:
July 15th, 2019, 12:24 pm
Anyone think Disney will change Eric's race to?
Well, let's see, going by Prince Naveen's example, the light-skinned black princess will probably be going with the hunky Hispanic prince.
Daniel wrote:
July 15th, 2019, 3:50 pm
Probably, though likely a different race. For now, here's some casting news. Jacob Tremblay will play Flounder and Awkwafina will be playing Scuttle... Yep, Disney is gender swapping again. Ugh. Just idiotic. Might as well be a new character. :roll:
Well, there's not much "new" about the wisecracking romantically-uninterested gamma-girl BFF who gets the heroine out of her jam.

It's just harder to see Bottled-Water Girl mistaking a fork for a dinglehopper, than it would be to imagine Buddy Hackett making the mistake.

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Re: Disney's The Little Mermaid (Live-Action)

Post by Dacey » July 16th, 2019, 4:07 pm

"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift--that is why it's called the present."

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Re: Disney's The Little Mermaid (Live-Action)

Post by Daniel » July 16th, 2019, 8:14 pm

He looks the part and has the smile. I can see it.

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