Disney has been slowly working its way through their beloved classics and creating live-action reboots with the next movie on the list being The Little Mermaid.
But the movie has exactly aged all that well since its release in 1989 – you know, because of the fact Ariel gives up her voice for Prince Eric?
The original story by Hans Christian Andersen is pretty freaky, to be honest, so Disney already changed it when they made their first version.
In Andersen’s original, the mermaid sees the prince on the ship and later rescues him from drowning. They fall in love and she goes to the sea witch who takes her voice in exchange for legs. Then, the prince must kiss her within a few days so she can remain human.
However, in this version, if she doesn’t receive the kiss, she’ll die as mermaids don’t have souls and the prince’s kiss will give her a small part of his. Oh, and after she is turned into a human, the penalty of receiving legs is that ever step she takes will feel as though she’s walking on glass and her feet will bleed.
So, that’s horrifying.
It’s understandable as to why Disney changed their film 30 years ago, but now the President of Production at Walt Disney Studios, Sean Bailey has revealed how the studio will deal with the original message of the movie.
Speaking with Freakonomics Radio, Bailey said, “Well, I don’t want to say too much about it because they do involve some, sort of, plot changes. It’s something we’ve talked a lot about. And we are definitely working to still sort of deliver the beautiful foundations of that story while being cognizant of the times we find ourselves in.”
Bailey has been in his role since 2010 and said it had been a priority to cater to women, because during the ’90s the priority was to appease teen to 20-somthing males as it was believed they’d come out in big numbers to opening weekends in theatres.
So, we can expect Ariel, who will be played by Halle Bailey, to change a little bit – or maybe quite a lot – in the reboot.
It would certainly be a breath of fresh air if she was more of a feminist character and maybe if Prince Eric felt more towards her than physical attraction.
Oh, and the whole getting married only a few days after meeting and ditching her family bit could do with an edit too!