Heartwarming videos show how Halle Bailey’s Little Mermaid is making young Black kids feel seen

Halle Bailey in the trailer for The Little Mermaid.

Families are sharing their children’s joyful reactions to Halle Bailey as Ariel in The Little Mermaid trailer, proving why representation is so important.

Bailey plays Ariel in Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, due for release in May 2023.

Sadly, the decision to cast a Black actor in the iconic role has triggered a racist backlash – however, most people were overjoyed to hear Bailey singing “Part Of Your World” in the first trailer for the film, which dropped Saturday (10 September).

Black families have been sharing their kids’ reactions to seeing Bailey playing, and it’s truly a sight to behold.

In one clip, posted to TikTok, a teenager shouts: “She’s Black! Mama, she’s Black! What?! Mama! They made a Black Ariel!”

Another video shows three children watching the trailer – and it’ll bring tears to your eyes.

“She’s Black? Yay!” one of the girls says.

“Isn’t that cool?” her dad asks.

“Yes!” she replies.

I’m so excited.

In one TikTok, a child is overcome with wonder when she sees that Ariel is Black, while another sees a child exclaiming: “I think she’s brown! Brown Ariel is cute.”

One of the most powerful clips is from @nickyknackpaddywhack on TikTok, which shows a child reacting with pure joy.

“Mommy!” the child says while pointing excitedly at the television.

“I know, right?!” the child’s mother says.

“She’s brown like me,” the child says. “I’m so excited.”

Twitter user @normanination4 has shared a thread of various clips showing kids reacting to the trailer.

“As I stroll on TikTok, I keep seeing parents video their children reacting to The Little Mermaid trailer,” they user wrote.

“So instead of focusing so much on the negative, I thought I’d show a thread of the little Black kids who are excited to see their favourite princess look like them.”

The trailer for The Little Mermaid has had a rapturous response since it debuted – it’s already racked up millions of views.

The film also stars Daveed Diggs as Sebastian, Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, Javier Barden as Triton, Jacob Tremblay as Flounder and Awkwafina as Scuttle.

Speaking to VarietyHalle Bailey – best known as one half of the duo Chloe x Halle – spoke of the significance of her casting.

“I want the little girl in me and the little girls just like me who are watching to know that they’re special, and that they should be a princess in every single way,” Bailey said.

“There’s no reason that they shouldn’t be. That reassurance was something that I needed.”