The Little Mermaid star Halle Bailey shares how touching it is to see kids’ reactions to her playing Ariel. When the first trailer for the live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid was released, touching videos of young black girls excitedly seeing Bailey as Ariel for the first time went viral. These videos show the very real and important impact of representation.
During an exclusive interview with Screen Rant for The Little Mermaid, Bailey explained how much these reactions mean to her. She shared how important Brandy’s Cinderella and Anika Noni Rose as Princess Tiana were to her growing up and calls joining them as a Disney princess “an immense blessing.” Bailey said, “the reactions are what keep me going.” Check out Bailey’s full quote and interview below:
Halle Bailey: It means the world to me to see these lovely reactions, specifically from the babies and the children. It just warms me up, fills me with so much joy, and makes me feel like this is all for a reason. There’s purpose in this. I had amazing role models before me, like Brandy as Cinderella and Anika Noni Rose as Princess Tiana. So, to join them as one of the Disney princesses, is an immense blessing for me. The reactions are what keep me going.
The Little Mermaid And Halle Bailey Can Inspire A New Generation
The live-action Disney adaptations introduce these timeless classics to a whole new generation while providing a new experience for those who already love the original animation. The live-action The Little Mermaid introduces a new version of Ariel while still embodying the spirit of adventure, heroism, and love of the original. Bailey’s Ariel further fleshes out this passion for life, curiosity, and intelligence.
The Little Mermaid has always captured people’s hearts and inspired love for music and curiosity, but the live adaptation of The Little Mermaid had a deeper impact before the film even hit theaters. The importance of representation can’t be overstated, and these viral videos show exactly why. These children saw a reflection of themselves in Bailey’s Ariel, and they were immediately touched by this.
Seeing oneself in the media consumed helps people discover their identity and opens the possibilities for their future. The Little Mermaid opened a new possibility for a number of children, just as The Princess and the Frog and Brandy’s Cinderella did before. The Little Mermaid is already a time-honored classic, but this version will be an experience that has a very real, very palpable impact on many kids’ lives, becoming an inspiration for them just as Brandy as Cinderella and Rose as Princess Tiana were for Bailey.