The Little Mermaid is making a big change from the Disney original

the little mermaid
The Little Mermaid is making a big changeDisney

The Little Mermaid's anticipated live-action remake makes a big change from the Disney original, according to director Rob Marshall.

The Disney classic follows Ariel, a young mermaid who dreams of becoming a human and falls in love with a human prince named Eric.

However, in order to explore the world up above, Ariel makes a deal with Ursula the sea witch and gives up her voice for legs.

the little mermaid

Related: The Little Mermaid's original Ariel star shuts down backlash over Halle Bailey casting

In a new interview with Empire Magazine, Marshall revealed that Halle Bailey's Ariel has slightly different motivations behind her transformation than the animated version, who he says "gives up her voice for a guy".

"A lot of people forget how modern she was, especially at that time in 1989. The power that she has inside is something that leads her to build a bridge with this other world," he explained.

"That contemporary theme has always felt like an antidote to the divisions we feel today in the world, and a reminder that we're all one."

ariel in the little mermaid

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Marshall continued: "With our filming we've been able to expand upon that. She doesn't give up her voice for a guy – that's something that was sort of baked into that original. That's not how we play it in our film.

"She wants so desperately to be part of this other world and wants to prove – to her father and to everyone – that there's nothing wrong with [the people there]."

Despite the differences between the two, original Ariel Jodi Benson has given Bailey's performance her seal of approval.

"So thrilled! So excited! Halle, you were absolutely amazing," she wrote on her Instagram Story after the first trailer dropped. "I'm SO proud of you and your beautiful performance as Ariel!"

The Little Mermaid will premiere in UK and US cinemas on May 26.

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