The Little Mermaid ( Ron Clements, John Musker, 1989)

Now I have said it before and I will say it again, despite how old you are everyone loves a Disney film, especially the classics. This is why I have decided to talk about the number 28,The Little Mermaid.  Even though it is every girls dream to be a Disney princess, whilst watching it through I noticed a few old fashioned views associated with the idea.  This could include the fact that Ariel considers herself all grown up and ready to marry at the very young age of 16. Now when I was younger I agreed with this but since I have grown up I find myself taking the fathers side. You know you are old when you agree with the parental figures in a family movie! For me 16 is far too young to consider yourself an adult, you should enjoy your childhood and not rush into anything. Now that I am paying rent and live 2 and half hours away from my parents, I often wish I was a child again.

The Little Mermaid poster.

The Little Mermaid poster.

Another strong idea pointed out is the idea that women don’t need to be able to talk in order to seduce a man. In some cases, like at a club, the looks is a contributing factor BUT when it comes to finding love you need to fall in love with their personality. Within the film the idea that you can show personality through gestures, rather than words is created and does actually work for Ariel.  However, Ursula’s song creates a different discourse.

In addition to this Ariel trades her life as a mermaid to become a human and fall in love with Eric, even though this means she will no longer be able see her father and sisters again. As a result, does this Disney movie give the view that finding a man is more important than your family or is it just reflecting the views of the time it was set?

On the other hand, the film is able to give strong messages to young girls on hope an determination and the power that woman have.  As people we should never give up on what we want and we must chase after this and this is a message that is given to the audience throughout this Disney classic.

A woman Doesn’t know how powerful her voice is until she has been silence- Ursula ( The Little Mermaid)

Who says that my dream have to stay just dreams?- Ariel ( The Little Mermaid)

Despite my analysis on the messages of The Little Mermaid, other controversy has been created throughout the history of this animation. According to some The Castle resembles a penis or a shape similar to. However, this was considered an accident and a result of a rushed drawing my animators and was re -designed in the re- release of the film.  Furthermore, during last scenes of the film the clergyman is seen to have an erect penis but it was later discovered that this was meant to be a knee.

Little mermaid , castle

Little mermaid , castle

I also find that Disney had done a very good job of turning the horrific original, written by Doug Wright. For example in the book Ariel is unable get Eric to fall in love with her and is left as soul with Ursula and she attempt to become a mermaid again by sowing her legs back together.  Sorry, I think I just ruined your childhood. Another example from Disney, is their interpretation of Peter Pan (Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, 1953) originally written by J. M. Barrie. In this film the lost boys never grow up because Peter pan kills them when they get to a certain age.  Sorry

How have you not seen this? 

Deathbyapril- April Ely 


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