Entertainment

'She's Black like us!': Girls see themselves in teaser trailer for The Little Mermaid

A teaser trailer for Disney’s live-action The Little Mermaid has made a lot of Black girls very, very excited. The upcoming film, which stars singer Halle Bailey as Ariel, marks Disney’s first Black live-action princess. And it has ignited a social media trend.

Trailer ignited social media trend of kids' reactions to a Black Disney princess

The big impact of The Little Mermaid trailer for young Black girls | The Moment

12 days ago
Duration 1:23
The first trailer for the live-action film The Little Mermaid, starring Halle Bailey, has many young Black girls excited to see themselves as a Disney princess.

A teaser trailer for Disney's live-action The Little Mermaid has made a lot of Black girls very, very excited. 

The upcoming film, which stars singer Halle Bailey (of musical duo Chloe x Halle) as Ariel — a singing mermaid who strikes a deal with a seawitch to become human — marks Disney's first Black live-action princess. 

The trailer, which now has over 14 million views on YouTube, shows Bailey's Ariel singing the famous Part of Your World. And it has ignited a social media trend in which parents film their childrens' reaction to seeing a Black Disney princess. 

Lai'anna and Ke'lona Shanks, two sisters who live near Forth Worth, Tex., shared their excitement on CBC's The National Monday night. 

"I'm really, really, really excited," said Ke'lona Shanks. "Because she's Black like us!"

The film is the latest in a series of live-action remakes of older Disney films. The original, an animated movie released in 1989, starred Jodi Benson as the voice of Ariel. The Princess and the Frog's Tiana was the first Black Disney princess to be depicted onscreen, albeit in an animated film from 2009. 

Bailey responded to one of the videos earlier this week, writing on Twitter, "k I just sobbed watching this thanks … she's so sweet".

The Little Mermaid will be released in theatres May 2023.

 

For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.

A teaser trailer for an upcoming live-action version of The Little Mermaid has ignited a social media trend in which parents film their children's reaction to seeing a Black Disney princess. (Walt Disney Studios/YouTube)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jenna Benchetrit is a web journalist for CBC News. Based in Toronto and born in Montreal, she holds a master's degree in journalism from Ryerson University. Reach her at jenna.benchetrit@cbc.ca or on Twitter @jennabenchetrit.

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