Why The Little Mermaid Iconic Hair Flip Was Tough To Recreate In Live-Action
The Little Mermaid star Halle Bailey reveals why it was difficult to recreate Ariel’s iconic hair flip in the upcoming live-action remake.
The Little Mermaid star Halle Bailey reveals why it was challenging to do Ariel’s iconic hair flip in the live-action remake of the Disney animated film. In the original 1989 The Little Mermaid, the sea witch Ursula gives Ariel legs, forcing her to swim to the ocean surface. When she does, her hair flips back in a swirl, cementing it as an iconic scene.
Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Bailey opened up about how recreating the hair flip scene in The Little Mermaid‘s live-action remake was a difficult task because of both her locs, which get heavier when wet, and curly strands added to Bailey’s real hair. Check out Bailey’s full explanation below:
“That scene was so fun to do. It was definitely hard, though, because my hair was really, really heavy. I have my locs, which are my favorite thing. I’ve had my locs since I was 5. It’s feels like wool when it’s wet. So it gets heavier. It kind of almost doubles the weight when they’re heavy.
It was just a lot of hair on my head. So whenever I would get in the water, it would be heavy. So that one scene, it was really funny: that whole day we were trying to get it right, get it right, and finally they got a take that they really liked.”
Halle Bailey’s Ariel Is Her Own Unique Character
The inclusion of Ariel’s iconic hair flip underscores how The Little Mermaid live-action adaptation will still capture the original’s heart despite many changes. These changes include new songs, like Ariel singing about coming to land in “For the First Time” and Prince Eric dreaming of exploring the sea in “Wild Uncharted Waters.” The Little Mermaid remake also changes lyrics to “Kiss the Girl” and “Poor Unfortunate Souls,” so modern audiences won’t be offended by the original songs.
While song changes will make The Little Mermaid stand out from its animated predecessor, Ariel’s journey is also set to have different motivations in the live-action version. In February 2023, Bailey confirmed that The Little Mermaid remake is more progressive, as Ariel is more motivated by finding freedom than falling for Eric. This allows Ariel to have unique motivations compared to the animated movie, as her independence will be a sharper focus for live-action.
RelatedAriel Won’t Simply “Leave the Ocean for a Boy,” According to Halle Bailey
Prince Eric will still play a factor in The Little Mermaid, but it seems he will be more reflective of Ariel’s personal goals than her key motivation for going to land. This may alter their dynamic, which may be more developed than the animated classic while staying true to the original. Though The Little Mermaid will still contain iconic scenes like Ariel’s hair flip, it’s clear the live-action version seeks to stand on its own as a fresh retelling of Ariel’s story.
84 total views