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Disney Jr.’s Ariel set for premiere

Life & Style
The new recurring cast members for the series include Yvette Nicole Brown, Melissa Villaseñor and Ron Funches.

DISNEY branded television is set to premiere the highly anticipated animated musical series Disney Jr.’s Ariel on June 29, on Disney Junior.

Inspired by The Little Mermaid, the series will air at 08:30 CAT on  DStv channel 309.

The new recurring cast members for the series include Yvette Nicole Brown, Melissa Villaseñor and Ron Funches.

In a statement, head of corporate affairs and public relations of MultiChoice Zimbabwe Charity Njanji said as a build up to the premiere of Disney Jr.’s Ariel, a new series of shorts titled Disney Jr.’s Ariel: Mermaid Tales will be aired across Disney Junior channels beginning June 24.

She noted that each two-minute short will highlight a different aspect of Ariel’s life in Atlantica.

The series core produced by Lynne Southerland as the executive and Wild Canary in association with Disney Junior is set in the Caribbean-inspired fairytale kingdom of Atlantica.

It follows the story of young mermaid princess Ariel (Mykal-Michelle Harris) as she embarks on underwater adventures with her family and friends, including King Triton (Taye Diggs), Ursula (Amber Riley), Flounder (Gracen Newton) and mer-friends Fernie (Cruz Flateau) and Lucia (Elizabeth Phoenix Caro).

“Each episode highlight’s themes of self-expression, curiosity and resourcefulness and celebrates the multicultural elements of the Caribbean through food, fashion, language, and folklore,” Njanji noted, adding that Patricia Saunders, professor of English and hemispheric Caribbean studies and director of graduate studies at the University of Miami, served as cultural consultant on the series.

In addition to Brown as Aquatica, Villaseñor as Navi, and Funches as Delfino, the series recurring cast includes Kevin Michael Richardson as Sebastian, Parvesh Cheena as Ravi, Danni Washington as Tantie Chantale, Alanna Ubach as Cristina Cuttles, and Dana Heath and Jessica Mikayla as Ariel’s twin sisters Ayanna and Alanna.

Njanji said music plays an integral role in the series, with original songs inspired by the diverse genres of Caribbean music.

“The acclaimed songwriting teams comprise Anthony M Jones (Tone), Sofia Quinn, Olivia Waithe, Chantry Johnson, Michelle Zarlenga and Rosemarie Tan. Emmy Award winner Christopher Willis serves as composer,” she said.

Sean Skeete, dean of the Professional Performance division at Berklee College of Music, is the Caribbean music consultant.

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