On Mermaids And Elves… But Mostly Mermaids

I haven’t dug too deep into the controversy over Disney’s casting decisions for the upcoming live-action version of “The Little Mermaid.”

For one thing, I’m something of a cartoon purist, and not entirely sure the world needs live-action updates of animated features.

I also know I’m totally judgmental about this stuff, and I take full ownership for my opinion that, if one is an adult and unable to enjoy an artfully produced cartoon, something is seriously amiss.

While I’m concerned that your Inner Child may be atrophying and feeling marginalized, I still love you.

We’ll simply discuss other things…

But on the topic of who plays whom in the next dip in the Disney-fied salty wet, I’m of the opinion that making a stink over the casting of Halle Bailey, a young Black actor and singer, as Ariel, is just plain ridiculous.

We’re talking mermaids here, people. Fantasy.

Last time I did any extensive snorkeling, back in December 1997, I saw critters of every imaginable color, shade, shape, and pattern.

Parrotfish, puffers, box fish, wrasses, triggerfish, clownfish, groupers, the occasional octopus. I even spent a happy hour following a school of squid that, always having a healthy mess of chromatophores at their disposal, continuously changed color.

It’s been a while, but I don’t think things have changed much in the marine realm.

If there’s any real problem here, it’s way more likely to be a lack of adaptability on the part of folks attached to what the mermaids in their heads (and movie-memories) look like.

Besides, as a former marine science student, I have it on authority that mermaids, mermen, and other tailed, scaled, and tentacled merfolk, like all the rest of the sea’s occupants, come in every color of the rainbow, plus a few.

The natural world is full of surprises.

And don’t even get me started on the equally hue-rich world of elves.

Thank goodness fantasy and imagination, in all their colorful, diverse glory, are here to stay.

Shall we discuss bioluminescence?