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My Thoughts on the Little Mermaid


(C&Ped from Tumblr so I can keep track of it because it's the most articulate I've been about why I dislike Disney's Little Mermaid)

I want to love this, I really do, but the Ariel picture keeps pissing me off. Ariel was manipulated by nothing more than her own desires, which is my biggest problem with the Disney adaptation. Ursula had no allegiances, she merely kept the flow going — she was a physical manifestation of balance in the ocean. Ariel wanted to change the balance, and Ursula helped her do that, but a price had to be paid. It always annoys me when people rank Ursula as a “villain” because she was never meant to be one. I love almost every other Disney movie with all of my heart, but I cannot deal with the Little Mermaid almost solely because of what they did to Ursula. That and I maintain that by changing the ending they’re missing the point somehow.

Thing is, to have the happy ending they had to change Ursula so that Ariel could be beating the odds, but in doing so they eliminated the balance and the opportunity for Ariel to be reminded about the different kinds of love. Disney Ursula never gave Ariel’s sisters a chance to prove that they loved her, and so Ariel never had the chance to realise that the grass is always greener on the other side and that she was never truly alone or unloved.

The Disney movie is great in that she can beat the odds and come out on top to live her dreams, but it’s horrible in that it “proves” to Ariel that the only kind of love that matters is the romantic kind, and that your family will never come through for you if they don’t necessarily agree with your dreams. And yeah, there are families like that, but Ariel’s wasn’t, which is why I will always prefer the Hans Christian Andersen version — even if the ending always makes me cry.

Maybe I'm taking this too seriously, but hey. This is the internet.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
zelda_queen
Nov. 7th, 2011 01:23 pm (UTC)
I think the main problem was Disney choosing a bad story to adapt into a movie. In the fairy tale, the mermaid represented lust, so to Hans Christian Anderson, her dying but getting a shot at heaven while the prince married the virtuous princess who worked at the temple was a great ending. Given how the Disney princess movies had gone before though, and given the "well-made movie" formula we've usually had, especially in regards to kids' movies, Disney couldn't have the pretty mermaid be the protagonist and then kill her off. In the eyes of their target audience (and, most likely, a number of other viewers) there was nothing wrong with her. She was doing just what Snow White and Cinderella did, dreaming of her prince. Her dying would be horrible and unfair, from their perspective.

Although yes, that shouldn't TOTALLY excuse it. In "The Prince of Egypt", they managed to convert the story to one that modern audiences would get, and it still was well-done (although the happy ending of Moses returning with the Ten Commandments is rather funny if you know about a certain Golden Calf)

(To be fair, they did have the family love angle in the sequel, which is all about Ariel and Eric trying to protect their daughter and the daughter saving her family and loving her mermaid heritage. Still, the quality of that particular movie overall is...meh)
auqkastoo7
Feb. 17th, 2013 04:54 am (UTC)
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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )