I now blog over at The Eyre Guide! This blog is an archive of my past posts.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Awesome Adaptations (2) - The Little Mermaid

Posted by Charlene // Tags: ,

Awesome Adaptations is a weekly bookish meme, hosted at Alisa Selene’s books blog, Picturemereading.  Anyone can play along! Each week I will be writing about an adaptation of a book that I think is worth seeing and I have challenged myself to come up with suggestions to match a category. If you’re playing along on your own blog, just mention Picturemereading in your post and include the banner above. Let us know which film you’d pick and why it is an awesome adaptation worth watching. Oh, and don’t forget to share the link to your own post in the comments for that week’s challenge so that everyone can read your thoughts!

An awesome adaptation of a classic fairy tale

Title: The Little Mermaid
Adapted from: The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson

This is my favorite Disney movie, which is funny because The Little Mermaid isn't my favorite fairy tale.  And that's because the changes Disney made to the story are so awesome.  Also I really love the songs.  These are the changes that I think make this fairy tale better.  (To me!)

- The movie creates a relationship with Ariel's father - in the fairy tale the mermaid has more of a relationship with her sisters and her grandmother, and for me, having Ariel reacting to the stringent rules of her father and her father's prejudices creates a stronger catalyst for her to decide to see the Sea Witch.  And the fact that King Triton really loves his daughter but is having a hard time understanding her is a very relatable family issue, and it is so touching when they understand and know each other better in the end.

- Every good story needs a great villain, and in the movie the writers enhanced the Sea Witch character, Ursula, by giving her a grudge to hold against King Triton.  And for more dramatic effect, Ursula transforms herself into Veronica so she can marry the Prince to Ariel's ruin, just in an attempt to best King Triton and take his crown.  Ursula is ruthless and unfeeling and deliciously evil.

- And the biggest change - the ending.  The fairy tale is depressing!  The mermaid dies and becomes a daughter of the air.  Maybe gets a soul in 300 years.  If children are good.  Huh?  Ariel on the other hand, fights Ursula for her father and Eric's sake, and Eric fights for Ariel because he loves her.  Ursula gets what she deserved.  And what always makes me tear up a little, King Triton proves his love for Ariel by letting her go.  Happily ever after!  Much more emotionally satisfying.

The movie adaptation of The Little Mermaid gives alot more heart to the story and makes the mermaid's longing more intense and emotional.  And in both versions of the story the mermaid takes her own life into her hands, no matter fear or danger, to achieve what she wants, and I find that very admirable.  Although the movie version does away with any discussions about having a soul and what that means, movie Ariel's efforts pay off in a romantic, touching, and happy finale.

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  1. Great choice! This was a film I remember seeing in the movie theaters as a child and it definitely captured my imagination. I totally agree as well about the changes working in the movie's favor and that Ursula is one of the most memorable Disney villains.

    1. Oh I would have wanted to see this in theaters when it came out! I know they are re-releasing this in theaters soon so I will definitely go and watch it. And I only really thought about how great of a character Ursula is and how much she brought to the story until writing up this post! Thanks for commenting Aidan!

  2. I completely agree! It's an awesome adaptation..and I like the fact that it makes some needed changes to the original story! Plus the art is awesome and so is the music!

    1. Oh the art and music! I made a conscious decision not to include that into the post because I probably would have gushed too much! :)