Halle Bailey as Ariel. I'm not going to lie when I saw the casting choice for Ariel my initial thoughts was:
"Aww, I wanted it to be Zendaya."
I wanted it to be Zendaya because I heard a lot of people saying she doesn't have "the right personality" to be Ariel. She's an actress, she can act like she has a different personality on screen, and Zendaya is an awesome singer, she did great (no pun intended) "In The Greatest Showman" I thought Zendaya would have really suited Ariel.
But then, Disney is Disney for a reason, so Halle can't exactly be a bad actress if they cast her. And plus though I was a little disappointed they didn't give Zendaya the role, as I thought about it, Zendaya does already have her fame, she was in Disney, she's in the new Spider-Man movies, she was in "The Greatest Showman" and now she's in a new HBO Drama series "Euphoria."
I don't think many of us heard of Halle Bailey, she hasn't even been in many things, the only thing I have heard of which she's been in is "Grown-ish" but I haven't got around to watching that yet. I've seen clips of "Grown-ish" and honestly her acting in those clips is good, and I've heard her sing and again, she's pretty good.
What's The Problem Then?
Halle is a black girl. In the cartoon, Ariel was a white girl. Is that really a problem? I don't think so. Ariel is a fictional character, and the last time I checked mermaids don't have a specific race.
Honestly, just think about who this movie is for, yes, we may watch it as fans but it's really for the kids. Little kids are going to watch it, they're not going to care about the colour of Ariel, they're just going to want to watch a movie with singing and a happy ending.
And before you go on saying how the original Little Mermaid was set in Denmark, yes that is correct, the original Little Mermaid was set in Denmark. The remake, however, is going to be set in the sea surrounding a fictional kingdom. This fictional kingdom could be anywhere, it doesn't specifically have to be Denmark. So Ariel can be any race.
In Aladdin, Naomi Scott, the actress who played "Jasmine" wasn't an Arab. She was mixed race, half white, half Indian. She slayed the role of Jasmine, she played the role perfectly, even though there were many doubters, who doubted her acting ability.
I've also heard people say Zendaya should have got the role of Ariel because she's a lighter-skinned black woman.
Why is it we are looking at the skin colour of these women?
I'm certain Zendaya is one hell of an actress. Each role I've seen her play she's made it believable, to me. I think I will love her as MJ in Spider-Man because she's so much more realistic than MJ in the Spider-Man trilogy was. Which high school student do you see that is like MJ in the trilogy? And plus 'the dead on the inside' vibe Zendaya's MJ gives off, again I love it, and she makes it believable. How do I know? Because I've felt that way at school too, and so have my friends. ;P
We're going off on a bit of a roundabout here so let's swerve back to the point (that made no sense, I know).
I can't really say much about Halle's acting. What I've seen of her singing and acting is good but I don't think I've seen enough to call her a 'good actress'. But I can surely count on Disney. They made the right choice for Jasmine, Aladdin, and the Genie, I'm sure they've made the right choice for Ariel.
What I want to judge Halle and Zendaya and any other actor or actress on is their ability to act. Not their skin colour. Not once did I think Zendaya should get the role because she has light skin, I thought she should have got the role because she's a good actress. And I'm not going to completely diss this actress because she's a dark-skinned black girl.
I'd understand people's problem if Ariel actually existed because then it boils down to historical accuracy as well as their ability to act. But Ariel was a fictional character, she was written up by somebody, so she could be anybody of any race.
And if you really hate the fact that a black girl gets the oppurtunity to be Ariel so much, the original Ariel isn't going anywhere so you can watch that instead of the remake.
And just because she's black it doesn't mean you still can't identify with Ariel as a character. Another pathetic excuse I've heard people make. I'm not white but I was still able to identify with Ariel when I was younger, because she was curious about the outside world, and so was I. Now, I've become more of an introvert who likes staying indoors, but the point is Ariel being white didn't stop childhood me being able to think I am like Ariel, not once in the bathtub did childhood me think:
"Oh, Ariel's white, I'm brown, so I can't pretend to be the little mermaid because I'm not white!"
I didn't care! I pretended I had fins because I didn't see Ariel as a white girl, I saw her as Ariel the Little Mermaid. Or just Ariel.
And Ariel being black won't stop any children from doing the same things, the most important demographic isn't us, it's the kids.
Now I come to think of it like that, as long as it's appropriate for the kids, I'm cool with it.