(Photo Credit: Getty Images)
(“The Little Mermaid” trailer courtesy of Walt Disney Studios)
Yes, Regal Mag reviewed “The Little Mermaid.”
People might say why would a men’s magazine review a children’s movie that stereotypically is geared towards young girls?
First, Regal Mag has many girl dads as readers.
Second, with all the hatred that Halle Bailey has received for playing Ariel from those offended by a Black mermaid, how could Regal Mag not show up for the sister?
And in all honesty and sincerity, “The Little Mermaid” is exceptionally well-made.
Furthermore, Bailey is tailor-made for the popular role of Ariel.
In “The Little Mermaid,” Ariel represents the typical young person who cannot be contained by customs, parenting limitations or culture.
Although her father King Triton (Javier Bardem) warns his daughters about the dangers of the surface world and human beings, it does not stop Ariel from being intrigued by the world above them.
Even when Ariel should be at important events in King Triton’s life, she is often out and about observing her surroundings and looking for new adventures.
Ariel is even fascinated with shipwrecks, which gives her an opportunity to learn more about human beings and their possessions.
But when Ariel stumbles upon catastrophe on top of the water, her entire future is changed forever.
In “The Little Mermaid,” Ariel happens to save the life of young Prince Eric (Jonah Hauer-King).
However, Ariel cannot stay around to make sure Prince Eric is totally O.K. because she does not want her identity as a mermaid known to humans.
But Ariel never stops thinking about Prince Eric, who does not fit any of the negative stereotypes that King Triton has taught her about the human race.
Prince Eric is kind with a good heart.
And Ariel’s heart cannot forget her prince.
On the other side of the water, Prince Eric cannot stop thinking of the woman who saved his life either.
But when his subordinates fail to find the mystery woman, Queen Selina (Noma Dumezweni) urges her young son to forget the imaginary female savior.
Obviously, King Triton is not thrilled either with Ariel’s infatuation.
However, when the evil Ursula (Melissa McCarthy) finds out that Ariel is head over heels with a human, she aims to trick her into pursuing this relationship to get back at her nemesis, King Triton.
In “The Little Mermaid,” however, Ursula informs Ariel that she only has a certain amount of time to win the heart of Prince Eric and seal their relationship with a kiss.
But the malevolent Ursula would not be evil if she left it up to Ariel and Prince Eric.
She must inject some hocus pocus or Ariel’s mission would be too easy.
And despite the haters, racist and bigots, Bailey injects much star power into a movie that showcases all her talents and youthful-looking charm.
First and foremost, Bailey can act.
Her personality also makes it easy for her to relate to the young folks who will love the live action version of “The Little Mermaid.”
Bailey can sing, which is a prerequisite to reel in many young moviegoers.
And she can hold her own against the likes of McCarthy, Bardem, Awkwafina (who voices the character Scuttle) and Jacob Tremblay (who voices the character Flounder).
But do not get it twisted, with such a talented roster of talent, Bailey does not shine alone.
Even if a father brings their child to see “The Little Mermaid” and they have only heard of the Bailey controversy, the voice of Awkwafina is unmistakable.
Like other actors (for instance Samuel L. Jackson), Awkwafina injects her own personality into every role.
Even playing a cartoon character, Awkwafina comes off as the one and only Awkwafina.
On the other hand, Tremblay plays Flounder with much fear and frustration.
In “The Little Mermaid,” Flounder is like the typical big sibling who is responsible for the actions of their mischievous and hyperactive younger sibling.
If anything goes wrong, the parent will take it out on the hide (or the fin) of the one put in charge of the youngster.
That means Tremblay must play Flounder in desperation, constantly floundering away trying to keep the intuitive Ariel in check.
Ultimately, “The Little Mermaid” wins because of its significance to young girls of color throughout the world.
For generations, young Black girls and boys did not see many images of themselves in heroic roles.
Even when Hollywood attempted to make positive images of Black people and Black families normal, those positive portrayals often received pushback from those outside of the community.
As a result, “The Little Mermaid” accidentally makes a political statement by showcasing a Black woman in the starring role of such a celebrated children’s classic.
Not only will “The Little Mermaid” positively impact girls of color, but it will also expose children from the majority demographic to diversity in a political climate that is attempting to prevent diversity, inclusion and acceptance.
Not that “The Little Mermaid” is the perfect movie because it is not.
But it might come at the perfect time for the next generation.
The current culture wars are replacing stories that highlight minorities because diversity offends many in the majority.
Schools have banned books.
However, school boards cannot ban Hollywood movies.
Therefore, movies that depict Black people in a positive and heroic light will fill the gaps since many political leaders are attempting to make the world and history whiter, even if it is a fictional character.