Growing up I was obsessed with Disney princesses.
Whether by choice or simply because that’s what little girls were into, we’ll never know.
But one thing I know for sure, is that none of the princesses ever looked like me.
When I caught myself in the mirror, I didn’t see fair skin and perfectly coiffed hair like my dolls had. Instead, I saw darker skin and naturally curly hair, sometimes too wild to tame.
Until the first black Disney princess was revealed as Tiana The princess and the frogi was 12 years old and the magic was almost gone.
Or so I thought.
Fast forward and the year is 2023, and there’s another black Disney princess, and for some reason this one strikes a different chord.
I think what he does”The little Mermaid” The live action adaptation is so special that they didn’t create a new princess, they just gave an old one a new look, a look we never thought we’d see.
Halle Bailey, who plays the lead character Ariel in the film, had big shoes to fill, and after seeing the film for myself, I can say with certainty that she’ll need a bigger size.
Last week, I had the opportunity to see Bailey under the sea perform at the Canadian premiere in Toronto.
Originally released in 1989, the classic Disney film tells the story of Ariel, a mermaid with a beautiful singing voice, who falls in love with a human prince. To be with her love, Ariel makes a deal with a sea witch to become human for three days. The catch is that Ariel must trade her voice for the chance to walk on land.
While there are no juicy spoilers to share, what might surprise many is just how perfect Bailey is for the role.
That means the conversation won’t be about how well they got the story, but more about how the talented actress and singer was able to play this character so effortlessly regardless of the color of her skin.
The truth is, she is the perfect Ariel and an amazing role model for young black girls everywhere.
Throughout the film she shines, partly thanks to the black girl glow she was born with, but also because she works as a seasoned mermaid.
But in the end, it was her song that stole the show and it’s a guaranteed tearjerker.
Hearing “Part of Your World” on the big screen will bring many to tears, but mostly thanks to Bailey’s unique spin and incredible vocal range.
Although Bailey is the one to watch, her co-stars leave their mark on the film as well.
Jacob Tremblay, who voices “Flounder” was a great addition to the remake and told Now Toronto on the carpet that hearing Bailey sing for the first time was his most memorable moment on set.
READ MORE: ‘Gave me goosebumps’: Jacob Tremblay says hearing Halle Bailey sing as ‘Ariel’ for the first time was most special moment on set
For those who have a black daughter who wants to see herself reflected in her, this is the movie for her.
And black mothers will also see themselves represented. That’s because Prince Eric’s mother is Black in the movie, and there’s a special mother-in-law and daughter-in-law moment between Ariel and the Queen.
The little Mermaid’ hits theaters Friday, May 26.
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