By Anuoluwapo Bamiro columnist
On May 26th, 2023, Disney released the highly anticipated The Little Mermaid remake starring Halle Bailey. Ever since I was a child, I loved all things about the ocean, the beach, ocean life, and ocean mysteries. I remember being a little girl and falling in love with the animated version of The Little Mermaid. I watched H2O (an Australian show about 3 girls who received mermaid powers from a water cave during a full moon). So, when they announced that the remake was in the works, I was beyond excited and immediately knew that I was going to do whatever it took to watch this film no matter what my age.
So, I did what any sensible 26-year-old would do going to see a “kids’ movie”, I got myself a ticket, two drinks, and snacks, and watched the movie by myself and healed a piece of my inner child. I was so excited to see how well Halle played Ariel. And the songs were spectacular. She killed the music her voice was impeccable When I first heard that she was going to be playing Ariel that was what I was most excited about-hearing the way she was going to sound and singing the music along with that she was giving us Black women fulfilled dream we had since childhood. We always wanted to see a Black mermaid. We only got to see a glimpse of Ariel’s sister in the animated version. But now Ariel was a black woman.
I will say watching the movie from a 26-year-old’s perspective there are a few lessons I noticed that I was too young to understand before.
One major theme is the harder a parent is on their child and taking desperate measures to stop them from doing something. The more that child yearns to rebel and explore that thing even more. Ariel’s dad was so fixated on not letting his daughter go to the surface that it led to more danger and issues. If he would have helped her from the beginning she would have never been tricked by Ursula.
The second major theme was desperation. Ariel was so desperate to get to the surface she sold her soul to a witch. Her father was so desperate for her to stay in the sea, he destroyed her prized possessions and sent them both into dangerous situations. Sebastian was so desperate to not get into trouble that he didn’t alert the king about Ariel’s rash and dangerous decisions. The movie showed that moving in desperation brings nothing but chaos and confusion.
The last major theme that stood out to me was the level of determination that both Ariel and Prince Eric had in wanting to find one another. The love and longing they had for each other allowed them to find their way to each other no matter who tried to stand in their way. They knew that staying home in their castles was saddening to their souls and they eventually got to escape together.
The movie was amazing to watch with Halle as Ariel, I personally loved the way they crafted her looks for The Little Mermaid press run. Her hair was loc’d in the movie, they didn’t use an excessive amount of makeup on her. She auditioned and murdered the role. She makes so many Black people across the diaspora proud, excited, and supportive of what history she has made. I recommend everyone go see the movie, grab some snacks, take the kids, go to the bar, and really enjoy the movie and pick up some life lessons as well.