Little Mermaid Live Action's Test Audience Promises Favorable Production Following Online Backlash

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For avid fans, there is nothing more exciting than seeing your favorite animated Disney movies come to life. However, the upcoming live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid has divided audiences, with some racists expressing outrage that Ariel will be played by a black actress. But the haters can keep complaining because Halle Bailey's version is set to go above and beyond the surface of honor.

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In the recently conducted test audience for the upcoming live-action film, insiders expressed their astonishment over the portrayal of Bailey as Ariel, as well as Melissa McCarthy's Ursula, who’s expected to steal the show. Skylar Shuler, the co-founder of The DisInsider, revealed his findings after discussing the movie with select audience members.

He wrote, “The film is still far from finished, Halle was wonderful. Melissa McCarthy surprised the audience as Ursula and appeared to be the standout.”

Also Read: Halle Bailey Reveals Disney's The Little Mermaid Teaser Poster

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Shuler continued by describing the new songs as "hit-and-miss" and by also commenting on the enjoyment that unfamiliar faces are expected to deliver in the film. He was also told by the audience that the remake performed as well as 2019's Aladdin.

Ursula in the animated The Little Mermaid (1989)
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Credit: Walt Disney Pictures
Ursula in the animated The Little Mermaid (1989)

Other people who took part in the audience screening have also shared on Twitter their insights on the upcoming remake. These kinds of encouraging remarks prior to the film's release are required to set the tone for the discussion that The Little Mermaid is more than its online backlash.

To recall, the remake received its first backlash in 2019 when Bailey landed the lead role. However, in September, the outrageous comments went overboard when the teaser was released at Disney’s D23 Expo. The teaser finds Bailey under the sea as she sings a snippet of "Part of Your World."

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Despite technical comments such as the lighting being dim and in need of improvement, fans noticed Bailey's red hairstyle in order to honor Ariel. However, the footage has received over a million dislikes on YouTube because the mermaid is not the white individual that people were expecting to see.

Animated Ariel in the 1989 film
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Credit: Walt Disney Pictures
Animated Ariel in the 1989 film

As Hollywood has slowly embraced a more inclusive approach to making films, the audience is also expecting to find the same amount of or a much more welcoming environment for all in the cinematic landscape.

The Little Mermaid live-action will premiere in theaters on May 26, 2023. Watch trailer below:

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Related: The Little Mermaid Star Finally Addresses Racist Backlash Following Ariel Casting