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Disney's The Little Mermaid Pop Culture

Cosplay Queen: Traci Hines

Cosplayer Traci Hines as Ariel from Disney’s The Little Mermaid.

Cosplayer. Singer. Actress. Model. Traci Hines does it all.

What Traci is best known for are her music videos as one of Disney’s most iconic heroines, Ariel, from The Little Mermaid.   Traci puts her soul (and her voice) into her music videos and it feels like you’re watching the animated films, coming to life.

It’s obvious, by watching the music videos, that music and cosplay are Traci’s passions. Which is an inspiring thing to see!

Traci’s videos blossomed on Youtube, where she took her love of singing and cosplay and blended the two seamlessly. After every music video, Traci personally thanks everyone who made it possible. Which makes them all the more special.

She embraces her fans with a whole heart and even takes their requests for her music videos.

Traci encourages her fans to share their voice to be unafraid to do so. Which is powerful. When we find our voice, we find our inner power and believe in yourself. Traci understands, that everyone’s journey has its own ups and downs, and is always willing to be a beacon of light, hope, and inspiration in her Instagram stories and posts. She’s unfiltered and raw in her own struggles and is there for her fans, reading every comment and always encouraging her fans to chase their dreams. That’s a blessing!

Traci is truly gifted in the art of storytelling with her music videos and cosplays. To be honest, the cosplay world, wouldn’t be the same without her.

Thank you Traci, for blessing us with your voice, music videos, and cosplays! You’re an inspiration to all of us!

 

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Disney's The Little Mermaid Pop Culture

Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live (Performance)

The Little Mermaid Live! debuted on November 5th, 2019, as a special film-hybrid anniversary concert. It was filmed on location at the Walt Disney Studios.

A glowing Jodi Benson (voice of Ariel) opened the show, sharing some of her memories of making The Little Mermaid 30 years ago and how much, the film has been apart of her life.

The Little Mermaid Live! was directed by Ron Clements, John Musker, and Hamish Hamilton.

John Musker and Ron Clements wrote the original script for The Little Mermaid for Disney in the 80s. Like Jodi Benson, anything regarding The Little Mermaid, they’ve written it, such as the The Little Mermaid TV Series, The Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea, and so much more. So, it’s no surprise, that they were involved in The Little Mermaid Live! as well as the new The Little Mermaid Live Action film starring Halle Bailey as Ariel.

The Little Mermaid Live! starred Auli’i Cravalho as Ariel, Shaggy as Sebastian, Graham Philips as Prince Eric, John Stamos as Chef Louis, and Queen Latifah as Ursula.

One of the best performances of the night, was Queen Latifah singing ‘Poor Unfortunate Souls’. She added her own spin to the classic song, for the villain Ursula. Queen Latifah owned the stage and personified Ursula in every way.

Another fan favorite moment of the night was Auli’i (Ariel) and Graham (Eric) singing ‘If Only’. ‘If Only’ first made it’s debut in 2008, for The Little Mermaid on Broadway. It was a wonderful opportunity for fans, who had never heard the song for the very first time.

The Little Mermaid Live! overall, was filled with many magical moments, including John Stamos (Chef Louis) forgetting Prince Eric’s name.

It was definitely a wonderful blend of screen and stage, that many fans will remember as a wonderful way to commemorate the 30th anniversary of The Little Mermaid.

 

 

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Disney's The Little Mermaid Pop Culture

Disney Legend and Icon: Jodi Benson

Disney Legend Jodi Benson at Walt Disney Studio’s in Burbank, California

This particular article is dedicated to Disney Legend: Jodi Benson, whose changed and inspired the lives of many.

Jodi is best-known for providing the talking and singing voice of Ariel in Disney’s 1989 film, The Little Mermaid.

For many of us, growing up in the 90’s, Ariel was a part of our childhood’s and memories. We danced to the unforgettable soundtrack on a cassette tape, pretended to be mermaid’s in the pool, and begged our parent’s to take us to Disney Parks,  just to catch a glimpse of Ariel or if we were lucky enough, to meet her.

Ariel was one of our earliest role models, before many of us knew, what a role model was. We desired Ariel’s life, the same way, Ariel desired to explore the human world and to be on land.  Jodi’s influence has transcended for a lot of fans, beyond childhood. We see Jodi Benson as an icon, inspiration, friend, and mentor. She’s helped shape the lives of many, by being as vocal, strong, and determined as Ariel. We are forever blessed to have Jodi be a part of our world. There are many of us, who are eternally grateful to Jodi, in ways, that mere words cannot describe.

If it wasn’t for Jodi Benson voicing Ariel, this blog, wouldn’t exist. It’s because of Ariel, that I became interested in mermaid’s.  Ariel was and forever will be, my favorite Disney Princess and will continue to inspire me in all aspects of my life. For me, no trip to any Disney Park is complete without visiting Ariel. And there are many other fans, who would say the exact same thing.

So, how did Jodi land the iconic role of Ariel?

Howard Ashman and Jodi Benson
Howard Ashman and Jodi Benson

Short answer. Howard Ashman.

Back in 1986, Jodi Benson starred in the ill-fated musical Smile at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, that only ran for 48 performances and closed January 1987. The lyrics and book for Smile were written by Howard Ashman.

After the show closed, Howard offered an audition to Jodi and the other girl’s in Smile for another project he was working on with Alan Menken. That film was Disney’s The Little Mermaid. He gave Jodi a snippet of the script and a cassette recording of him singing Part of Your World.

A year later, Jodi would get a phone call that would change her life forever. She got the part of Ariel.

The Little Mermaid would be Disney’s first fairy tale film in 30 years. The film is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s, The Little Mermaid that was published in 1837. Many fans, would consider Disney’s version of The Little Mermaid as their introduction to the classic fairy tale and to mermaids.

As we grew up, so did Disney’s The Little Mermaid franchise. Jodi voiced Ariel in video games, TV Shows, sequels and prequels, and so much more. The franchise itself, would be nothing without her.

Thanks Jodi for being Part of Our World for 31 years! We love you!

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Disney's The Little Mermaid Pop Culture

Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live (Promo)

Promo Photo for The Little Mermaid Live

Disney celebrated it’s 30th anniversary for it’s beloved film “The Little Mermaid” with a special live-action/animation hybrid event with “The Little Mermaid Live”.

“The Little Mermaid Live” starred Auli’i Cravalho as Ariel, Graham Phillips as Prince Eric, Queen Latifah as Ursula, Shaggy as Sebastion, and John Stamos as Chef Louis.

The highly-anticipated trailer, featured the cast in their rehearsal costumes with Auli’i singing in the background. It may only be 30 seconds in length,  but it’s full of exceptional detail, depicting iconic places and scenes in the original 1989 film of “The Little Mermaid”.

Auli'i Cravalho as Ariel in The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live
Auli’i Cravalho as Ariel in The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live
Graham Phillips as Prince Eric in The Wonderful World of Disney The Little Mermaid Live
Graham Phillips as Prince Eric in The Wonderful World of Disney The Little Mermaid Live
Shaggy as Sebastion in The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live
Shaggy as Sebastion in The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live
Queen Latifah as Ursula in The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live
Queen Latifah as Ursula in The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live
John Stamos as Chef Louis in The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live
John Stamos as Chef Louis in The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live
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Disney's The Little Mermaid Pop Culture

Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live (Cast)

Disney’s The Little Mermaid 30th Anniversary Logo

2019 marked a big milestone for Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.” The film had celebrated it’s 30th anniversary and in honor of that anniversary, Disney had decided to host a live-hybrid event titled: “The Little Mermaid Live”.  Disney had announced that they would be using puppets, Disney magic, and star-studded cast to bring this Disney Classic back to life. 

Disney was wise in it’s casting for this event, by selecting Auli’i Cravalho as Ariel, Graham Phillips as Prince Eric, Queen Latifah as Ursula, Shaggy as Sebastion, and John Stamos as Chef Louis.  

“The Little Mermaid Live” is Auli’i Cravalho’s second project with Disney. She originated the singing and acting voice for the Disney-Pixar film “Moana” in 2016. Her voice is soft, yet powerful, which is why she was perfectly cast for the role of Ariel. 

Auli'i Cravalho (Photo by JSquared Photography/Contour by Getty Images)
Auli’i Cravalho (Photo by JSquared Photography/Contour by Getty Images)
Graham Phillips (Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images)
Graham Phillips (Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images)
Queen Latifah (Photo by Jim Spellman/FilmMagic)
Queen Latifah (Photo by Jim Spellman/FilmMagic)
Shaggy (Photo by JSquared Photography/Contour by Getty Images)
Shaggy (Photo by JSquared Photography/Contour by Getty Images)
John Stamos (Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images)
John Stamos (Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images)

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There was no doubt, to many fans however, that Queen Latifah would steal the show as the sassy and villainess, Ursula. Queen Latifah, is a female rapper, actress, and entrepreneur. 

A few changes that Disney made in the hybrid production would be to include a few songs from Disney’s Broadway Production of “The Little Mermaid” such as ‘Her Voice’ and ‘If Only’. Giving fans, who had never seen or heard the Broadway soundtrack, the chance to discover it for the very first time. 

For all fans of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid”, it is a must to watch “The Little Mermaid Live” to experience film and live theater merge together for a unique experience.