My daughter loves The Little Mermaid. It’s a fun movie, for the most part – it’s got all the obvious Disney flaws but they all have those. My girl likes all the characters, and it moves quickly.
Of course, I have things to say about the songs.
Part Of Your World is a song of the longing of an immature adolescent. And that’s my issue. I understand her liking Prince Eric, and the unattainable is always more attractive to some people, especially teenagers. And it’s not even wrong to dream of what seems impossible. After all, how do you know how far you can go if you don’t try? But she is definitely immature, even for her age. Just some of the proof? The classic line:
“Betcha on land, they understand
Bet they don’t reprimand their daughters…”
Let’s see… Daddy under the sea lays some ground rules and you don’t like it? Well, welcome to being a teenager. It wouldn’t matter what the rules were, you wouldn’t like them. But you think that parents on land never reprimand their teens? Hahaha what. Ah, the delusion of teenagers. It’s absolute and it’s beautifully wrong wrong wrong. It’s OK, we all go through it. We just don’t all dream of changing our species to be with someone we’ve seen once (and never spoken to). Totally rational, Ariel. Good one.
Kiss The Girl is creepy enough. How old is the age of consent in Prince Eric’s world? Hm. Anyway, the real fun here is when Eric is trying to guess her name, during their boat ride. His opening salvo? Of all the names in the world to guess, he guesses frickin’ MILDRED?! All deference to everyone reading this who is actually named Mildred. But when you look at Ariel, is that the name that comes to mind? No. It’s not. Why? I dunno, it just doesn’t. He makes a couple of other guesses (also wrong), and then. THEN! Helpful crab Sebastian (more on him in a bit) tells him her actual name. And instead of being excited about it, he says “Ariel?… Ariel… Hm. That’s sort of pretty. Alright then, Ariel.” Hahahaha you DICK. “Sort of” pretty? Real smooth, Eric. Girls love it when you say things like that to them.
Under The Sea is not all that bad, Sebastian is just trying to dissuade Ariel from thinking about chasing Eric and figuring out a way to leave the sea to be with him. There are nonsensical moments, like “We what the land folks love to cook, Under the sea we off the hook.” Like there are no dangers or natural predators for any of them under the sea. Nope, no way. Jeez, he’s as delusional as Ariel. No, really the only thing here is Sebastian himself, a racial stereotype because Disney needs those. Next.
Poor Unfortunate Souls is a tune from the movie I actually like. I like Ursula. She’s a cool ‘bad guy’ and she gets some fun lines. Her big song is fun. But I wanna know her back story. Why is she no longer welcome at Triton’s court? What was the reason? I’m guessing they discovered her predilection for screwing over mermaids in bad deals and then shrinking them down into creepy little shrivelly things she uses to litter her floor. Some on the internet believe Triton and Ursula are sister and brother, but there’s nothing in the film to indicate such.
Les Poissons is the best song in the film. It’s short, and parodies the French, sure, but it cracks me up every time. There’s something very unhinged about the chef. He’s great.
Go ahead. Tell me I think too much about these movies. I don’t think that I do. I mean, as a responsible parent, I watch these things with my kids. And they’re generally dumb fripperies aimed at kids who don’t tend to think critically about it at all. But sitting here, watching, I can’t help but think more into these things than kids would. You would too.