Unfortunately, the passing of Samuel E. Wright rocked many Little Mermaid fans to their core. His role of Sebastian left an impression on many generations, including Snowpiercer star Daveed Diggs. The connection between Wright and Diggs goes beyond memories, as the Hamilton star will take on the popular character for the live-action version. After the unexpected news, Diggs penned a thoughtful tribute to the original Little Mermaid actor.
Daveed Diggs took to Twitter to eulogize the original voice behind Ariel’s cantankerous crab in the 1989 Disney classic. The Hamilton star referred to Samuel E. Wright as “the originator.” To show his gratitude for Wright’s iconic Little Mermaid performance, he mentioned standing on the Disney legend’s shoulders. Check out the multihyphenate’s heartfelt tribute to the late actor below:
Daveed Digg’s touching Twitter tribute showed just how important Samuel E. Wright’s role was to generations of children. For millennials, it’s a major blow considering how integral Wright’s performance as Sebastian was to their childhood. So, Wright’s passing left some big shoes for Diggs to fill.
This isn’t the first time Samuel E. Wright’s legacy has crossed Daveed Diggs’ path. The actor admitted to feeling pressure from Wright’s performance as he prepared for the live-action Little Mermaid. Diggs is more than capable of fulfilling the role given his previous and upcoming work.
As the Hamilton star mentioned, his role in the Little Mermaid live-action remake wouldn’t have been possible without Samuel E. Wright’s amazing turn as Sebastian in the original animated film. When you think of the 1989 film, Sebastian’s accent and his overbearing ways with Ariel made the movie more compelling. But it was Sebastian’s signature songs “Under the Seas” and “Kiss the Girl” that made the original Little Mermaid memorable. All that Jamaican flavor was courtesy of Wright’s brilliant voice work.
Samuel E. Wright’s contribution to The Little Mermaid was important to a generation of Disney fans. The 1989 Disney classic revived the House of Mouse’s image as the premier animation studio and led to the Disney Renaissance in the 1990s. That film’s commercial and critical success helped to build the foundation of the live-action adaptation. The much-debate live-action film has a legacy to live up to, even with the star-studded cast.
Samuel E. Wright’s passing came out at an awkward time, as the live-action Little Mermaid film is currently filming with Daveed Diggs, Halle Bailey, Melissa McCarthy and other cast-mates. The live-action adaptation currently has no release date after considerable delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As Daveed Diggs pointed out, Samuel E. Wright is a giant amongst the pantheon of Disney Renaissance films. Knowing Diggs will be the next Sebastian made the Wright tribute a full-circle moment. Hopefully, the Hamilton star’s performance will be much in the same breath as Wright’s.