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.
[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.
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
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.” *
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.