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'The Little Mermaid' Director Explains The Real Reasons Why Scuttle Was Changed From Seagull to Gannet

'The Little Mermaid' Director Explains The Real Reasons Why Scuttle Was Changed From Seagull to Gannet

Earlier this week, fans started to notice once again that Scuttle wasn’t a seagull in the upcoming live action version of The Little Mermaid.

While it’s been touched on in previous interviews, there hasn’t been a full explaination for the change until now.

Director Rob Marshall opened up in a new interview with IndieWire about turning Scuttle into a Northern Gannet, which is able to dive underwater and stay there for some time.

Keep reading to find out more…

Rob explained that he wanted to make Ariel’s breaking the surface a much bigger deal than it was in the animated version.

“I wanted to make it that Ariel had never ever been to the surface. Ever,” he says. “That was the goal for me. She’s never broken that rule, [so that helps] raise the stakes for that moment when she finally does it.

Rob added that “if she’s up and down, up and down, it’s not a big deal. The fact that she breaks the rule, her father has shut down the surface of the ocean. No one’s ever allowed to go. The mother, his wife, died at the hands of humans. At that moment, he shut down the surface.”

“After she sings ‘Part of Your World’ and she goes [to the surface] for the first time, it’s so shocking and so thrilling. It’s better storytelling,” he shared, before then revealing that if Scuttle wasn’t a seagull, what could the bird be?

“I realized, well, Scuttle, how does she know everything that’s up there? We decided to make her a diving bird so that she could come down and Ariel could meet Scuttle in the water and get all that information there, not above,” he explains.

There were a few other bird species that were considered: “There was a cormorant, [and] there was a gannet. They stay underwater for many, many minutes and then go back up. We looked at all the different versions of what they looked like. It just seemed so fun and wonderful and it just fit Awkwafina more. We liked it so much more and so I chose to do that, but it’s really important.”

The Little Mermaid opens on Friday, May 26.

If you missed it, find out what Halle Bailey did to train for the role as Ariel.

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Photos: Walt Disney Pictures
Posted to: Awkwafina, Disney, Movies, Rob Marshall, The Little Mermaid

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