The Little Mermaid

Writing the plot summary for movies like this feels pretty dumb since everyone knows what the Little Mermaid is about, but the post feels so badly incomplete without it… Anyway, Ariel is a mermaid princess who wants to explore the land, but can’t do that because her father, king Triton, things humans are evil, and she lacks legs. After she rescues a human prince and falls in love with him she has a bad row with her father on the subject of humans, and decides to make a deal with the evil sea witch Ursula: She trades her voice for legs. The spell lasts for three days, and if she can’t get a “true love’s kiss” from her prince during that time, the spell is reversed. Now Ariel has to woo her man without words, but Ursula is determined to have her fail.


The Little Mermaid falls with its heroine; as I ranted quite a lot, I don’t like Ariel one bit, and since this movie is largely her story there’s little else to like. I believe it is kind of a major problem to the film if I’m not rooting for the main character to succeed at any point of the story… I didn’t like Belle either, but at least Beauty and the Beast had a charming male lead. The prince in this movie is only  marginally better than the three first Disney Princes, which isn’t much.

To summarise my complaints from the Ariel entry, I think she’s a selfish brat who is active enough to cause problems but who doesn’t do nearly enough to fix them or learn from her mistakes, and thus I feel that she didn’t deserve her happy ending. A lot of defence for this movie contains stuff like “it was feminist for the time it was made, she’s a better character than Aurora“, but that doesn’t really move me; I’m watching the movie now and I expect it to stand on its own.

The villain is great though. She has a great design, great song, great lines, and I love how her plan involves abusing the naivety of a lovestruck teenager (and it almost works! I think the good guys win just because of dumb luck.) I also like Triton, though I have a feeling that he’s quite a “overprotective dad” stock character. But he’s still such a sweetheart. Though why does he look so old? From the design alone I’d say he was Ariel’s grandfather or great-grandfather. The animal sidekicks are mostly just annoying animal sidekicks, but they’re not the worst possible since they’re citizens of the underwater kingdom and friends to the human (merpeople?) characters and not pets/accessories.


I wish the movie had explored the underwater world more, I would have loved to see what Ariel’s room looks like or what kind of life she lives in the palace.

The songs are memorable, but I can’t say I like any of them other than “Poor unfortunate souls”. I’d probably like “Part of your world” better if I didn’t dislike Ariel and her cause so much, and “Under the sea”… I don’t know, that one just doesn’t work for me. They both have fun lyrics though.

Passable tier because of Ursula and Triton, otherwise Meh tier.


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2 Responses to “The Little Mermaid”

  1. dearbaile Says:

    Reblogged this on dearbaile.

  2. ElysiumArt132 Says:

    Reblogged this on UPTOWN DALLAS ART COLLECTIVE and commented:
    Personally Ariel is one of my favorite characters. Here is an opposing viewpoint.

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