Disney’s trailer of the rebooted live-action version of The Little Mermaid starring Halle Bailey as Ariel, dropped on September 9, and the reactions from little Black girls over the representation have been heartwarming.
Users on TikTok posted dozens of touching videos of Black girls of various ages, reactions to seeing Halle singing “Part of Your World” while donning brilliant red locs and swimming through the sea.
TikTok user Zane tugged on all the heartstrings after he posted unanimous reactions of young sisters exclaiming, “She’s Black.”
@zaneholmestiktokBlack kids react to little mermaid trailer! ♥️♬ original sound – Zane
One mother recorded a video of her gorgeous baby girl stopping dead in her tracks as Halle belted out the Disney classic. She also thanked the singer and protagonist for “giving” her “baby this.”
@heyy..cheryl Thank you for giving my baby this @halle 💕🧜🏾♀️ #disney #thelittlemermaid #representationmatters #fyp #babiesoftiktok #sapphireeyes #momsoftiktok #blackgirlmagic ♬ original sound – Cheryl Neufville
@Korrisworld, on TikTok, recorded his grandmother and great-aunt’s reactions after captioning his post that they’d never seen Black Disney princesses. The two older women called Halle “pretty” and cackled that folks would be mad about seeing a Black Ariel.
@korrisworld Mannnn I almost cried😭 #thelittlemermaid #halleberry #thelittlemermaidhallebailey #blackmermaid #blackprincess #fyp ♬ Love You So – The King Khan & BBQ Show
The unknown girl’s response was endearing when her mother asked why she liked the trailer.
She replied, “Because she’s brown like me, and I love it!”
@atribecalledparents We’re sooo excited about #thelittlemermaid #reaction #representation #blackgirl #blacktiktok #ariel #disney #hallebailey ♬ The Little Mermaid: Part of Your World – Geek Music
Another little girl’s eyes widened with delight when she saw Halle appear in the trailer.
I love her reaction to Ariel 💕🧜🏾♀️so happy that my youngest baby girl will get to experience this! I can’t wait to take her and my other babies to see it ❤️❤️❤️ ##representationmatters##littlemermaid2023##blackgirlrepresentation ##thelittlemermaidliveaction##littlemermaidreaction##blackariel
@detriarochelle I love her reaction to Ariel 💕🧜🏾♀️so happy that my youngest baby girl will get to experience this! I can’t wait to take her and my other babies to see it ❤️❤️❤️ ##representationmatters##littlemermaid2023##blackgirlrepresentation ##thelittlemermaidliveaction##littlemermaidreaction##blackariel ♬ original sound – Grower Of All Things 🪴
The Little Mermaid, set to drop in May 2023, hasn’t come without controversy. In 2020, white folks were outraged that Disney dared to cast a Black woman as Ariel. A now-deleted change.org petition was filed, demanding that the multimedia company recast Halle.
The singer remained unbothered by the white tears, telling Variety of her feelings about portraying Ariel, “I feel like I’m dreaming, and I’m just grateful, and I don’t pay attention to the negativity. I just feel like this role was something bigger than me and greater, and it’s going to be beautiful. I’m just so excited to be a part of it.”
— Variety (@Variety) August 7, 2019