Actress Halle Bailey, who is set to star in Disney's upcoming live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid, couldn't help but gush as she revealed that her image was made into a mermaid doll.
Bailey took to her Instagram account to share a first look at the new version of The Little Mermaid doll that is based on her portrayal of the famous red-haired mermaid Ariel.
"I have something really exciting to reveal to you all. I am gonna cry," the 22-year-old actress said before showing the figure. "This is the new Little Mermaid doll. I am literally choking up because this means so much to me."
"To have one that looks like me, that is my favorite Disney character, is very surreal," she added.
Bailey pointed out how the doll perfectly captures her image to a tee, even having the same mole as her, situated above the eyebrow.
"I am just stunned. I don't quite know what to do with it, but I am going to steal this and take it home and hide it forever," she gushed.
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Available for pre-order on Amazon, the new Little Mermaid doll is posable and comes with an ombre-colored tail that is capped off by a sparkly glitter fin. But it isn't complete without Ariel's signature long red hair that "celebrates the beauty of natural hair for styling fun." The item will be officially made available on April 23.
‘The Little Mermaid’ doll based on Halle Bailey has been unveiled. pic.twitter.com/bKAuczq4M3— Pop Base (@PopBase) March 6, 2023
Many of her fans showered her with their heartiest congratulations. Even the iconic Barbie brand commented, "Well deserved."
While this is so, Bailey also bore the brunt of negative criticisms from people who wanted to have a white actress play as Ariel, since the original cartoon version of the mermaid portrayed her as having white skin. This brought about hashtags such as #NotMyAriel and #NotMyMermaid.
However, Disney has since defended their choice of having Bailey as the lead star, with the film’s director, Rob Marshall, telling NBC News that Bailey "possesses that rare combination of spirit, heart, youth, innocence, and substance—plus a glorious singing voice—all intrinsic qualities necessary to play this iconic role."
The live-action adaptation is expected to follow the same storyline as Disney's original 1989 animated film, which centers on a 16-year-old mermaid princess of Atlantica named Ariel who is fascinated with life above the sea. After being captivated by a human prince named Eric, she forms a contract with an evil sea witch named Ursula to transform her into a human in exchange of her voice.
The live-action version is scheduled for a May 26 release date.