Category: Young Readers

The Little Mermaid

‘The Little Mermaid’ Originally Meant as Gay Love Letter to Author’s Crush

The Little Mermaid is getting the live reboot so many other Disney classics have seen over the years, like Beauty and the BeastAladdin, and The Lion King. This one in particular, however, is causing some controversy with the casting of Halle Bailey, R&B singer, as Ariel. I wonder if everyone so upset with the casting knows the roots of the story. It isn’t just a sweet fairy tale where the princess falls in love with a prince and everyone lives happily ever after. The original tale written in 1837 is much darker and has a deeper connection with Hans Christian Andersen’s life.

Before penning The Little Mermaid, Andersen had fallen in love with a man of much higher class, Edvard Collin. Andersen was attracted to both men and women according to many biography writers, but he was pining for this one man in particular. Collin never returned Andersen’s affections, actually bothered by the special attention that Andersen had paid him and one of his sisters. Collin ended up marrying a woman, and it broke Andersen’s heart. The Little Mermaid became his love letter to Collin.

 

 

Ariel from The Little Mermaid

image via heroic hollywood

In fact, Andersen’s story and that of Ariel are actually quite similar, both tales of unrequited love. Like Andersen, Ariel falls in love with a prince, but she is a mermaid and can’t just walk up to him and tell him. She has no legs! So she sells her voice to a sea witch in exchange for legs and the ability to walk on land to get the prince to fall in love with her. In both Andersen’s original story and Disney’s animated version, the prince does love another woman. In the Disney tale, it is the sea witch, Ursula, who is overcome by Ariel and her animal friends. Ariel gets her prince in the end. In the original tale, the other woman is just another woman. With no voice to express her feelings, something highly symbolic of Andersen’s situation, the prince marries someone else. Ariel, distraught, cries so much she turns into sea foam.

featured image via nerdist

First Official Look at Greta Gerwig’s ‘Little Women’

If you’ve been counting down the days to Christmas not for Santa but for the latest Little Women adaptation, Vanity Fair has brought it to you early! Who said you can’t have a piece of Christmas joy in June, anyway? With exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes shoots, you can get your first look at Greta Gerwig’s Little Women.

 

Since Ladybird took everyone by storm with stars Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamet, everyone has been asking what Gerwig would do to follow up that masterpiece. Well, she is once again taking Ronan and Chalamet on her journey into Louisa May Alcott’s 19th Century novel, Little Women as Jo and Laurie. Joining them are Emma Watson (Meg), Meryl Streep (Aunt Josephine), Laura Dern (Marmee), Eliza Scanlan (Beth), and Florence Pugh (Amy).

 

Cast of 'Little Women' Watson, Ronan, Scanlan, Pugh, Chalamet

image via le bleu du miroir

If you’re rolling your eyes and asking yourself if we need another 19th century take on the world, don’t fret. Gerwig, though keeping the adaption true to Alcott’s work, will be adding in modern twists. According to IndieWire, Gerwig is committed to shooting scenes in Massachusetts, not far from where the Alcott family lived, including scenes at the schoolhouse where her father taught.

 

Saoirse and Timothée as Jo and Laurie

image via slash film

One major aspect that Gerwig is diving into is the relationship between Jo, a girl with a traditional boy’s name, and Laurie, a boy with a traditional girl’s name. According to Gerwig, “In some ways the two are each other’s twin.” To heighten that relationship, she worked closely with the costume’s department. Throughout the film the two will swap pieces of clothing or accessories. Gerwig explains:

They find each other before they’ve committed to a gender. It wouldn’t be wrong to call Saoirse handsome and Timothée beautiful. Both have a slightly androgynous quality that makes them perfect for these characters.

Seeing how Gerwig plans to approach this relationship, it makes me excited to think of all the other themes she will be modernizing in the film. If you’ve seen Ladybird, you know Gerwig has an eye for detail, an amazing one at that. Christmas can’t come soon enough.

featured image via abc news