Halle Bailey surprises two aspiring teen filmmakers at EPCOT with an invitation to be the star's personal guests at Disney's 'The Little Mermaid' live-action movie world premiere

Mar 24, 2023 in "Disney Dreamers Academy"

Halle Bailey surprises Disney Dreamers Academy students at Walt Disney World Resort
Posted: Friday March 24, 2023 7:50pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Grammy-nominated singer Halle Bailey, who will play the lead role of Ariel in the upcoming live-action remake of Disney's 'The Little Mermaid,' surprised two aspiring teen filmmakers Friday during Disney Dreamers Academy at Walt Disney World Resort with a personal invitation to join her on the red carpet at the movie’s world premiere in Hollywood.

Dylan Jones of Atlanta and Madison Henderson of Los Angeles were in the middle of a movie production training session at EPCOT's The Sea's with Nemo and Friends pavilion Friday morning during Disney Dreamers Academy when Bailey, the program's celebrity ambassador, made a surprise appearance and delivered the personal invitation to come to Hollywood.

The movie’s world premiere takes place just before the film officially hits theaters nationwide on May 26.

This is the 16th year of Disney Dreamers Academy, a four-day, transformational, mentoring program designed to broaden career awareness and create opportunities for 100 Black high school students and teens from underrepresented communities across America each year.

Watch the video below to see the surprise moment.

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MisterPenguinOct 10, 2023

TP2000Sep 20, 2023

But what about Merchandise and DVD sales? That's got to count for something, right?

Vegas Disney FanSep 20, 2023

With so much content now I suspect first impressions are everything, I start a ton of movies and shows that I don’t continue if the first 10-15 minutes don’t hook me. In the theater, after driving across town and paying $20 for a ticket and snacks, they’ve got a fairly captive audience, at home they’ve probably got about 10 minutes before most people will turn it off and move on to the next option, with thousand of options there’s no reason to continue on if something bores you at the beginning. This also makes the way they calculate viewings interesting also, it’s possible 26 million people started and didn’t finish but all those minutes added up to millions of views, even if many never finished the movie.

Tha RealestSep 20, 2023

I’m fascinated by this. TLM actually did a bit better at the box office than Elemental. Yet Elemental has overwhelmed TLM in terms of purported viewership. It feels like the animated films generally have more rewatchability on those services than the live action remakes.

doctornickSep 20, 2023

I watched but I did enjoy Elemental a good bit more and we’ve rewatched it. I thought TLM was probably in the top half of live action remakes actually but in general I don’t really like those movies that much so it’s not saying much. Jungle Book still far and away the best of the bunch

Vegas Disney FanSep 20, 2023

Elemental had 26 million views in its first week, TLM had 16 million… looks like about 40% of active D+ viewers don’t want to watch it, even for “free”. Rewatchability (is that a word?) likely skews this though as I’ve watched Elemental twice already and have still only watched the first 15 or so minutes of TLM. The first TLM scenes are very slow which probably isn’t helping its D+ viewership. Elemental grabs you from the start so it encourages continuing.

MoonRakerSCMSep 15, 2023

All my disney friend peeps now have full access to Little Mermaid on a service they already pay for. None will watch it with me.

LSLSSep 15, 2023

Honestly this kind of tells me Disney has REALLY screwed up their movie sector. Basically people have been trained that if they only have a passing interest in seeing a movie, there's no need to go to the theater when they can watch it for free in a few months. I get they are trying to change it, but I think this is highlighting the damage they've done.

TP2000Sep 14, 2023

This remake of Little Mermaid just lost $106 Million at the box office for Disney. I'm sure there are Sharp Pencil Boys and several executives now asking that same financial question you have.

PhroobarSep 14, 2023

Most likely so. I just know I kept wanting to fast forward but didn't in fear of missing something new.

Chi84Sep 14, 2023

I had nowhere to go so the length didn’t bother me lol. Also, I prefer live-action retellings to the originals for the very reason that relationships can be better established. So we’re probably coming from two very different places where the movie is concerned.

PhroobarSep 14, 2023

I really didn't like any of the three new songs. They felt like time fillers, however Scuttlebutt was jarring to me.

Chi84Sep 14, 2023

Obviously, I enjoyed it much more than you did. Different things for different people! I thought the Scuttlebutt song was great.

PhroobarSep 14, 2023

I watched it on D+. The acting and singing were fine except for the Scuttlebutt song. The songs felt more like karaoke at times. The animal animation was dreadful. The biggest problem is the length. There isn't much happening to justify the length. There were large patches where nothing advanced the plot. It is a C+.