Little Mermaid Actor Promises Ariel Gets More Power in Disney's Remake

Disney is still releasing the live-action version of The Little Mermaid and star Daveed Diggs can't wait for fans to see it. He talked to Variety about some changes to the story on the red carpet for the SAG Awards. Most of the recent live-action re-tellings of those popular Disney animated features have done some editing along the way. A lot of the racier jokes in both Aladdin and Dumbo got trimmed. Jungle Book had to grapple with a lot of the time period specific troubling content inherent in the tale it's based on as well. So, it would only make sense that there would have to be some commentary on agency in the new film. There has been much discussion about how much control Ariel has over her arc in The Little Mermaid and it sounds like the new adaptation will have some thoughts on it.

"Some of the updates they've done to the story are really important in terms of giving some more power back to Ariel," Diggs began. "It's fun to work on something that's so intentional in the idea of 'If we're going to make this now, we're not going to leave this alone as a time capsule.' Let's make it for now."

Fans will have to take that on its face until more details rise to the surface. Those people have already been encouraged to enter this version with an open mind. Original Ariel actress Jodi Benson jumped to Halle Bailey's defense when the younger actress was announced to be playing the leading role.

"The most important thing is to tell the story. 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," Benson told a crowd at Florida Supercon convention.


"I think that the spirit of a character is what really matters. What you bring to the table in a character as far as their heart, and their spirit, is what really counts. And the outside package — cause let's face it, I'm really, really old — and so when I'm singing 'Part of Your World,' if you were to judge me on the way that I look on the outside, it might change the way that you interpret the song. But if you close your eyes, you can still hear the spirit of Ariel."