The Little Mermaid Confirms Halle Bailey’s Ariel, Not Prince, Eric Defeats Ursula Unlike the Original 1989 Classic

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Right from the time of its announcement, Halle Bailey’s The Little Mermaid live-action has divided the fans quite distinctively. While some seem to applaud Disney’s move for casting a POC for the character of Ariel, this is the very reason why some can not seem to stomach it. This, to be fair, seems like their problem entirely, as fans across the world have shown their appreciation for Bailey’s intriguing portrayal from the trailer, and cannot seem to be able to see more. 


Moreover, a lot of Tiktok and Instagram trends have tried to showcase the positive impact this move has and will have on the impressionable younger generation about inclusivity. 

Halle Bailey, American singer and actress
Halle Bailey, American singer, and actress

However, that was not the only change they made it seems, as with reports of some modification in the original lyrics of two of the most famous songs in the movie, The Little Mermaid team also revealed that there has been a terrific change in the main plotline of the movie’s conclusion as well.


Also Read: Halle Bailey’s The Little Mermaid Changed Song Lyrics as “People have gotten very sensitive”

Disney’s step towards inclusivity with The Little Mermaid 

Many directors in Hollywood have been slowly striving towards inclusivity in the last few years. Rob Marshall, thankfully, is no different. From casting Halle Bailey as Ariel to changing the lyrics of ‘Kiss the Girl’ and ‘Poor Unfortunate Souls’ to keep up with modern sentiments especially as most of the movie’s audiences are children, they seem determined to leave a positive impact on young minds through this. 

Halle Bailey in The Little Mermaid
Halle Bailey in The Little Mermaid

As Alan Menken, The Little Mermaid‘s original composer who is returning for this movie as well, said, “There are some lyric changes in ‘Kiss the Girl’ because people have gotten very sensitive about the idea that [Prince Eric] would, in any way, force himself on [Ariel].” 

Halle Bailey as Ariel in The Little Mermaid
Halle Bailey as Ariel in The Little Mermaid

He also mentioned the changes in ‘Poor Unfortunate Souls’, “regarding lines that might make young girls somehow feel that they shouldn’t speak out of turn, even though Ursula is clearly manipulating Ariel to give up her voice.” As such, this major step to revise the plot a little without taking too much away from the essence of the story is another ingenious step towards that.

Also Read: Ariel Allegedly Won’t Lose Her Voice in Halle Bailey’s Little Mermaid Like in Original 1989 Movie

The Little Mermaid to save herself in the new story

One of the major plot changes Marshall seems to be coming in with is at the climax of the movie. Instead of following the animated version where the dashing Prince Eric rams his ship into a new powerful Ursula to save Ariel, her kingdom, and himself from her wrath, this movie is expected to follow closer to the Broadway adaptation of the story. 


In that, rather than Prince Eric putting an end to Ursula, Ariel simply smashes the shell around her neck. And filled with the malicious powers of Ursula instead of Ariel’s voice, once it breaks, Ursula, too, loses her life force. 

And a Twitter post recently revealed that the illustrated tie-in book The Little Mermaid: Make a Splash by Ashley Franklin and Paul Kellam follows the path of the Broadway production a bit, as in the pages Ariel was seen driving the ship to Ursula, hopefully, to finish her off. “She [Ariel] steers a wrecked ship into Ursula and defeats her!” the description of the illustration read. 


Also Read: Halle Bailey Says Her ‘The Little Mermaid’ Ariel Has More Character Depth Than Original $40M 1989 Animated Movie: “Definitely changed…her wanting to leave the ocean for a boy”

In light of Disney trying to bring positive changes into the story, Bailey commented, “definitely changed that perspective of just [Ariel] wanting to leave the ocean for a boy.” According to her, by altering and adding these intricate details to the story they have made the premise way bigger than that.

She added, “It’s about herself, her purpose, her freedom, her life, and what she wants.” This only seems to have increased fans’ expectations of the movie tenfolds as they seem to be waiting with bated breath for it to arrive next month. 


The Little Mermaid is set to be released on May 26th, 2023.

Source: Bounding Into Comics


Written by Anushree Banerjee

Articles Published: 179

Anushree Banerjee has a Master's in English, a dollar, and a dream to master the craft of writing stories one day. For now, she makes herself happy with anime, cinema, celebrities and the numerous books piling up on her shelf. After hustling a bit with technical writing, she has finally found her comfortable corner at FandomWire writing about people on the big screen.