Dwayne Johnson is passionate about Halle Bailey after seeing The Little Mermaid in live action

Dwayne Johnson has shared his love for The Little Mermaid and its star Halle Bailey. The new film, which hits theaters May 26, is a live-action remake of the 1989 animated classic about a young mermaid named Ariel who meets sea witch Ursula in exchange for a pair of legs to explore the world of humans. trades her voice with Bailey, best known as one half of the musical duo Chloe x Halle and star of the Freeform sitcom Grown-ish, plays the lead. Today on Twitter, Dwayne Johnson shared a message from the theater after taking a bunch of kids (including his own kids) to see the Little Mermaid remake. In the video, most of the kids share their love for Bailey, her voice, and Ariel herself. In his extra-long caption, Johnson expresses his admiration for Bailey’s strength and for being “the hardest worker in the room,” celebrating a film that inspires people of “all hues, all colors.”

Another reason why The Little Mermaid screening is likely important to Johnson is that he’s making a live-action remake of 2016’s Moana, in which he’ll be reprising his role as Maui. The film also has a black heroine as its protagonist, highlighting the culture of the native people of the Pacific. Considering the success of The Little Mermaid, which has grossed an estimated $250 million worldwide so far, it’s good news for Johnson’s Moana remake. However, it remains to be seen whether Moana will have the same audience as The Little Mermaid. There are a number of pros and cons that may tip the balance one way or the other. For one thing, it features Johnson, a huge international star, over Bailey who is considerably less established. However, The Little Mermaid has a longstanding status as a storied Disney classic. While Moana was well received when it came out, it may have been a recent film for audiences to feel the need to revisit the material. However, even if it doesn’t do as well, it will still help spread the message Johnson shared, bringing characters of color to the fore in a magical and memorable way.

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