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The Little Mermaid, who conquered hearts of so many children around the world, changed the way Disney make their movies. It is commonly acknowledged that in the 80’s and early 90’s Disney had gone through a phase of reshaping, reimagining itself. Disney Renaissance refers to the period of the 80’s when lots of attention was given to the music that accompanies an animated movie. Thus Disney came back to the musical format when action is supported with musical pieces, or the main character performs a song. It was an attempt to re-experience the success of the masterpieces that made Disney famous in the first place. To mention but a few – Cinderella and Snow White. Disney Renaissance emerged with granting a name and a voice to a mermaid that has been long left voiceless. Mermaid’s name is Ariel.
“A name?” one might ask. Yes, because in the original tale published by Hans Christian Andersen the main character didn’t have a name. Ariel just referred to as Little Mermaid, due to her being the youngest of her sisters. Jodi Benson does an incredible performance with Ariel’s voice. Little Mermaid’s voice not only charms prince Eric but the whole cast of Disney! Ariel’s song “Kiss the Girl” is only. What happens next is that The Little Mermaid’s success started a string of musical-focused movies that were later to be considered the most successful. The Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Aladdin, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules – classics of Disney that live on through their lives, memorable music pieces. These were the movies that made 90’s so vibrant. And it all started with a mermaid.
When screenwriters started working on the Little Mermaid, they had something to begin with, which is Andersen’s tale. They had to bring life to the murky depths of Atlantica. As the story goes, Andersen does not give much personality to Ariel’s sisters. The animated movie changes this, featuring more intricate relationships between the daughters of Triton. Andersen’s His tale, however, contained grim details which are unsuitable for the young audience.
The most obvious difference between the original and Disney’s adaptation is that the original doesn’t have a happy ending. There’s no kiss to announce that they happily lived ever after. Instead, the story takes darker tones. Upon Eric and Vanesa’s wedding, the Little Mermaid’s heart breaks, as she acknowledges that she is now doomed to peril. The Sea Witch – portrayed by Ursula in Disney’s adaptation – sends the Little Mermaid a knife. She needs to kill the prince and let his blood drip on her feet for her to become a mermaid again. Facing the prince sleeping peacefully next to his new bridal, Ariel tosses the knife in the water, and then she jumps off the board. As dawn settles, she is transformed into foam (refers to merfolk’s way of dying), but then lifted up as a spiritual being. Thus the mermaid’s first wish – to gain a never dying soul – is fulfilled.
Oh, everyone remembers the jingle that plays when the Little Mermaid begins. The show woke kids from the bed, early in the morning, as Flounder, Sebastian and Ariel went on another adventure. The three seasons of The Little Mermaid that aired from 1992 to 1994 take viewers on a more intimate trip to Atlantica’s depths. The series follows Ariel and her friends on their daily life. And just like in the movie, Ariel is obsessed with everything related to human’s world.
Now, as the digital era has emerged, viewers turn into players. The Little Mermaid games want players to focus on their interaction with the world of Ariel. Girls will enjoy picking an earthly outfit for Ariel’s date with Prince and Eric, and boys will love scavenging for Ariel’s hidden treasures. Take a deeper delve into the underwater world and meet its inhabitants. There is something oddly symbolic in the way that Ariel – a mermaid that loses her voice trying to become human – started a new era of Disney with just her voice. Music can, indeed, change lives, reinvent a genre. It is only a matter of choice whether you let yourself charmed by it.