So, a few weeks ago my wife makes the tongue-in-cheek remark “We should have named the dog Ariel.” This annoyed me, but before I reacted because I am not entirely that she is fully aware of my dislike for almost all of the older Disney animations before they acquired Pixar (Pixar is a whole messed up thing on its own, but that’s another topic for another time.) I inquired, “Why is that?” “Because,” she says. “She wants to be where the people are.”

Since that moment whenever I see the dog follow the last person out of the room, or I wake up to her in my bed in the morning, I have that stupid song in my head. So, as I do when I’m annoyed with something that just won’t go away, I turn into Weird Al. This morning I found myself singing the following:

“I want to be where the people are

I want to watch them running, screaming.

I want to watch the world – What’s it called?

Burn”

“Where they drop nukes from the sun

I just want to be part of your

apocalyptic world!”

And then it occurred to me, what exactly is the social-political Hierarchy in the ocean? Triton himself is a terrible father. To begin with, his consulate is a crab and is basically Ariel’s caretaker. And where is aerials mother? I suppose mer-people could be completely asexual but I’m not even sure if any species of fish does this.

Are their rival factions of Mer-people? The fact that Ursula exists and is clearly outcasted, but she’s a very sentient being, she’s cable of magic and is obviously a threat to tritons throne. Why tho? People aren’t born evil they turn that way due to circumstance, it is safe to assume that the same holds turn for Ursula? She’s obviously a power-hungry megalomaniac and has a vendetta. Clearly, other mer-people know about her, as her cave is littered with what are barely living discarded husks of other mer-people that she keeps around as trophies. Did Triton go to war with the seas witches, all but completely eradicate with them? Complete sea witch genocide – save one? Is that why she’s so obsessed with getting his throne, maybe she’s trying to take back what was taken from her?

There appears to be no war or strife in the ocean, except for the enslavement of other animals to be used as musical instruments. Which is just Disney being weird. Aside from King Triton being Xenophobic and prone to violent, abusive, destructive outbursts referring to humans as “Barbarians, dangerous and fish eaters”. (What do mer-people eat? And so the fact that Ursula is seen popping prawns like bonbons is kind of awful.) Aerial being a hoarder and kleptomaniac and having body image issues with her obsession with becoming human.

Becoming human isn’t the real problem here, I mean, it is a problem. But only part of it. The problem is what this animation teaches. It teaches little girls, young impressionable minds, that who you are doesn’t matter, what does matter is how you look and how you use your body. When the contract is struck with Ariel, Ursula consoles her by giving up her voice, the only thing she needs is her “body language” if that’s not sending a clear message to aerial that she should be seducing him sexually I don’t know what does.

That just addresses the issues I have with the animation. The things that are shown to those observing this world. What occurred to me this morning is, what happens after? Aerial has a new body from the torso down, she has a whole new set of body parts that she previously didn’t have that now she must figure out how to use. A simple task such as using the restroom would be terrifying, I imagine that there are not fish lavatories. Never mind the implications given in the sequel after she’s married, and has a child. She has a whole new set of anatomy and functions that would be horrifying. Not to mention the PTSD that you’d get from it all. And now the Humans know about the mer-people. That’s a whole new problem for both species.

In the animation, we see an ocean at peace. Aside from a few animals that may, or may not be subjugated to being used as musical instruments. The fact that only type of flounder that flounder looks like is a European flounder, which means Eric’s kingdom is in Europe. The castle in the animation looks like the one in Denmark. So, if we assume that’s the whole thing takes place in the implied time period, with horse and buggy, carriages and the fact that people still live in castles seems to indicate that they are in the pre-1700’s era. And if the movie takes place in the late 1600’s to early 1700’s in the North Sea. It probably means it’s one of the major castles in Copenhagen. I only come to this conclusion because in the animation Eric’s ship strikes a rock, which means he wasn’t that far from land. Which means at best Ariel had about 5 good years before being exposed to the human war machine.

Well, this goes to show, that the grass isn’t greener on the other side.

This whole thing, all of it. Was to justify my morbid twisted version of a Disney song. Thanks for reading.

*gasp* the Thought just occurred to me. What if Ursula was King Tritons college fling, he hurt her and now she’s out for revenge.