'The Little Mermaid' actress weighs in on the new look of Princess Ariel in 'Ralph Breaks the Internet'

Disney AnimationVanellope meets the Disney princesses in ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet.’
  • Ralph Breaks the Internet” united every Disney princess on screen for the first time ever.
  • INSIDER asked Jodi Benson, the voice of Princess Ariel in “The Little Mermaid,” what she thought of seeing her character with 3D animation in the scene for the first time.
  • Benson said the CGI Ariel looks really pretty, a “little bit younger,” and has a little pug nose.

The undisputed breakout scene of 2018’s Oscar-nominated “Ralph Breaks the Internet” is when every single Disney princess is united on screen for the first time.

Disney princess wreck it ralphDisney AnimationThe princesses are surprised to meet Vanellope in ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet.’

Before Princess Ariel voice actress Jodi Benson was signed on for the “Wreck-It Ralph” sequel, she wasn’t even familiar with the franchise.

“My agent called from Los Angeles and said, ‘Hey, there’s this crazy sequel, ‘Wreck-It Ralph.” I hadn’t even seen the first one. I was like, ‘Wreck-It Ralph?’ I’m thinking, ‘Is that our movie?’ I didn’t even know it was a Disney movie,” Benson told INSIDER while talking about the 30th anniversary of “The Little Mermaid.” “They’re like, ‘Yeah, there’s this great idea.’ I just thought, that just sounds ridiculous. That sounds kind of crazy, but really clever, and so funny.”

In one of several scenes, the 14 original Disney princesses are shown without the men in their lives, being normal young women. “Ralph Breaks the Internet” star Vanellope gets them out of their iconic looks and into comfier clothes, reflective of their personalities.

Wreck it ralph 2 princess comfy clothesDisney AnimationThe princesses lounge and celebrate and embrace Vanellope’s love for more practical attire.

Princess Ariel was among the many Disney princesses to be created using traditional 2D handdrawn animation. In “Ralph,” Ariel, Snow White, Aurora, Cinderella, Jasmine, Belle, Pocahontas, Mulan, and Tiana get 3D makeovers to align with the animation style in the sequel. How did Benson feel seeing Ariel as a 3D CGI character for the first time?

“It’s different. I kind of prefer hand drawn, like with Glen Keane,” said Benson, speaking of the legendary Disney artist who drew Ariel in “The Little Mermaid.” “I’m probably just partial to that, a little old school when it comes to that. The CGI definitely needs to happen because it’s got to match ‘Wreck-It Ralph.’ I think [Ariel’s] really pretty in CGI. I think she’s really pretty.”

Ariel ralph breaks the internet little mermaidDisney Animation; composite by Kirsten Acuna/INSIDERHere’s Ariel in ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ vs. ‘The Little Mermaid.’

“She looks a little bit younger to me in CGI, just a smidge,” she added. “Her nose is a little different. She’s got a little pug nose. Teeny bit of a pug nose in my opinion than what she does hand drawn. It’s still beautiful. It looks great.”

Ariel ralph breaks the internetDisney AnimationHere’s another look at Ariel in ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet.’

Benson watched the scene with Vanellope meeting all of the princesses for the first time when it was debuted to fans at 2017’s D23 Expo in Anaheim, California. Benson said she and the other princess voice actresses were watching it in reverse from behind the scenes as fans watched it on screen.

“We were laughing so hard. We were missing a lot of stuff because the audience was laughing so hard. I had not seen the segment yet,” said Benson.

Though it may have seemed it, Benson said she had not voiced Ariel with all of the other women. Instead, “Ralph Breaks the Internet” director Rich Moore was voicing all of the other princesses while she recorded the scene.

“D23 was really special because I had not met a lot of these girls before,” Benson said of meeting some of the other actresses. “That was really special to get to connect. We were fangirling with them and they’re fangirling with us, for Paige and I as the older princesses that were there. We didn’t have Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and Cinderella there.”

Ralph breaks the internet d23 2017 disney princessesCourtesy DisneyThe Disney princesses gather at the D23 Expo in 2017 with ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ star Sarah Silverman in the center. From left to right — Paige O’Hara (Belle), Irene Bedard (Pocahontas), Mandy Moore (Rapunzel), Auliʻi Cravalho (Moana), Sarah Silverman (Vanellope), Kristen Bell (Anna), Kelly Macdonald (Merida), Anika Noni Rose (Tiana), Linda Larkin (Jasmine), and Jodi Benson (Ariel).

Benson told INSIDER she and Paige O’Hara, who voices Belle in “Beauty and the Beast” have been friends for 38 years. Donna Murphy, who voices Mother Gothel in “Rapunzel,” was actually her roommate around the time of “The Little Mermaid’s” release.

“It was really, really amazing to have almost all of us together and to have them each out of their element but still stay true to who they are and what their princess qualities are and their values and what makes them unique,” said Benson of the “Ralph Breaks the Internet” scene. “It’s a little risky, but I think we’ve tried to maintain the integrity of each of the characters.”

The 30th anniversary edition of “The Little Mermaid” and “Ralph Breaks the Internet” are both now available on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital.

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