Halle Bailey’s “The Little Mermaid” Gets New Animated Series “Disney Junior’s Ariel”

Disney Junior's Ariel 2023 animated show
Disney Junior’s Ariel (Image: Disney Branded Television via Deadline)

With the live-action The Litte Mermaid movie starring Halle Bailey still playing in theatres, Disney has gone ahead and greenlit an animated show for preschoolers. Disney Junior’s Ariel has been inspired by the latest movie adaptation and will air sometime in 2024. I’m excited!

Disney Junior’s Ariel will feature the titular iconic mermaid along with Flounder, Sebastian, Ursula, and King Triton. Considering how cute a young Ariel looks, I can’t wait to see what her sisters look like. The dolls and other merch are going to be so adorable. I want it all now!

For more than 30 years, the story of ‘The Little Mermaid’ has been beloved by audiences all over the world. It brings me so much joy to be able to introduce our new Disney Junior version of Ariel to preschoolers everywhere,” shared Ayo Davis, president of Disney Branded Television, while making the exciting announcement on Tuesday during the Annecy International Film Festival in Annecy, France.

The upcoming animated series will be based on the Caribbean-inspired underwater kingdom of Atlantica. The story will follow a young Ariel as she explores the sea for human treasure. Of course, she will collect and display the items in her crystal cavern. Oh! I can already imagine the playset!

The treasure Ariel finds will sometimes play a role in solving the problems she or her friends encounter during her little mermaid adventures. And Ariel will also use her voice to inspire others.

Another creative decision involves having Ariel’s mermaid tail change colors depending on her emotions. Again! Merch opportunity! Whether or not other young mermaids also have color-changing tails remains to be seen.

On that note, I don’t know about you, but I like the idea that young mermaids wear their emotions on their tails in such a manner. And, if I were to share a fantheory, the permanent colors they end up with as they grow older are an amalgamation of the major emotions they have experienced during their childhood.

The multicultural diversity of the Caribbean will also be highlighted throughout the show via music, food, festivals, fashion, folklore, and language. The series has Dr. Patricia Saunders as a cultural consultant. Dr. Saunders is a professor of English and hemispheric Caribbean studies and director of graduate studies at the University of Miami as well as the author of two books.

The Caribbean music consultant is Sean Skeete, chair of Berklee College of Music’s ensemble department.

The racists are going to have a hard time trying to criticize this animated series, especially after the creative team gave Flounder his OG look and young Ariel has bright red hair.

Disney is not playing around with this animated show and I’m here for it!

Disney Junior’s Ariel has been executive produced by Lynne Southerland. Norma P. Sepulveda and Keith Wagner are the story editors. Ezra Edmond serves as producer. Kuni Tomita Bowen is the supervising director, and Chrystin Garland is the art director. The series has been produced by Wild Canary in association with Disney Junior.

Talking about the live-action The Little Mermaid, as of writing this, it has managed to gross approximately $418 million at the global box office against a reported production budget of $250 million. While I enjoyed the movie, I have to say that’s not a stellar performance no matter how you cut it.

However, I hope that it at least crosses the $500 million global mark. And pair that up with it very likely doing amazing on streaming (like Moana and Encanto) and all of the merch that will be sold, I think there’s still a chance we will get a sequel.

Are you excited about Disney Junior’s Ariel?

Let us know.

(via Deadline)

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.

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