Anyone who isn’t a complete stranger to the internet has heard of the official Disney trailer of the live-action “The Little Mermaid” movie coming to theaters on May 26, 2023. Posted Sept. 9, the trailer shows our beloved Ariel will be played by actress Halle Bailey. The number of viewers skyrocketed ever since the release, reaching well over 16 million views on YouTube only five days later. Now it is at 23 million.
However, the views are not the only thing increasing. Just three days after the trailer hit the Internet, it received more than 1.3 million dislikes; the likes are only a mere percentage of the dislikes. A lot of fans are not at all happy with this trailer.
Brianna Subero, a junior business administration major with a concentration in international business, noted that when some people are used to something being a certain way, it’s quite easy to become upset when sudden changes are made.
“I personally think some people are upset because there’s already the cartoon version out and [Ariel] doesn’t look like what’s portrayed in that,” Subero said.
Keaoh Gonzalez, a freshman visual arts major, added to this idea.
“I think people are hating on this trailer because it’s not their ideal princess or what they imagined since Ariel in the cartoon is white and red-headed,” Gonzalez said. “I don’t think they were expecting a black woman to play the role.”
But representation is a very important aspect to people all over the world, which Michaela Sokolowski, a freshman film and television major, spoke about.
“What we need is representation,” Sokolowski said. “We need different kinds of things going out there.”
In a world that is so diverse, seeing different types of people in the spotlight of popular shows and movies is what many people, like Richard Steiner-Otoo, junior earth and environmental science major and executive president of the Student Government Association, love to see.
“I think that it is actually very beneficial, that sort of representation, especially in a world that can be so dynamic,” Steiner-Otoo said.
Although “The Little Mermaid” trailer continues to receive negativity daily, there is still so much positivity behind it. Along with clips of the trailer taking over the internet, there are also reaction videos of young children of color, more specifically little Black girls.
“I love seeing the videos that are all over my TikTok of the little girls happy to see someone that looks like them in a movie like this,” Subero said. “So I honestly think it’s what was needed.”
When kids witness people who look like them take on roles the way Bailey did as Ariel, it raises hope that they can do anything they want. They can finally see themselves as this character they always watched and adored, and hopefully one day, they can shoot for higher opportunities because they truly believe they can.
Gonzalez expressed how she looks forward to seeing “The Little Mermaid.”
“Just from the trailer, it looks so beautiful, and I love the song, so I am really excited to see it,” Gonzalez said. “I’m sure all the little girls who reacted to the trailer are happy to see it, too. We can’t wait to see how wonderful this movie turns out to be.