Disney Junior’s Ariel Reinvents Ursula as the Little Mermaid’s Magical Mentor — Watch Trailer

In celebration of International Mermaid Day (it’s a thing!), Disney Junior has released the first official teaser for Ariel, its upcoming series based on The Little Mermaid — and it features an iconic Disney villain like you’ve never seen her before.

Ursula, typically presented as a fabulously menacing sea witch, is now (gasp!) a mentor to young Ariel. The teaser includes a shot of Ariel and her friends taking part in Ursula’s “magic camp,” where she will presumably school them in witchcraft. Watching Ariel greet her as “Tante Ursula!” with a big smile on her face will surely throw longtime fans of the characters for a loop.

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Ariel and Ursula’s familial connection is nothing new, though their history is a bit murky. “Fathoms Below,” the opening song in 1989’s The Little Mermaid, originally contained a verse that established Ursula as King Triton’s sister, but the song was ultimately cut down for time. It wasn’t until The Little Mermaid came to Broadway in 2007 that Ursula was formally acknowledged as Ariel’s aunt, a connection that was also present in the 2023 live-action film. Still, Ursula has always been presented a capital-V villain… until now.

“Set in the fantastical Caribbean-inspired underwater kingdom of Atlantica, the series follows young mermaid princess Ariel as she embarks on fun-filled, action-packed mermaid adventures with her friends,” reads Disney Junior’s official synopsis. “It features fan-favorite characters, including King Triton, Ursula, Sebastian and Flounder, as well as exciting new additions like Ariel’s two best friends, mer-children Lucia and Fernie, and lots of other adorable sea creatures.”

Ariel’s voice cast includes Mykal-Michelle Harris (Raven’s Home) as the titular mermaid, Taye Diggs (All American) as King Triton and Amber Riley (Glee) as Ursula.

Ariel premieres this summer on Disney Junior. Hit PLAY on the video above for your first look, then drop a comment with your thoughts on Ursula’s good-girl makeover below.

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