Disney has recently announced that Halle Bailey will play Ariel aka The Little Mermaid in its live-action remake, because that’s apparently a carousel we cannot get off of. I don’t really know who she is, but director Rob Marhsall assures me that she “possesses that rare combination of spirit, heart, youth, innocence, and substance — plus a glorious singing voice.” She sounds like a slam dunk. Of course, the internet had immediate thoughts based solely on the colour of her skin.
MUST Ariel be a pale-skinned redhead. Of course not. Just to be clear: Ariel is a mermaid, which is a thing that does not actually exist, and therefore cannot have an inherently ‘right’ race or hair colour. She’s made up! Disney animators based her appearance on Alyssa Milano, who is not a redhead, and they drew her flowing underwater hair based on Sally Ride in space, and she’s not a redhead either. In fact, the only reason Disney made Ariel a redhead at all was to distinguish her from Daryl Hannah in Splash. That’s it. That’s the whole reason. It was a frivolous choice, one that can easily be changed with absolutely zero consequence. I’m more perturbed by the rumours of Melissa McCarthy playing Ursula – and no, not because she isn’t purple, though I do hope the infinite wisdom of the collective internet sees fit to protest that as well. Ursula was based on Divine, a drag queen who did indeed live up to her name, and wouldn’t it be nice to keep up that tradition?
Anyway, Disney princesses skew heavily to white bread and wouldn’t it be nice to add some colour to the lineup? Still, Disney doesn’t take any risks with its bottom line. They’re not going to throw us a token POC bone, even if it is the right thing to do. They’re going to cast the absolute perfect person for the role because Disney wants to get paid. And if they’ve cast Bailey, it’s because she’s the best.
And now for the rest:
Rapunzel has 70 feet of hair; at 100000 strands per head, her hair weighs over 10 pounds!
Pixar developped a software program specifically to animate Merida’s hair.
Aladdin throws an apple to Jasmine several times throughout the movie, including when they fly over Greece on the magic carpet ride. In ancient Greece, throwing an apple to a woman is considered a marriage proposal.
Although Vanelloppe and Ralph are not a romantic couple, they are BFFs, as evidenced by their necklace.
Belle’s blue dress and white apron combo were inspired by Dorothy, in Wizard of Oz. She’s the only villager to wear blue. Gaston, the villain, wears red – as does the Beast when she first meets him (his cape). But as he softens he wears purple, and finally blue and gold, which reflects both of her dresses.
According to art and fashion historians, Cinderella’s dress that the stepsister tear apart is thought to be inspired by the designs of Salvador Dalí and the magical gown is in the then contemporary style of Christian Dior.
Sean goes with Fa Mulan, a strong choice since Mulan was the first animated Disney film to deal with warfare. Her fight choreography was done by real-life martial artists Mimi Chan and George Kee. Mulan has (by far) the highest body count of any Disney hero – or villain.
Jay’s pick is not exactly Disney princess canon, but we think Gamora qualifies, and she’s definitely a badass – the deadliest woman in the galaxy, in fact.
Sean’s pick, Ariel, wants legs and love – possibly in that order. Princess Leia on the other hand wants to save the galaxy. Again. She wants peace, and she wants hope. But then again, she already has legs.
This one might be too close to call. Sean’s pick, Mulan, has a tiny dragon named Mushu (voiced by Eddie Murphy!) while Jasmine has a motherfucking pet tiger, bitches!
Sean goes with Cinderella’s pumpkin coach – sure Fairy Godmother pimped her ride, but it’s still got an expiry date. Jasmine, however, is riding in style on a SENTIENT magic carpet.
Sean goes with Cinderella yet again, and yes, ho is hustling. You might even say she’s gold digging. But Snow White’s in bed with 7 men!
Sean goes with Tangled’s Rapunzel, while I went with Frozen’s Anna, who just has big goofball energy.
Life of the Party
Sean knows he can’t go wrong with Merida from Brave. Her clan seems to celebrate in style. I went with Elsa since she has plenty of what every good party needs most: ice!
Most Likely to become president
Snow White clearly has the constituents but I think Moana’s got the political ambition.
Most likely to get catfished
100%, in ever sense of the word.
Most accident prone
I concede that even with 16 years notice, Aurora manages to snag her finger on that damned spindle, but Merida accidentally turned her mother into a bear. This might be the saddest contest yet.
Interestingly, I think Sean and I are after the same thing here: Moana holds her own against Maui, while Gamora never lets Starlord get a word in.
Upon reflection, none of the princesses are as carefree as you’d think. Cinderella is overworked, Jasmine’s trying to avoid an arranged marriage to an older man with unfortunate facial hair, Belle is a kidnap victim, Pocahontas is being colonized, Mulan has been conscripted…it’s not all tea and crumpets. Sean and I both chose Snow White, perhaps for her ability to sing under any circumstances.
Most likely to make millions
Sean went with Jasmine, who, granted, does come from oil money. Probably. But Tiana has the makings of a celebrity chef. Or she could franchise!
Most likely to star in her own reality show
Truthfully, most of these princesses could probably be on 16 & Pregnant about 5 minutes after their movies end, but aside from that, Sean goes with Mulan, and I’m not sure why. I went with Rapunzel because she’s thirsty enough to be a desperate housewife.
Most likely to be famous on instagram
Sean’s choice, Cinderella, is definite Insta-worthy. She’d be a big hit on the gram: she’s got the dresses, the cute pets, and those step-sisters could certainly teach her a good duck face. But I think Ariel’s got too much hipster potential.