11/17/2014 09:10 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2014

The Feminist Legacy Of The Little Mermaid's Divisive, 'Sexy' Ariel


Which of the following wildly popular Hans Christian Andersen adaptations and animated Disney films is acclaimed for featuring a strong and independent female protagonist?

A. The Little Mermaid
B. Frozen

Given the omnipresent discussion surrounding Frozen's charmingly subversive tale of sisterhood—and Ariel's relatively newfound reputation as a bad example for young viewers—the latter seems like the more reasonable answer. But 25 years ago when The Little Mermaid first came out, Roger Ebert praised her as a “fully realized female character who thinks and acts independently, even rebelliously, instead of hanging around passively while the fates decide her destiny.”

Read more on The Atlantic