As soon as I saw The Little Mermaid Narrated by Leigh-Anne Pinnock on audible I downloaded it, just a quick listen to the sample and I was hooked. Oh, that’s a bad pun.
This audible original story is a retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale by Dina Gregory. This is The Little Mermaid like you’ve never heard it before. I am a little gutted the story is only 43 minutes long, I could have listened to Leigh-Anne tell the story all day. Leigh-Anne’s narration is beautiful, emotional and her voice sounds great. Not only is Leigh-Anne brilliant the sound production, the songs and music are stunning too. This audiobook adaption is more of a soundscape than a simple audiobook, its immersive, unique and I would love to listen to more stories like this. This audiobook also features vocals from Anaiis, Kersha Bailey, Sariah Rowe and Nadine Samuels.
The audiobook release date (23/04/23) comes weeks before the release of the live action remake of The Little Mermaid with Halle Bailey. Halle Bailey’s casting sparked controversy around representation and diversity in the media. I do not have time for anyone who wants to have this argument. Halle Bailey is the first black actor to play the titular role of Ariel and I am here for it. How can you have seen the video’s on social media of little girls seeing themselves in the film trailer and tell me representation doesn’t matter.
The Little Mermaid Story we know now has been Disneyfied and morphed into a happy ever after fairy tale despite the original story by Hans Christian Anderson having a much darker ending. This retelling takes us back to the original source material but not quite as brutal. Both the retelling and the original take the Disney names away from the characters and describes having legs as an incredibly painful experience. Another thing similar between the retelling and the original is that the sister's make another deal with sea witch all The Little Mermaid has to do is kill the prince. However, she can’t bring herself to kill the prince, so she throws the knife and herself into the sea, killing herself and turning into foam. However, where the retelling excels is that this isn’t the end for The Little Mermaid once she has been turned into sea foam she turns into something similar to an air sprite and lives her life happily ever after in the air.