In one video, three sisters, Ke’iona, Lai’anna, and Ea’iona Shanks, who are 7, 6, and 2 can be seen watching the trailer with excitement. “She’s Black? Yay!” Ke’iona says joyfully.
“I saw the trailer drop the night before,” Sterling Shanks, the father of the three girls, told BuzzFeed News. “I just knew that they would be super excited about it.”
“I think representation matters,” he added. “There’s a quote I wrote on my phone when I watched Viola Davis on TV one time, and she said that representation is important because you need to see physical manifestations of your dreams. If you don’t see it, it’s harder to think it’s realized.”
Since watching the trailer, Shanks said that the girls have not stopped talking about their excitement for the film. “Hours after the video, we were driving, and Lai’anna said, ‘Even her hair looked like us, did you see she had braids,'” he said. “And that night, they were pretending to be mermaids.”