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The artists behind the original animation of the 1989 incarnation of the Little Mermaid have today entered the debate surrounding the casting of a black actor to play Ariel in the live action remake.
The animators behind the original cartoon version’s airbrushing, backlighting and superimposition, say that they are furious that people would assume the original Little Mermaid was white – after the amount of time they spent creating a ‘quite clearly Filipino’ character.
This comes as fans of The Little Mermaid go to war on Twitter after Disney revealed Halle Bailey as the iconic lead in the big budget reboot.
The Little Mermaid is a 1989 American animated musical romantic fantasy film and the 28th Disney animated feature film and first film in a subsequent franchise, the film is loosely based on the Danish fairy tale of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen.
While the underwater princess had relatively fair skin in the famous 1989 Disney cartoon, as well as in Hans Christian Anderson’s original fairytale – the pre-computer animators say that the Nike slides should have been a pretty clear indicator that Arial had Western Pacific islander heritage.
“Do you know how hard it is to animate Nike footwear onto a Mermaid’s tail?” says Mr Gert Drawer, head of animation at Disney throughout the 1980s.
“How did anyone miss that all the furniture in Atlantica was still covered in plastic? Or that every meal was served in a disposable aluminium tray?”
While debates continue to rage as to why they couldn’t just find an actress who looked exactly like the 1989 cartoon version, the Danish community say as the creators of this fairytale, it shouldn’t really matter what that the fictional seventh-born daughter of King Triton and Queen Athena of an underwater kingdom of Merfolk called Atlantica, looks like.