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‘MOANA’ STAR CAST AS ARIEL IN ABC’S ‘THE LITTLE MERMAID’ MUSICAL

August 9, 2019
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Disney is working on another The Little Mermaid iteration and Ariel still ain’t white! Recruiting Moana star Auli’i Carvalho for a hybrid half-live musical, half-original animated feature version of the classic film, Disney seems committed to retelling the beloved story in a more inclusive way. Carvalho, who is of Hawaiian and Puerto Rican descent, will be joining Queen Latifah, who will play Ursula, and Shaggy who will play Sebastian. When asked about producing a live stage version of The Little Mermaid ahead of Disney’s live-action film, ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke said, “I’m not really worried about overshadowing the other. The timing is so different. Ours premieres in the fall. The movie will hit theaters long after that.”

The Little Mermaid Live! is a celebration. We’re celebrating this incredible animated feature, and we’re gonna do it on the Disney lot,” said director Hamish Hamilton. “We’re going to do it live‑to‑air in front of a live audience in a room that we’ve created. So we’re going to invite anybody to come, both televisionally and real people, real fans, come to our Little Mermaid theater. In the middle of the room, we will have a giant projection surface, and on that projection surface we will play the feature. When we get to one of Alan [Merken] and Howard [Ashman’s wonderful songs, essentially we will transition beautifully and smoothly into a world of live performance.”

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