The Little Mermaid is the latest live-action remake from Disney and it sees Halle Bailey taking on the role of Ariel, the beloved mermaid who wishes to explore the surface. The film hit theaters today, and fans cannot stop praising Bailey’s performance, especially when it comes to her vocal talents. ComicBook.com‘s Jenna Anderson gave the new movie a 4 out of 5 and said Bailey “not only effortlessly embodies Ariel’s earnestness and enthusiasm, but adds even more layers of depth to it.” Of course, the role of Ariel was originally voiced by Jodi Benson in the 1989 animated film, and the Disney Legend has had nothing but praise for the newest Ariel. Warning: Spoilers Ahead! In fact, Benson makes a special cameo in the live-action film. While Ariel and Prince Eric (Jonah Hauer-King) are exploring a market, Ariel is given a fork by a woman at a stand. That woman was none other than Benson, and the passing of a fork was a symbolic way for the actor to pass the role over to Bailey. During a recent interview with ComicBook.com, director Rob Marshall talked about Benson’s special moment in the film.
“Well, I won’t say the person’s name, but that person is a very old friend,” Marshall said of Benson. “I directed this person many, many, many years ago. I think maybe in either the late eighties or early nineties. And it’s just, you know, when you have a connection like that with someone you really love and know, it seemed the right thing to do, especially if it can be done in an elegant way that doesn’t stick out.”
Marshall continued, “I don’t want to step outside the piece at all … We had written this role before [Benson] was cast in that little cameo. So we thought, ‘Oh, that’s kind of a perfect way to do it. Really simple.’ And just having a friend, an old friend on set with us and everybody was so excited to have [her].”
Jodi Benson Reacts To The Little Mermaid‘s Changes:
Benson recently spoke out on the changes in The Little Mermaid, and called them “very important.”
“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.
The Little Mermaid is now playing in theaters.