The animation, The Little Mermaid, splashed onto movie screens in 1989, kicking off what is known as the renaissance period for the Walt Disney company. 🧜♀️
Sophie Determan writes on the British Film Institute website that it ushered a period of rebirth and creative heights. “With innovative airbrushing and backlighting effects, and a new focus on celebrity voice talent, the era drew massive audiences and is often considered the peak era of the company.”
Jodi Benson voiced the red-headed mermaid, Ariel, in the 1989 animated movie. “When I started working on the film in the summer of 1985, I had absolutely no idea what this film was going to be like, the impact that it was going to have,” she says in a behind-the-scenes interview.
It is therefore fitting 😍 to have the live-action remake of the film release during the company’s centenary celebration, considering it is the title that was the catalyst of a great period for the company. Be a part of that fanfare because The Little Mermaid is on BoxOffice to rent. It stars Halle Bailey in the lead role as Ariel.
Here are a few things to look forward to while watching the movie. ⚠ Note there are spoilers ahead.
Handing over the dinglehopper
Benson makes a cameo in the live action remake and it will make fans shed a tear in delight. When Ariel becomes human and goes to the marketplace, Benson is a vendor. She hands Ariel a bowl of food and gives her a fork to use. But a fork is not a fork in Ariel’s world, it is a dinglehopper used to brush your hair.
In a behind-the-scenes interview, Benson says: “I think that symbol of handing her a fork, it had a lot of meaning, not only is it kind of funny and cute but it is really like ‘here, you understand who Ariel is’.” 🍴
Ariel is an animal lover
When Eric’s ship is sinking, Eric’s dog Max is tossed into the ocean and he doggy-paddles to the life boat. Ariel sees this and gives him a little nudge to speed up the process. It is something that is that wasn’t in the original animation, but tells everyone a lot about Ariel’s compassion and kindness. And as most people already know, she saves Eric from drowning as well.
In human form and staying in Eric’s castle, Ariel explores Eric’s library. Mirroring her grotto of treasured human items, Eric’s library is a monument to his thirst of knowledge and wandering spirit.
Ariel picks up a small mermaid ornament, to which Eric says: “My little mermaid.” This causes Ariel to look up in surprise. Is he referring to her? But no, he is making mention of the ornament, which he gifts to her. Little does he realise at the time he has a real life mermaid right there. The moment oozes sweetness.
Women supporting women
Benson commends Bailey. “Halle Bailey has just infused who she is into Ariel and has captured her so beautifully with such tremendous vulnerability. She's just being Ariel and now I get to share this love of Ariel with a new generation.” 💜
The admiration is mutual. Bailey says about Benson: “I loved her version of Ariel so having her validate me and say ‘you're doing amazing, keep going’, and pass me the baton was really special.”
Rent The Little Mermaid on BoxOffice for R60.