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Disney-owned cable network Freeform has bit back against the "poor, unfortunate souls" criticising the casting of the live-action The Little Mermaid remake.

Halle Bailey has scored the role of Ariel in the new film, and a torrent of racist backlash has ensued as a result.

Groups online have claimed the original has now been "ruined" by a black actress earning the role, and that the Danish author of the fairytale would have wanted her to be a Caucasian actress.

The hashtag #NotMyAriel even trended after the casting announcement, with racism clearly alive and well. It's rare that an actress-of-colour gets a protagonist role, especially in a Disney film, so it's a huge deal.

In an open letter referencing Ursula the sea witch, the network reminded the ridiculous critics of the new Ariel that the tale is a "work of fiction" and that the casting of the "highly talented, gorgeous" Bailey is "inspired".

The letter reads: "Ariel … is a mermaid. She lives in an underwater kingdom in international waters and can legit swim wherever she wants…But for the sake of argument, let's say that Ariel, too, is Danish."

"Danish mermaids can be black because Danish *people* can be black."

It added: "If you still cannot get past the idea that choosing the incredible, sensational, highly talented, gorgeous Halle Bailey is anything other than INSPIRED casting that it is because she 'doesn't look like the cartoon one', oh boy, do I have some news for you… about you."

"Ariel can sneak up to the surface at any time with her pals Scuttle and the *ahem* Jamaican crab Sebastian and keep that bronze base tight. Black Danish people, and thus mer-folk, can also *genetically* have red hair," Freeform continued. SLAY.

Hilarious rapper and actress Awkwafina, who is set to play Scuttle in the film, responded to criticism by saying:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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"I think that she's going to play an amazing mermaid. She's an incredible singer, incredible actress and I'm really excited to have her as a Disney princess."

The original Little Mermaid herself, Jodi Benson, has also had her say about the casting. “The most important thing is to tell the story," she started, via Comicbook.com.

"And we have, as a family, we have raised our children, and for ourselves, that we don’t see anything that’s different on the outside. I think that the spirit of a character is what really matters," she continued.

“We need to be storytellers," she added. "And no matter what we look like on the outside, no matter our race, our nation, the colour of our skin, our dialect, whether I’m tall or thin, whether I’m overweight or underweight, or my hair is whatever colour, we really need to tell the story."

"I know for Disney that they have the heart of storytelling, that’s really what they’re trying to do. They want to communicate with all of us in the audience so that we can fall in love with the film again.”

Bailey is half of the R&B duo Chloe x Halle with her sister, Chloe. Halle has yet to speak out about the backlash, which is probably wise. Don't waste energy on bigots, girl.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The new adaptation will include songs from the 1989 animated Disney classic and new tunes from original composer Alan Menken and Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Production on Disney's live-action The Little Mermaid is set to begin in 2020. Hopefully the ignorant white trashbags dissing Halle will have fled the cinema by then…

Feature image: Disney/Vanyaland

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The trailer for Disney's upcoming live-action remake of the 1998 classic Mulan has been released during the Women's World Cup final, showing a sweeping adventure movie set in China's Han dynasty.

Chinese actress Liu Yifei beat thousands of contenders to score the title role of the film, which is directed by Niki Caro (Whale Rider) and is scheduled for a March 27, 2020 release.

Yifei plays Hua Mulan, daughter of strict war veteran Hua Zhou (Tzi Ma). When her father is conscripted to join the military against the Hun invasion, Mulan disguises herself as a man to take his place.

Starring Donnie Yen as Commander Tung, Yoson An as Cheng Honghui, Gong Li as new character Xianniang and Jet Li as the Imperial Emperor, the trailer teases massive battle sequences but no Mushu.

Her animated dragon companion does not appear to be present in the movie, breaking fans hearts all over the world. The original soundtrack will also not be featured, another blow to fan-favourite aspects of Mulan.

Cri-Kee, her lucky cricket, is set to be voiced by Jun Yu. Her trusted friends don't appear in the trailer for the movie, which is based on the 1998 effort directed by Barry Cook and Tony Bancroft.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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A string of Disney live-action adaptations have been made in recent years, such as Dumbo, The Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and now The Lion King (due out this month).

Lady and the Tramp, The Sword and the Stone and The Little Mermaid are all set to be recreated in live-action format over the next year or so.

This new adaptation of Mulan will hit cinemas on March 27, 2020. Time will tell whether it will become as successful as the original, without Mushu's legendary sass or the iconic soundtrack.

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Feature image: Disney/Instagram/@mulan

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Disney's live-action The Little Mermaid has finally cast it's Ariel, and it's the perfect choice. 

Halle Bailey, of Chloe x Halle fame, is set to become part of Disney's world, isn't it neat? The R&B singer is tapped to play Ariel in the next adaptation, directed by Rob Marshall.

The director has spent months meeting with talent, and insiders claim that Bailey has been a clear front runner from day one of auditions.

Disney have received praise online for casting more diverse actors and artists for their new cinematic offerings, with Bailey becoming the first black princess in a live-action film.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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“After an extensive search, it was abundantly clear that Halle possesses that rare combination of spirit, heart, youth, innocence, and substance — plus a glorious singing voice — all intrinsic qualities necessary to play this iconic role,” Marshall said in a statement.

The incredible cast already includes Jacob Tremblay and the hilarious Awkwafina, of Crazy Rich Asians and Oceans 8 fame. Melissa McCarthy is also rumoured to be playing the sea-witch Ursula.

The Little Mermaid will incorporate original songs from the 1989 animated hit film, as well as adding new song from original composer Alan Menken and Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. 

Miranda is producing the film along with Marshall, Marc Platt and John DeLuca, so it's set to be absolutely amazing. David Magee has written the script, with Jane Goldman having written a previous draft.

Menken wrote the iconic original music from the film, including songs like Under the Sea, Kiss the Girl and Part of Your World. Our childhoods are essentially being reignited and we couldn't be happier.

The movie followed mermaid Ariel's journey after falling in love with Prince Eric, a human. She trades in her voice for a pair of legs, and it gets fairly chaotic after that…

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The role will be Bailey's debut for a feature film, following her success as one part of singing duo Chloe x Halle since 2015.

The pair rose to fame after posting YouTube covers of Beyoncé before the superstar discovered them and signed them to her record label. They've since opened for Queen Bey on her Lemonade tour.

Halle also stars in the Freeform series ​​​​​​Grown-ish, so she's got some acting skills in the bag already. 

Feature image: Instagram/@rayknightcasting

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Many of us were absolutely RAISED on Disney when we were kids. We grew up with the incredible cinema releases of The Lion King, Aladdin, Cinderella, Mulan and The Little Mermaid, and it changed our lives forever.

The Disney princess role has changed as the generations got older (and more feminist), bringing more progressive films with 3D female characters such as Brave, Frozen, Moana, The Princess and the Frog and Tangled.

Kiera Knightly recently spoke out against the films, saying that her three-year-old daughter is banned from watching them in her home.

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When asked why, she said to "rescue yourself!" from the prince is a far better message to send to young women; "Cinderella waits around for a rich guy to rescue her. Don’t." Right on, gal, right on. Fight the power.

However, when we were watching the classic princess films as children, I highly doubt we realised at the time just how YOUNG they all are, which arguably makes the movies seem a tad creepy.

It's basically teens getting sexualised and sent off to live with a man who has privilege over them forever.

For decades, young girls have been seeing these characters as role models; they're compassionate, fierce, caring, brave and highly intelligent.

Many of the gals are preparing for marriage, but they're in their mid-teens. Seems a little weird, considering the men they're marrying are often at least ten years older.

For example. Pocahontas' age in the film was never confirmed, but in real life she actually met John Smith when she was just a 10 year old girl. Ew.

First up: Princess Jasmine. Aladdin's bae was only 15-years-old in the film, as a recent The Mary Sue article pointed out. So when she's dressed in red and is seducing Jafar (a creepy old man), she's officially underage…

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A key portion of the film revolves around the fact that she's obliged to marry a prince before her sixteenth birthday, which is three days away.

The Mary Sue also noted that Jasmine is a highly sexualised character, with Jafar commanding the genie to force her to love him. Alright…we're officially disturbed.

Plus, that waist-line is a fantasy; she'd fit maybe half an organ in there if she's lucky.

HuffPost has previously pointed out that none of the 'official' Disney princesses are older than 19, even though most of them are wed or engaged by the end of each of their respective movies.

Ariel is a sixteen-year-old who claims to be an adult, while Eric is the ripe old age of 18. So in today's day-and-age, it would be illegal for them to marry.

Granted, these films are purely fantasy, but it's pretty strange how they design the princesses as sexualised teenagers who always end up with an older man.

If this next one doesn't shock you, we don't know what will. Snow White is just 14 YEARS OLD when she meets her prince, and escapes from a cruel queen who tries to cut out her heart out of vanity.

The prince also kisses her while she's KO'd; problematic as f*ck.

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Kristen Bell has also pointed out issues with Snow White as a film, which was the first colour Disney animation and was released back in 1938.

“Don’t you think that it’s weird that the prince kisses Snow White without her permission?” Bell says she asked her daughters. “Because you can not kiss someone if they’re sleeping!” Hello, consent?

Fairy tales don’t have a stable form, and every era rewrites centuries old fairy tales to fit it's specific agenda or zeitgeist. Many Disney princesses were based on the 1812 Brothers Grimm tales.

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They changed their book of stories to adapt to 19th-century German bourgeois family values, so why can't we update them in 2019?

Cinderella was transformed into a live-action remake recently, but ZERO alterations were made. 

Our Chinese hero warrior Mulan, famous for it's WHOPPER tunes like I'll Make a Man Out of You: she's also sixteen. Yet she has to nurture a fragile toxic male ego, and marries him in the end.

Ok, then, it took a woman to fix a man's dodgy job and her reward is a lifetime of obedience. Sleeping Beauty's Aurora was also 16-years-old, and we've got another classic case of non-consent.

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While Disney has 100 percent made improvements for it's female characters, like Frozen's Queen Elsa and Princess Anna especially, and Brave's Merida (also 16); it's important to be aware of the classic films and their morals.

The live-action Aladdin doesn't arrive for another few months (May 24 to be exact), we have no idea if Jasmine will be a more marriage-appropriate age. The actress cast to play her is 25-years-old, at least.

Naomi Scott isn't a teenager, so let's hope her character isn't either.  Scott told Entertainment Weekly that her character’s goal is “really to protect her people, to do right by them," in December, so we have high hopes.

The eye-wateringly hot Marwan Kenzari has been cast as Jafar in the live-action flick, and he looks FAR younger than the animated character. He's a certified thirst trap.

We're relieved they're moving away from the creepy-old-man game, thank God. The movie looks intriguing, if just for a blue Will Smith as the genie. (Check out those memes about him, they're amazing)

Bring on the badass empowered female princesses, like Meghan Markle and the Thai princess Ubolratana who recently attempted to run for Prime Minister. Get it, gurls.

Feature image: knowyourmeme.com

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Disney's live-action reboot of The Lion King may well break box office records, judging by the insane level of excitement built up around it.

The flick nailed an all-star cast featuring the original Mufasa himself (James Earl Jones), Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner, Donald Glover (AKA Childish Gambino), Chiwetel Ejiofor, John Oliver, John Kani, Eric Andre, Keegan Michael-Key and…

Who are we forgetting?

Oh yes… BEYONCÉ KNOWLES-CARTER as Nala. We're slain.

Naturally, there's an ecstatic amount of nostalgia, especially from us 90s kids out there. Thankfully, during last night's Oscars ceremony, Disney released an extended The Lion King trailer and we died.

How can we possibly wait until July 2019 to see Jon Favreau's epic Pride Lands tale, based on Shakespeare's Hamlet?

More live-action reboots are on the way, following the success of The Jungle Book, which boasts the same director as The Lion King. Dumbo, directed by Tim Burton will arrive in theatres this March, followed by Guy Ritchie's Aladdin in May.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Just like The Jungle Book, Favreau's Lion King uses CGI to bring an entirely animal cast to life in an incredibly realistic-looking format.

Donald Glover, This Is America musical legend, stars as Simba, the orphaned lion cub who returns to Pride Rock to take his place as king.

Beyoncé Knowles-Carter plays Simba's love interest, Nala, while Chiwetel Ejiofor plays the villainous scar. Seth Rogen and Billy Eicher were cast as Pumbaa and Timon, Simba's beloved comic relief companions

We honestly won't be able to see this in cinema, we'd have to be restrained due to the sheer excitement of it all. Cannot cope.

Feature image: Instagram/@cinemacitypt

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Actress Margot Robbie is set to earn HUGE praise for her role in Mary, Queen of Scots, and now the Australian is set to star in a totally different movie.

She's officially signed on to produce and star in a live-action BARBIE movie, E! News reported today.

Warner Bros. and Mattel have struck up a partnership to bring the franchise to the cinemas in it's first ever live-action take on the famous doll.

Chairman of Warner Bros, Toby Emmerich, commented on Margot's new role in the project;

"Margot is the ideal producer and actress to bring Barbie to life on screen in a fresh and relevant way for today's audiences." Robbie intends on co-producing the movie under LuckyChap Entertainment.

The 28-year-old actress released a statement expressing her delight at playing the role of Barbie;

"Playing with Barbie promotes confidence, curiosity and communication throughout a child's journey to self-discovery. Over the brand's almost 60 years, Barbie has empowered kids to imagine themselves in aspirational roles from a princess to president."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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She continued; "I'm so honoured to take on this role and produce a film that I believe will have a tremendously positive impact on children and audiences worldwide. I can't imagine better partners than Warner Bros. and Mattel to bring this film to the big screen."

Tom Ackerley, Margot's husband, as well as her business partner are also co-producers. Mattel took back the rights after the option passed on Sony's deal, and Robbie signed a first-look negotiation with Warner Bros in 2016.

Chairman and CEO of Mattel, said in a statement; "Barbie is one of the most iconic franchises in the world and we are excited to partner with Warner Bros Pictures and Margot Robbie to bring her to life on the big screen. We look forward to building on this collaboration with Warner Bros Pictures as we tell the stories of our beloved brands."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Amy Schumer was previously roped in to portray the titular doll she dropped out in 2017, saying in a statement, "Sadly, I'm no longer able to commit to Barbie due to scheduling conflicts. The film has so much promise, and Sony and Mattel have been great partners. I'm bummed, but look forward to seeing Barbie on the big screen." 

A director or release date has yet to be assigned. 

We can't wait to see what Margot does with this role, she really can be anything she wants. Barbie inspo 101.

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