Thursday, January 19, 2012

Belle/Mulan/Pocahontas = Ariel? [A Raving Senseless Rant]

I mentioned in the last post that I can't stand the movie The Little Mermaid.  Seriously.  I can't stand it.  I love "Kiss The Girl," and Ursula is a wicked villain, and Sebastian is funny.  But I'd rather watch the entire Vampire Knight series than watch The Little Mermaid again anytime soon.

Most of this rather unhealthy hatred stems from Ariel herself.  How girls love her and want all her merch and sing "Part Of Your World" nonstop is way beyond me.  I guess it's just easier to be her than to be someone better.

It boggles my mind how people compare Ariel to the likes of Belle, Mulan, or Pocahontas.  And they use the flimsiest arguments.  "Ariel is just like them.  She's spirited and lively and fiery just like Belle and Mulan and Pocahontas."

Sure she is.  I don't deny that.  But it's how Belle, Mulan, and Pocahontas use their spirit that sets them waaaay apart from Ariel.  Belle (she's a bit weak in the beginning, but she gets her sea legs, so to speak) uses her 'spirit' to save her father in a very selfless act.  Mulan dresses like a man and goes to war - not for grrrl powah or anything, but to save her father.  Pocahontas, while still not my favorite Disney heroine, is intelligent and brave, and through her courage saves both John Smith, her people, and his.

What does Ariel do?  She complains about her life (she's a PRINCESS, she could do anything she wanted), stalks a sailor she's never met, and then gives up her whole life in order to attempt to communicate with the same guy who's never met her before.

That's spirit, all right.  Really misdirected spirit, but hey, she's spirited!  Little girls can look up to spirit!


Really, what smart decision does Ariel ever make?  She's a total jerk to her dad (who is actually pretty awesome, if you ask me), she disobeys just about everything anyone tells her, and she makes a deal with a sea witch.  Now, real love wouldn't make a deal with a witch.  Obsession would.  Ariel is obsessed.  Not in love.  Obsessed.

Besides all that, she gives up her voice - which is the main technique people use to really get to know each other - for... a pair of legs.  Which she doesn't know how to use.

Nice try, Ariel.

I shudder to imagine Ariel's thought processes.  "Let's see.  I hate my life for some reason, and I'm like so in wuv with the hot human dude on the ship.  Like, humans are so much better!  So I'm gonna go trade my voice, my fins, and my family to an evil sea-witch.  And if I can't get the dude to fall in love with me in three days, then I get my soul sucked out.  But, like, no prob.  This is cool."


And I'm not even going to start in with the whole 'if he doesn't love you in three days, then you fail - and falling in love with you means giving you a big sloppy wet one.'  You cannot get a guy to fall in love with you in three days, and a kiss does not mean love, and it's a horrible message.  I mean, Prince Philip killed a witch in dragon form to get to Aurora - not that just grandstanding is love, either, but come on.  Eric is such a sap.

Sigh.  And this is the most beloved Disney Princess of them all.  And before you say, 'It's just a fairytale!' I'm going to say that, no, it's not a fairytale.  Fairytales are not tales of happiness and spunky heroines whining and getting their way through the power of insta-love.

I'm sure everyone knows, but the real Little Mermaid went through excruciating pain to be with and to please her prince, and in the end he still went off and married another lady.

Fairytales are painful.  Disney is not.  And The Little Mermaid is Disney.  Not a fairytale.

Okay, I'm done ranting.  If you agree or if, hey, I made you mad, I'd love to hear about it!

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