Disney Remakes Destroying Traditions?

Hi everyone

So Disney is rolling out several of their classic animated films and turning them into live-action movies. After much success with hits such as Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella, Disney continued making more films such as Aladdin, Christopher Robin, the Lion King, Dumbo and now … the Little Mermaid. This blog is not about the “Little Mermaid” but I will put in my couple cents in a few. 

Since the producers announced the role of the lead character was being portrayed Halle Baliey the internet blew up. I mean seriously, everyone was shocked with the move and people can’t seem to stop talking about it. Now, when I heard about the news, I had no idea who this person was until I heard her sing and I instantly remembered her being on youtube singing several artist’s songs with her sister.  Yes, I agree, she has an amazing God gifted talent in her singing abilities but the choice of casting a talented Black woman for Ariel still doesn’t quench people’s reaction towards her. It has gotten so bad where there’s even a petition going around asking to have Halle removed as Ariel. The hashtag #notmyariel was used by many around the world expressing that they would like someone who “looks” more like the Danish princess and also clarified that their reasons of having Halle removed were not racist. Also, many people expressed how upset the “Black” community would have been if a Caucasian portrayed as Tiana. 

Now I can sympathize with many individuals on why they wouldn’t like to see Halle be Ariel, but I think they should get over themselves. To go as far as starting a petition and a hashtag to belittle and bring down this young girl’s confidence is unspeakable. To go and audition for a role is already nerve wrecking enough, she landed the role so now image the pressure she feels to deliver an outstanding performance. You might not see it but those actions are racist. It doesn’t matter how you want to sugar coat it but it is racist. For YEARS, Caucasians were portraying different ethnicities. Even to this day, at the Animal Kingdom Disney park, the person who is portraying Pocahontas who is a Native American is NOT a Native American but a white woman. So please stop, stop being judgmental about this subject. Let’s remember the Little Mermaid is about two different races (Mermaids and Humans) who fell in love and in Ariel’s case, she was willing to sacrifice everything she had (her home, family and friends) just to be with the Prince. 

Now, I am not a fan of turning classics into live-action movies as the producers tend to stray from the original storylines such as seen in Alice in Wonderland and the 102 Dalmatians just to name a few. If it must be done, I’ll like it to stay as close to the original storyline as possible, which made the audience, gravitate towards the film in the first place. The acting and costumes are bonuses.  I don’t mind Halle playing my favourite Disney princess as long as the director sticks to the original script and not stray off the point. Even if they go by their original story from the author Hans Christian Andersen, I wouldn’t mind watching that remake telling the true story about the little mermaid but I don’t think Disney would go down that dark theme on a much-beloved character or have young fans see Ariel kill herself in order to save the Prince.

I might be wrong but I think for this film, their biggest struggle will be to not to make this movie like a broadway musical.  

Overall, I wish Halle the best of luck with this production and I highly encourage her to have Jodi Benson (the voice of Ariel) on speed dial or to give her some pointers in case she feels discouraged. I’m anticipating the trailer for this live-action film, which is a deciding factor for me if the movie is a hit or a miss in my book.

Now the Disney film I’m excited to see is Mulan. I’ve recently seen the trailer for this and the life-like animation, special effects and the brief fighting scenes that were previewed blew me away. Would this be a true story of Hua Mulan’s life or would it be the comedic film we’ve seen in the 1998 Mulan cartoon? But my biggest question on this is…. where is Mushu? I think this adaptation will get more positive reviews from people as the actress playing Mulan is a Chinese American by the name of Liu Yife. Scanning through the actress profile she is not only talented in her acting but in music as well. Mulan is scheduled to be released in 2020.

What are your thoughts on Disney films remakes? Let me know in the comments below and guys please be respectful of everyone’s opinions on this. We all can agree to disagree.

Until next time
Argel Horton

BVI Mermaid

CBO/ Cosplayer/Anime-fanatic/ Gmer/ Blogger/Marine Biologist/ Mother of one/ Frequent Traveler/ Workout Addict

One thought on “Disney Remakes Destroying Traditions?

  • July 22, 2019 at 2:32 am

    Thank you for sharing your perspectives! I agree with just about everything you’ve said. I would love to add to your ideas, if I may:

    Halle is a hell of a gorgeous choice

    Changing Ariel’s skin color affects the beauty of the story not one bit, except that it fortifies the main purpose of the story: to change our cultural identities (as Ariel does by becoming human), is a trait of open mindedness and love for all races as equal. Merfolk judge humanity because they are different. We are all acting like King Triton in the first part of the film by attacking Halle for being different, just as he attacked Eric (I don’t believe everybody who disagrees with the casting call is racist; but I do believe they are rejecting what is new, because it is just new, which is not a justified reason to reject anything).

    Ariel is the embodiment of embracing the new and loving all things; if we identify with Ariel as deeply as we say we do, then we should be doing what she did: seeing the glory of change and evolution.

    We need to remember the lessons of the film and adopt Ariel’s perspective and that of Triton’s by the end of the film. He considers Eric family now, and we need to see that Halle is our family, just like every single race, animal, and organism is part of our magical world.

    Now, I don’t want to comment too much on the Disney remakes in general, because I only have negative thoughts on that: simply put, they have been a let down, coming off as dense, underdeveloped, yet overproduced cash cows.

    The Little Mermaid is a very specific kind of special treasure in this culture, so I’m half- confident they’ll make damn sure not to make the same mistakes again: grandiose migraine inducing CGI, underwhelming performances, and a void in depth and original meaning.

    Thank you so much for this friendly and fun platform, where I feel safe to discuss my thoughts ♡♡♡

    Disney’s Ariel is my hero: we were born the same year, and so I literally carried her with me since before I could speak. She taught me courage in the face of feeling alien in my own skin, open-heart wonderment and love for all worlds, and that your identity will always shine through, even if your voice is muted.

    Even if this remake underwhelms, I know they’ll get at least some things right (for example, casting the most insanely gorgeous face and voice i’ve ever seen), and that’ll be worth everything to me. Not to mention, watching a “real life” mermaid for 2 hours… I mean nothing can make that unpleasant, right?!

    Thank you again, I love you, and I can’t wait to see your review of the film after viewing!!


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