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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Little Mermaid Happy or Sad

The Little Mermaid is one of my favorite Disney films. I took my niece to see it when it was first released. I loved the vibrant colors of the film and the characters were very likable, unlike some later Disney films.

Disney is very good at adapting fairy tales into big screen film fare. However, the Disney version is usually a much happier version of the original fairy tale.

Ariel Enchanted Princess Doll

The Little Mermaid was written by Hans Christian Andersen, a Danish author. It was first published in 1837. It is the tale of a mermaid who gives up everything she knows to become human and gain the love of a prince. The Little Mermaid sees a prince from afar and believes she is in love with him. Her grandmother tells her that humans do not live as long as merpeople, who live 300 years, but they do have a soul and when they die they gain a spiritual life. When merpeople die they just turn to seafoam.

The Little Mermaid desperate for her prince asks the Sea Witch for help. The Sea Witch gives her a potion which gives her legs but renders her mute. The Little Mermaid has the most beautiful voice in the world. The potion gives her legs but walking on them is extremely painful.

The Witch tells the Mermaid that if the prince does not love her and marry her then she will not gain a soul. If he marries another the Little Mermaid will die of a broken heart and turn into seafoam.

Little Mermaid Ariel Ballerina Doll

The prince is attracted to the Little Mermaid, even though she is mute, but alas he is in love with a princess. He eventually marries the princess. The Little Mermaid is devastated, now not only will she not get her prince, she will dissolve into seafoam at daybreak. Her sisters come to her with a knife the Sea Witch has given them in return for their hair. If she will slay the prince she may live.

Alas, she still loves the prince and can not kill the prince as he sleeps next to his bride. She is doomed to die at daybreak and so she does. But instead of dissolving she feels warm! She has turned into a spirit, daughter of the air. She has been granted this honor because she wanted with all her heart to have an eternal soul.
Little Mermaid Ariel Ballerina Doll

One could debate whether this was a happy or sad ending for the Little Mermaid. She did not get the prince, but she did gain a soul. Of course this story reflected the morals and beliefs of Victorian times. Fairy tales were written to scare children into being good.

Of course the Disney version has a much happier ending, with Ariel gaining her voice and her prince. There is no mention of souls.

I have several Little Mermaid items in my store. Check them out for a great bargain.

Ariel and Flounder Tote Bag

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