From the moment we got our first look at Halle Bailey as The Little Mermaid’s Ariel, we knew she was the perfect choice to bring the Disney princess to a new generation of fans. Now, the release of the film’s official trailer has shown us how right we were. On Sunday, while the entertainment world was focused on The Oscars, Bailey and co-star Melissa McCarthy took the stage to introduce the first full trailer– and we were not disappointed.
Up until this point, all the teasers we’ve seen have only shown Ariel. There have been quick glimpses of her underwater world, but nothing substantial. I’m guessing this is because the visual effects are still being finished. In the trailer, we finally get to see the CGI versions of her animal friends—including a nightmare-inducing Sebastian. It’s all a lot of fun, but what we’re really here for is our first look at McCarthy’s Ursula. The Bridesmaids star definitely has Ursula’s signature diva attitude and her tentacles look really cool.
Additionally, the clip really does an amazing job of showcasing the vibrant energy of Ariel’s underwater kingdom. If you were worried that the live-action remake wouldn’t be able to properly capture the beauty of the original’s colorful, detailed animation, go ahead and relax.
I know there’s going to be a certain section of the internet that take issue with anything that gives Black people joy. But honestly, they don’t matter. The people who do matter are all the kids who are seeing a version of their favorite character who looks like them. The little girls who now feel like it’s OK to dress up as Ariel, because she’s their princess. The impact of Black kids seeing Halle Bailey as Ariel is immeasurable. I know this because I can see the happiness, recognition and understanding in my niece’s eyes when she sees the videos. The movie looks like it will be a lot of fun, but more importantly it creates a space where young Black fans can be a part of fantasy worlds that don’t often include them.
Starring Halle Bailey as Ariel; Daveed Diggs as the voice of Sebastian; Javier Bardem as King Triton; and Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, The Little Mermaid hit theaters on May 26.