“We all who’s gonna have an issue about this”: After Halle Bailey Movie, Disney Releases First Look of Race-swapped Ariel Animated Series

Disney Junior's newest series features Young Ariel's ocean adventures.

"We all who's gonna have an issue about this": After Halle Bailey Movie, Disney Releases First Look of Race-swapped Ariel Animated Series


  • Disney Branded Television gave the green light to a new animated series named Disney Junior's Ariel.
  • The series showcases an 8-year-old Ariel embarking on thrilling adventures in Atlantica.
  • This version of Ariel sports flowing red locs and has rich brown skin, mirroring Bailey's portrayal.
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Halle Bailey switched from music to acting, starring in The Little Mermaid as Ariel in 2023. Ariel is King Triton’s youngest daughter and a headstrong mermaid princess who loves exploring the human world.


The 23-year-old was the first to audition for the coveted role in Disney’s live-action. She sang Part of Your World, from the OG 1989 film, and director Rob Marshall and other filmmakers immediately knew she was the one for the role.

Halle Bailey as Ariel in Disney's live-action The Little Mermaid
Halle Bailey as Ariel in Disney’s live-action The Little Mermaid

Even Bailey’s performance as Ariel received positive reactions. Variety’s critics praised Bailey as “extraordinary” and a “bad-ass.”


After casting Halle Bailey as Ariel in a movie adaptation, Disney revealed the first glimpse of an animated series last year. In the series, the character Ariel has been reimagined as a different race.

Disney Reveals Race-Swapped Ariel in New Animated Series

Disney Branded Television revealed on June 13, 2023, that it approved a new animated series called Disney Junior’s Ariel, inspired by Halle Bailey‘s portrayal of Ariel (via Billboard).

The new series is designed for preschoolers. It’s a spin on The Little Mermaid, featuring an 8-year-old Ariel exploring Atlantica on exciting adventures.


The character designs for Disney Junior’s Ariel show a young version inspired by Bailey’s portrayal. This Ariel has flowing red locs and rich brown skin, reflecting Bailey’s live-action performance.

Disney Junior's Ariel
Disney Junior’s Ariel

But it seems that some people might have issues with changing Ariel’s race in the animated series—similar to the backlash faced by Bailey for her Ariel casting.


Check out some fan reactions:


Some people might worry about changes to the character’s identity, preferring to keep it as it was. There may also be biases when seeing a beloved character portrayed differently.


Disney Eager to Introduce Young Audiences to New Ariel

Disney Junior's Ariel
Disney Junior’s Ariel

Disney Junior’s Ariel follows Ariel and her friends on exciting mermaid adventures in Atlantica, drawing inspiration from the Caribbean.

The official synopsis of the show reads (via Variety):

“Set in the fantastical Caribbean-inspired underwater kingdom of Atlantica, the series follows Ariel as she embarks on fun-filled, action-packed mermaid adventures with her friends.”

Disney can’t wait to introduce the revamped Ariel to young viewers, bringing the character to a new generation. Ayo Davis, the president of Disney Branded Television, said (reported by the same source (Variety):


“For more than 30 years, the story of ‘The Little Mermaid’ has been beloved by audiences all over the world. It brings me so much joy to be able to introduce our new Disney Junior version of Ariel to preschoolers everywhere.”

Alyssa Sapire, senior vice president of development, series, and strategy at Disney Junior, also shared her thoughts on the animated show:

“As we were developing ‘Disney Junior’s Ariel,’ we knew that we wanted to create an atmosphere that was vibrant and magical and showcased our young Ariel’s imagination, which, like our preschool audience watching at home, is as big as the sea.”

The animated show, Disney Junior’s Ariel, is set to premiere in 2024. Meanwhile, watch Halle Bailey starrer live-action of the The Little Mermaid on Disney+.


Written by Shreya Jha

Articles Published: 947

Shreya is an Entertainment News Writer at Fandomwire. She has over a year of experience in journalistic writing with a deep knowledge of entertainment world. After completing her bachelor's program in Journalism and Mass Communication, Shreya is now pursuing her master's degree in the same. Apart from being an avid reader, she's a huge Swiftie and K-culture buff. So yeah, when she's not writing, she will be caught listening to Tay or watching "Business Proposal" for the 100th time.