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Merman & Mermaids

Ariel the Little Mermaid - Rebellious red-haired teenage mermaid featured in the Disney motion picture The Little Mermaid (1989) and the cartoon series THE LITTLE MERMAID/CBS/1992-94.

Ariel the Little Mermaid

Ariel lives in the undersea kingdom of Atlantica. She is the 16-year-old daughter of Triton, the King of the Sea. Her family members include her princess sisters: Aquata, Andrina, Adella, Attina, Alana, Arista; her adopted brother Urchin and her cousin Marlon. Ariel's pets are Spot, the Killer Whale, and Stormy, Seabiscuit & Foamy the Seahorses.  Sebastian the Crab and Flounder the fish are Ariel's constant companions. Archimedes the Humanologist supplies Ariel information on the human race, especially reports on the handsome Prince Eric.

Although born to a royal family, Ariel is lonely for some one special. One day, Ariel finds her true love with Prince Eric, a human she had rescued from a ship that sank during a storm. But Eric is a land dweller and Ariel sees no way she can be with him.

When Ursula the sea witch hears of Ariel's problem, she lures the young girl to her garden of lost souls and offers her the chance to find true love. Obsessed with being human and seeing Prince Eric, Ariel takes a chance and signs away her soul as collateral. But with conditions. She must get Prince Eric to give her a "kiss of true love." within three days. Accepting the deal, Ursula transform Ariel into a human with legs.

Unfortunately, Ursula never intended to fulfill her part of the bargain, transforms into a woman named Vanessa and convinces Prince Eric that it was actually "she" who rescued him from the storm.

Luckily, Ursula's deception is thwarted and Prince Edward kills the witch in a final battle of good and evil. Then Prince Eric and Ariel lived happily ever after and had a daughter named Melody.

Disney's Little Mermaid

TRIVIA NOTE: Disney's The Little Mermaid is loosely based on the fable written by Andersen, Hans Christian, 1805-1875. The end of the original tale ("The Mermaid") is not a happy one. Here is the ending::

'We have given it to the witch to obtain her help, so that you may not die to-night! She has given us a knife; here it is, look how sharp it is! Before the sun rises, you must plunge it into the prince's heart, and when his warm blood sprinkles your feet they will join together and grow into a tail, and you will once more be a mermaid; you will be able to come down into the water to us, and to live out your three hundred years before you are turned into dead, salt sea-foam. Make haste! you or he must die before sunrise! Our old grandmother is so full of grief that
her white hair has fallen off as ours fell under the witch's scissors. Slay the prince and come back to us! Quick! Quick! do you not see the rosy streak in the sky? In a few minutes the sun will rise and then you must die!' saying this they heaved a wondrous deep sigh and sank among the waves.

The little mermaid drew aside the purple curtain from the tent and looked at the beautiful bride asleep with her head on the prince's breast. She bent over him and kissed his fair brow, looked at the sky where the dawn was spreading fast, looked at the sharp knife, and again
fixed her eyes on the prince, who, in his dream called his bride by name. Yes! she alone was in his thoughts! For a moment the knife quivered in her grasp, then she threw it far out among the waves, now rosy in the morning light, and where it fell the water bubbled up like drops of blood.

Once more she looked at the prince, with her eyes already dimmed by death, then dashed overboard and fell, her body dissolving into foam.

Now the sun rose from the sea and with its kindly beams warmed the deadly cold foam, so that the little mermaid did not feel the chill of death. She saw the bright sun, and above her floated hundreds of beauteous ethereal beings, through which she could see the white ship and the rosy heavens; their voices were melodious, but so spirit-like
that no human ear could hear them, any more than earthly eye could see their forms. Light as bubbles they floated through the air without the aid of wings. The little mermaid perceived that she had a form like theirs; it gradually took shape out of the foam. 'To whom am I coming?'
said she, and her voice sounded like that of the other beings, so unearthly in its beauty that no music of ours could reproduce it.

'To the daughters of the air!' answered the others; 'a mermaid has no undying soul, and can never gain one without winning the love of a human being. Her eternal life must depend upon an unknown power. Nor have the
daughters of the air an everlasting soul, but by their own good deeds they may create one for themselves. We fly to the tropics where mankind is the victim of hot and pestilent winds; there we bring cooling breezes. We diffuse the scent of flowers all around, and bring
refreshment and healing in our train. When, for three hundred years, we have laboured to do all the good in our power, we gain an undying soul and take a part in the everlasting joys of mankind. You, poor little
mermaid, have with your whole heart struggled for the same thing as we have struggled for. You have suffered and endured, raised yourself to the spirit-world of the air, and now, by your own good deeds you may, in
the course of three hundred years, work out for yourself an undying soul.'

Then the little mermaid lifted her transparent arms towards God's sun, and for the first time shed tears.

On board ship all was again life and bustle. She saw the prince with his lovely bride searching for her; they looked sadly at the bubbling foam, as if they knew that she had thrown herself into the waves. Unseen she kissed the bride on her brow, smiled at the prince, and rose aloft with the other spirits of the air to the rosy clouds which sailed above.

'In three hundred years we shall thus float into Paradise.'

'We might reach it sooner,' whispered one.

'Unseen we flit into those homes of men where there are children, and for every day that we find a good child who gives pleasure to its parents and deserves their love God shortens our time of probation. The child does not know when we fly through the room, and when we smile with pleasure at it one year of our three hundred is taken away. But if we see a naughty or badly disposed child, we cannot help shedding tears of sorrow, and every tear adds a day to the time of our probation.'

The Little Mermaid is now the national symbol of Copenhagen, Denmark. A bronze statue of the mermaid sits on a rock in the harbor. 


THE LITTLE MERMAID/CBS/1992-98

Voice Credits

Jodi Benson as Ariel
Samuel E. Wright as Sebastian
Mary Kay Bergman as Arista
Sheryl Bernstein as Aquata
Pat Carroll as Ursula
Danny Cooksey as Urchin
Edan Gross as Flounder
Maurice LaMarche as Scuttle
Kenneth Mars as Triton
Bradley Pierce as Flounder
 

THE LITTLE MERMAID (The Movie)

Jodi Benson as Ariel
Christopher Daniel Barnes as Eric
Pat Carroll as Ursula
Jason Marin as Flounder
Samuel E. Wright as Sebastian
Kenneth Mars as Triton
Buddy Hackett as Scuttle
Paddi Edwards as Flotsam/Jetsam

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