Disney Branded Television has greenlit a new animated series for preschoolers, “Disney Junior’s Ariel,” inspired by the beloved story of “The Little Mermaid.” The announcement was made today by Ayo Davis, president of Disney Branded Television, during the Annecy International Film Festival in Annecy, France. The new series follows a young Ariel and features some fan-favorite characters, including King Triton, Ursula, Sebastian and Flounder, as well as exciting new additions. “Disney Junior’s Ariel” is set to debut on Disney platforms worldwide in 2024.
While making the announcement, Davis said, “For more than 30 years, the story of ‘The Little Mermaid’ has been beloved by audiences all over the world. It brings me so much joy to be able to introduce our new Disney Junior version of Ariel to preschoolers everywhere.”
Alyssa Sapire, senior vice president of Development, Series and Strategy for Disney Junior, added, “As we were developing ‘Disney Junior’s Ariel,’ we knew that we wanted to create an atmosphere that was vibrant and magical and showcased our young Ariel’s imagination, which, like our preschool audience watching at home, is as big as the sea.”
Set in the fantastical Caribbean-inspired underwater kingdom of Atlantica, the series follows Ariel as she embarks on fun-filled, action-packed mermaid adventures with her friends. Driven by a deep and unending curiosity about the world around her, Ariel discovers land treasures, like a big floppy hat, squeaky rubber ducky and whisk, that she collects and keeps safe in her crystal cavern. Sometimes, Ariel uses the treasures to help solve problems. With each discovery, Ariel is filled with joy, and her mermaid tail, which changes colors depending on her emotions, lights up and shimmers. Full of charm, big ideas and a powerful voice, “Disney Junior’s Ariel” is coming into her own, learning how to discover and appreciate the world around her and use her voice to inspire others.
Throughout the series, the multicultural diversity of the Caribbean is highlighted through music, food, festivals, fashion, language and folklore. Dr. Patricia Saunders, professor of English and hemispheric Caribbean studies and director of graduate studies at the University of Miami and author of two books, serves as cultural consultant on the series. Sean Skeete, chair of Berklee College of Music’s ensemble department, is the Caribbean music consultant.
“Disney Junior’s Ariel” is executive produced by Lynne Southerland (“Mulan II,” “Happily Ever After”). Norma P. Sepulveda (“Elena of Avalor”) and Keith Wagner (“TrollsTopia”) are the story editors. Ezra Edmond (“Disney+ Draw Me a Story”) is producer. Kuni Tomita Bowen (“Dora the Explorer”) is supervising director, and Chrystin Garland (“Solar Opposites”) is art director. The series is produced by Wild Canary in association with Disney Junior.