Banking off the success of the live-action revival of “The Little Mermaid,” Disney has greenlit “Disney Junior’s Ariel.” The new CG-animated television series will focus on an Ariel of pre-school age, exploring the world with young eyes and solving tot-level problems. The announcement will be made at the Annecy Animation Festival June 13th, along with a sneak peek.
Ayo Davis, president of Disney Branded Television, wants this to be a new adventure for younger audiences. “For more than 30 years, the story of ‘The Little Mermaid’ has been beloved by audiences all over the world. It brings me so much joy to be able to introduce our new Disney Junior version of Ariel to preschoolers everywhere,” Davis said. “As we were developing ‘Disney Junior’s Ariel,’ we knew that we wanted to create an atmosphere that was vibrant and magical and showcased our young Ariel’s imagination, which, like our preschool audience watching at home, is as big as the sea.”
There are a few differences with this version of Ariel. A fun little quirk to attract younger audiences (and probably to sell toys, let’s be real). Ariel’s emotions are displayed through a color-changing, shimmering tail to better illustrate her mood. But even as a tiny mermaid, Ariel’s fascination with the human world is as strong as ever.
Her boundless curiosity will see her finding treasures from the world above and keeping them in her crystal cavern. These objects may come into play for solving some of the problems of her undersea friends. Or simply as vehicles for better understanding the world around her. Of course, she won’t be alone. Familiar faces will join Ariel on her adventures including Flounder, King Triton, Ursula, and Sebastian.
We’re excited to see Steven E. Gordon (“The Swan Princess,” “X-Men: Evolution“) as one of the series’ directors.
We’ll let you know what we hear about casting, and a possible release date for “Disney Junior’s Ariel.”