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Film ► The Little Mermaid Live Action Remake



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KHRULER

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Well, no one would like it if Dory was changed into a Bluefin Tuna in a live-action Finding Nemo either (please never let there be such a movie...) Or if Red XIII was changed into a Scottish Fold for the VII Remake. Ariel being a non-human character doesn't work well as a defense when you consider this would have to apply to all non-human characters.

Then there's the fact that people would be up in arms if this was the reverse, a white actress playing a character who was originally black. No one would take "she's just a fish" as real defense and would be even more pissed off at such reasoning being used.

I can understand the concern with changing a character's look. But from my perspective, I just don't see how a change in skin color would be so different from the original. Ariel is still a mermaid. She's a different skin color, not a different species.

If the roles were reversed, people would rightfully so be up in arms for 2 reasons:
1. A change in the race/ethnicity of the character would affect the plot in movies such as Mulan, Princess and the Frog, Aladdin. Ariel being black as opposed to white has no effect on the plot.

2. The Disney princesses of color (lol) are the only ones that minorities have to represent them. Black people ONLY have Tiana. East Asians ONLY have Mulan. If we pretended like changing the race/ethnicity of these characters didn't affect the plot, why should it be changed to a white person when they are already over represented as Disney princesses? How many Disney princesses do little white girls have to represent them vs a little girl that's a person of color?
 

FudgemintGuardian

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I can understand the concern with changing a character's look. But from my perspective, I just don't see how a change in skin color would be so different from the original. Ariel is still a mermaid. She's a different skin color, not a different species.

If the roles were reversed, people would rightfully so be up in arms for 2 reasons:
1. A change in the race/ethnicity of the character would affect the plot in movies such as Mulan, Princess and the Frog, Aladdin. Ariel being black as opposed to white has no effect on the plot.

2. The Disney princesses of color (lol) are the only ones that minorities have to represent them. Black people ONLY have Tiana. East Asians ONLY have Mulan. If we pretended like changing the race/ethnicity of these characters didn't affect the plot, why should it be changed to a white person when they are already over represented as Disney princesses? How many Disney princesses do little white girls have to represent them vs a little girl that's a person of color?
True, but skin color is also part of character design (I'm obsessed with character design, so I'mma big stickler on this. lol)

On 2, this is very true, which is why Disney should have the balls to make new characters of those races/ethnicities instead of turning their white characters into hand-me-downs. Doing this in a live-remake especially is a bad idea as the majority of the time they're lifelessly copying the cartoons. This film should be a big thing for Halle Bailey and her career, but unless TLM remake focuses more on the spirit of the original, then her direction will be "just copy the white girl."

Fortunately in terms of race/ethnicity representation, Disney is currently working on an original live-action princess film set in Africa. And hopefully this is a sign they'll focus more on non-white characters in future original films.

Having more representation of other races and ethnicities is great and admittedly, as a 90's kid obsessed with cartoons, I was always exposed to that so maybe I just can't see this as seriously as others because for me it was always commonplace.
 

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I’m very happy it is Halle Bailey playing Ariel. Ariel’s ethnicity didn’t play a role in her character, so anybody could play her. It’s not like she can’t have red hair, either.

Also Disney snapped and I agree with everything they said:

 

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someone on twitter really just compared this to having a tangled remake, where rapunzel has no hair 🙃
errr this person blocked me, I was totally calm, didn't call them names or curse at them, but they just blocked me. Bro. I'm done with this errrrr. 😶

I get that the character is an iconic disney character. I mean sometimes I want to believe that this was just a character design thing, but like they didn't even show a pic of her as ariel, they just revealed the actress. Like were people this angry or was it this big of a deal when Angelina Jolie didn't have the same skin color or eye color as the original design of maleficent? She doesn't even look like her, if it weren't for the prosthetics that define the character's shape
 

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Personally, I just feel it's a miscast, and not because of race or because I feel attacked right in the childhood or something.
In any case the actress shouldn't be harassed just for accepting a job, obviously.

I just find it odd to cast a black person as the Little Mermaid because mermaids live at the bottom of the sea. Where the sun doesn't get to, therefore melanin can't kick in. That's why a lot of creatures who live in such habitats are pale-skinned, because there's no sunlight.
Having Ariel, a mermaid born and raised under the sea who desperately wants to see the surface world, having a darker complexion than (presumably, at this point) Prince Eric, born and raised in the land where "under the sun they slave away" just seems... messy to me.
It's like wanting to make a movie about dwarves dealing with being short and casting a 7 feet tall main character. You wouldn't argue that that's fine because dwarves don't exist, if such casting only muddles up the main premise.

Obviously, people are much more uppity about this instance because it involves race and minorities, but frankly I think that's just an unfortunate coincidence: even if you cast a southern italian actor (so a person belonging to the "white" category") I'd still frown, because usually their skin complexion is darker than average, again, due to the constant exposition to strong sunlight.
Ethnicity doesn't play a part in Ariel's character, skin tone does play a part in her premise.

If you feel like this is overanalyzing and mermaids are just product of fantasy so screw the rules, well... I still frown. The Genie is also a fictional character, and him being blue wasn't a key factor of his identity or the movie. But Will Smith was blue nonetheless.
I guess it all comes down to some people thinking the Genie being blue is far more important and iconic than Ariel having a light complexion.
I put them on the same plate because, again: dark-skinned mermaid. It immediately gives me the impression that she's a creature born and raised under the sun, which impacts the message of the movie.
If this STILL comes out as racist or just blind nostalgia, I'm sorry for worsening the thread, I really am. I can only assure you at the best of my credibility that I don't feel that being the case at all.
 
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Personally, I just feel it's a miscast, and not because of race or because I feel attacked right in the childhood or something.
In any case the actress shouldn't be harassed just for accepting a job, obviously.

I just find it odd to cast a black person as the Little Mermaid because mermaids live at the bottom of the sea. Where the sun doesn't get to, therefore melanin can't kick in. That's why a lot of creatures who live in such habitats are pale-skinned, because there's no sunlight.
Having Ariel, a mermaid born and raised under the sea who desperately wants to see the surface world, having a darker complexion than (presumably, at this point) Prince Eric, born and raised in the land where "under the sun they slave away" just seems... messy to me.
It's like wanting to make a movie about dwarves dealing with being short and casting a 7 feet tall main character. You wouldn't argue that that's fine because dwarves don't exist, if such casting only muddles up the main premise.

Obviously, people are much more uppity about this instance because it involves race and minorities, but frankly I think that's just an unfortunate coincidence: even if you cast a southern italian actor (so a person belonging to the "white" category") I'd still frown, because usually their skin complexion is darker than average, again, due to the constant exposition to strong sunlight.
Ethnicity doesn't play a part in Ariel's character, skin tone does play a part in her premise.

If you feel like this is overanalyzing and mermaids are just product of fantasy so screw the rules, well... I still frown. The Genie is also a fictional character, and him being blue wasn't a key factor of his identity or the movie. But Will Smith was blue nonetheless.
I guess it all comes down to some people thinking the Genie being blue is far more important and iconic than Ariel having a light complexion.
I put them on the same plate because, again: dark-skinned mermaid. It immediately gives me the impression that she's a creature born and raised under the sun, which impacts the message of the movie.
If this STILL comes out as racist or just blind nostalgia, I'm sorry for worsening the thread, I really am. I can only assure you at the best of my credibility that I don't feel that being the case at all.
I mean why do white people or pale people exist then, since we are land creatures exposed to the sun why aren't we all black? There are many ways to explain the existance darker complexion mermaids. If you look at dolphin types, there are darker ones and lighter ones. There are dark fish in the sea. The mermaids could live in shallower waters, maybe they go to the surface often. Maybe there are areas of the sea where darker skin is a benefit to the mermaid. Or they've come up with some sort of light source that works underwater, acting just like the sun. I don't think being under the sea justifies the idea of: all mermaids have to be white/pale, or else it doesn't make any sense.
 

Ballad of Caius

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I just see it from the point of view that remakes should be as faithful to their original as they can. Does it annoy me? Yes, a bit. Will it continue to annoy me? No. The magic of live-action is to literally see the animation reflected in real life.

What I think everyone should worry is how good they're going to animate the animals, judging by their poor track record with Lion King's expressions.
 

FudgemintGuardian

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I mean why do white people or pale people exist then
Because we're vampires.

since we are land creatures exposed to the sun why aren't we all black?
Because science. (I'm too tired to give a full explanation, but it's something about ultraviolent rays and 50 other things.)

What I think everyone should worry is how good they're going to animate the animals, judging by their poor track record with Lion King's expressions.
Come to think of it, has it even been said yet if any of the animal characters will appear in this?
 

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Because science. (I'm too tired to give a full explanation, but it's something about ultraviolent rays and 50 other things.)
That was a rhetorical question to say that there are ways to explain the existence of dark skinned mermaids
 

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I've listened to her singing voice. She's a good singer and I'm sure her acting capabilities will be just fine. People are just overreacting per the usual.
 

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I mean why do white people or pale people exist then, since we are land creatures exposed to the sun why aren't we all black? There are many ways to explain the existance darker complexion mermaids. If you look at dolphin types, there are darker ones and lighter ones. There are dark fish in the sea. The mermaids could live in shallower waters, maybe they go to the surface often. Maybe there are areas of the sea where darker skin is a benefit to the mermaid. Or they've come up with some sort of light source that works underwater, acting just like the sun. I don't think being under the sea justifies the idea of: all mermaids have to be white/pale, or else it doesn't make any sense.

You can find or make up an explanation for anything, but it's exactly that: an explanation you have to make. Bringing back my dwarf example, I could also think of ways about why him being 7 feet tall makes sense, but I'd have to think of one, make sure it isn't feeble, and still take the movie's time to showcase it.

It's like why I've found Disney's response really weak, they basically said "black people can exist in Denmark".
Yes, and as a person who has been to Denmark several times... you don't think of black people when you think of Denmark.
That's all my argument is: a movie, being a visual product, has to deal with the instantaneous signals the audience will react to. If I see a black mermaid, I'm not gonna think "Oh well, there are surely explanations for why that happened", I'm just going to think "Why has this creature who dreams of seeing the surface already been in the sun more than many humans."

And since we've gotten to this point in the conversation where I'm defening my point, let me clarify: that's not the end of the world. Even now, that's not something that makes me lose sleep or for which I'm foaming at the mouth. I'm not even sure I'll see it, I kinda had my fill with live action Disney movies after hearing they're gonna make a sequel to Maleficent.
This movie in particular drew my attention exactly because of this fact, which I was interested in because omnipresent bigots aside I could feel that there might be something else other than racism or jusy "she doesn't look right!" at its core.

I think there are reasons for keeping Ariel light-skinned, and casting Bailey for whatever other Disney project where starring a black woman would be great (perhaps a NEW project and not a retell, like Fudge suggested). Then, she's going to play Ariel?
Ok.
She'll be far from the first miscast actress for a movie.

Come to think of it, has it even been said yet if any of the animal characters will appear in this?

I'm going to start calling this "the Mushu fear".

If I remember correctly, the seagull is going to appear and be genderswapped? Also Flounder?
 
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LostArtist

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You can find or make up an explanation for anything, but it's exactly that: an explanation you have to make. Bringing back my dwarf example, I could also think of ways about why him being 7 feet tall makes sense, but I'd have to think of one, make sure it isn't feeble, and still take the movie's time to showcase it.

It's like why I've found Disney's response really weak, they basically said "black people can exist in Denmark".
Yes, and as a person who has been to Denmark several times... you don't think of black people when you think of Denmark.
That's all my argument is: a movie, being a visual product, has to deal with the instantaneous signals the audience will react to. If I see a black mermaid, I'm not gonna think "Oh well, there are surely explanations for why that happened", I'm just going to think "Why has this creature who dreams of seeing the surface already been in the sun more than many humans."
The thing is you don't have to make an explanation for it. I just made one cause you brought up that to you mermaids don't make sense being dark skinned. No part of the definition of a mermaid says they can't be dark. Whereas being short is literarily part of the definition of being a dwarf, which to me is a bad comparison to make.

This story doesn't take place in Denmark, it takes place in Atlantica. The Disney response only mentions it for the sake of argument. There is nothing in the original animated movie that screams to me that Denmark is important in all of it. So no I don't agree with your overall argument: that when you think of mermaids you don't think of black people.
 

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The thing is you don't have to make an explanation for it.

Yes you should if I come with a valid objection to the choice.

I just made one cause you brought up that to you mermaids don't make sense being dark skinned. No part of the definition of a mermaid says they can't be dark.

Part of the definition of living so deep underwater you feel like the surface is dangerous and a mystery is: there were actually answers to many of your explanations, I just didn't answer because that wasn't the main point of your post.
For example, mermaids going often to the surface really doesn't cut it, aside from the fact that that's more in line of tanned skin rather than straight up black complexion, if you lived so much time without strong sunlight your melanin just can't operate like that.
That's also true for many light-skinned complexions among humans.

Other things like black fishes don't add because if we're talking about human skin and how it works, then only UV rays do that to my knowledge, it's a scientific process. It's the human part that's in discussion, not the fish one.

Whereas being short is literarily part of the definition of being a dwarf, which to me is a bad comparison to make.

No, there are dwarves who aren't short at all, the most recent example being Peter Dinklage's character in Infinity War, but it also happened before. It's a feature that often comes with being a dwarf, so that's actually fitting.
Anyway, changing that to another example takes no time at all and would still prove my point.

This story doesn't take place in Denmark, it takes place in Atlantica. The Disney response only mentions it for the sake of argument. There is nothing in the original animated movie that screams to me that Denmark is important in all of it.

Disney should've ignored the Denmark question altogether, since that's exactly it, it plays no relevant part in the story, they willingly went into it, only to say "It is possible for black people to exist within Denmark", which is just very weak because it doesn't really answer anything. The moment you bring Denmark to the table, I'm going to think about Denmark, you mentioned it.
And they only did that to deliver what still doesn't constitute as the main visual image tied to Denmark people but a lesser case. There are some things that istantaneously convey a mental image to the viewer and things that don't, and it plays a big part when making movies, knowing how to make use of that can improve the product greatly (not even just movies, even tv ads and the likes work the same way).

And by doing that they're just going to give fertile ground for the same tired objections, such as "There are also white people in Africa" and know-it-alls giving you essays about the geographical position of black people during Andersen's time (regardless of how accurate they are).
None of this would advance the discussion in a constructive manner.
They should've just avoided that altogether and keep pressing on mermaids not existing, or people being unreasonable.
Don't just try to be right on any accounts, chances are high you aren't most of the times.

So no I don't agree with your overall argument: that when you think of mermaids you don't think of black people.

That wasn't my point.
If you make a movie with the main premise being that a creature who lives underwater is fascinated by the surface, giving them the complexion that can only manifest after several evolutionary process stages liked directly with the sun and the surface.
Tell me the story of a mermaid tied to a rock on the surface for ages or living near and island, and I'll be the first one to tell you "You better not make them white as snow", for the same reasons. I can and will definitely think of black people for merfolk there.

Anyway, you don't have to agree about why I feel that wasn't the best choice. It's all fair game.
 

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Yes you should if I come with a valid objection to the choice.



Part of the definition of living so deep underwater you feel like the surface is dangerous and a mystery is: there were actually answers to many of your explanations, I just didn't answer because that wasn't the main point of your post.
For example, mermaids going often to the surface really doesn't cut it, aside from the fact that that's more in line of tanned skin rather than straight up black complexion, if you lived so much time without strong sunlight your melanin just can't operate like that.
That's also true for many light-skinned complexions among humans.

Other things like black fishes don't add because if we're talking about human skin and how it works, then only UV rays do that to my knowledge, it's a scientific process. It's the human part that's in discussion, not the fish one.



No, there are dwarves who aren't short at all, the most recent example being Peter Dinklage's character in Infinity War, but it also happened before. It's a feature that often comes with being a dwarf, so that's actually fitting.
Anyway, changing that to another example takes no time at all and would still prove my point.



Disney should've ignored the Denmark question altogether, since that's exactly it, it plays no relevant part in the story, they willingly went into it, only to say "It is possible for black people to exist within Denmark", which is just very weak because it doesn't really answer anything. The moment you bring Denmark to the table, I'm going to think about Denmark, you mentioned it.
And they only did that to deliver what still doesn't constitute as the main visual image tied to Denmark people but a lesser case. There are some things that istantaneously convey a mental image to the viewer and things that don't, and it plays a big part when making movies, knowing how to make use of that can improve the product greatly (not even just movies, even tv ads and the likes work the same way).

And by doing that they're just going to give fertile ground for the same tired objections, such as "There are also white people in Africa" and know-it-alls giving you essays about the geographical position of black people during Andersen's time (regardless of how accurate they are).
None of this would advance the discussion in a constructive manner.
They should've just avoided that altogether and keep pressing on mermaids not existing, or people being unreasonable.
Don't just try to be right on any accounts, chances are high you aren't most of the times.



That wasn't my point.
If you make a movie with the main premise being that a creature who lives underwater is fascinated by the surface, giving them the complexion that can only manifest after several evolutionary process stages liked directly with the sun and the surface.
Tell me the story of a mermaid tied to a rock on the surface for ages or living near and island, and I'll be the first one to tell you "You better not make them white as snow", for the same reasons. I can and will definitely think of black people for merfolk there.

Anyway, you don't have to agree about why I feel that wasn't the best choice. It's all fair game.
I don't have the patience to keep going on with this.

What I'm getting from you is:
-her being white is crucial to the story because it shows that she is under the sea and doesn't see the surface. Them changing her black doesn't make sense because it shows that her skin has seen the surface often.

-Mermaids can't be black, unless there is a very specific reason for them being so, like a story of a mermaid being tied to a rock out in the sun.

Both of which I disagree with. I would keep giving more examples of how mermaids could be black, because it's fake, but besides that, not completey human so they wouldn't have the same properties a human has, and also really doesn't have a known evolutionary background, so you can literally come up with anything.


But I feel like it would just keep going in circles and end up with you not seeing how your average mermaid who lives under the sea could be black. So I'm just going to end with I fully disagree with you.
 

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Again, you don't need to have "patience" or anything: no one's asking you to keep going on with this or agreeing with me.
I came here to state why *I* feel like this was a miscast fully knowing that many just don't even go where I go with my reasoning, I never claimed wanting to make others think the way I do.
I know people are going to be either fully supportive of this or negative, and I also know why. I just explained my point. It's going to be an unpopular point, that was easy to see.

Just as I don't need to see that a mermaid living under the sea could be black, since neither the fish nor the human anatomy make it so.
Mermaids aren't just made of xiluphtons from the faraway planet of Yggylagr, they are half human, half fish, and whatever merfolk lore is there. To me that's a very specific set of rules to follow, instead of just saying "anything goes because they don't exist".

And again, it's not even that: mermaids don't exist. I know that (even if sadly the current political party in Italy believes otherwise, but that's another story). The moment you tell me "I'm not bothered by it because it's a fictional being" that's fair enough.
What I'm talking about is wanting to go the extra mile to provide all the visual clues to better carry the message. It's NOT crucial to the story at all. It's a nuanced aspect of the visual representation.
 

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Again, you don't need to have "patience" or anything: no one's asking you to keep going on with this or agreeing with me.
I came here to state why *I* feel like this was a miscast fully knowing that many just don't even go where I go with my reasoning, I never claimed wanting to make others think the way I do.
I made a conversation because I disagreed and I wanted to. 💁‍♀️

Mermaids aren't just made of xiluphtons from the faraway planet of Yggylagr, they are half human, half fish, and whatever merfolk lore is there. To me that's a very specific set of rules to follow, instead of just saying "anything goes because they don't exist".

How did that happen? no evolutionary explanation if that's all the rules. For all we know mermaid races came from people spending too much time in water that they became half fish.


It just seems completey silly to me, this argument of why you can't see how a mermaid living under the sea could be black. The tie in to why it's crucial to the story felt like the most nitpicky and unnecessary thing ever. Which is why I kept conversing.
 

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I made a conversation because I disagreed and I wanted to. 💁‍♀️

Then don't come and say "I don't have the patience", "you won't see this so I'm going to entirely disagree" like I'm putting you up to it, my dude.
I'm trying to keep saying that it's whatever because despite all that you seem like you really care about disproving what I say.

It's not that I dislike talking with you, I'm just concerned you might think this is confrontational, which is not. I'm walking on eggshells because I know how these debates can go and I don't want to ruin anyone's day (mine, too) over it.

If you're cool, then pay no mind to me being a worrywart and I'm sorry for patronizing the discussion.

It just seems completey silly to me, this argument of why you can't see how a mermaid living under the sea could be black. The tie in to why it's crucial to the story felt like the most nitpicky and unnecessary thing ever. Which is why I kept conversing.

I think I've been saying that it's NOT crucial to the story at all enough times to start wondering why you keep acting like it is.

Also:

For all we know mermaid races came from people spending too much time in water that they became half fish.

That's not nitpicky?
What I brought was an argument tied to human skin on a being with human skin played by a human actress. All the while acknowledging that it's a side thing, dotting the "i"s.
You're bringing evolution and origin of mermaids to try and disprove that their human skin might work the same as humans, taking it to a level of depth I don't think Andersen or Disney execs ever thought of.

I'm going to advocate Occam's Razor and say that they have human skin which is just like humans'.


I agree we've stated our points enough times, now it's starting to go into who believes what. To each their own there.
 

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Then don't come and say "I don't have the patience", "you won't see this so I'm going to entirely disagree" like I'm putting you up to it, my dude.
I'm trying to keep saying that it's whatever because despite all that you seem like you really care about disproving what I say.

It's not that I dislike talking with you, I'm just concerned you might think this is confrontational, which is not. I'm walking on eggshells because I know how these debates can go and I don't want to ruin anyone's day (mine, too) over it.

If you're cool, then pay no mind to me being a worrywart and I'm sorry for patronizing the discussion.
Bro, I only said that because my response was very short and undetailed, with it just being a huge response block rather than mini blocks to really get into it. That's it. 💁‍♀️ (before I was highlighting passages to reply to and stuff)
And where did you get "you won't see this so I'm going to entirely disagree" from?

I think I've been saying that it's NOT crucial to the story at all enough times to start wondering why you keep acting like it is.

Also:
Then why is this an issue for you at all? And why did you go to such lengths explaining it?

That's not nitpicky?
To me it is, it's not directly tied to the story at all (in my opinion of course).
 

LostArtist

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Also I need to sleep it's way past my bed time which is another reason why I said "I don't have the patience to keep going on with this" and continued with a summary of what I got from you, with minimal detail
 
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