Recently, Disney has introduced new-found diversity in their up-coming movies ‘The Little Mermaid’ and ‘Tinkerbell’, in an effort to advocate for a larger variety of representation of the big screen, however some wish to resort back to the old Disney.

There is a lot of controversy surrounding Disney’s new casting of the classic characters of Ariel and Tinkerbell.

On the 26th May 2023, the new ‘The Little Mermaid’ movie will be released, starring Halle Bailey as the titular red-haired mermaid herself. Many find this to be an extraordinary feat, providing representation to those who did not have it in older movies. However, unfortunately, with all things new, inevitably comes hate and resentment alongside it. In this situation, this anger directed towards Bailey as The Little Mermaid is rooted in racism which has been disguised as prejudice against the fact that Bailey has a lack of red hair. Though, the vast majority of these haters fail to realise that the iconic red hair that they see in the original movie is vibrant in a way that can only really be accomplished in cartoons and would be impossible to maintain it in a way that would look natural. So, any actress that would play Ariel would quite probably have to wear a wig anyway.

This movie, along with ‘Tinkerbell’ are, of course, fantasies and purely fictitious so there is no reason why the colour of Ariel’s or Tinkerbell’s skin can't be changed, even if it has not been changed since their original releases back in 1989 and 1904. With the coming of a new generation, movie producers must adapt to meet the needs of their audience and so, Hollywood has gradually embraced a much more inclusive and representative approach to their new films. Diversity, it seems, is now the name of the game. For children, particularly, seeing someone that looks similar to you being highlighted in a societal ideal is something monumentally special and meaningful.

The argument that “if these characters’ can be changed, why can’t Tiana’s be changed too?” has arisen from this controversy and the answer to this is simply that it would not be right. Tiana is Disney’s first African American princess and so the colour of her skin is as a result of the location in which the story takes place and, if she was re-cast as another ethnicity, it just wouldn’t make sense.

I hope those who oppose the new casting of Ariel and Tinkerbell can look past the colour of the actresses’ skin and just enjoy and appreciate the re-vamped movies for their true cinematic beauty and being a symbol of our ever-adapting world.