Halle Bailey brings Ariel to life in The Little Mermaid remake

''I feel so grateful to be in this position!''
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The classic tale of the mermaid who dreams of walking on land is the latest Disney flick to get a live-action remake, and fans are thrilled.

A revamp of the 1998 animated film of the same name, The Little Mermaid tells the much-loved tale of the spirited young mermaid Ariel (Halle Bailey), who lives in a world under the sea ruled by her father, King Triton (Javier Bardem).

Fascinated by the human existence above, Ariel visits the surface, where she falls for the dashing Prince Eric (Jonah Hauer-King). Making a deal with the sea witch Ursula (Melissa McCarthy), Ariel is given the chance to walk on land, but in doing so puts her life in jeopardy.

While the new film is very similar to the animated flick we all know and love, Halle says the remake, directed by Rob Marshall, has been updated for a modern audience.

Prince Eric (Jonah Hauer-King) with his one true love, Ariel (Halle Bailey).

(Credit: getty images)

“I’m excited for my version of the film, because we’ve definitely changed that perspective of just her wanting to leave the ocean for a boy,” Halle, 23, told Edition. “It’s way bigger than that: it’s about herself, her purpose, her freedom and what she wants.”

The Grown-ish star is also making history as the first woman of colour to portray the Disney princess – and her portrayal has been widely celebrated by critics. The actress says representation in films such as The Little Mermaid is imperative for youngsters.

“I feel so grateful to be in this position honestly,” Halle told our sister site WHO Magazine at the Sydney premiere.

“Ariel was my favourite princess and to have the chance to be part of the reimagination where I get to play her and represent for this new generation – especially seeing the reactions of all the black and brown little girls and boys who get to see themselves in me – it’s truly an honour and I’m so grateful to be here.”

Halle’s performance of Part Of Your World has been called “beautiful” by critics.

(Credit: Disney)

Halle spent nearly a year filming, saying that the underwater scenes were particularly taxing. She reportedly spent 13 hours in the water some days, with hours in a harness.

“I pushed myself as far as I’ve ever pushed myself in my life,” she admitted. “And I feel like the message from Ariel was to know that you’ve always had it in you.”

The Little Mermaid is in cinemas now. You can also catch the animated original on Disney Plus.

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