Jodi Benson, the original voice behind Ariel in 1989’s “The Little Mermaid”, is giving her seal of approval to Disney’s live-action remake of the animated classic.

Featuring Halle Bailey as the beloved mermaid princess, “The Little Mermaid” splashes into theatres this week. The reimagining of the classic film introduces new songs, fresh plotlines, and some minor lyrical tweaks to existing songs from the original.

According to Benson, she tells People that the updates made to showcase our current society are extremely important.

“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,” says the 61-year-old actress. 

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“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 iconic voice actress continued to elaborate that “slight changes here and there are very important” and that “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.”

Benson expressed the joy of witnessing the new film’s ability to delve “in depth” into characters and “expand” the story beyond the limitations of animation over 30 years ago, calling it a “wonderful” experience.

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Benson also reassures that director Rob Marshall faithfully honours their beloved classic, stating, “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.”

Benson ended by praising Bailey’s “beautiful” interpretation of Ariel.

“The Little Mermaid” swims into theatres Friday, May 26.