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Jodi Benson, Original ‘Little Mermaid’ makes a cameo in the newest live-action movie

Jodi Benson is thrilled to be back in the world of the ‘Little Mermaid’, even if it’s only a brief appearance.

Jodi Benson is thrilled to be back in the world of the ‘Little Mermaid’, even if it’s only a brief appearance.
Mackenzie Benson

The original voice of Ariel, Jodie Benson, 61, makes an appearance in the newest live-action version directed by the same director, Rob Marshall. The two have a relationship of over 40 years, dating back to the 1989 animated classic of ‘Little Mermaid’ where Benson made her debut.

“It was just a huge thrill for me when Robbie reached out,” Benson told Entertainment Weekly. “I’m like, ‘Of course, I’m gonna come! I don’t care what I’m doing. I just can’t wait to get around the set and watch all of you work. It was just pure joy for me.”

Where does Benson appear?

Benson only appears briefly, right when Ariel transforms into a human at this point in the film, and she gets lost in the local market amid the many stalls.

She stumbles upon a woman who offers her a plate of food. This woman, played by Benson, hands Ariel a fork, which the transformed mermaid mistakenly uses to comb her hair.

“It’s literally like passing the torch,” Marshall says. In the 1989 film, Ariel uses a fork to style her hair as well, but in Prince Eric’s castle.

Marshall said, “We thought, ‘It is just so perfect to have her in that, if it felt like it could be organic and not too stunt-y.’”

Benson on board with contemporary changes

“When you look at our film, we started in the studio in 1986 and we were released in 1989. Times change, people change, cultures change,” said Benson. “What matters and what is important changes. And, as a studio, we need to make those adjustments, and we need to take into consideration what’s going on around us. We need to be aware.”

The actress says she’s impressed by the depth and expansion of the story that was limited by animation 30 years ago.

“I do feel all of the nuances and small, slight changes here and there are very important,” she continued. “It’s very important to address what’s going on right now in our world and to make it effective for our period of time, where we are right now in this generation.”

“The way that they paid tribute to the integrity of our original film just comes shining through in such a beautiful way. ... It really is just breathtaking.”


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