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Original Ariel Jodi Benson Praises Remake’s “Very Important” Changes

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Disney is getting ready to throw back on their scuba gear to go back under the sea with their live-action The Little Mermaid remake and everything else are going to look a lot different from the original film. The Little Mermaid will feature Halle Bailey as Ariel, which will race swap the character from white to black, and that has been a major topic of discussion on the internet. Jodi Benson, who voiced Ariel in the original animated movie, recently spoke out on the changes and called them “very important”. In a new interview, Benson revealed her full thoughts on the changes.

“When you look at our film, we started in the studio in 1986 and we were released in 1989. Times change, people change, cultures change,” Benson told People. “What matters and what is important changes. And, as a studio, we need to make those adjustments, and we need to take into consideration what’s going on around us. We need to be aware.”

“I do feel all of the nuances and small, slight changes here and there are very important. It’s very important to address what’s going on right now in our world and to make it effective for our period of time, where we are right now in this generation.” Benson added.

How The Little Mermaid Handles Underwater Singing

According to a recent interview with The Little Mermaid director Rob Marshall, the answer was actually pretty straightforward.

“How do you begin creating an underwater musical?” Marshall explained in a recent interview with Empire. “It’s never been done before. That fear ignited something in me.”

“We introduce the singing underwater,” Marshall continued. “It’s very delicate, how you introduce song. It’s in this surreal world. We open the film above water, and then we go into this other world, and you accept those things immediately. You have to create the rules of how it works.”

What is The Little Mermaid remake about?

The Little Mermaid will follow Ariel (Halle Bailey), the youngest daughter of the kingdom Atlantica’s ruler King Triton, who is fascinated with the human world but mermaids are forbidden to explore it. After saving Prince Eric from a shipwreck and falling in love with, she becomes determined to be with him in the world above water. These actions lead to a confrontation with her father and an encounter with the conniving sea witch Ursula, making a deal with her to trade her beautiful voice for human legs so she can discover the world above water and impress Eric. However, this ultimately places her life (and her father’s crown) in jeopardy.

The film will be directed by Rob Marshall (Mary Poppins Returns), with a script from David Magee and Jane Goldman. The cast also includes Daveed Diggs, Jacob Tremblay, Awkwafina, Jonah Hauer-King, Javier Bardem, and Melissa McCarthy. The film is expected to feature original songs from the 1989 animated blockbuster, as well as new tracks composed by Alan Menken and Hamilton‘s Lin-Manuel Miranda.

The Little Mermaid is set to be released in theaters on May 26th. 

What do you think about Jodi Benson’s comments? Are you excited for The Little Mermaid remake? Let us know in the comments below or by hitting up our writer @NateBrail on Twitter!

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