I love Disney movies. Maybe even more now than when I was a kid. You can call me immature if you want but you’d be a dumb stupid head because it’s awesome. I think one of the most jarring aspects of the child-to-adult transition is rewatching a movie that you used to watch all the time as a kid and seeing it in an entirely new way. Since Niece’s arrival I really started thinking about all of those Disney movies again; about all the things that I didn’t pick up on as a kid that stand out to me now. An adult seriously contemplating her love of films made primarily for children? Totally normal.
I started with The Little Mermaid, since it’s the first film in what is commonly referred to as the “Disney Renaissance.” Essentially, after their initial period of success, there was a large stretch of time where Disney produced a bunch of duds. Then in 1989 The Little Mermaid was a huge success, and from that time through about 2000, the movies produced were critically and commercially successful and helped bring Disney back to the way we think of it today. Plus, MERMAIDS!
We all know the story. Mermaid is super interested in humans, wants to swim up and check them out. Does. Sees prince and falls in love with him, essentially signs her soul away to a sketchy witch to become human and try to get said prince to fall in love with her, blah blah blah…let’s do this.
ARIEL IS ACTUALLY A KINDRED SPIRIT
I know she’s hugely popular, but Ariel wasn’t one of my favorite princesses growing up (I was a Jasmine girl all the way). I always thought she fell in love too quickly, even by fairy tale standards. She was really willing to give up her entire family and her life in the sea to be with some guy that she’s laid eyes on once and who has no idea who she even is? Come on Ariel, there are plenty of other half fish/half men in the sea. But I was pleasantly surprised by what I discovered when watching the movie this time. You guys… Ariel is one of us. She feels about the human world the way we feel about the worlds in the books we read and the movies we see. “Part of Your World” might be my new fangirl anthem. Because isn’t that what we all want? To be a part of those worlds for a little while? Ariel totally gets it. She spends a whole musical number singing about how she loves the human world and damn it, she’s going to live in it.
And then she actually pulls it off, and even gets a guy to fall in love with her. RESPECT. Unfortunately she trusts the wrong person and Ursula shows up in disguise and steals Eric. I feel your pain Ariel, I was just as devastated when I found out Jake Abel was engaged… But everything works out for the heroines in movies like these, and she ends up with the life she always wanted. Live the dream for all of us, sister.
I KIND OF HATE ERIC NOW
He’s not a terrible guy. He saves his dog from a burning ship, and seems to genuinely develop feelings for Ariel before he gets put under Ursula’s “voice-in-shell” hypnosis.
But for some reason I was just not feeling it with him. I think he might be the douchey hipster Disney prince. The first time Ariel sees him he’s dancing around on the deck of the ship playing the piccolo or whatever for his dog. Because he’s just that kind of a guy. Ugh. That stupid puffy white shirt he’s wearing is probably made of organic cotton. And then he gets so focused on finding the girl who saved him from the shipwreck that he turns into kind of an idiot when he finds Ariel on the beach. I get it man, you’re moody and romantic, but do you not understand the concept of writing as a form of communication Eric? “Hey young maiden that I just found on the beach, you can’t talk, but maybe you could write down what happened to you so I can figure out that you’re actually the girl I’m looking for, and maybe jot your name down too so that I’m not randomly guessing it later when we’re trying to have our first kiss.” Would that have been so hard?
So many of the problems that everyone encounters in this movie could have been avoided if King Triton was just better at life. Even though he banishes Ursula, we can see that a bunch of merpeople are going to see her and never coming back. And Triton does nothing about it. Way to let your citizens get trapped in a worm garden. That’s no way to lead. And when he finds out Ariel went to the surface and fell in love with a human, and his solution is to forbid her from ever seeing him again…
Dude, what the hell? YOU DON’T TURN IT INTO A FORBIDDEN LOVE THAT MAKES IT A TRILLION TIMES HOTTER THIS IS A WELL KNOWN FACT. He has six older daughters, how does he not know that?There was literally no better way to ensure that Ariel was going to go off and do exactly what he didn’t want her to do than blasting apart all the stuff in her grotto…
But all in all, I quite enjoyed my most recent rewatch of The Little Mermaid. And I think Niece will enjoy it too when she’s old enough to understand it. Although I do hope that she remains blissfully unaware of all the erotic Disney fan art that I came across when I was looking for pictures for this post. There’s a lot, guys…it’s pretty distressing. I think I need to watch the next movie before the images sear themselves into my brain.