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  #151  
Old 07-10-2019, 01:27 PM
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Actually, no. Ariel is the star of the show, no doubt, but again, Disney has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, marketing these specific characters for decades and, as I noted, they just launched a new merchandising campaign to celebrate the movie's 30th anniversary. To change the appearance of some pretty iconic characters for no discernable reason seems tone-deaf to me.
No more tone-deaf than redoing the entire movie and just substituting cartoons with live actors. If you're going to rehash something, it makes perfect sense to put a new spin on it. Not trying to make the characters match 100% with cartoon likeness is the spin here.

New songs from Lin-Manuel Miranda also transforms the movie into something else. Disney will make a killing just on the music sales alone. Their merchandising concerns are not a problem at all.

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I wasn't aware of a multi-racial rendering of Cinderella, and as a result I have no strong opinion. I will say (although I have no hard data to back this up) that I'd bet Disney has spent more in the last 30 years in marketing merchandise on Ariel than they have on Cinderella.
I seriously doubt Disney hasn't studied market conditions and determined this will make a bigger splash than, say, the live action version of Beauty and the Beast.
  #152  
Old 07-10-2019, 01:36 PM
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I seriously doubt Disney hasn't studied market conditions and determined this will make a bigger splash than, say, the live action version of Beauty and the Beast.
I have to say that I am seriously about people who have no expertise fretting about Disney possibly making less money because of the change. I'm sure Disney has done market studies up the wazoo.
  #153  
Old 07-10-2019, 01:40 PM
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This decision to change Ariel's race puzzles me.

Granted, the original movie is 30 years old, but for those of you who think The Little Mermaid isn't a fixture for girls today, you're waaaay off base. Disney has spent millions upon millions of dollars over the past 30 years marketing the "old" version of Ariel in various ways, and that hasn't really slowed down much recently; in fact, Disney has just launched a new line of Ariel-themed merchandise to commemorate the film's 30th anniversary.

To change the physical appearance of the character now seems short-sighted, based on the massive investment they've made in her. It would be akin to making Mickey Mouse orange. (I realize Mickey is far more ubiquitous than Ariel, but you get my drift.)
There's no actor that looks exactly like the cartoon version of Ariel. They cast a slim and attractive young woman (just like the cartoon) -- it's only our society and culture that singles out race as somehow a MAJOR difference in appearance. There's no legitimate non-cultural reason that race and skin tone should be any more significant than height, or build, or eye color, or hair color/texture, etc.
  #154  
Old 07-10-2019, 02:05 PM
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There's no legitimate non-cultural reason that race and skin tone should be any more significant than height, or build, or eye color, or hair color/texture, etc.
Then why was Will Smith as the Genie blue-toned for at least part of the recent Aladdin remake?

I think it's because the Genie character, as created and marketed by Disney, was blue in the original cartoon (and in subsequent cartoons). His appearance was a significant portion of his "cultural" identity (i.e., how we as a moviegoing culture perceived him). Disney could've just let him be Will Smith as "a" genie, but when he was the character "Genie" for Aladdin, he was blue (for a time, anyway; as I understand it, he didn't stay blue throughout the movie).

As you (and others) have pointed out, I'm sure Disney has done marketing studies and focus groups about this change to the Ariel character. And maybe all their data is correct, and this won't matter one bit. Maybe the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid will be the highest-grossing movie in the history of cinema solely because of this change.

Of course, Coca-Cola had marketing studies out the wazoo saying New Coke was what people wanted back in the mid-80s, too, and that didn't turn out so well.

My point is, messing with an icon for no salient reason doesn't always work.
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  #155  
Old 07-10-2019, 02:32 PM
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There's no actor that looks exactly like the cartoon version of Ariel.
Technically, Ariel was modelled after Alyssa Milano.

But generally, if you see a young, thin woman with light skin, big red hair and blue eyes dressed up in a mermaid costume for Halloween, "Princess Ariel" would be a pretty good guess.
  #156  
Old 07-10-2019, 02:36 PM
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Of course, Coca-Cola had marketing studies out the wazoo saying New Coke was what people wanted back in the mid-80s, too, and that didn't turn out so well.

My point is, messing with an icon for no salient reason doesn't always work.
The distinction that's missing there (and seems to always be missed by people concerned with this sort of thing) is that when they rolled out New Coke, they took old Coke off the market. This new movie isn't replacing the cartoon. The cartoon is still going to be marketed, and merched, and occasionally re-released. The absolute worst case for Disney here is that the new movie fails, and nobody wants to buy any of the new LM merchandising. Which will effect the merchandising for the previous movie not one whit.
  #157  
Old 07-10-2019, 02:36 PM
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Then why was Will Smith as the Genie blue-toned for at least part of the recent Aladdin remake?

I think it's because the Genie character, as created and marketed by Disney, was blue in the original cartoon (and in subsequent cartoons). His appearance was a significant portion of his "cultural" identity (i.e., how we as a moviegoing culture perceived him).
They probably made him blue because color has always been used to mean certain things in Aladdin storytelling, according to this article. But the simplest explanation? They just wanted him to be blue because he's always been blue, and a non-natural skin color is a great way to distinguish a magical character from a non-magical one.

A "magic" skin color carries different weight than the more pedestrian coloring that regular people have.
  #158  
Old 07-10-2019, 02:46 PM
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If the cartoon Ariel were caramel-colored and the actress cast to play her in the live action version was dark brown, I wonder how many people would have an opinion about this let alone a negative one.

Race is a made-up construct. There are societies where caramel skin is sufficiently different from dark brown that individuals with these skin tones would be placed in different racial categories. But in the US, most people have been programmed to not to distinguish shades of brown skin. One is black whether they look like Halle Bailey or Halle Berry. And this makes no more sense objectively than swapping Halle Bailey in for a pale-faced mermaid. But in the US, the former wouldn't be noticed by the vast majority of folks while the latter is the talk of the virtual town.

That is how powerful a grip race has on our consciousness. And that is why I don't believe people when they insist they "don't see color".

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  #159  
Old 07-10-2019, 03:00 PM
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If the cartoon Ariel were caramel-colored and the actress cast to play her in the live action version was dark brown, I wonder how many people would have an opinion about this let alone a negative one.
I'm not one to say I'm color-blind, but I will say that if the original Ariel had been dark-skinned with blonde hair, and now Disney was proposing to make her light-skinned with red hair I would be making the same point.

The color of her skin and hair (and eyes and scales) doesn't matter to me from a racial standpoint. I'm objecting to changing -- for what appears to be no significant reason -- an icon which has been pretty well established in the Disney zeitgeist for three decades.
  #160  
Old 07-10-2019, 03:08 PM
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I'm not one to say I'm color-blind, but I will say that if the original Ariel had been dark-skinned with blonde hair, and now Disney was proposing to make her light-skinned with red hair I would be making the same point.
Monstro is, I think, making a slightly different point. If her skin color went from Golden Deep to Warm Tan, would you notice? Would you consider that as significant a change as going from Light to Warm Tan?

If you'd consider it a less significant change, that's probably due to your culturally-received notions of race.
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Old 07-10-2019, 03:18 PM
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I'm objecting to changing -- for what appears to be no significant reason -- zeitgeist for three decades.
But maybe the actress is really good?
At the very least she can sing. That's better than Hermione as Belle, for starters.
  #162  
Old 07-10-2019, 04:20 PM
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Monstro is, I think, making a slightly different point. If her skin color went from Golden Deep to Warm Tan, would you notice? Would you consider that as significant a change as going from Light to Warm Tan?



If you'd consider it a less significant change, that's probably due to your culturally-received notions of race.
Yes, that is exactly my point.

Sauron, you first post in the thread discussed Disney changing Ariel's race. Not her skin color, but her race. Well, the reason I find that crazy is we don't know what Ariel's race is other than mermaid. You are assuming her race is white. But there are pale skinned, blue eyed people who are categorized as black. So who is to say this is a "race change"?

If Vanessa Williams were thirty years younger and she had been cast to play Ariel, would you find it objectionable? After all, VW is a black woman. We'd have the same presumed racial swap we have now, correct? Or would you feel like VW is close enough skin tone-wise to the cartoon that it's no big deal what her race is?

To think about this further, if Disney were to do a live action version of the Proud Family and they cast a dark-skinned girl to play the light-skinned Penny, would this register to you as a big change? Or would you feel like nailing the skin tone is low priority to whether the actress can act like Penny and look enough like her through clothing and hairstyle? What if the dark skinned actress killed it in the audition? Should the casting director go with the subpar light-skinned actress just because her skin tone lines up with cartoon Penny's better? How would that make good business sense?



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  #163  
Old 07-10-2019, 04:33 PM
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Then why was Will Smith as the Genie blue-toned for at least part of the recent Aladdin remake?

I think it's because the Genie character, as created and marketed by Disney, was blue in the original cartoon (and in subsequent cartoons). His appearance was a significant portion of his "cultural" identity (i.e., how we as a moviegoing culture perceived him). Disney could've just let him be Will Smith as "a" genie, but when he was the character "Genie" for Aladdin, he was blue (for a time, anyway; as I understand it, he didn't stay blue throughout the movie).

As you (and others) have pointed out, I'm sure Disney has done marketing studies and focus groups about this change to the Ariel character. And maybe all their data is correct, and this won't matter one bit. Maybe the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid will be the highest-grossing movie in the history of cinema solely because of this change.

Of course, Coca-Cola had marketing studies out the wazoo saying New Coke was what people wanted back in the mid-80s, too, and that didn't turn out so well.

My point is, messing with an icon for no salient reason doesn't always work.
Genies are blue (apparently). That's an intrinsic part of genies, I suppose.

Mermaids aren't white. They're mermaids. Being white isn't an intrinsic part of mermaids -- having a fish tail for legs is.
  #164  
Old 07-10-2019, 04:37 PM
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This is outrageous! The original Little Mermaid was ethnically Chilean Sea Bass, how dare Disney cast a Patagonian Toothfish! It messes up the entire canon!

Oh, people are talking about the OTHER half?

Psst, that's a little racist. You're supposed to say Chilean Sea Bass-American now.
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  #165  
Old 07-10-2019, 06:21 PM
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The color of her skin and hair (and eyes and scales) doesn't matter to me from a racial standpoint. I'm objecting to changing -- for what appears to be no significant reason -- an icon which has been pretty well established in the Disney zeitgeist for three decades.
But to claim that merely casting a live actress who happens to have somewhat darker skin tone than the cartoon character (we don't know yet how Disney will present the actress's hair and eye colors) is "changing an icon" is intrinsically approaching the subject "from a racial standpoint".

Halle Bailey actually does look quite a bit like cartoon Ariel, insofar as an actual human woman can look like a combination of an animated character and a fish. The fact that you think her relatively minor difference in skin tone qualifies as "changing" the character of Ariel in a way that makes her no longer recognizable as Disney's "established" "icon" reflects America's cultural obsession with racial classification more than any objective alteration in the look of the character.
  #166  
Old 07-10-2019, 06:25 PM
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Genies are blue (apparently). That's an intrinsic part of genies, I suppose.
<nitpick>Disney Genies are color-coded by alignment. Jafar becomes a red genie after his requisite idiotball wish</nitpick>
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  #167  
Old 07-10-2019, 06:40 PM
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<nitpick>Disney Genies are color-coded by alignment. Jafar becomes a red genie after his requisite idiotball wish</nitpick>
Which raises the question, what is the relationship between Genies and lightsabers?
  #168  
Old 07-10-2019, 06:51 PM
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Follow-up: If the live-action version had changed the shade of Ariel's red hair from, say, cartoon Ariel scarlet to some human redhead shade, that would be an objectively bigger visual shift than changing Ariel's peachy-beige skin to Halle Bailey's peachy-bronze. But subjectively, nobody would even register it as a significant change.

It really is all about our ingrained notions of racial categories being fundamentally, hugely important differences between people. But mermaids (as far as we know) don't have racial categories. They just have skin. And scales.
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Old 07-10-2019, 10:06 PM
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Genies are blue (apparently). That's an intrinsic part of genies, I suppose.

Mermaids aren't white. They're mermaids. Being white isn't an intrinsic part of mermaids -- having a fish tail for legs is.
Thats really the end of the argument. They arn't even fucking human.
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Old 07-10-2019, 11:34 PM
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There's no actor that looks exactly like the cartoon version of Ariel.

If I were casting the movie, I would have went with Sadie Stanley (if she could sing.) Not only does she have the right look, but she has already starred in one Disney animated-to-live adaptation. (Not a very good one, but still...)
  #171  
Old 07-11-2019, 01:18 AM
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If I were casting the movie, I would have went with Sadie Stanley (if she could sing.) Not only does she have the right look, but she has already starred in one Disney animated-to-live adaptation. (Not a very good one, but still...)
I googled her. Not a natural redhead- Her actual hair is brown.
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Old 07-11-2019, 05:21 AM
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Follow-up: If the live-action version had changed the shade of Ariel's red hair from, say, cartoon Ariel scarlet to some human redhead shade, that would be an objectively bigger visual shift than changing Ariel's peachy-beige skin to Halle Bailey's peachy-bronze. But subjectively, nobody would even register it as a significant change.

It really is all about our ingrained notions of racial categories being fundamentally, hugely important differences between people. But mermaids (as far as we know) don't have racial categories. They just have skin. And scales.
I think the main challenge anytime you make a live action version of an animated film or comic book is having the character be grounded in reality, still recognizable as the 2-D character and doesn't look like someone in cosplay or a weird creepy CGI. To your point, people only "care" about her shade of skin color because or all the racial and political connotations humans ascribe to skin color. There is really no reason Ariel's skin being several shades darker should matter any more than her hair being a more realistic "red" color than in the cartoon.






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Thats really the end of the argument. They arn't even fucking human.
Exactly. Which is why her father King Triton will be played by this actor.
  #173  
Old 07-11-2019, 08:32 AM
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Sauron, you first post in the thread discussed Disney changing Ariel's race. Not her skin color, but her race. Well, the reason I find that crazy is we don't know what Ariel's race is other than mermaid. You are assuming her race is white. But there are pale skinned, blue eyed people who are categorized as black. So who is to say this is a "race change"?
I shouldn't have said "race" in my first post; I was focused on what others were saying, and followed that narrative. My fault.

Again, the issue for me is changing the look of an iconic (for 30 years, anyway) Disney character. I would be making the same point if the live-action version was going to change Ariel's fish tail / scales from pale green to pink or purple, or changing her hair from red to yellow.

I'm approaching this from a character / brand perspective, not racial. Disney has spent millions upon millions of dollars for three decades promoting the Ariel character / brand based on a rigidly defined set of physical characteristics. Changing those characteristics now for no good reason (or at least no reason of which I'm aware) seems counterproductive to me.
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Old 07-11-2019, 08:37 AM
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I shouldn't have said "race" in my first post; I was focused on what others were saying, and followed that narrative. My fault.

Again, the issue for me is changing the look of an iconic (for 30 years, anyway) Disney character. I would be making the same point if the live-action version was going to change Ariel's fish tail / scales from pale green to pink or purple, or changing her hair from red to yellow.

I'm approaching this from a character / brand perspective, not racial. Disney has spent millions upon millions of dollars for three decades promoting the Ariel character / brand based on a rigidly defined set of physical characteristics. Changing those characteristics now for no good reason (or at least no reason of which I'm aware) seems counterproductive to me.
Suppose the reason is "Halle Bailey is an enormously talented performer and blew the competition out of the water in her audition". Would that be a "good reason", in your opinion?
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:15 AM
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Suppose the reason is "Halle Bailey is an enormously talented performer and blew the competition out of the water in her audition". Would that be a "good reason", in your opinion?
No, for two reasons:

1. I don't believe Halle Bailey is so far beyond every other possible actress who could play this role that her casting is a no-brainer. If she is, then the vast majority of the production cost should be her salary, because otherwise the movie couldn't get made.

2. Regardless of who plays the role, the character of Ariel shouldn't be affected. If I got the role -- a 53-year-old-man who can't sing -- I would expect massive CGI to be employed (along with Oscar-worthy voiceover work) to make me look and sound like Ariel as she's been depicted for 30 years.
  #176  
Old 07-11-2019, 09:19 AM
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No, for two reasons:

1. I don't believe Halle Bailey is so far beyond every other possible actress who could play this role that her casting is a no-brainer. If she is, then the vast majority of the production cost should be her salary, because otherwise the movie couldn't get made.

2. Regardless of who plays the role, the character of Ariel shouldn't be affected. If I got the role -- a 53-year-old-man who can't sing -- I would expect massive CGI to be employed (along with Oscar-worthy voiceover work) to make me look and sound like Ariel as she's been depicted for 30 years.
Okay. Some of us think things like singing and acting ability are far more important to such a role than skin color. Apparently, you feel differently.
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:24 AM
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2. Regardless of who plays the role, the character of Ariel shouldn't be affected. If I got the role -- a 53-year-old-man who can't sing -- I would expect massive CGI to be employed (along with Oscar-worthy voiceover work) to make me look and sound like Ariel as she's been depicted for 30 years.
Why is the visual appearance of Ariel so important? And which of these features do you expect them to maintain in a live-action remake?

-Perfectly flawless skin
-Eyes the size of lemur eyes
-Two solid bars of pure white to replace human teeth
-Hair the color of ripe tomatoes
-A waist about twice as wide as her biceps
-Skin the color of white peach flesh

If you're fine casting an actress with skin blemishes, whose eyes are not readjusted in CGI to become inhumanly large, who has teeth, who doesn't dye her hair a profoundly unnatural color, and who has the kind of waist achievable without severe body modification, but you DRAW THE LINE AT SKIN COLOR SIR, that's a little odd, don'tcha think?

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Old 07-11-2019, 09:28 AM
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Okay. Some of us think things like singing and acting ability are far more important to such a role than skin color. Apparently, you feel differently.
Nice.

As I've said repeatedly, I'm not discussing skin color per se. I'm discussing the characterization of Ariel as she's been portrayed for 30 years.

Would you be offended if Disney employs CGI to make Halle Bailey look like the accepted version of Ariel? They made Will Smith blue to be the Genie in Aladdin, and he's a far more established star than Halle Bailey.

I have no issue with Halle Bailey as an actress. I'm sure she's fantastic at her craft.

Edited to add:
I give up. Many of you seem determined to put your own spin on what I'm saying, despite my repeated attempts to explain. Either I'm failing to make my point in an understandable manner, or there's a willful misinterpretation of my posts. Either way, further discussion seems pointless.

Last edited by Sauron; 07-11-2019 at 09:32 AM. Reason: Saw LHOD's response.
  #179  
Old 07-11-2019, 09:32 AM
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Nice.

As I've said repeatedly, I'm not discussing skin color per se. I'm discussing the characterization of Ariel as she's been portrayed for 30 years.

Would you be offended if Disney employs CGI to make Halle Bailey look like the accepted version of Ariel? They made Will Smith blue to be the Genie in Aladdin, and he's a far more established star than Halle Bailey.

I have no issue with Halle Bailey as an actress. I'm sure she's fantastic at her craft.
I don't really care about these choices by Disney -- I'm trying to highlight how cultural and societal emphasis on the importance of race and skin color is unnecessary and even harmful, and we should deliberately and purposefully be trying to fight against it.
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:43 AM
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Again, the issue for me is changing the look of an iconic (for 30 years, anyway) Disney character. [...]

Disney has spent millions upon millions of dollars for three decades promoting the Ariel character / brand based on a rigidly defined set of physical characteristics. Changing those characteristics now for no good reason (or at least no reason of which I'm aware) seems counterproductive to me.
But they changed the characteristics of Belle in Beauty and the Beast, too. Cartoon Belle has a pronounced widow's peak and very abundant dark brown hair in a topknot, Emma Watson Belle doesn't. Cartoon Belle has much pinker skin and curvier eyebrows than Emma Watson Belle. Cartoon Belle wears long yellow gloves and other accessories with her iconic ball gown, Emma Watson Belle doesn't.

Objectively, this is as much of a visual change as making Ariel's skin a few shades darker. The reason you think that the live-action casting "changed the look" of Ariel so much more than Belle is, again, all about race, even if you don't intend it that way. You are just culturally conditioned, as we all are in American culture, to think that people in different racial categories "look different" in a much more fundamental way than people in the same racial category, even if the objective visual differences between them are smaller.
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:54 AM
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As I've said repeatedly, I'm not discussing skin color per se. I'm discussing the characterization of Ariel as she's been portrayed for 30 years.
You appear to be discussing one single aspect of the visual characterization of the character, and it just happens to be skin color.
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:34 AM
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Yeah. Note that none of us here are trying to make the argument "you, Sauron, are a racist". All we're saying is that reacting to the casting of Halle Bailey as Ariel as though it constitutes some kind of massive fundamental change in the "look" of the character---and Sauron is far from the only person viewing it this way---is a reaction that's conditioned by centuries of white racism.

Visually, the differences between Halle Bailey and cartoon Ariel are not significantly greater than the abovementioned differences between Emma Watson and cartoon Belle, or between Naomi Scott and cartoon Jasmine. (Naomi Scott actually has noticeably lighter skin and hair than cartoon Jasmine, but you never heard a peep out of anybody about that "changing the look of the character".) What makes the difference seem so huge is looking at the two through the historical/cultural lens of racial categories.
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:40 AM
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The common theme to the objectors' arguments is that Halle doesn't look like cartoon Ariel.

To me, this notion is a cousin of another annoying one: "Black people look the same."

Doesn't matter what environment I have been in. People (always white)always insist I look just like some other black person who exists in the general vicinity. Even though everything about us is strikingly different. Nope, we gotta be related to each other because OMG YOU LOOK JUST ALIKE!!!

Interestingly, I have been likened to specific white folk...but always by black folk! I have never had a white person say I look like a particular white person, but I have been told that by black people. "You and so-and-so look like ya'll could be cousins." Once I went dining out with an older white friend and the black valet (hopefully trying to flatter my friend) said, "Aw, sisters!"

I have inferred from this experience that white people tend to be programmed to see anyone with noticeable African ancestry as more similar to each other than they are to people without noticeable African ancestry. I really doubt that swapping a medium brown live-action Ariel for a caramel Ariel would have anyone clutching their pearls since it wouldn't register as a change to most white people (which is why very few white people seem to care about dark-skinned Storm from the comics being represented by caramel-skinned Halle Berry). My experience has also led me to believe that skin color is less important to black people as a distinguishing feature. I know my eyes see transracial doppelgangers all the time.



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Old 07-11-2019, 10:41 AM
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You appear to be discussing one single aspect of the visual characterization of the character, and it just happens to be skin color.
Sigh.

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Originally Posted by Sauron
I would be making the same point if the live-action version was going to change Ariel's fish tail / scales from pale green to pink or purple, or changing her hair from red to yellow.
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Originally Posted by Sauron
I'm not one to say I'm color-blind, but I will say that if the original Ariel had been dark-skinned with blonde hair, and now Disney was proposing to make her light-skinned with red hair I would be making the same point.
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:43 AM
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Sigh.
There are no real live humans with the exact combination of physical features that the cartoon Ariel has. With that in mind, why is a variation on skin color so much more unacceptable to you than a variation on hair shade, or waist size, or height, etc.? Every actress will have some of these differences.
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:55 AM
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I'm approaching this from a character / brand perspective, not racial. Disney has spent millions upon millions of dollars for three decades promoting the Ariel character / brand based on a rigidly defined set of physical characteristics. Changing those characteristics now for no good reason (or at least no reason of which I'm aware) seems counterproductive to me.
For 50+ years, Malificent was the literal embodiment of evil, with an overwhelmingly defining characteristic of being able to turn herself into a dragon.

Disney had no problems throwing all of that away to make a movie where she became a guardian spirit who was betrayed and mutilated by Aurora's father and left all of the shapeshifting to her sidekick.

There is not really any such thing as Disney canon, they modify and change things based on whatever they feel like doing at the time (I think Cinderella pretty much becomes a time lord in one of her sequels?)
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:57 AM
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There are no real live humans with the exact combination of physical features that the cartoon Ariel has. With that in mind, why is a variation on skin color so much more unacceptable to you than a variation on hair shade, or waist size, or height, etc.? Every actress will have some of these differences.
Did you even read the post you're quoting?
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Old 07-11-2019, 11:20 AM
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Did you even read the post you're quoting?
I did. There's still no actress who has every single physical feature of the cartoon. So why are you worrying about this one feature? Any actress chosen would have some of these differences. No human has the same natural hair color as Ariel (bright red). Very, very few humans (if any) have the same skin color. No humans have the same build and physical dimensions (of their human parts).

With all this in mind, why does it matter that they cast someone who has darker skin? Virtually every human on Earth has darker skin than cartoon Ariel.

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  #189  
Old 07-11-2019, 11:21 AM
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I have inferred from this experience that white people tend to be programmed to see anyone with noticeable African ancestry as more similar to each other than they are to people without noticeable African ancestry. I really doubt that swapping a medium brown live-action Ariel for a caramel Ariel would have anyone clutching their pearls since it wouldn't register as a change to most white people (which is why very few white people seem to care about dark-skinned Storm from the comics being represented by caramel-skinned Halle Berry). My experience has also led me to believe that skin color is less important to black people as a distinguishing feature. I know my eyes see transracial doppelgangers all the time.
Black people are actually more attuned to differences in skin color than whites; it's race that is less important to them as a distinguishing feature. This accounts for why a black person may see resemblance between you and your friend. Your complexion is not miles apart from your average white person.
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Old 07-11-2019, 11:30 AM
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Basically, people learn to recognize the differences that are useful for distinguishing the people they grow up around. If you grow up in a mostly-white environment with very few black people, then "the black one" is usually enough of a description to uniquely identify a person, and so there's no need to look for further identifying features for a black person. By contrast, in such an environment, "the white one" would almost never be enough, so a person would learn to distinguish other features, and especially those features that vary a lot among white people.

Of course, in works both ways. In an environment with a lot of black people and very few whites, one might easily come to the conclusion that "all white people look alike".
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Old 07-11-2019, 11:35 AM
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Black people are actually more attuned to differences in skin color than whites; it's race that is less important to them as a distinguishing feature. This accounts for why a black person may see resemblance between you and your friend. Your complexion is not miles apart from your average white person.
Yes, this is what I meant to say. Thank you.



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Old 07-11-2019, 01:11 PM
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Since it would be really difficult to find a white actress who acts, sings, and looks similar to cartoon Ariel, casting an African-American could be a way for Disney to completely sidestep that complication. Viewers will know going in that Ariel 2.0 is not trying to be visually indistinguishable to Ariel 1.0, so that expectation won't be there to distract them from the performance. Also, if the entire cast is multi-racial, this freedom extends to everyone.

After hearing "...but Emma Watson doesn't look like Belle" for the millionth time, it actually makes a lot pragmatic and creative sense.

Last edited by you with the face; 07-11-2019 at 01:11 PM.
  #193  
Old 07-11-2019, 01:33 PM
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Cross-race effect.



I have the same problem with people the same race as me (or pretty close*.) For instance, in Stranger Things I sometimes confuse the skinny white kid who got sent to the Upside Down with the skinny white kid who found Eleven. Also camera guy and used-to-be-a-jerk guy. And in The Haunting of Hill House I had trouble keeping the mother and two of the daughters straight. And in the new Charmed, I keep confusing the two sisters that aren't the black one (*they are Hispanic, but look "white enough" that race doesn't factor in my confusion.) and I don't think I have face blindness, it is just that more similar people are more difficult to tell apart than ones with strikingly different traits.
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Old 07-11-2019, 02:28 PM
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-Perfectly flawless skin
-Eyes the size of lemur eyes
-Two solid bars of pure white to replace human teeth
-Hair the color of ripe tomatoes
-A waist about twice as wide as her biceps
-Skin the color of white peach flesh
I would assume that they would cast someone appropriately talented (and use make-up/effects) as close as possible to the stylized version without getting into an Uncanny Valley or otherwise visually disturbing situation. I would expect that this is common sense.

Now, in this case, they didn't and I don't care since I'll never see it anyway but it's funny how many "arguments" in this thread are people just preaching to the choir. No one upset by this is going say "Oh, shit, you're right! Mermaids aren't real! OMG they're not going to cast anyone with eyes taking up 25% of her face! I was so, so wrong!"

Of course, the die-hard racist rabblerousers aren't going to be happy with any answer but there's got to be a better approach to the "This disappointingly doesn't look like the character I love" people than "Cartoon mermaids aren't real, you moron!"
  #195  
Old 07-11-2019, 02:55 PM
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Can we at least acknowledge that a lot of this controversy is a never-ending loop of "Wellifthishappeneditis"?? And "Obnoxicity"?....and of course those are just the symptoms. The disease is Privilegeitis. People who don't have 24/7 internet access and don't know where their next meal is coming from seem to be strangely immune to all this.

"They flipped out over the Ancient One!!....Wakanda isnt real either!!"

"I'm just here for the white tears"
  #196  
Old 07-11-2019, 03:07 PM
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Sigh.
Many similar characteristics have changed in the Disney live action adaptations but no one complains about them. They seem to focus on skin color most of all.
  #197  
Old 07-11-2019, 03:25 PM
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Again, the issue for me is changing the look of an iconic (for 30 years, anyway) Disney character.
I still don't understand why that's an issue for you, though. The only bad thing that could happen from "changing the look of an iconic character" is that the character becomes less iconic. Why are you so invested in making sure that Disney characters maintain their market share? Do you own Disney stock, or something?
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Old 07-11-2019, 03:33 PM
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the character of Ariel shouldn't be affected.
What's skin colour got to do with character?
  #199  
Old 07-11-2019, 03:56 PM
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Technically, Ariel was modelled after Alyssa Milano.

But generally, if you see a young, thin woman with light skin, big red hair and blue eyes dressed up in a mermaid costume for Halloween, "Princess Ariel" would be a pretty good guess.
So your doorbell rings on October 31st, you answer it and there's a dark skinned girl with brown eyes dressed up in a red wig and a mermaid costume. Are you totally confused by this, or can you somehow suss out that she is dressed up as Ariel? You somehow can't extrapolate from the freaking fins?
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Old 07-11-2019, 04:17 PM
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Can we at least acknowledge that a lot of this controversy is a never-ending loop of "Wellifthishappeneditis"?? And "Obnoxicity"?....and of course those are just the symptoms. The disease is Privilegeitis. People who don't have 24/7 internet access and don't know where their next meal is coming from seem to be strangely immune to all this.

"They flipped out over the Ancient One!!....Wakanda isnt real either!!"

"I'm just here for the white tears"
I happen to believe that this discussion touches on inportant issues that do affect the lives of real people. I for one don't appreciate the notion that a black person in a "white role" must have a cynical explanation. There is little daylight between this notion and the opinion that black people who work in predominately white spaces are only there to be tokens, not because they actually belong there.

The idea that Halle Bailey was the most qualified candidate seems to strike so many (white) people as crazy. To me, as a black woman, this skepticism is quite discomfiting. I don't appreciate knowing that when people view me on the job, they may be thinking of all the white folk I have unfairly displaced. White folks who fit the visual profile of a scientist better than I do.
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