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Queer animator reimagines The Little Mermaid’s Ariel as a man and the gays really want him to be part of their world

Josh Milton April 28, 2020
The Little Mermaid: Queer animator reimagines Ariel as a man

Ariel as a twink belting out 'Part of Your World' was a song we didn't realise we really needed. (Screen capture via YouTube)

A queer illustrator has reimagined The Little Mermaid star and iconic redhead Ariel as a man and it’s safe to say his Grindr bio would list him as a twink.

Designed by Mark Scarander, 18, the video, featuring Mike Zubio providing the swoonful chords, sees Ariel swish around the sea, yearning for the ability to walk among the Earth as he sings: “Part of Your World”.

“I have to please the gays,” Scarander joked in the YouTube video caption, published April 20.

Queer artist makes waves with recreation of Ariel as a sufficiently twinky guy. 

Tallying up more than 511,000 views, it certainly seems that queer men certainly were the demographic for a twinked-up Ariel animation, if the reactions online are anything to go by.

Who knew!

The classic song in the 1989 cartoon was originally sung by Jodi Benson and is, to many critics, cited as Disney’s rebirth back into cinemas. But it seems if Disney wants to net more LGBT+ viewers, all animators need to do is twink Ariel up.

While some The Little Mermaid fans rallied for a gender-bending Ariel, and we have no choice but to support this. 

Disney’s LGBT+ representation is kinda shallow. 

The video also prompted, both on social media and the video’s comment section, a discussion around non-traditional and queer visibility in Disney’s animation wing.

Some commenters voiced how they want more diverse characters than the cardboard cut-out villains and heroes of Disney’s golden years. More nuance, commenters said, as well as more diversity in the sexuality and gender diversity of main characters.

Scarander is certainly not the first artist to reimagine Disney characters in queer contexts, but what many do highlight is the lack of LGBT+ characters, themes and histories being featured by the beloved animation company.

When news that, for the first time, a Disney film would feature the film studio’s first openly queer character, fans were quick to laud 2019’s Onward as a historic and seismic chapter for Disney’s Pixar.

Yet, many viewers were dismayed to know that the character, a cyclops cop named Officer Specter voiced by Lena Waithe, was a drive-by event. She appears briefly in a scene, salting it with a reference to her off-screen girlfriend, before she is gone.

Her role came after Disney featured both its first same-sex romance on High School Musical as well as on the cartoon, Star vs the Forces of Evil.

More: Ariel, Disney, the little mermaid, YouTube

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