It might seem kind of cynical to say that we’re not fully buying into the upcoming Little Mermaid reboot, but it’s not really hard to be when the decisions being made are bound to change the film a bit more than many fans might be willing to admit is going to alter the film. Let’s start out by saying that if they go with the current ideas for cast members such as Zendaya as Ariel and either Meryl Streep or Lady Gaga as Ursula then it might be okay in terms of the cast. But if they decide to take pity on an aging Lindsay Lohan and give her the role then the whole thing might start sinking quicker than the Titanic and with a lot less fanfare. Casting for this movie needs to pay attention and be aware that changing things up too much or granting access to those that have been proven to be toxic to a movie set in the past might torpedo this movie quicker than anything. But if they stay on course with those that people are expecting thanks to concept art then it might be okay in this regard.
Of course then we need to discuss the overall tone of the movie and what’s going to be shown in terms of mermen, mermaids, and various other characters that some have actually deemed offensive as of the past few years. Anyone remember when people started ragging on how Sebastian was apparently an offensive stereotype? Or how about Flounder. Few people said anything about Scuttle the seagull, as it seems perfectly okay to imagine an addle-brained white bird being cast as a stereotype, but hoo boy, a Jamaican-sounding crab and a pudgy fish are simply taboo. Then there’s the whole idea of Ariel being almost naked aside from her clam shells, some folks managed to bring that up without fail. No one seems to remember that it’s a kid’s film, and that a lot of us enjoyed it back in the day and likely didn’t think twice about Ursula’s sexually suggestive speech. Why is that? Because WE WERE KIDS, and we didn’t know any better. We thought it was a great movie and that was that. If there’s any real reason to be skeptical about this movie it’s that it might be changed to accommodate the PC culture we live in at the moment so as to offend as few people as possible. If that’s the case though then a lot of Disney films would never have reached legendary status.
Look at the live-action version of Beauty and the Beast. No one said a single thing about the violence, or the outright terror that Belle faced when she was locked away in a tower. But when LeFou was revealed to be a gay character, people absolutely hit the roof. So it’s okay to be violent and abusive and suggestive in a Disney movie, just so long as we aren’t subjected to something so sly as homosexuality that’s suggested for a scene or two and then dismissed. It’s kind of amusing really that some folks decided to focus on this and not the fact that the movie was pretty faithful to the animated version.
Apparently there are going to be more songs added into the movie as well, and this seems like it should be okay since if you think about it Ariel only got to sing one actual song throughout the whole movie and it would be a great way to fill in a few details here and there just to make her seem like more of a character and less of a little girl that’s simply headstrong and extremely gullible. If one is being honest then it would be pertinent to say that Ariel was one of those princesses that helped to start the shift from helpless damsel waiting to be rescued to strong and independent woman that could think for herself and wanted to be recognized as such. It’s true that she wasn’t nearly as strong as some of the princesses we have now, such as Merida, Mulan (she counts even if she’s not technically royalty), Anna, Elsa, Tiana and several others, but she has the kind of spirit that still makes her a lot stronger than characters such as Snow White and Aurora, who were the stereotypes that needed men to come and rescue them.
So really the whole idea of being skeptical about The Little Mermaid reboot has more to do with the idea that it might be subjected a little more firmly to the idea of creating something that a PC culture would approve of rather than sticking to its animated roots. Just a couple of things might be needed to keep a lot of people on board. Keep to the story line, and NO Lindsay Lohan.
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