Disney Junior “Ariel” Producer Lynne Southerland Shares Additional Details at Annecy Festival

Disney Branded Television hosted an epic press conference at Annecy Festival today, making plenty of big announcements. But perhaps the biggest was Ariel, a Disney Junior series coming in 2024. Inspired by both the 1989 animated The Little Mermaid and the recent live-action reimagining, Ariel follows the 8-year-old mermaid on undersea adventures with her friends. Wrapping up the press conference, Disney Branded Television president Ayo Davis welcomed producer Lynne Southerland to the stage to provide a few more details about the series.

Parents who grew up with The Little Mermaid will find that Ariel’s spirit is still curious as ever in this new series. But there will be some differences to the show, since it is catered to a preschool audience. One of the biggest ones is that Ursula, who is part of the series, hasn’t yet been banished by King Triton. She’s Ariel’s loving aunt who uses her magic powers for good. And while Ariel is adventurous, her curiosity won’t be taking her above the surface in the series. She will also have a collection of new sea friends, such as Ravi, an orange sunglass-wearing octopus who runs the Atlantica juice stand.

Ariel will do plenty of singing in the series, with a song confirmed to be included in every episode. Lynn shared that they’re leaning into musical styles of the Caribbean, specifically sharing that merengue, calypso, and chutney soca are being used. Similarly, the look of Ariel’s undersea world is heavily inspired by the colors commonly used on houses in the Caribbean. She quoted art director Chrystin Garland as referring to the world as “one colorful ocean.” Lynn’s love for the Caribbean shone throughout the brief discussion, adding that her husband has family in St. Thomas and they were married in St. Lucia.

In addition to the announcement of Ariel, Disney fans can check out the other exciting reveals made today at Annecy.

Alex Reif
Alex joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and has been a lifelong Disney fan. His main beats for LP are Disney-branded movies, TV shows, books, music and toys. He recently became a member of the Television Critics Association (TCA).