Couldn't have put it better myself
Hello, DP Fanpoppers, in this article I'm going to share my thoughts on they way I see 'The Little Mermaid', and try to prove certain negative opinions surrounding this movie wrong with they way I and certain other people see the situation. Feel free to at least read what I, and many other people's thoughts I've included, have to say about this.
You know, I've always found it off when people mention that Ariel didn't really change her ways by the end of the movie. I thinklink
, but here's my take on the situation. She does change in the end, it just wasn't as clear or obvious as it should've been, and at the same time, she didn't have to. It's actually not really in your face about it, but it's Triton that needed to change his ways. Ariel's views on humans were the correct one: not all of them are bad and by falling in love with Eric, she proved that to him. To quote Ariel: "Daddy, they're [humans] not barbarians!"
and "If I only I could make him understand. I just don't see things the way he does. I don't see how a world that makes such wonderful things could be bad."
Triton then has to come to this understanding because it was his callous actions and stubbornness that forced Ariel to make those foolish choices to begin with, and if ANYONE tries to argue "oh, well, she didn't know THAT for sure. For all she knew humans could've been MONSTERS!", then of course she could have been wrong, but the whole point of the movie was that not ALL humans are bad compared to Triton's racism. And need I point out that she was pretty much the only character who got the closest to thinking differently about humans, unlike so many of the other characters.
Also, I don't like it when people say that her complaining helped her get what she wanted in the end, her complaining had nothing to do with her actions of turning human by the end. In fact, looking back, Ariel is actually pleading, not complaining. She wants her father to listen to her and even begs him to. Even then, her complaining had nothing to do with getting her way (it was the strength of Ariel's conviction and love for Eric that made him stop and see).
I also think it's worth mentioning that, to her credit, Ariel did initially refuse the offer of going to Ursula by Flotsam and Jetsam at first, until she saw the face of Eric's destroyed statue, and they got her at a low point. Ursula then pressured her decision by having a "sign now or miss the chance" fast talk. There's hints that while Ariel would be unhappy, had Triton not destroyed her grotto, she would not have given in either. They basically got her at an emotional low where she was prone to make more impulsive decisions rather than logical ones.
Now, I know what some of you might be thinking: "Well, if Triton was the one who needed to change, then why didn't they focus the movie on him instead?" Well, for one, it's based on link
. However, although a great deal of the movie focuses on Ariel, a large chunk of it also focuses on Triton. The way I see it, Ariel's parts mainly exist to show the love story between her and Eric as well as exemplify her views on humans as correct, whereas Ursula herself acts as an ironic villain (Triton and others preached sea creatures are good, humans bad but the big bad turned out to be Ursula the whole time). Ariel is the main protagonist, but Triton's attitude about humans being bad is one of the main focuses of the movie. Ariel's character is actually meant to invoke the development of everyone else (Eric's unwillingness to settle down and his perception of love, Triton's bigotry and Sebastian's attitude towards free spirited children). Ariel's development of course is her's and her father's love strengthening by the end, as well as her deal with Ursula ended in failure by trusting a crook.
And to the people who think Ariel didn't try to talk things over with Triton, she actually DID try to talk to him. But instead, he didn't listen, refused to listen, and then blew up her grotto along with the statue of Eric. It was in a moment of despair that Ursula took advantage of her and caused the whole thing to happen, and we, as the audience, are suppose to assume she never intended to put her family in danger. Triton wasn't a reasonable man in that movie.
And finally, to the people who say "Oh, you're just making things up, there's no REAL evidence that Triton changed his mind about humans or that Ariel wasn't right to judge them in a positive way!", I'll refer you to link
(yeah, there's an alternate ending, apparently link
wanted the ending to be more like the movie link
'). Anyway, in the alternate ending, just after Ursula is defeated, Ariel is sitting on a rock overlooking Eric on the beach (just like in the ending we got), and Triton is there with them, along with Sebastian. While there, Triton says this very line:
Triton: "That...that human saved my life."
With that said, what this leaves out is that Triton changed his mindset on humans, because it was ultimately A HUMAN
who ended up risking his own life for the sake of the safety of Ariel and Triton himself, despite already knowing by this point that she's practically a fish and doing everything he can to protect her, and the only reason WHY Triton's original discriminatory mindset on humans changed in the end was because Ariel was the only person who didn't want to share that same prejudice her father tried to force on her and because it was HER actions of finally turning human that made him stop and realize. You could even argue that that's implied in the wedding scene when Triton accepts Eric as a part of the family:
So initially, it was the animators' original intent on having Triton change his mind on humans because of Ariel/Eric's actions. Had they kept the original ending in the movie instead of the one we got, maybe more people would've caught the drift.
I also don't think that "Part of Your World" makes Ariel sound spoiled or selfish in anyway. The point is that when she says "Wouldn't you think I'm the girl, the girl who has everything?", the "everything" she has is materialistic, all these gadgets and gizmos, but that she wants more than that, her emotional desire to actually be a human and experience that lifestyle is unfulfilled. I don't see that as her being spoiled. Also, need I mention that SHE collected all of those objects herself, out of curiosity and longing for knowledge, not to show off her rebelliousness/selfishness.
Oh, by the way, at one point in the film, Ariel was willing to risk her own life in order to keep a bag filled with significant findings (like the fork) that was incredibly important to her but the moment she saw that Flounder was in danger, she dropped that bag instantly and quickly rushed to his rescue............yeah, definitely sounds like something a selfish person would do.
WHAAAATT!? She risked her life to save her best friend!? How can that be!?!
AND need I bring up the ONE SCENE THAT NO ONE EVER BRINGS UP
: The scene where she actually plans on meeting Eric again AS A MERMAID
Ariel: “I've got to see him again. Tonight! Scuttle knows where he lives.”
Sebastian: "Ariel, please! Will you get your head out of the clouds and back in the water where it belongs?"
Ariel: "I'll swim up to his castle, then Flounder will splash around to get his attention and then we'll go-"
Sebastian: "Down HERE is your home!"
Seriously though, why does no one remember this part of the movie?
Do you know what this means? Ariel didn't think twice about letting Eric see her as a mermaid. She was ready and willing to go and to talk to him while she still had her tail. She never intended to make herself human. It hadn't crossed her mind by this point. No mention of changing herself whatsoever to see him, or leave her family. But by all means, I'm curious as to how so many people tend to conveniently overlook this scene.
I also agree withlink
in anyway and that link
, as well aslink
than most people give him credit for. And I also agree that link
doesn't mean she didn't consider how they would've felt with her gone, and that, of course, link
There's other thoughts and feelings regarding this movie that other people have brought up, and I'd rather let them explain it other than myself (and to be honest, I find myself agreeing with them):
Now I will say this in response to the "Ariel Review" page: I DO agree that Ariel is flawed, heck, a lot of the princesses are, but I don't think she's AS flawed as a lot of other people say she is. She can be impulsive, but she will also try to make things right by trying to avenge Triton of what Ursula did to him and protect Eric who wants to help her out in the climax of the movie. She took a risk that was influenced by many factors, some of it because of her father's overbearing tendencies. ALSO, if her only motivation was to be with Eric, don't you think they would've left out the Kingdom Tour scene where she's seen exploring the human world (something she's already established she wanted to do in "Part of Your World"?)
Family Relationship: Strengthened
And to be honest, I think this was the main point of the story. What with Ariel's outlooks on humans and the misconceptions and prejudices on them that her father tried to force on her. Much like saying: "Parents: Our kids are not 'our kids'. They are their own people. You cannot force your views and lifestyles onto them."
Even Sebastian flat out speaks the moral of the story in the end to King Triton: "It's like I always say, your Majesty. Children have got to be free to lead their own lives." The moral and development was for the parents, not just the kids. After all, this was a family film, and if I'm gonna be completely honest, I like to think that link
expanded on Ariel's desire to be human and where her positive outlook on humans originated (and quite honestly,link
), whether you consider the series canon to the original movie or not. If you're interested,link
. Give the series a watch and see what you think of it, at least.
There's a lot more to this movie and It's characters than most people know and my only wish is that more and more people would realize this and I'm sick and tired of people telling me otherwise. Thank you for reading.