The Great Movie Re-Watch
Christopher Daniel Barnes
Samuel E. Wright
A mermaid princess makes a Faustian bargain in an attempt to become human and win a prince’s love.
Beauty and the Beast is peak Disney 2D animation, but The Little Mermaid is when things started to take off. 2D animation done well is a pleasure to watch. The songs in The Little Mermaid are also some of the best Disney has done. The story is the biggest point against the film.
Ariel is sixteen when all of this is going on, and that’s a bit young for me. You could argue that things were different back then or that she’s a mermaid. We don’t know their lifespan, but I don’t accept those excuses. The movie was made for kids, human 1980s kids, so she should have at the least been eighteen. It wouldn’t have aged her out of a kids viewing interest. It’s just a throwaway line, after all. It was a simple thing, and they erred on the side of creepy.
Watching The Little Mermaid post #MeToo also brings up a whole consent argument. Ariel wasn’t able to speak, and yet Eric was supposed to kiss her. However, I have no issue with it. Ariel is very clearly indicating with her body language that she’s receptive to a kiss. Eric never forces himself on her, quite the opposite. So I don’t think there was a consent issue. Just the whole sixteen thing cause how old is Eric?