“You’ve got to have growth”: Halle Bailey’s The Little Mermaid Makes Major Changes to Showcase Consent Amidst Massive Backlash from Racists

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Halle Bailey is just a few days away to swim in the theatres to play Disney’s iconic mermaid princess, Ariel in The Little Mermaid. Amid the strong criticism that continues to surround the live-action adaptation of the 1989 classic of the same name, it is revealed that the film is going to make some major changes. The modifications in the upcoming film will be able to address the matter of consent and more.

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

Also Read: The Little Mermaid Review – Wading Through a Sea of Mediocrity

The upcoming film has worked on the previous songs which were the tracks on the original animated classic. But the new changes have been done to get updated with the times.

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Halle Bailey’s The Little Mermaid Went Through Changes to Evolve With The Times

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

Also Read: The Little Mermaid (1989) Revisited – The Queer-Coded Princess That Birthed A Renaissance

The Little Mermaid has gone through some major changes especially the soundtracks of the 1989 classic. Reports unveiled in April that Director Rob Marshall and his team have modified the original films’ soundtracks that could fit today’s world.

The lyrics to songs like Kiss the Girl and Poor Unfortunate Souls have been altered to address consent matters and other elements which were less explored at the time.

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Not just that, the film plot also went through some improvisation, especially the part where Ariel gives up her voice for her love, Prince Eric. It has been reported that Kiss the Girl song has been tweaked to address the importance of consent. Whereas in Poor Unfortunate Souls, minor changes have been done.

Were The Changes Required in Halle Bailey’s Film?

The Little Mermaid fails to satisfy Disney fans
The Little Mermaid 

Also Read: “You were in a movie. You didn’t cure cancer”: The Little Mermaid Star Halle Bailey Mega Trolled for Saying a Black Mermaid Can Change Lives

Given the continuous backlash the film is receiving, any further modifications in the film would have provoked Disney fans, especially when it meant altering the classic. Music composer, Alan Menken who wrote the songs for the animated film joined the remake film and retouched the classic film music which he felt was needed for this era.

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He told Vanity Fair,

“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].” 

He added,

“We have some revisions 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.”

Even Jodi Bensen, who voiced the original Ariel supported the changes. She told EW,

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“Things change. We’ve got to roll with that…But you’ve got to have growth. It’s very important to stay relevant with where we are, what’s going on around us. We need to be aware. So the adjustments and the fine-tuning that they needed to do, it was a must, but it was done in a beautiful way, and I’m very, very thrilled with it.”

The film has been receiving major backlash, especially regarding the casting of the lead protagonist, Halle Bailey who will be bringing the first Black Ariel on the screens. However, she has also been amassing support from other factions who are ready to see her ride the waves.

The Little Mermaid is scheduled to be released in the United States on May 26, 2023.

Source: Variety

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Written by Priya Sharma

Articles Published: 1062

Priya Sharma, Senior Content Writer and Social Media Manager at FandomWire and Animated Times. Having graduated in Journalism and Mass Communication, she possesses extensive expertise in crafting engaging and informative content. She has written over 2000 articles across Animated Times and FandomWire on pop culture, showing her dedication to delivering diverse and trending content to readers across the world. Apart from pop culture, she is quite enthusiastic about the Hallyu culture and is exploring the world of anime, expanding the horizons of her knowledge.