The upcoming Live-Action Remake of Disney’s classic 1989 animated film has drawn controversy ever since its announcement. The first teaser trailer alone currently sits at 3.1 Million dislikes on YouTube and is the most disliked Hollywood trailer in history. While the changes to Ariel’s look is part of it, there are many other reasons people are not reacting as positively as Disney hoped.
Recently another trailer for the film was released at this year’s Academy Awards, and it also got downvoted with over 1 Million dislikes. Many are arguing that it’s due to bigotry, but a lot of the complaints were about things other than Ariel herself. Since then, there has been a massive PR spin to try and turn the situation around, claiming massive views, which is a bit misleading as they included broadcast numbers from the Oscar audience to boost the number.
However, the general public may not care about the film. The recent lineup of Live-Action Remakes from Disney has not received a positive reception. 2022’s Pinocchio was lambasted by critics and audiences, Not to mention the upcoming Peter Pan and Wendy trailer being massively disliked as well. A big problem with many of these films has been the dark aesthetics that don’t reflect the animated versions.
In a recent interview with Empire, the actress had this to say in response to the criticism and how the new version is “bigger” than the original.
“I’m really excited for my version of the film because we’ve definitely changed that perspective of just her wanting to leave the ocean for a boy. It’s way bigger than that. It’s about herself, her purpose, her freedom, her life and what she wants.”
“As women we are amazing, we are independent, we are modern, we are everything and above. And I’m glad that Disney is updating some of those themes.”
But the original fairy tale happened because the “little mermaid” fell in love with a human boy. It’s literally the basis for the story.
In the original film, Disney emphasized that Ariel was obsessed with the human world and wanted to be a part of it before she even saw Prince Eric. The scene with her collection and the song “Part of Your World” was shown before she had any infatuation with “a boy.”
Also, the trend of Disney saying, “This film updates and improves on the original” can be traced back to multiple past remakes like Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Maleficent, Aladdin, and more. Despite this, audiences of the remakes have complained that the live-action films lack the same magic and sometimes rely on the audience knowing the original instead of standing on its own. Thus leading to people revisiting the originals instead.
We will have to wait and see how the film does theatrically when it releases in May. But with the way things are going there is a chance this film will sink at the box office.
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