That’s it.. it’s a fact. Halle Baily (Not Halle Berry as some angry online opponents have thought) has been cast in the new “The Little Mermaid” movie. Apparently this is sacrilege. I had no idea that the fate of the world was to be determined by the color of a fictional mermaid’s skin.
Now for those of you who are not aware, The Little Mermaid is based on the Hans Christian Anderson tale in which a young mermaid falls in love with a handsome prince. She, as in the Disney tale, gives up her voice to the sea witch.. as well as her tongue, that’s left out, and given legs that can dance as no one has ever danced before. The catch, as there’s always a catch, is that she will feel piercing stabbing in her legs and her feet will bleed pretty much all the time. Not as adorable as the dinglehopper angle, but there it is.
As in the Disney version the mermaid’s only choice for remaining human and not dying is getting her beloved prince to marry her… ahhh.. happily ever after… only he doesn’t, and she dies. Yup.. that’s the story of the little mermaid.. or it was, until it was remade for film. Actually that particular story has been remade by different studios quite a few times.
In the original story the woman that the prince does end up marrying was being educated at “The Temple”. Given that there is no mention of specific area, there’s a probably chance that the Prince in question and the area involved was Hebrew.. and possibly the Middle East toward the Mediterranean Sea. In later adaptations she was blonde, which makes sense given Anderson was Danish and there is a heavy blonde population there.
Then Disney came out with their feisty red head. That was fun. I was a teenager at the time, but I remember being happy that it wasn’t another blonde, and to be quite honest the red was quite striking against the green and blue back drop of the ocean scenes. I read somewhere that’s why they chose to do it. Either way it worked, and people loved it.
Now there’s a new adaptation. This one is played by a young black girl and happens to be by the same studio who made the animated version that did so well.. and people are OUT OF THEIR MINDS! A lot of people are saying that it’s not a race thing but that the Little Mermaid just has to be a ginger.. because she was last time.. in that one other Disney movie. Funny.. I remember watching “Into the Woods”, another Disney adaptation of a collection of fairy tales and Anna Kendrick was cast as Cinderella… now I don’t know about you, but in my childhood Cinderella was ALWAYS blonde, and Miss Anna is definitely not blonde, nor does she play one on TV. There were no protests and bloggers and online rally cries to Made Cinderella Blonde Again. It was fine.. it was a remake, and the directors were free to cast whomever they chose. Even Disney.
What really surprises me is how many people want to blame children for the outrage. I have seen many people expressing that little ones will be confused by the change. That kids couldn’t possibly understand why they character looks so different this time. Well, I asked my 6 year old what he thought about a “brown” girl playing the part.. his response was, “ok”… that’s it. No clarification needed.. just ok.
No one cared when Laurence Fishburne played Perry White in Man of Steel 2013, or when Eartha Kitt played Catwomen in Batman 1966, or Idris Elba played Heimdel in Thor 2011.. I mean maybe comic book geeks are just not that strict on continuity or cannon.. (sarcasm for those who don’t know any comic book geeks).. or maybe they understand that actors are to be judged not by the color of their skin.. but the content of their character. At any rate… it’s a movie people. Get over it.