The new 'Little Mermaid,' Halle Bailey, is Disney's second Black princess. Her casting is real magic to some girls.
In 1997, millions of Black girls watched in awe as actress and singer Brandy Norwood was transformed into the iconic princess, Cinderella, in the television movie version of the Rodgers & Hammerstein classic musical. Delivering outstanding vocals, Norwood (and a diverse cast that included Whitney Houston as the Fairy Godmother and Filipino-American actor Paolo Montalbán as Prince Christopher) gave millions of kids (and adults) the chance to see themselves reflected in a fairy tale for the first time.
Now, more than 20 years later, and 10 years after adding its first and only Black princess to its roster, Disney is about to do it again.
Disney announced on Wednesday that they had cast 19-year-old singer and actor Halle Bailey as Ariel in their forthcoming live-action version of “The Little Mermaid.” The animated feature, released in 1989, is still one of Disney's most beloved films and features a rebellious mermaid who is desperate to escape her constrained life under the sea to live above water with humans.
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