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??? HCA is kinda well-known, and made fables (or wrote them down, I dunno) for where he lived.
So did Shakespeare... Hamlet is still a dane.



I was making the point that the specific Disney Movie is based (loosely) on a specific tale by a specific author, in which it's definitely Scandanavian. I was never stating or implying that mermaids are only from that region, in terms of folklore. That's all you.
So you're just saying the mermaids should be Scandinavian because the author was Scandinavian?

The point is that doesn't track...
 
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I don't care about the race thing (doesn't matter which image), but it's actually quite region-specific: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Little_Mermaid

And the mermaid in Copenhagen harbor: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Little_Mermaid_(statue)

It's as "Nordic" as Frozen (which is also extremely loosely based on another HCS story: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Snow_Queen )


So you might think it's not based on something region-specific like Aladdin or Mulan, but it is.
Except that this is Disney's version of The Little Mermaid, not HCA's, and the animated version varies greatly from the original story. There's nothing region-specific in their adaptation. She's got a Jamaican crab and a Catskills seagull. If it didn't matter that they played fast and loose with the original, why would it matter now? It's not a biography.

If were going by the statue, then I get the only exceptable appearance is brass. It's a damn shame they didn't give a Brass-American actress a chance. Always pigeonholed into roles of statues or fountains. And let's not even get into the white-washing debacle of Mannequin!
 

figmentPez

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So what if it is region specific? Stories aren't written in stone. Oliver & Company moved Oliver Twist from London to New York. Is that a problem?
 
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Seriously, is the race of a made up character from a modern fairytale such an issue?
Well, here's a question. If Ariel's black, presumably Poseidon's black, and all her sisters are, too. In fact, literally every merman/maid we see in the animated version will be black. So now it's a movie about a black girl who desperately wants to escape her country/life to go live in the "civilized", "modern", "better" world. It's not exactly the most uplifting interpretation of the story.
The HCA version was about unrequited love, unrealistic/impossible desires, trying to belong where you don't, and is a cautionary tales for children to be good (I think it ends with a sort of Flying Dutchman style "wander the world until she can find enough good children" thingie - but it's been a while and I may be confusing versions).
Do we rewrite the story not to be about seeking a better world? To not refer to (black) immigrants coming to the (white) civilized world of milk and honey?

On one hand, no, what color she has doesn't matter to the story - HCA describes her as pale but it's not an essential part of her character (like, say, Pocahontas...oh wait, we might as well make her blue and transport her off-world). OTOH, Aladdin or Mulan could be rewritten and transported to another place to be about white people without any problems. A thief using magic to impress a princess? Nothing Arabic about it. A girl pretending to be a boy to keep her family's honor? heck, I've read that book set in medieval France before.

I'm not necessarily opposed to characters changing color (or gender, or sexuality, or hair length, or...) if they aren't essential to the character (Black Panther or Hitler, to take obvious examples). I do have to wonder about why this is such a thing now. Apparently Hollywood is so story-starved they can't think of anything that might sell with black or female main characters that doesn't involve taking a story from a Western European or American folklore and changing it around a bit? Princess and the Frog showed some people at Disney manage to understand.
 
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Well, here's a question. If Ariel's black, presumably Poseidon's black, and all her sisters are, too. In fact, literally every merman/maid we see in the animated version will be black. So now it's a movie about a black girl who desperately wants to escape her country/life to go live in the "civilized", "modern", "better" world. It's not exactly the most uplifting interpretation of the story.
Only if the prince and the "civilized" world really are white and not also black.
 
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On one hand, no, what color she has doesn't matter to the story - HCA describes her as pale but it's not an essential part of her character (like, say, Pocahontas...oh wait, we might as well make her blue and transport her off-world). OTOH, Aladdin or Mulan could be rewritten and transported to another place to be about white people without any problems. A thief using magic to impress a princess? Nothing Arabic about it. A girl pretending to be a boy to keep her family's honor? heck, I've read that book set in medieval France before.
That isn't really what we are talking about though. If they took the story of Aladdin, put him in space, changed the name to Ally Din, made him a Chinese woman, and turned Jasmine into a four armed green anthropoid voiced by Ben Kingsley, yes, no one is really going to get on that because it's obviously a fantasy offshoot of the base story. (I already trademarked Genies of Mars, too late). What we are talking about is the times they keep the stories and settings the same, but change the actor to a white one. So everything is still happening in say, Japan, but all of a sudden Scarlet Johannson shows up. Those are the ones we are calling a bit iffy.

I'm not necessarily opposed to characters changing color (or gender, or sexuality, or hair length, or...) if they aren't essential to the character (Black Panther or Hitler, to take obvious examples). I do have to wonder about why this is such a thing now. Apparently Hollywood is so story-starved they can't think of anything that might sell with black or female main characters that doesn't involve taking a story from a Western European or American folklore and changing it around a bit? Princess and the Frog showed some people at Disney manage to understand.
Okay, the thing is, we don't know why they picked Halle Bailey. Everyone just assumes they did it because they wanted the black audience, but can we stop being so cynical that maybe, just maybe, they liked her audition? Usually these types of castings they don't always just go "need pale white redhead" in the casting calls, they usually will take in anyone willing to audition and assume they can change it later with visual effects and makeup. For all we know she nailed what they were looking for, at which point they had to choose to pick a "worst" actress who didn't fit what they wanted or shake it up to fit her in regardless of skin. This same shit happened with MJ the minute they announced Zendaya was playing her in the new Spider-man movies, and she honestly turned out to be one of the best characters of the MCU reboot, I really can't see anyone else in that spot.

This assumes we even know where the new live action version takes place geologically. It's not like Disney has not fudged a lot of details between the animated and live action versions.
 

figmentPez

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If Ariel's black, presumably Poseidon's black, and all her sisters are, too
Have you seen Ariel's sisters in the animated movie?


Somehow all these came from the same mom; looks like genetics for mermaids work a hell of a lot differently than they do for humans. (Assuming the remake doesn't give Ariel half-sisters. Which is what I had assumed at least some of her sisters in in the animated version were, but no, they all came from a mom who looks almost exactly like Ariel.)

Consider, at least for a moment, that the undersea kingdom might be multi-racial. The movie doesn't really say how big Atlantica is, but Aquaman and Namor both rule the entirety of the world's oceans, so it's not unreasonable to consider that Atlantica might be big enough that it has mermaids with a varitey of skin tones living within it's borders.

Oh, and finally. To quote Freeform (one of Disney's TV channels), "But for the sake of argument, let's say that Ariel, too is Danish. Danish mermaids can be black because Danish *people* can be black.”
 
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So now it's a movie about a black girl who desperately wants to escape her country/life to go live in the "civilized", "modern", "better" world. It's not exactly the most uplifting interpretation of the story.
.
Wait, I think you have that backwards. The mer-world looked down on the human world. To quote Trition, "You could have been seen by one of those barbarians... by one of those humans!" and Sebastian, "The human world? It's a mess.". Ariel wanted to prove humans weren't uncivilized. It's more like Shuri wanting to leave Wakanda to see the rest of the world.
 
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It's been a while since I last watched the movie but if I remember correctly, Ariel and her family live in a reef complex. I also don't remember them being exceptionally fast, having sharp teeth, spikes, etc. Ergo, I can only conclude that they have no real defenses and thus should look like this:
Fish camouflage.jpg


Or are highly poisonous and thus should look like this:
Poisonous fish.jpg


This, I think, would make for a truly gritty retelling of the story.
 
It's been a while since I last watched the movie but if I remember correctly, Ariel and her family live in a reef complex. I also don't remember them being exceptionally fast, having sharp teeth, spikes, etc. Ergo, I can only conclude that they have no real defenses and thus should look like this:
View attachment 31821
King Triton slowly and cautiously floats over to where he thinks Ariel is camouflaged against the sea floor.

TRITON: You know, Ariel, I think you should be more careful in your interactions with the humans.

A section of the ocean floor a few feet away curls around a tarnished object a little tighter and buries itself a bit more in the dirt.

King Triton darts away to safety.
 
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