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Old 07-06-2019, 08:30 PM
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The Little Mermaid is GASP! Black


I guess I missed this one in the culture wars, or entertainment news, or something.

There's seems to be a small backlash about Disney's choice of an African-American teenage actress to play Ariel in the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.

My daughter saw comments about this on Twitter, some of which were reposts from Reddit. Among the comments she saw was a long scientific explanation of how mermaids live under the sea, where there isn't much light, so their bodies can't produce enough melanin for their skin to be dark.

To which someone replied, "So what color is the crab?"

And someone else responded, "If you're mad that the Little Mermaid isn't white, wait until you find out about Jesus."

Natually a few people also explained scientifically that THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A MERMAID AND EVERYTHING IS MADE UP.
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Old 07-06-2019, 08:34 PM
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heh im waiting to see the reaction in frozen 2 where elsa might get a princess charming instead of the normal .....
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Old 07-06-2019, 08:41 PM
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I've heard there actually are people complaining that the upcoming live-action remake of Mulan has not cast any non-Asian actors.
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Old 07-07-2019, 02:00 AM
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I've heard there actually are people complaining that the upcoming live-action remake of Mulan has not cast any non-Asian actors.
With Disney's track record the upcoming Mulan live-action remake is going to have an all-black cast.
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Old 07-08-2019, 02:30 PM
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With Disney's track record the upcoming Mulan live-action remake is going to have an all-black cast.
I mean, it's not, and that's a really weird thing to say.

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Originally Posted by bump
That's all fine and good, but why mess with something with more than a quarter-century of an iconic character with red hair, pale skin and blue eyes? This sort of PC... revisionism(?) is the sort of thing that generally either pisses off the more right-wing types, or makes a lot of the rest of us just roll our eyes.
I'm sorry, but what's to roll your eyes about? Why is an actress being black something that merits your disapproval in any way?

Was Ariel white in the cartoon? Yes, she was. That was THIRTY YEARS AGO. This movie is not for adults, it's for children who were born long after the 1989 animated film. A change in the character's skin color will matter not at all to them.

It is entirely possible Disney felt they'd make extra money by casting an actress who wasn't white. Why does that merit an eye roll from you? Studios have been casting actors and actresses based on their appearance since long before you were born. Of course they want to make money off this, and of course they want people to think they're progressive. They're an entertainment company and their job is to make money; PR and improving their reputation for progressive casting decisions is just good business, and acting like there''s something "cynical" about it is like bitching that they charge for the tickets to see the movie.
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Last edited by RickJay; 07-08-2019 at 02:42 PM.
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Old 07-06-2019, 10:09 PM
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heh im waiting to see the reaction in frozen 2 where elsa might get a princess charming instead of the normal .....
Or the opposite: apparently there's a movement on the internet "Give Elsa a Girlfriend". (Or at least, there was)

Wasn't the mermaid green in the book?
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Old 07-06-2019, 11:06 PM
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What I get is a sense of a bunch of entitled fanboys needing a quick refresher on trademark ownership. (Andersen's The Little Mermaid is in the Public Domain. Ariel the Mermaid is a Trademark of Disney Corp and the movie in which the character appears is under Disney copyright until almost the end of this century)

Didn't hear them complain much about how all the prior Disney fairytale versions thoroughly upend the Andersen/Grimm/Perrault originals

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Wasn't the mermaid green in the book?
Sez Hans Christian Andersen: "The Sea King had been a widower for many years, and his aged mother kept house for him. She was a very wise woman, and exceedingly proud of her high birth; on that account she wore twelve oysters on her tail; while others, also of high rank, were only allowed to wear six. She was, however, deserving of very great praise, especially for her care of the little sea-princesses, her grand-daughters. They were six beautiful children; but the youngest was the prettiest of them all; her skin was as clear and delicate as a rose-leaf, and her eyes as blue as the deepest sea; but, like all the others, she had no feet, and her body ended in a fish’s tail."

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Old 07-07-2019, 10:13 AM
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Didn't hear them complain much about how all the prior Disney fairytale versions thoroughly upend the Andersen/Grimm/Perrault originals
Huh? People have smugly talked about Disney-ifcation of classic fairy tales and stories for as long as I've been aware of them. And they've probably been doing it since 1937 with Snow White. "Ya know, in the REAL story, a hunter brings the Queen a boar's liver and says it's Snow White's. Then the Queen eats it. Didn't see THAT in this cartoon..."
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Old 07-07-2019, 11:11 AM
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Huh? People have smugly talked about Disney-ifcation of classic fairy tales and stories for as long as I've been aware of them. And they've probably been doing it since 1937 with Snow White. "Ya know, in the REAL story, a hunter brings the Queen a boar's liver and says it's Snow White's. Then the Queen eats it. Didn't see THAT in this cartoon..."
But that has been basically book nerds like us calling attention to it and being ignored and told to lighten up, this not your book it's is a fun movie for kids with a happy ending the way Disney does it. The people pulling out their hair on Reddit and the memespace over nonwhite Ariel apparently don't want to be told "this is not your animation, it's a movie by Disney and they decide how to make it".

Last edited by JRDelirious; 07-07-2019 at 11:11 AM.
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Old 07-08-2019, 02:23 AM
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Or the opposite: apparently there's a movement on the internet "Give Elsa a Girlfriend". (Or at least, there was)
well according to the singing voice of Elsa who tweeted something to the effect "im so excited that they listened and she get her princess "
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Old 07-08-2019, 08:13 AM
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well according to the singing voice of Elsa

That would be Adele Dazeem.
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Old 07-06-2019, 08:47 PM
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[QUOTE=Kent Clark;21735813My daughter saw comments about this on Twitter, some of which were reposts from Reddit. Among the comments she saw was a long scientific explanation of how mermaids live under the sea, where there isn't much light, so their bodies can't produce enough melanin for their skin to be dark.[/QUOTE]
And that's why there aren't any sea creatures with black skin. Or brown skin.


Another complaint is from red-haired girls who say they will lose on out representation. Evidently, once the new film is released, a hole will open in the space-time continuum and suck in all copies of the animated feature and erase it from human memory.
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Old 07-07-2019, 06:39 AM
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Another complaint is from red-haired girls who say they will lose on out representation
There are two redhead Disney princesses out of 12 in total. That's 8-16 x their occurunce in the population. I'd say they're already way overrepresented.
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Old 07-09-2019, 07:37 AM
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And that's why there aren't any sea creatures with black skin. Or brown skin.

Or lamps on their foreheads. I'm just saying Disney's diversity message would ring a lot less hypocritical if the Little Mermaid was half-anglerfish. But nooo, she has to be one of the nice, PC fishes !
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Old 07-09-2019, 07:47 AM
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Or lamps on their foreheads. I'm just saying Disney's diversity message would ring a lot less hypocritical if the Little Mermaid was half-anglerfish.

There is already a source that they can steal from.
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Old 07-09-2019, 07:50 AM
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There are two redhead Disney princesses out of 12 in total. That's 8-16 x their occurunce in the population. I'd say they're already way overrepresented.
I think those complaints come mostly from women of a certain age. Iíve found that the Little Mermaid was a very big movie for girls a little younger than me who were the perfect age for the movie. Brave came along a generation later and is probably not even on their radar unless forced to watch over and over by their children. I canít help but think itís considered one of the lesser Disney movies.
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Old 07-09-2019, 09:10 AM
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Brave came along a generation later and is probably not even on their radar unless forced to watch over and over by their children. I canít help but think itís considered one of the lesser Disney movies.
"Brave" is a Pixar movie. I know Pixar and Disney are the same corporation, but the creative teams and processes are different.
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Old 07-09-2019, 09:21 AM
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"Brave" is a Pixar movie. I know Pixar and Disney are the same corporation, but the creative teams and processes are different.
Merida is still counted as a Disney Princess. And believe me, her merch sells quite nicely to young girls.

Last edited by MrDibble; 07-09-2019 at 09:21 AM.
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Old 07-09-2019, 12:49 PM
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Or lamps on their foreheads. I'm just saying Disney's diversity message would ring a lot less hypocritical if the Little Mermaid was half-anglerfish. But nooo, she has to be one of the nice, PC fishes !
I got your anglerfish mermaid right here.
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Old 07-09-2019, 02:31 PM
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All the Little Mermaid songs become better when you imagine her as the protagonist.
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Old 07-09-2019, 03:24 PM
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Shockingly, there's been little reaction to the possibility that Ursula the Sea Witch may be played by the non-purple non-white-haired non-tentacled Melissa McCarthy. Surely they could have found a cephalopod-human hybrid to play her.

No one seems to have been offended by the multi-ethnic mermaids in Pirates of the Caribbean. Nor by the fact that they had long sharp fangs and ate people.

Last edited by Colibri; 07-09-2019 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 07-07-2019, 05:21 AM
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Under the sea
Under the sea
Out of the water
Ariel's darker
Live in 3D
Disney pandering to the races
Change the color of the faces
Lot's of explaining
Alt Right complaining
Under the sea!
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Old 07-07-2019, 06:55 AM
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Apparently there were already people noticing a trend of redhead characters being replaced by black characters. (Also, oops!)



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Under the sea
Under the sea
Out of the water
Ariel's darker
Live in 3D
Disney pandering to the races
Change the color of the faces
Lot's of explaining
Alt Right complaining
Under the sea!

Look at this girl, isn't she black?

Don't you think that this casting is wack?
Don't you think that the blacks--the blacks ruin everything?
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Old 07-07-2019, 10:20 AM
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Apparently there were already people noticing a trend of redhead characters being replaced by black characters.
The forgot Red in Shawshank Redemption.
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Old 07-07-2019, 06:03 AM
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In the original story she DIES. They Disney animation has a happy ending. No one said anything. Now they want to complain the change of skin colour is an unacceptable alteration. ��
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Old 07-07-2019, 06:45 AM
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In the original story she DIES. They Disney animation has a happy ending. No one said anything. Now they want to complain the change of skin colour is an unacceptable alteration. ��
Well, no, she doesn't die, really. She turns to sea foam and becomes a spirit, given the opportunity to redeem herself and earn an immortal soul. Like being an undead creature, but a good one, I guess.
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Old 07-07-2019, 07:01 AM
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Well, no, she doesn't die, really. She turns to sea foam and becomes a spirit, given the opportunity to redeem herself and earn an immortal soul. Like being an undead creature, but a good one, I guess.
Lots of people go on to live fulfilling lives as sea foam.


Darren Garrison - Truly a disturbing trend
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Old 07-07-2019, 06:55 AM
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In all fairness, I haven't seen many of the other live action adaptations. Ariel could be played by a Chinese jet pilot for all I care.



It has nothing to do with being faithful to the source material. Ariel, Elsa, Cinderella, Snow White, Jasmine and all the other princesses have only a passing resemblance to their source material, if the characters appeared at all.

It's more about Disney being faithful to their own characters they created.
Emma Watson looks like a live action Belle
Lilly James looks like a live action Cinderella
Angelina Jolie looks like a live action Maleficent
I'm sure live action Mulan will be played by a young Chinese woman who looks like Mulan.

All I'm saying is that for 30 years, Ariel was a light-skinned red headed mermaid with the face of Alyssa Milano. So hearing they cast a black girl to play Ariel does sound like someone in marketing is checking off PC boxes.
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Old 07-07-2019, 07:31 AM
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So hearing they cast a black girl to play Ariel does sound like someone in marketing is checking off PC boxes.
One person's "checking off PC boxes" is another person's "addressing diversity". For some character translations race matters, for others there is room to manoeuvre and those opportunities should be taken advantage of.

What so many people see as Political Correctness Gone Mad, others see as an attempt at correcting a path so as to be more inclusive. Soon enough this will become second nature and nobody will even notice, and that's where things need to be headed; a conscious effort until it becomes an unconscious one.
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Old 07-07-2019, 08:59 AM
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One person's "checking off PC boxes" is another person's "addressing diversity". For some character translations race matters, for others there is room to manoeuvre and those opportunities should be taken advantage of.

What so many people see as Political Correctness Gone Mad, others see as an attempt at correcting a path so as to be more inclusive. Soon enough this will become second nature and nobody will even notice, and that's where things need to be headed; a conscious effort until it becomes an unconscious one.
Creating Disney Princess characters like Mulan, Jasmine, Tiana, Moana and (I think) Pocahontas that are a cultural departure from the traditional white, pseudo-European aristocratic stories of Belle, Snow White, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Aurora, Anna and Elsa is "correcting a path to be more inclusive". Retroactively changing one of the character's race feels like a PC marketing ploy.
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Old 07-07-2019, 09:25 AM
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Retroactively changing one of the character's race feels like a PC marketing ploy.
Well, her race has not been changed. She remains a mermaid.
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Old 07-07-2019, 02:29 PM
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Creating Disney Princess characters like Mulan, Jasmine, Tiana, Moana and (I think) Pocahontas that are a cultural departure from the traditional white, pseudo-European aristocratic stories of Belle, Snow White, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Aurora, Anna and Elsa is "correcting a path to be more inclusive". Retroactively changing one of the character's race feels like a PC marketing ploy.
I'm black, and I agree with this. I think it's fine to have more black characters, but why not make them new and original.

For example, I was 12 when I saw ROTJ in the theater. I didn't think I couldn't be Luke because he was white and I wasn't.


I'm not even really sure how they figure more money will be made. The last I looked we are only about 14% of the US population. That is clearly not enough to offset all those that won't see the film because of this change. I just don't get it.
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Old 07-08-2019, 09:13 AM
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One person's "checking off PC boxes" is another person's "addressing diversity". For some character translations race matters, for others there is room to manoeuvre and those opportunities should be taken advantage of.

What so many people see as Political Correctness Gone Mad, others see as an attempt at correcting a path so as to be more inclusive. Soon enough this will become second nature and nobody will even notice, and that's where things need to be headed; a conscious effort until it becomes an unconscious one.
That's all fine and good, but why mess with something with more than a quarter-century of an iconic character with red hair, pale skin and blue eyes? This sort of PC... revisionism(?) is the sort of thing that generally either pisses off the more right-wing types, or makes a lot of the rest of us just roll our eyes.

I mean, Disney could just as well generate a NEW princess-franchise to have women of color in the lead roles organically - there's a lot of storytelling room outside of European folktales - there's Africa, pre-Colombian America, pre-Raj India, etc...
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Old 07-08-2019, 10:27 AM
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That's all fine and good, but why mess with something with more than a quarter-century of an iconic character with red hair, pale skin and blue eyes? This sort of PC... revisionism(?) is the sort of thing that generally either pisses off the more right-wing types, or makes a lot of the rest of us just roll our eyes.
The target audience for these movies are children. You understand this, right? Children will not care at all that this Ariel looks nothing like the cartoon version, because most of them haven't been exposed to it to any significant degree. Even if they have watched the 90's movie, it's like one movie out of many dozen. Odds are good much more current Disney and Pixar characters are where their attachments lie (Elsa, Moana, etc.)

At the risk of offending people, this latest outrage over what fictional characters looks like the product of what happens when carrying over juvenile interests into adulthood goes too far. If you don't want to see this movie, just don't have to see it. Easy decision here.

But if you have kids that talk to their friends about it and want to see it, I hope ya'll aren't going to turn them down just because black Ariel doesn't match your vision of the character. Because that's like, really sad.

Last edited by you with the face; 07-08-2019 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 07-07-2019, 09:24 AM
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You know, I posted this so everyone could have a good laugh. I see some posts where my mother would have commented, "Oh for crying out loud," and which the Internet generation has compressed to OFFS.

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Originally Posted by JRDelirious View Post
Sez Hans Christian Andersen:
<snip>
They were six beautiful children; but the youngest was the prettiest of them all; her skin was as clear and delicate as a rose-leaf, and her eyes as blue as the deepest sea..."
Given the creator's own description, Ariel could have been played by Vanessa Williams.

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Originally Posted by msmith537 View Post
It's more about Disney being faithful to their own characters they created.
Emma Watson looks like a live action Belle
Lilly James looks like a live action Cinderella
Angelina Jolie looks like a live action Maleficent
I'm sure live action Mulan will be played by a young Chinese woman who looks like Mulan.

All I'm saying is that for 30 years, Ariel was a light-skinned red headed mermaid with the face of Alyssa Milano. So hearing they cast a black girl to play Ariel does sound like someone in marketing is checking off PC boxes.
Here's a look at the characters in Disney's animated version of Aladdin.

And here they are in the live action reboot.

OMG! They cast a skinny, black, wise-cracking guy to play a non-human, large, blue, wise-cracking cloud. PC run amuck! Much worse than casting a young, black actress to play a young, non-human half-fish.

Would we all feel better if Halle Bailey's hair were dyed red?

Last edited by Kent Clark; 07-07-2019 at 09:27 AM.
  #36  
Old 07-07-2019, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Kent Clark;21736315Here's a look at the characters in [URL="https://d1w8cc2yygc27j.cloudfront.net/-8469318901123307323/-7551723423067384179.jpg"
Disney's animated version of Aladdin.
[/URL]
And here they are in the live action reboot.

OMG! They cast a skinny, black, wise-cracking guy to play a non-human, large, blue, wise-cracking cloud. PC run amuck!
But he played it in blueface. What if Disney cast an African American actress, and lightened her skin and changed her hair color?


I think msmith537 had a good point: in previous live adaptations, like Beauty and the Beast, they were pretty faithful to the way the characters looked in the cartoon.

Thanks to the original animated feature (plus decades of spinoffs and merchandizing), people have a very specific idea in their minds of what Ariel looks like; and some people have trouble wrapping their brain around a version of the character that doesn't match that.

(For the record, I'm not saying that Disney shouldn't have cast a black Ariel; just that I have at least a little bit of sympathy and understanding for some of the people who are bothered by it.)
  #37  
Old 07-07-2019, 10:29 AM
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But he played it in blueface.
Did you see it? Smith was in blueface for significantly less than half his screen time.
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Old 07-07-2019, 01:49 PM
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I'm sure live action Mulan will be played by a young Chinese woman who looks like Mulan.

Well, youngish. But approaching middle age. The character is 16, the actress is 31. The trailer, to me, looks kind of like a trainwreck.
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Old 07-07-2019, 03:12 PM
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The trailer, to me, looks kind of like a trainwreck.
Did they just toss the whole "Has to pretend she's a man to enlist in the Imperial army" thing?
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Old 07-08-2019, 10:59 PM
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Re: Mulan
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Originally Posted by Darren Garrison View Post
The trailer, to me, looks kind of like a trainwreck.
*gasp!* Oh not to me! I love Chinese movies. Wuxia and historical movies are my favorite genres of Chinese movies. When they're combined, as they often are, I'm like a kid in a candy store. The Mulan trailer gave me goosebumps. I can't wait until I see it in the theater on a big screen (the trailer, but also the movie, of course). I don't know how much like the 2009 Chinese movie this version will be, or how wuxia it will be, but at least thank goodness (IMO) there's no talking dragon or singing. It's likely to give a whole new generation an appreciation for Chinese historical movies and introduce them to legends such as Jet Li, Donnie Yen, Li Gong and Pei-Pei Cheng. Last but not least, I want it to do well because it's directed by Niki Caro (Whale Rider, North Country, McFarland, USA, The Zookeeper's Wife). I've liked those as well as everything else she's directed.


(On-topic: I've never seen the animated Little Mermaid, but I'm looking forward to seeing the live-action version. I bet it will be fantastic!)
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Old 07-07-2019, 06:47 AM
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I guess my only question will be, and I obviously haven't cared enough to look up who is cast for the part, what skin color her father the Sea King will have (and her various sisters). I see no reason that Ariel cannot have dark skin and hair. I just hope that she has a really good voice, as that was the only knock I had against the live 3D version of Belle.
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Old 07-07-2019, 07:05 AM
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I just hope that she has a really good voice, as that was the only knock I had against the live 3D version of Belle.

She is a famous (apparently? I'm old--I never heard of her) singer already.
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Old 07-07-2019, 07:22 AM
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I just hope that she has a really good voice.
Do not worry on that front.
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Old 07-07-2019, 08:22 AM
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My daughter saw comments about this on Twitter, some of which were reposts from Reddit. Among the comments she saw was a long scientific explanation of how mermaids live under the sea, where there isn't much light, so their bodies can't produce enough melanin for their skin to be dark.
Umm, given that mermaids appear to be capable of breathing air and are amphibious, it seems like they would spend a lot of time at the surface. Never mind the fact that given they have human upper bodies, they are clearly very close genetic relatives of humans.

So, well, maybe their nearest common ancestors to humans had the genes for high melanin. And they spent a lot of time near the surface. You know, if they were real.

Though this does raise an interesting point - would black people have light skin if they spent all of their time indoors? I'm pretty sure the answer is no, that it's a more complex set of genetic differences than merely more melanin, but am open to be wrong...

Last edited by SamuelA; 07-07-2019 at 08:24 AM.
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Old 07-07-2019, 10:00 AM
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Don't know if it will be good or not, but if they change her bottom half from carp to tuna!!!!
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Old 07-07-2019, 10:13 AM
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The complaints are about casting a Black actress, when they really should be "Why the fuck are they making a live-action version"?

Casting a black actress may or may not be a cynical money-making move, but making the film in the first place is a far more egregious example of cashing in for the bucks.
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Old 07-07-2019, 10:16 AM
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The complaints are about casting a Black actress, when they really should be "Why the fuck are they making a live-action version"?
Because when they've done so before, it has been successful (i.e. made money).
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Old 07-07-2019, 10:40 AM
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The complaints are about casting a Black actress, when they really should be "Why the fuck are they making a live-action version"?
Because people keeps going to watch them.

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Casting a black actress may or may not be a cynical money-making move,
Not really. If anything this will cost them the so profitable China market. A more well-established actress of any race would have been the way to go if that's all they wanted with the casting.

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but making the film in the first place is a far more egregious example of cashing in for the bucks.
Yeah. Show Business is still a business.
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Old 07-07-2019, 10:44 AM
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Yeah. Show Business is still a business.
Indeed. It's a little late to be outraged that Disney is trying to make money using business strategies that generally make them money.

If there's a problem with Disney's business model (and I think there is, but I'm a confirmed pinko), it goes much, much deeper than their current focus on remaking cartoons with real people.
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Old 07-08-2019, 05:58 AM
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Because people keeps going to watch them.



Not really. If anything this will cost them the so profitable China market. A more well-established actress of any race would have been the way to go if that's all they wanted with the casting.



Yeah. Show Business is still a business.
You're missing my point: people are saying the casting is a cynical cash grab when the entire movie is a cash grab. A white actress in the role would not suddenly make it otherwise.
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Last edited by RealityChuck; 07-08-2019 at 05:59 AM.
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