Wishing She Could Be Part Of His World.
I recently watched one of my favourite Disney films, the one with the feisty red-headed mermaid and her under water dwelling friends. Loved this movie as a kid, sang along with the songs loved the idea of being able to swim and talk to animals and perhaps even the idea of falling in love.
But watching this film in my late Twenties I don't feel the same anymore (don't get me wrong the songs are still as catchy as hell) the whole premise of this movie is that to be with the one she loves this girl must sacrifice everything about herself. I always thought of Ariel as an intelligent and independent character and it saddens me that she would rather be a 'dumb' piece of eye candy for a Prince.
I looked back at some research I'd done for my dissertation years ago at Uni (I looked at fairytales and how they have changed over the centuries fyi) and remembered the original story of The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen which is even WORSE. In his story the poor girl trades her fins for human legs and the witch warns her that it will feel like she is 'walking on knives' and that her feet are constantly bleeding. All this for a guy – who she doesn't even get in the end, she dies and turns to sea-foam. Suppose at least the Disney version has a happy ending...
Chatting with a friend about it she thought it showed teenage rebellion in all it's glory, defying your parents and doing exactly what your heart is telling you but I guess I just have an issue with people changing for someone else, and in many Disney films it is usually the girls that are giving something up for the men usually family and friends, their character and independence. This whole notion seems far too old fashioned now and given the chance of a re-write I'd have Eric become a Merman...
Someone beat me to it!
~ Anna ~
- nicola gibbons