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Princess Ariel Sweetie (by Scuttle) Young lady Honey Angelfish (by Ursula) Red (by The Catfish Club Band)
Sebastian, Flounder, Scuttle, Sandy, Max, Urchin, Gabriella, Grimsby, Carlotta, Chef Louis, Manta, Little Evil, the Catfish Club Band, Lucky, Tip and Dash, Benjamin
Ursula, Flotsam and Jetsam, Glut, Morgana, Marina Del Rey, Undertow, Cloak and Dagger, Lobster Mobster and Da Shrimp, Moray, Manta (formerly), Little Evil (formerly)
Humans, human objects, adventure, freedom, music, singing, dancing, Prince Eric, chasing her dreams, having fun with Flounder, her family
Her father's stubbornness and hatred of humans, being without music or fun, rules, chores, pirates, evil, violence, Sebastian's nagging, her friends and family in danger, Melody's disobedience, being separated from Eric
Becomes a human, marries Prince Eric, and gives birth to a daughter
"I don't see how a world that makes such wonderful things could be bad." "I was a regular fish out of water."
“ A girl rescued me. She was singing. She had the most beautiful voice. ”
―Prince Eric talking about Ariel
Ariel is the protagonist of Disney's classic 1989 animated feature film, The Little Mermaid . She is the seventh and youngest daughter of King Triton and Queen Athena, rulers of the undersea kingdom of Atlantica. She lived through much of her young life with a longstanding - yet forbidden - admiration of the human world, and longed to someday experience life on the surface.
Ariel is loosely based on the nameless protagonist of Hans Christian Andersen's Danish fairy tale " The Little Mermaid ". However, unlike Andersen's fairy tale in which the nameless protagonist dies, the Disney animated feature film has a happy ending.
Ariel is the fourth official member of the Disney Princess line-up.
Ariel is an independent, headstrong and determined young mermaid. She is the youngest and prettiest princess of the sea but spends most of her time outside the palace walls of Atlantica singing, daydreaming, and adventuring with her best friend Flounder the guppy fish, and sometimes Sebastian the crab who is also the royal advisor to Ariel's father. At the age of 16, she unexpectedly becomes deeply infatuated with a young and handsome human prince named Eric and sacrifices all things dear to her for the chance of being with her one true love.
Walt Disney himself and artist Kay Nielsen began work on the story of The Little Mermaid in the 1930's and early 40's. The feature was to be a very faithful adaption to Hans Christian Andersen's tale with the Mermaid dying and turning into sea foam in the end. However, after writing the script and illustrating the storyboard the project was shelved to focus on other projects also in the works such as Dumbo , Bambi and Fantasia . There have been alternate statements, however, that indicated that Disney may have intended to go for the happy ending route.
In the mid-1980's the project was finally reopened, yet Disney decided to disregard the dark and grimy aspects of Andersen's story and make the film a more child-friendly version with a much happier ending which worked better for the company's brand. During development, the studio officially gave their Little Mermaid the aquatic-like name of "Ariel". The development team, however, indicated that the changes given for the film coincidentally matched up with the changes Walt Disney made during his attempted take on the film.
Ariel's original design was developed by animator Glen Keane, who had reportedly said in an animation lecture that she was based on his own wife. Her appearance was also based on model Sherri Stoner, who provided live-action references for the animators during the development of the film and also inspired the look for Belle. A challenge in animating her for the film was the color required to show her in the changing environments, both under the sea and on land, for which the animators required 32-color models, not including costume changes. The sea-green color of her fin was a hue specially mixed by the Disney paint lab; the color was named "Ariel" after the character. She has been compared to past Disney Heroines, but is more physically similar to Alice from Alice in Wonderland , and Belle from Beauty and the Beast , as they all have big eyes, a broad forehead and a small mouth and chin.
Jodi Benson, who was predominantly a stage actress when she was cast, was chosen to voice Ariel because the directors felt "it was really important to have the same person doing the singing and speaking voice." Co-director Ron Clements remarked that her voice had "sweetness" and "youthfulness" that was unique. When recording the vocals for Ariel's theme song "Part of Your World", she consented to Howard Ashman's suggestion that the lights in the studio be dimmed, so as to "feel a little bit more enclosed" and create the feeling of being deep under the sea. She was also encouraged to soften her singing voice almost to the point of speaking so that the song would feel more intimate.
Voice actress Melissa Fahn auditioned for the role and was called back many times, but was turned down because she sounded a little too young.
Ariel is a bright, spirited and headstrong mermaid with a strong passion for adventure and exploration. Her tendency to explore the more mysterious depths of the ocean (or more importantly, the world beyond the ocean) can lead to an array of problems to both herself, her friends, and in the confines of her personal life - as seen through her constant confrontations with her protective father, King Triton. Despite this, Ariel's selflessness, compassion and intuitive way of thinking often resolve such problems, as she always takes full responsibility for her actions.
At the start of the original film, Ariel is shown to have a burning obsession with the human world, and a desire to learn more about their culture. Unlike her father at first, she views humans as aspiring creatures, astonished by their ability to constantly create, and heavily goes against the idea of them being "barbaric" and selfish as a result of this. This passion is revealed to have been prominent throughout Ariel's life years before the events of the film, as seen in the television series. By the point of the film, as shown through her lament, "Part of Your World", Ariel's obsession with the human world has reached unimaginable heights, as she spends most of her time focusing on finding, observing, and collecting various human objects that have sunk into the sea. Her obsession has also taken a toll on her emotionally, as the song begins with a sense of wonder and enchantment, ultimately climaxing in a soft end, filled with hopelessness and despair, representing Ariel's dying hopes of ever experiencing life upon the surface. These factors of desperation and despair are the prime motive behind Ariel's eventual deal with the sea witch, Ursula, to become human and experience the world above the surface.
Ariel is also shown to be extremely compassionate and loving towards almost all living things; more so platonically than romantically. This is most notably seen through her friendship with her closest companion, Flounder, and even her father's court composer, Sebastian who, despite being against Ariel's recklessness and overly adventurous nature, is given a considerably large amount of love and respect from the princess, which is often reciprocated. With Flounder, she is comforting and patient, as well as protective, with the tendency to risk her own life for the guppies on various occasions. Her ability to befriend all various creatures, be they an abandoned killer whale, an irrationally feared sea creature and even the son of one of her nemesis is displayed throughout the franchise. Before she met Eric, she was rarely interested in romantic relationships, not even with any of the merman princes that Triton tried to get her to marry. The only known exception was Prince Waverly of the Pacifica Kingdom, with whom she was infatuated. However, after meeting Eric, Ariel is revealed to be a romantic, willing to make daring sacrifices for the sake of true love. Her love for him is validated by Eric's returned selflessness and sacrificial actions for the sake of love; notably seen during the climax of the film.
Like her father, Ariel has a bad temper if she ever is provoked, although hers is not as bad as his. Although spirited, even she has had some degree of self-doubts about herself, as she actually at one point considered her father might have been correct and that she may have been a freak for having any fascination for humanity. She also had a degree of seeing the good in things, as she also doubted that humans could have been pure evil from their tools and artworks.
Also, despite her usual naivety and impulsiveness, Ariel has shown on many occasions to be serious, careful, and very intelligent and intuitive.
In The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea , Ariel matures after becoming a mother. Due to the threat of Morgana at the time, she becomes very overprotective of Melody in a similar manner to how she was treated by Triton in the first film. She is shown to long for the sea, but keeps this hidden from Melody for the latter's own safety; even though it would've been easier if she had explained everything to her, she even points this out in a later scene and at the film's climax. At one point, however, she does subtly allude to her true heritage as she mentioned to Melody when sympathizing with her about not fitting in that she was "a fish out of water", with Melody not quite believing her. Regardless of her few flaws, Ariel is very much selfless, sweet-natured and inspirational. However, her most notable trait, was her deep love and fascination for humans, having desired to become human during the events of the first film, even prior to meeting her future husband, Eric. However, she did not always have this trait; until she was 15 years of age, she expressed a deep fear of humans similar to Triton's prejudiced of humans, although her witnessing some humans saving a beached dolphin changed her views on the matter. Ironically, one of the people responsible for saving the dolphin was Eric, although she never knew it.
Ariel is a young mermaid teenager with a slim figure, fair skin, and large, deep aqua blue eyes. From childhood to her teenage years, she wore a lavender seashell bra. As a child, her lips were the same color as her skin and as a teenager, they are bright red. Ariel's most defining feature is her long, thick red hair. From the waist down, she has a green horizontal fish-like tail with sea green scales and light green fins. She most likely has the reproductive organs of a tropical fish. In Little Mermaid's Island , her seashell bra looks more like a strapless top that covers her belly.
When Ariel becomes a human, the only article of clothing she wore was her seashell bra, but wears an old sail from a shipwreck with some rope to keep it closed, fashioned by her friend, Scuttle. Being prepared for dinner, she wears a pink and white gown, silver barrettes in her hair, and pearl white earrings. Getting ready for bedtime, she wears a pink nightgown. After being taken in by Prince Eric, she wears a dress with long light blue sleeves, a dark blue bodice, and a blue shirt (sometimes white), along with black heels. She wears a big royal blue bow in her hair. After she's turned into a human once again, she wears a light blue glittering dress. After she kisses Eric, during their wedding, she wears a white wedding dress with a sparkling golden tiara on her veil. During and after her daughter Melody's christening, she wears a gold and white dress, and a low ponytail decorated with a white bow. She also wears a periwinkle gown with an up-do decorated with a golden tiara with green and white gems on her necklace and earrings during Melody's 12th birthday party with her hair being a bit shorter due to it being adjusted. She still wears the same up-do with a green peasant dress when she's on Eric's ship and a blue and white dress with light blue earrings in the song "Here on the Land and Sea" in the second movie. In one of the video games, she wears an aqua-colored gown with a matching flower on the side of her hair.
Powers and Abilities
Superhuman Strength: Ariel is known to have at least a very certain degree of superhuman strength, as she was able to move away from an underwater boulder blocking her grotto with relative ease in the original film. When discovering Eric's ship due to the fireworks, she is shown effortlessly climbing up the side of the ship with just her arms. When saving him, she effortlessly pulls him towards the surface and manages to keep them both afloat while holding him with one arm. In The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning , she seemed to be able to break the lock on a door to free her friends (albeit using a rock, but this is still especially telling as Sebastian stated immediately prior that she was "a weak helpless girl"). It is very likely that she retains her superhuman strength even in her human form.
Superhuman Durability: Ariel has superhuman durability, as, during the final battle with Ursula in the film, she was at one point knocked into a whirlpool that is several miles deep and survived with barely any injuries. Such a feat would kill a normal human if not completely destroy the body of that said human. She retains her superhuman durability even in her human form; evidenced by the fact that when Ariel was transformed into a human for the first time, her body was not being crushed while trying to swim for air.
Superhuman Stamina: Ariel has superhuman stamina, as demonstrated in the first film, the TV series, and it's sequel The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea , she can swim in the water for long periods of time. It is very likely that she retains her superhuman stamina even in her human form.
Superhuman Leaping: Ariel has superhuman leaping, she is capable of leaping out of water at great heights; similar to dolphins.
Underwater Breathing: As a mermaid, Ariel is able to metabolize oxygen from the water, which negates the need to surface, though she is certainly more than capable of breathing on land. She does not retain the ability to breathe underwater while in human form.
Speed Swimming: As a mermaid, Ariel is capable of swimming at a much faster rate than normal humans and even certain marine creatures in terms of undersea travel, or sea travel as a whole due to her half-marine status. For example, she was able to get to King Triton's palace from Prince Eric's kingdom in less than a day, as well as getting from Atlantica to Norway in the episode "Metal Fish" in a similar time fashion.
Aquapathy: As a mermaid, Ariel is capable of speaking with aquatic fauna. She retains this ability even in her human form.
Aquakinesis: As a mermaid, Ariel possesses the power of aquakinesis, as demonstrated in the first film, and it's sequel The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea , she caused a wave to form behind her from a nearby rock from which she was watching Eric at a distance (shortly after Ariel had saved him from drowning and he had regained consciousness). She retains this ability even in her human form; as Ariel and Melody both were able to cause unusual wave-forms.
Rapid Adaptability: As a mermaid, Ariel is capable of rapid adaptability. This is especially evident in terms of her becoming human, where she learned how to stand in a few minutes, and move in the same timespan, as well as quickly learning about the true human customs and abandoning her original beliefs about how human artifacts work, or at the very least not doing it in public.
Thermoendurance: As a mermaid, Ariel has demonstrated the ability to endure temperatures far more extreme than would be survivable for a normal human (especially one of her build). This is shown in the films and the TV series, where she went to the arctic with minimal ill effects other than feeling a bit cold, as well as in Return to the Sea , where she traveled to Morgana's lair, which was located inside an iceberg, and when visiting Ursula's, which was located in a volcanic region.
Magic: In the episode "T'ank You For Dat, Ariel", Ariel briefly became a sea witch and learned how to use magic; she used her new-found talents to grant Sebastian's wish of being bigger but unfortunately, it continuously worked, making him continue to grow to the point where he surfaced while standing, and it was fueled by the light of the full moon. She lost her magic and status as a sea witch when she wished the whole entire mess never happened, and her magic did just that, erasing the entire event and influencing her so it wouldn't happen in the reset timeline.
Singing: As demonstrated in the first film, the TV series and the prequel film The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning , Ariel is an excellent singer; a talent that she inherited from her mother, the late Athena. According to Sebastian, she has the most beautiful voice in all of Atlantica; her voice is so beautiful, that even Eric had fallen in love with Ariel, after only hearing her sing to him once when she drew him to consciousness with her incredible voice after rescuing him from drowning at sea.
Dancing: As demonstrated in the first film, the TV series and the prequel film The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning , Ariel is an excellent dancer; a talent inherent in most merpeople. After Ariel became human and when Eric took her out on a tour of his kingdom, during which she capably danced with him - as if she had been a human for many years (this is partly due to her rapid adaptability). In her mermaid form with her stunning emrald green tail, Ariel is capable of dancing in a similar fashion.
Expert Swimmer: As demonstrated in the first film, Ariel as a human (initially) was not very good at swimming. When Ariel became human (due to her inability to breathe under water or swim without her tail that she was accustomed to) Flounder and Sebastian were forced to help her get to the surface, otherwise she would have drowned. After Scuttle the seagull had informed her that Vanessa was truly Ursula in disguise, and Eric was compelled to marry Ursula while entranced by her, Ariel realized the sea witch's dark intentions and dove into the water (in order to get to the wedding-ship so that she could save Eric from Ursula) however, she was barely able to stay above the water, as she had to grab onto one of the barrels released by Sebastian to stay afloat, and Flounder helps her to the wedding-ship by pulling it with a rope. However, by the time of the events of The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea , Ariel has become an excellent swimmer, as seen in the ending of the second film.
Swordswoman: By the time of the events of The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea , Ariel has gained at least some knowledge of swordsmanship, which is evident by the fact when she used Eric's sword to cut the rope off a mast to save Melody from Morgana.
Oxygen: As demonstrated in the first film, Ariel cannot breathe underwater while in human form; if she remains underwater for too long, she will lose consciousness and eventually drown.
The Little Mermaid
As depicted in the film, Ariel is the youngest of Triton's seven daughters and is 16 years old. She has a vast fascination with the world of humans, despite such contact being forbidden by Triton, who is xenophobic and forbids contact between humans and her species.
Ariel and Flounder exploring a shipwreck at the beginning of the film.
At the beginning of the film, Ariel, and her fish friend, Flounder, swim through a shipwreck where they salvage human items. During their adventure, they are attacked by a shark, but Ariel manages to outwit him. After escaping him, Ariel and Flounder swim up to the surface, where they speak to Scuttle to identify human objects. He misidentifies a fork as a "dinglehopper" used to straighten their hair and a pipe as a "snarfblatt" used to make music. The identification of the latter reminds her about the concert she was initially supposed to a part of. After she is watched by two eels, Flotsam and Jetsam, Ursula watches from her crystal ball bubble and wants them to keep an extra close watch on her.
Ariel hurries home to Triton and Sebastian, who both rebuke her for missing the concert. Hearing from Flounder about her encounter with a seagull, Triton reprimands her for swimming up to the surface, telling her how she could have been spotted by what he calls "barbarians" who could have snared her with a fishhook. After being demanded by him to obey his every rule and not do that again, she tearfully swims off to her secret grotto, where her collection of human objects, from books to other regular objects such as globes, mugs, and chests of jewels, is kept. She feels that collecting them isn't enough and gets more curious about the human world, even expressing her desire to actually live in it.
Ariel singing the reprise of "Part of Your World".
Later, Ariel spots a ship passing above. Excited, she quickly swims up to the surface and toward it, where she watches the party on board. She then spots a male human named Eric, and remarks to Scuttle how she has never seen a human this close before. Just then, a storm moves in and destroys the ship. She looks around for Eric and finds him floating unconscious in the sea. She carries him to the shore, where she sings to him about how she longs to be with him in his world but is forced to leave when a search team looking for Eric approach. She falls in love with him and becomes even more determined to accomplish her dreams of living alongside humanity.
Ariel with Sebastian during "Under the Sea".
Back at Atlantica, Ariel's other sisters notice her humming dreamily, giving them a notion that she is in love. She comes up with a plan to somehow see Eric again, but Sebastian tries to talk her out of it, telling her how life under the sea is better than the world up above through the song "Under the Sea". While he tries to entertain her with a band of crustaceans producing music, Flounder comes over to her, whispers something in her ear, and they both swim off.
Flounder takes Ariel to her grotto, where he surprises her with a statue of Eric that he has somehow salvaged from the destroyed ship and added into her collection. She thanks him, but then faces the stern Triton, who is very upset to learn from Sebastian that she has rescued a human being from drowning. Shocked and enraged that she is in love with that human, he loses his temper and, in a blind rage, proceeds to destroy all the human objects in her grotto with his trident, including the statue of Eric. She tries pleading for him to stop, but to no avail. Devastated, she breaks down in tears, and an ashamed Triton leaves regretting what he has done. Sebastian, who has accompanied him, tries to console her, only for her to tell him to leave. After he and Flounder exit, Flotsam and Jetsam appear to convince her to see their mistress, Ursula, who may have the power to make her dream come true. She, after initially attempting to refuse, reluctantly follows them to Ursula's fortress after the eels subtly flicked what remained of Eric's statue toward her while taking their leave.
Ariel's voice being taken away by Ursula the Sea Witch.
While Sebastian and Flounder followed, Ariel nervously and fearfully enters the fortress, and Ursula calls for her. Ursula, who knows that she is in love with a human through spying on her via Flotsam and Jetsam, tells her that she must become a human herself to be with Eric. Ursula explains the deal to her: she will become a human for three days, during which she must get a kiss of true love from him before the sun sets on the third day in order to stay human; otherwise, she will turn back into a mermaid and will belong to Ursula forever. Ursula further states that as part of the deal, she must give up her voice in order to become a human. (Unbeknownst to her, the deal is simply a part of Ursula's sinister plot to take Triton's throne.) She, thinking that is her only chance to be with Prince Eric, accepts the deal as she signs a contract conjured by Ursula, then orders Ariel to sing for her and summons magical hands to take her voice (represented by a glowing ball of golden light), which is then sealed into a seashell on Ursula's necklace. Ariel is then turned into a human and is helped to the surface by Flounder and Sebastian due to her now having the inability to swim and breathe in water.
Ariel reunites with Eric.
At the shore, Scuttle arrives and witnesses Ariel's new legs for the first time. However, Sebastian is beyond furious, going into a nervous panic at what would happen if she failed to kiss Eric, as well as if King Triton were to find out about the entire event. Frustrated, he begins trotting home, only to have her convince him to stay and help, knowing if they reversed the curse and went back home, she would be miserable once again. Now that the mission is set in motion, Scuttle provides some "clothing" for her in the meantime, just as they are found by Eric's dog, Max, who leads his master to her. When he sees her, he finds her familiar, but when he sees that she is unable to talk, he gets the feeling that she can't be the girl he is looking for. Nevertheless, he takes her to his castle, where she takes a bath and gets dressed for dinner. As he, his manservant, Grimsby, and maid Carlotta, join her, she notices a fork and uses it to comb her hair, making them dumbfounded, which makes her embarrassed. Noticing Grimsby's pipe, she takes it and, thinking it as a musical instrument, blows the contents into his face, and Eric laughs at him covered with ashes. After he wipes it off and dinner is served, he suggests that Eric takes her out on a tour of his kingdom, which she accepts.
The first kiss attempt.
The next day, Eric takes Ariel out to show her his kingdom, while Sebastian, Flounder, and Scuttle watch on, anxiously awaiting the moment they finally share the kiss of true love. During the tour, he teaches her to dance and ride a carriage. For her, finally exploring the human world freely, it was the best day of her life, with a constant smile beaming on her face as she curiously experiences the sights and sounds of the kingdom. That evening, they spend time in a lagoon, riding in a rowboat rowed by him. In order to get them to kiss, Scuttle tries to provide some romantic stimulation. However, his terrible squawking (mistaken for singing) prompts Sebastian to lead some animals in the lagoon to create the mood with music and his song "Kiss the Girl". Ariel and Eric enjoy the sights and draw closer to a kiss, but before they can, Flotsam and Jetsam purposely tip the boat over by order of the scheming Ursula (who's been watching their development from her fortress), prompting him to help her out of the water, and thus ruining the kiss.
Ariel transforms back into a mermaid.
The next day (which is the third and last of Ariel's human days), Scuttle wakes her up and delivers the news that Eric is getting hitched. She excitedly runs downstairs, only to see him with a dark-haired girl named Vanessa, whom he intends to marry. She breaks down in tears and runs off, devastated that he is not marrying her. Later that afternoon, the wedding ship departs with him, Vanessa, and the wedding guests on board, leaving a heartbroken Ariel to mourn the loss of him. Just then, Scuttle comes over to tell her shocking news: Vanessa is Ursula in disguise, and Eric is marrying Ursula while entranced by her. Recalling Ursula's deal, she jumps into the sea, but has to grab onto one of the barrels released by Sebastian to stay afloat, and Flounder helps her to the wedding ship by pulling it. Just as she reaches the ship and climbs aboard, the seashell on Ursula's necklace that Vanessa has been wearing shatters in front of her, freeing her voice, which is then restored to her. Eric, who has come out of a spell placed on him by Vanessa, realizes that she is the girl he is looking for. He dumps Vanessa and runs over to her. But just as they are about to kiss, the sun sets and Ariel turns back into a mermaid and collapses.
Ariel witnessing her father after Ursula's spell was cast.
Vanessa transforms back into Ursula, takes Ariel as her prisoner, and dives back into the sea with her. As Ursula thinks of her next move, Triton, having been alerted by Sebastian, confronts and orders her to release Ariel, to which she refuses. Ariel apologizes to Triton as he attempts to destroy the contract, to no avail. Ursula proceeds to wither the princess and turn her into a polyp like all her other victims, proclaiming the contract to be legally unbreakable, but offers her freedom should Triton be willing to take her place. Triton accepts, and though Ariel is released, she is forced to watch as her father is withered and transformed into a polyp faster than when Ursula tried to do it to her. Ursula then takes his crown and trident, becoming queen of the seas, moments before an enraged Ariel tries to fight her off, though she is quickly restrained. Eric arrives to help her, striking Ursula with a harpoon. She prepares to destroy him with the trident, but Ariel pulls on her hair just as it shoots, causing the shot to miss Eric and hit Flotsam and Jetsam instead, killing them.
Ariel and Eric facing Ursula.
After Ursula shortly mourns her pets' loss, she enlarges herself as an even more evil, nastier, monstrous version. Ariel and Eric try to escape, but then face a towering, gigantic Ursula. She declares herself as ruler of the ocean who has the power to control the waves and creates a rainstorm and whirlpool. Ariel is separated from Eric, and Ursula causes her to become trapped at the bottom of the whirlpool. She aims the trident at Ariel and fires bolts of pure destruction, who barely manages to avoid her painful destruction each time. Just as Ursula prepares to use the trident to vaporize her with an unavoidable blast and taunting that she will never kiss Eric, he plunges the splintered bow of one of the shipwrecks (that have surfaced as a result of the whirlpool) through her abdomen, killing her and saving Ariel in the nick of time.
Ariel and Eric marry on their wedding day.
With Ursula defeated, her spells upon the unfortunate merpeople are broken, including the spell cast upon Triton, who transforms back into a merman. At the surface, Eric manages to swim to shore, breaking down out of exhaustion as a saddened Ariel watches on from a nearby rock. Triton and Sebastian look on from a distance; the former finally softening up toward humans upon realizing Eric risked his own life to save Ariel. Knowing the love between them is pure and true, despite their differences as species, Triton uses the power of the trident to permanently transform Ariel into a human, allowing her to be with the one she loves, at long last. After the transformation, she walks up to the shore, where she is happily reunited with Eric as he embraces her, and they share their first kiss. Soon, they have their wedding on the wedding ship attended by his loyal subjects on-board and her family and friends in the sea around the ship. She silently bids farewell to Scuttle and Flounder and gives Triton a heartwarming hug before happily sailing away with Eric. Triton then casts a beautiful rainbow over the sky to wish the couple well as they start their new future together. Thanks to Ariel's courage, Triton understands that humans weren't bad and accepts Eric, her new husband, as his new son-in-law.
The Little Mermaid: The Series
Ariel as she appears in The Little Mermaid series.
The prequel series, which first debuted in 1992, takes place during an indeterminate time chronologically before the 1989 film and revolves around Ariel's adventures as a 15 to 16-year old mermaid living under the sea. Most of her adventures involve her meeting various creatures, getting into trouble and usually getting out of it successfully. Her friends, Flounder and Sebastian, are also featured prominently. She is also shown to have a friend named Urchin, an orphaned merboy. It also has her meeting Hans Christian Andersen, which also hints at both her possible birth year (ie. during his lifetime, yet at least 16 years before the writing of The Little Mermaid ) and the possible chronological events of the series, due to her being a direct influence on the creation of the story. She also gets along well with Sebastian's young Crab Scouts, as she is shown cradling one of them when they're tired in "Tail of Two Crabs".
Ariel continues to be fascinated with human objects in the series and is shown collecting them for her grotto; she gives them strange names such as calling an ordinary telescope a "thingamabob." Many episodes show her working to foil enemies who would do harm to Atlantica. Eric is sometimes shown, but she always just misses seeing him, preserving the continuity that she sees him first in the 1989 film.
The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea
Ariel in The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea .
In this 2000 direct-to-video sequel, Ariel serves as the deuteragonist. It is shown that she has given birth to a daughter named Melody (the new protagonist) prior to the start of the film. When we first see her playing with the beautiful newborn Melody, many toys of Flounder, Sebastian, and other fish can be seen in the room, showing that she misses her old friends and family. When Melody's safety is threatened by a sea witch named Morgana (sister of Ursula, who died in the first film), Ariel, and her husband Eric, decide they must keep Melody away from the sea, and to this effect, they build a large wall separating the castle from it. As a consequence, this also meant Ariel could not visit her ancestral home. Melody's love of the sea proves too strong, however, and when she falls into Morgana's clutches, Ariel is forced to temporarily resume her mermaid form in order to rescue and save Melody from Morgana's scheme.
In this time, she briefly returns to her grotto as seen in the first film, and studies the objects, (which we are left to presume survived Triton's anger in the first film) and keeps looking for Melody. This features Ariel becoming an over-protective parent for Melody, effectively taking over the role of Triton in the first film. She is the first and only mother of the Disney Princesses.
House of Mouse
Ariel in House of Mouse .
Ariel appears as a regular guest in the animated television series House of Mouse and its specials, usually sitting with Sebastian and Scuttle. Her appearance alternates irregularly between her human form and mermaid form, depending on what the situation requires. Daisy Duck seems to be a big fan of her and her films, as shown in "Daisy's Debut" and "House of Genius". In the show's opening song, she is seen combing her hair with a fork, like in the original film.
In the episode "Jiminy Cricket", while Jiminy Cricket is sharing his wisdom, he states, "Never sell your voice to a giant sea witch just because you have a crush on some guy, it's just not worth it." Ariel sits there looking embarrassed and ashamed, and upon hearing this, she snatches the necklace containing her voice away from Ursula, much to her anger.
Also in "Everybody Loves Mickey", Ariel wishes that Mickey could live under the sea with her.
In "House of Scrooge", she was one of many Disney characters shoved at one table as Scrooge was trying to save money.
In "Mickey and Minnie's Big Vacation", she is seen in the crowd when the Pink Elephants invade the house.
In "Salute to Sports", she is sitting next to Triton when he creates a literal wave after Mickey told the crowd to do the "wave".
In "The Mouse Who Came to Dinner", she is sitting next to Sebastian before Goofy takes him to cook for Mortimer, who was pretending to be a critic. She is later seen laughing with the rest of the audience after the crew call him out and insult him.
In "Pluto vs. Figaro", she tried to sing on stage, although the set ended up falling on top of her due to Pluto and Figaro's antics.
In "Suddenly Hades", Pete attempted to flood the club to run out the customers, as he could shut down the club if there were no guests. Though he succeeded in flooding the club, he was stopped from closing the club as Ariel was still present.
Ariel was also briefly seen in "Pete's House of Villains" where she held up a sign that read "Somebody stole my voice again" since she lost her voice.
In "Ask Von Drake", Ariel is seen in Professor Von Drake's song, sitting next to a giant seashell where Ursula is hiding.
Ariel also appears in Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse . In the film, Ariel, along with Eric and other characters, are snowed in and trapped inside the club. Ariel is the first to openly have faith in Mickey Mouse, who she believes will have a plan.
The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning
Ariel in The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning .
Years before the events of the original film, Ariel, and her sisters enjoy a music-filled life in Atlantica, with Triton and their mother, Queen Athena. The merpeople are shown relaxing in a lagoon above water, and Triton gives Athena a music box. Suddenly, a big pirate ship approaches. Everyone escapes except Athena, who is crushed by it when she tries to save the music box and the pirates lose control and run it aground. Devastated by her death, Triton throws it into the ocean and bans music from the kingdom.
Ten years later, Ariel and her sisters live under a strict routine maintained by their governess Marina Del Rey and her assistant Benjamin. Marina hates being the girls' governess and longs to be Triton's attaché, a job currently filled by Sebastian. Ariel is frustrated by their current lifestyle, which brings her into conflict with her father. One day, Ariel encounters Flounder, whom she later follows to an underground music club. She is overjoyed by the presence of music and is shocked when she sees Sebastian performing there. When her presence is revealed, the entire band stops playing and hides, believing Ariel will tell her father about them. Ariel sings a song explaining her love of music and the remembrance of her mother and she joins the club with an oath.
Ariel returns to the palace, and sisters confront her over her disappearance. She explains where she was, and the following night all seven girls go to the club to have fun. Marina secretly finds them, and she later reports their activities to Triton. Sebastian, Flounder, and the band are sent to jail, while Marina gets the job she wants.
Triton confines his daughters to the palace, which results in Ariel asking him why music isn't allowed. Triton refuses to answer and shouts that he won't have music in his kingdom. Distraught, Ariel confronts Triton and says that Athena wouldn't have wanted music to be forbidden and angrily swims to the girls' bedroom, her saddened sisters soon following, while Marina, who is not the girls' governess anymore, is now Triton's new attaché. That night, she decides to leave Atlantica and frees the jailbirds. Sebastian leads them to a deserted place far from the palace where Ariel finds Athena's music box, as Sebastian hoped. Ariel and Sebastian decide to return to Atlantica to bring the music box to Triton, hoping that it will change his mind, as he has forgotten how to be happy after Athena's death.
On the way back, Marina and her electric eels confront Ariel, Flounder, and Sebastian. Before music is restored back into the kingdom, the final battle begins when Marina bans Ariel from going back to Atlantica. Marina wants to stop them so she will retain her position of "power", and a struggle ensues. It ends when Marina barrels towards Sebastian, but Ariel pushes her away, getting hit in the process. Triton arrives in time to witness this, and he is remorseful for his actions. He sings the lyrics of "Athena's Song", and Ariel wakes up. The film ends with Triton restoring music to Atlantica and appointing Sebastian as the new court composer, much to everyone's glee with Ariel and Flounder. Everyone, including Ariel, Sebastian, Flounder, and six older sisters, rejoices except Marina, who has been sent to prison.
In the original concept for Ariel's Beginning , then known as The Little Mermaid III , Ariel, alongside Sebastian, were supposed to accompany Eric in locating a white whale.
Sofia the First
Ariel as seen in Sofia the First: The Floating Palace .
Ariel appeared in the special Sofia the First: The Floating Palace . She was the first princess to be seen twice in an episode, and the fourth princess to appear in the series, overall.
She is summoned to help Sofia with her trouble of saving her mermaid friend and her family's ship in danger and sings "The Love We Share" to encourage Sofia to enlist Cora to help her save Oona. She is later seen at the end of the special by the floating palace jumping into the water.
"Ariel" made a cameo during in The Return of Jafar . Genie makes himself look like Ariel and appears on the top of the treasure ship of Coeur du Mer to take Jafar's Lamp and hide it from Abis Mal and Jafar.
In A Goofy Movie , Ariel is seen twice. Once as a lamp in Goofy and Max's hotel room with her iconic colors and also as a prop in Max's school auditorium.
In Aladdin and the King of Thieves , Ariel made a cameo on a poster (before Jessica Rabbit and Minnie Mouse) when the Genie tried to make Jasmine happy, because she was sad from Aladdin's absence.
In the 101 Dalmatians: The Series episode "Home is Where the Bark Is", Ariel's silhouette can be seen as one of the passengers of a subway train the Dalmatians ride on.
In a special trailer promoting the film Lilo & Stitch , Ariel was seen performing the reprise of "Part of Your World", when Stitch surfs a giant wave towards her, ruining the song. In anger, Ariel throws a starfish at Stitch, exclaiming "I was singing here!". Jodi Benson reprises her role in this teaser and some new animation is used.
Ariel appears on the cover of a Little Mermaid book in the village scene in Tangled .
Ariel was also set to appear in the canceled short, Princess Academy , alongside various other Disney heroines. In one piece of concept art, Ariel can be seen in the form of a silhouette, dancing alongside Hyacinth Hippo and Cinderella.
Once Upon a Time
Ariel in Once Upon a Time .
Ariel is a recurring character on the hit show Once Upon a Time . She is portrayed by Joanna García.
In her debut episode, she saves Snow White from drowning after Snow jumps off a cliff to avoid the Evil Queen Regina's guards. Ariel tells Snow that once a year a mermaid can walk on land, though only for the twelve hours between high tides. She then tells Snow she saved Eric (played by Gil McKinney) a year before and has been in love with him ever since. Snow, knowing what love at first sight is like, understands the mermaid and convinces her to go to Eric's ball. At the ball, he is immediately drawn to Ariel and he asks her to dance with him. While they dance he tells Ariel that he will be leaving the next morning on an adventure to see the world and asks Ariel to go with him. Ariel relays this information back to Snow, who tells Ariel to be honest with the prince. However, Ariel is reluctant as she does not want to be rejected by the prince by telling him she is a mermaid. Ariel is later seen at the sea shore asking the Sea Goddess Ursula for guidance. After she seems to have given up, Ursula appears in front of Ariel.
However, this is not the true Ursula; this is Queen Regina in disguise. Regina gives Ariel a magical bracelet that will trade her tail to whomever she gives it to. Ariel gives the bracelet to Snow White, thinking that if Snow is a mermaid, she could escape into the sea and be free from the Queen. Regina then appears and reveals her deception. The Queen gives Ariel an ultimatum: either go and find her prince and let the Queen kill Snow White, or die along with her. Ariel, not willing to let her friend die, attacks the Queen with a fork, distracting her long enough for Ariel and Snow to get away. After Ariel and Snow have escaped to a nearby beach, Snow tells Ariel to go back to the Prince and tell him the truth. Ariel happily listens to Snow and returns to the dock by Eric's palace as she is about to yell Eric's name her voice vanishes. Regina appears on the dock and reveals that she took Ariel's voice so that she could never tell Eric how she felt, as vengeance for the mermaid's siding with Snow White against her. In tears, a muted Ariel heads back to the sea.
Ariel with Snow White.
Twenty-eight years later in Neverland, Regina, working with Rumplestiltskin, returns Ariel's voice in exchange for her help. Ariel agrees to return to Storybrooke and retrieve a weapon from Rumplestiltskin's shop that will be strong enough to stop Peter Pan. If the mission succeeds, the Queen promises to make Ariel human permanently and be with Eric.
Ariel's next appearance in Once Upon a Time is titled "Dark Hollow". This episode immediately picks up after the events of "Ariel." Gold shows Ariel how to get to Storybrooke and tells her to find Belle and give her a sand dollar with a message from him. Though Regina chooses not to tell Ariel where to find Eric, she does warn her that she only has one hour. When Ariel arrives in Storybrooke, she meets who Grumpy, who takes her to Belle.
Ariel in Gold's shop.
After learning that Ariel was sent by Rumplestiltskin, Belle takes her to Gold's shop, where Belle deciphers Gold's coded message and retrieves the item of which he requires: Pandora's Box. However, before they can do anything, they are ambushed by John and Michael Darling, who are now working for Peter Pan. John and Michael the two of them up and take the item to destroy it. In order to get out of the ropes, Belle removes Ariel's bracelet, which allows Ariel to wiggle free from the ropes and undo Belle's bindings. Ariel then puts the bracelet back on and goes after John and Michael.
Belle and Ariel find John and Michael just before they destroy the box. Belle is able to stop them by activating a mine cart on the tracks, which throws Michael and John off their feet. Using the time to her advantage, she grabs the box and kicks their gun away. John and Michael reveal that the only reason they are working for Pan is because he has been holding their sister Wendy hostage. Belle manages to convince them, however, that if they help her, the ones in Neverland will be able to use Pandora's box to defeat Pan.
Ariel returns to Neverland and gives Pandora's box to Gold. As a reward, Regina enchants the bracelet, so that Ariel can become a human whenever she wishes. Before Ariel departs, she tells Regina and Gold about Wendy's situation. Regina exhibits no concern about Wendy, since she only cares about Henry. However, Ariel manages to convince her and Gold to do what they can to help Wendy. Upon returning to Storybrooke, Ariel finds Eric working as a fisherman. The two of them are then reunited and reconcile.
Emma, Regina and Hook learn of Ariel's reunion with Eric.
After the fairy-tale characters are sent back to the Enchanted Forest, Eric is captured by the pirate Blackbeard. Ariel, however, believes that Captain Hook was responsible and tracks him down. Upon learning that Blackbeard also has his ship, Ariel
and Hook agree to work together. In order to take his ship back, Hook throws Blackbeard over the edge without learning where Eric is. Ariel is forced to rescue Blackbeard so that she can rescue Eric. She eventually relocates with Eric to Hangman's Island.
The guilt Hook still feels for his nearly sacrificing any attempt to rescue Eric is later exploited by the Wicked Witch of the West. She impersonates Ariel, so that she can get Hook to admit he loves Emma Swan in a "plea for redemption." Using this, she is able to curse his lips. She also reveals that Ariel and Eric are alive on Hangman's Island.
It is later revealed that after Hook sold the Jolly Roger back to Blackbeard, he used it to terrorize people, including Princess Anna and her fiancé Kristoff, of Arendelle. After her return to Arendelle, Queen Elsa trapped it in a bottle and Ariel accidentally becomes trapped inside as well. She is freed after Hook restores his ship in Storybrooke. After Ursula throws Hook overboard, Ariel saves his life and helps him discover a new plan to help restore Ursula's happy ending. She later helps contact Ursula's father, Poseidon, and bring him to Storybrooke so he can reconcile with his daughter.
Aladdin, Jasmine, Ariel and Hook meet Jafar.
After this, Ariel returns to Hangman's Island. Awhile later, she enters her hut to discover Hook, Jasmine and Aladdin have broken in and triggered a trap. She is pleased to see Hook and Jasmine again and soon also becomes acquainted with Aladdin. After learning of their plight and that they were led to her hut while tracking Jafar, she brings out a lamp which she believes to be Agrabahn. Jasmine takes the lamp and, assured by the presence of Ariel, Hook and Aladdin, who she believes to be heroes, prepares to face her fears and Jafar. However, when Jafar emerges, he is easily able to break the genie curse, much to Ariel's surprise, and proceeds to freeze Ariel, Aladdin and Hook in place, before he faces Jasmine alone. After Jasmine has used magical dust to transform Jafar into a staff, the trio are freed from the sorcerer's magic and regain mobility. Jamine then reveals that Agrabah is inside the ring she has been wearing and she now knows how to bring it back with true love's kiss, and proceeds to kiss Aladdin, magically transporting Agrabah back to its proper place and the four heroes with it. Now that the ring no longer contains the kingdom, Ariel asks for permission to keep it as a trinket. Afterward, Hook asks Ariel if she can get back home and she states that she will be able to use her mermaid powers by swimming in the nearby Agrabah Gulf. Realizing that she can help with Hook's problem of being separated from Emma, Ariel offers a magic conch shell that Hook can use to communicate into as long as there's someone on the other end. Hook begins to speak into it, telling Emma the truth of what happened, though he is unsure if she is on the other end.
Live versions of Ariel also appear in Sebastian's Caribbean Jamboree , Sebastian's Party Gras , Beach Party at Walt Disney World (played by Jodi Benson), and Let's Go to Disneyland Paris .
The Little Mermaid Disney Comics serial
Ariel was the main character in a few of the comic stories in the four-issue serial. The timeframe takes place at least a year prior to the film, due to Ariel being referred to as 15. The first and second issues had her disposing of a creature called the Serpentine in a failed negotiation with the Moray people. She also ended up abducted by a metallic fish in the final issue.
The Little Mermaid Marvel serial comics
She was the main character in the 12-issue Marvel serial comics that, like the TV series, took place prior to the events of the first film. One of the issues also had her acting as a knight. She also saved Flounder from petrification in the penultimate issue. In the final issue, after a fight with Triton, she managed to learn the history of Atlantica and Atlantis from a wizard fish. She eventually told Triton this, but when she tried to find the wizard fish, he disappeared, although not before leaving a note.
Besides the main storyline, Ariel also featured in the 12th Issue of the anthology series Disney Comic Hits!, which had been a previously unpublished story.
Ariel also appeared in several novelizations, both in human form and in mermaid form:
In Reflections of Arsulu , Ariel was suspicious of the newcomer mermaid named Arsulu, and eventually uncovered that the latter was actually Ursula in disguise. She proceeded to expose Arsulu's true identity with a flock of reflecting scaled fish.
In Ariel and the Aquamarine Jewel , she, after becoming human, was requested by Triton to find several of Atlantica's treasures after a storm cast them out to sea, also necessitating that she return to mermaid form. She managed to retrieve them all, and Triton rewarded her by letting her keep one of the treasures and aquamarine necklace. It's implied in this story that she became much more well-versed in the knowledge of human behaviors and items, as she managed to politely correct Scuttle about what a human item was with some amusement.
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