HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 12: Halle Bailey attends the 95th Annual Academy Awards on March 12, 2023 in Hollywood, California.

Halle Bailey will play Ariel in Disney’s The Little Mermaid, set to debut in theaters in May. In a new interview, the Grammy-nominated singer and actor shared her thoughts on the update Disney gave to her character. In the original version of Ariel’s story, she leaves her home in the ocean and gives up her voice to a man she’s fallen in love with. Bailey spoke about sexist themes in the original version. The original, an animated film, was released in 1989.

“I’m really excited for my version of the film because we’ve definitely changed that perspective of just her wanting to leave the ocean for a boy,” she told The Edition. She is on the cover of the March issue. “It’s way bigger than that. It’s about herself, her purpose, her freedom, her life, and what she wants.”

Halle continued: “As women we are amazing, we are independent, we are modern, we are everything and above. And I’m glad that Disney is updating some of those themes.”

It is to be noted that before Ariel sets her eyes on Prince Eric, in the “Part Of Your World” ballad she sings about longing to leave leaving her life in the sea behind.

Other Themes

Other themes, such as consent have yet to be addressed by Disney since Ariel could not speak before she and Prince Eric’s first kiss. Additionally, the age of the characters since Ariel is only 16 at the time she and Prince Eric marry. The aforementioned themes have may be explored in the new film but have not been confirmed by Disney.

Bailey will star alongside Jonah Hauer-King (Prince Eric), Melissa McCarthy (Ursula), Daveed Diggs (Sebastian) and Javier Bardem (King Triton). The Little Mermaid is due in theaters on May 26, 2023.

Take a look at the trailer below:

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