All right, first off a little history about myself. When I was a little girl I used to enjoy the little mermaid. Ariel was actually one of my favorite Disney princesses/movies.
Now that I am older however, I have just recently watched the little mermaid one, two and the third movie which is Ariel's beginning.
I couldn't believe what an awful role model she is and how selfish she is. I searched on the internet to find others with my similar view on her and I stumbled across this article here: link
My article here is solely debunking everything this particular person is going on about and finally displaying my evidence as to why Ariel is a selfish and poor role model.
The argument begins with Persephone713 explaining that people are using the word ‘selfish’ wrongly and that anyone who says so is not a true Ariel fan. I’d like to clear up right away that I am not an Ariel fan simply because I do not like characters who are bad people.
I used to enjoy her, yes, when I was a naive child
who couldn’t see through all the fancy songs and cinematic stimulation. But I’ve grown and I’m not blinded by ‘hate’ or ‘loyalty’ in my new opinion of her.
Selfish means: “One who is devoted to caring for oneself and ones interests, regardless of others.”
Ariel displays her selfishness the very first early stages of her life. (Ariel’s Beginning) She deliberately disobeys her father’s order throughout the entire movie all because she’s ‘bored’ and wants to have ‘fun’.
In the beginning of the movie, Ariel (15) is bored and complains about wanting to do something else instead of just walking with her family which they do every morning as a tradition. Her sisters are against her idea because they don’t want to get in trouble. So, she tries to bring it up with her father, but when she’s denied that she goes ahead and fools around anyways. Despite potentially getting her sisters in trouble. Why did she do this? Because it’s not about what her sisters want OR her father it’s about what she wants
Another example is when Ariel stumbles across the music club and promises that she won’t tell anyone. But the very same day she returns home she’s tells ALL of her sisters. She does so because ‘she’ wants to share that with them and she doesn’t even THINK about her promise to the other members of the club or what would happen if they were caught. Which is 10,000% more likely when it involves every single one of King Triton's daughters.
In the end because of her ignorance and selfish wants. Everyone eventually gets caught and all the band members are put in prison and the rest of her sisters are confined to the castle. Which she shows absolutely no remorse or regret for. Instead she attacks her father on his decision and brings up their mother... which is an excruciatingly painful subject for Triton.
All of her sisters can see the damage she caused their father and they all show that they care by telling her to stop because she’s making things worse. Ariel’s older sister Attina tells her that she just doesn’t know when to quit. But despite upsetting all of them and even her father... Ariel selfishly runs away because she can’t get what she wants from her father or her sisters. She LEAVES... all the while knowing how much she means to her father and that he had already suffered through the loss of his wife.
Only at the end of the movie when Sebastian showed her the trinket that belonged to her parents, did she finally show some resemblance of care for her father and what he was going through. And even then she didn’t feel sorry for what all she had done and all the trouble she had caused. Instead she decided that she needed to show her father the trinket in order to bring back the ‘happiness he lost’ which is a very ignorant thought.
In fact Ariel does not achieve anything throughout this movie with the exception of getting her selfish want of music and a break in the boring, routine, structure her strict father had placed upon her and her sisters in Atlantica. The only reason her father changes his mind is due to the fact that Ariel is hit by torpedo-Marina and knocked unconscious thus causing King Triton to relive the death of his wife. I would go so far to say that it had nothing to do with the trinket and everything to do with a new found FEAR within the King that he may lose his rebellious fifteen year old daughter if he doesn’t give in to her desires and whims.
Which brings us to the next movie: The Little Mermaid. It takes place a year later with Ariel now 16 years old and being completely absent to the hugely important concert, that she was staring in, taking place at that very moment. Sebastian even states that Ariel never even bothers to come to rehearsals. Ariel is no longer interested in the music that she had fought so hard for just a year ago. If you will that was ‘so yesterday’ and now her newest interest was the humans and their trinkets. We see the exact same scenario playing out again as she sings about the stuff she has collected and how it isn’t enough—she wants more. She wants to be up there with the humans which is, ironically, the second thing her father has forbidden within the kingdom. Now is it just me or is this starting to REALLY sound like a rebellious teenager who wants all of the things that her daddy says ‘no’ to?
Ariel is seen with her friend Flounder, who she’s seen clearly bullying and manipulating to have her own way which is to explore the ship. Flounder is clearly frightened and just wants to leave, and Ariel’s solution is to more or less scare him into continuing to follow her.
Now I’ve seen arguments of others saying that she does care for her friend because when the shark is attacking she goes back for him. We’ll I’m here to explain, that is completely invalid because SHE was the one who put him in that position in the first place. Why? Because SHE wanted to explore the ship. It wasn’t about the safety of her friend, that is not what mattered to her.
Next is when she remembers the concert and returns to her father. She apologizes, but her sincerity isn’t there. Through her expression and how she lashes out moments after being scolded, show that she didn’t really care. She didn’t care that her father, her sisters and Sebastian were completely humiliated by her absence.
Even as Sebastian scolds her further she has the same uncaring expression. It’s like she’s treating the whole thing as a joke and doesn’t see why they are getting on her case so badly. She ‘forgot’ and said she was ‘sorry’ wasn’t that enough to put the whole thing behind them.
Flounder comes to her rescue at that point and tries to protect her, but accidently speaks of the seagull getting her more in trouble and she has the nerve to get momentarily angry at him.
Then she has the audacity after what she’s done with the concert to snap at her father and treat his concern again like it wasn’t a big deal. That she’s old enough to take care of herself and for him to more or less get off her back. Which is extremely selfish given the fact that the reason why her father has forbid interacting with humans is because her mother was KILLED by humans. But that of course doesn’t at all matter to her. What matters is simply what she wants.
Now to debunk a few things said in that other article. The person who wrote it quotes Ariel saying “If I become human I will never get to be with my father or sisters again.” This supposedly means she cares deeply for them. But this is the only time in the entire movie you see her think about that and to top it off after she says that Ursula tells her that she’ll have her man and that life is full of tough choices. In the end Ariel picks a man she’s only ever met once and never looks back.
This one irks me the most. The person quoted Ariel saying “Daddy I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to. I DIDN’T KNOW.
” Which is a ball faced lie. Ursula explained the ENTIRE scenario to Ariel and she KNEW 100% that Ursula was an evil witch. But she went ahead anyways to get what SHE wanted and didn’t care about the consequences or how it would affect everyone around her. She was just thinking about herself. The end.
I am not saying Ariel didn’t care at all about anyone around her, but I am saying that she is selfish and caused a lot of damage to get what she want. It doesn’t matter if everything worked out in the end of the movies because that is simply placed there for the desired ‘happy ending’.
It also doesn’t matter if she sincerely said “I love you daddy” at the end of the movie because ACTIONS speak much louder than words.
I’m sure people will argue over stupid things and nit-pick at this and that. But the evidence is all there throughout those two movies she was the main character in. You just need to open your mature little minds to see it.