Disney has unleashed an enchanting new teaser trailer for their upcoming live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid.
Directed by Rob Marshall, the upcoming musical fantasy film stars singer-songwriter Halle Bailey, of Chloe x Halle fame, as the titular mermaid Ariel.
Set to Bailey’s rendition of the original film’s iconic track Under the Sea, the teaser offers a closer look at the iconic Disney Princess, as well as Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric and Melissa McCarthy as Ursula.
Also starring Javier Bardem as King Triton, Jacob Tremblay as the voice of Flounder and Daveed Diggs as the voice of Sebastian, the film will tell the story we all know: mermaid falls in love with a handsome prince and strikes a deal with treacherous sea witch to become human in exchange for her voice.
In an interview with Variety, Bailey acknowledged the impact of Princess Ariel being played by a Black actor, particularly as only one other Disney Princess, Anika Noni Rose as Tiana in The Princess and the Frog, has been depicted as such.
“I want the little girl in me and the little girls just like me who are watching to know that they’re special, and that they should be a princess in every single way,” she said. “There’s no reason that they shouldn’t be. That reassurance was something that I needed.”
Marshall also said of her performance: “Halle had this incredible facility to be able to dig deep, find the truth of Ariel’s passion and her heart. It was like watching a great film actor being born.”
As one of the most popular Disney animations of all time, The Little Mermaid is widely-anticipated – with the first teaser trailer raking in over 104 million global views in the first 24 hours, surpassing the likes of Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and Cruella.
The Little Mermaid isn’t explicitly queer, however the narrative has been recognised as an allegory for the queer experience and the design of Ursula for the animated Disney classic was notably based on legendary drag entertainer Divine. So, there’s a lot of gay elements here.
Watch the brand new teaser for The Little Mermaid, due for release on 26 May, here or below.