If you read the first installment of The Disney Princesses: If They'd Had Mothers, you already know that the writers at Disney have a secret agenda: to turn daughters into ditzes. Today we're going to examine Princess Ariel of The Little Mermaid; the foxy redheaded daughter of King Triton.
The film never provides any explanation as to what happened to Mrs. Triton; perhaps in some kind of messy domestic dispute, she was banished, biblical Queen Vashti-style, to another part of the ocean. Maybe she was eaten alive by crabs. Nobody knows. What is clear is that King Triton was clearly overwhelmed at having to raise his 43 daughters and run a underwater kingdom. He lost control of Ariel and let her make terrible choices.
If They'd Had Mothers: Princess Ariel
Ariel spins and dances in her secret watery lair, surrounded by tchotchkies.
"I want to be, part of your wooooooorld..." she sings out.
"Ariel, what the hell is going on," Queen Tritona enters the room and surveys shelves and shelves of gadgets and gizmos.
Flounder, Ariel's fish companion, hides in a dark corner.
Ariel turns to her mother: "I want to be where the people are. I want to see, want to see them dancing." Her eyes are huge.
"Yes, I heard the song on the way in. Did you steal these things? Are you a hoarder?".
"Mom. I'm in love. His name is Prince Eric and he's wonderful, sweet, and --"
"He's human. Human, Ariel. Check behind your hair, do you see those gills? You can't breathe air. Do you want to die for this man?"
Ariel swims slowly toward the surface of the sea, illuminated by a beam of light.
"I would catch a grenade for him. Jump in front of a train for him."
"Would he do the same?"
"Mom, listen. I have a plan."
Ariel closes her eyes and smiles serenely.
"Cosmetic surgery is not a plan. It's a cry for help and a sign of desperation. No daughter of mine is going under the knife and splitting her fin for a man she spent a weekend with. How are you planning to pay for this?"
Ariel and Flounder exchange a nervous glance. "Well, Ursula and I made a deal...if I give her my voice-"
"Please sweet Jesus no. This is getting worse and worse."
"Mom, just listen! Oh my gosh you are so small-minded and prejudiced! It's 1989, we can be together. You know nothing about Eric! Flippin' your fins, you don't get too far, legs are required for jumping, dancing. I want more out of life! I want to be part of his world!"
Queen Tritona's voice grows low and serious. "What do you know about his world? You want to be up where they walk, up they run, up where they play all day in the sun? You think that's what they do? Yeah in kindergarten. Are you prepared to get a job? Do you know what kind of jobs they have for unskilled 20-year-olds with no papers? Yeah, you'll be strolling down those streets plenty. Mostly the corners."
"Eric said I don't have to get a job. He's a prince," Ariel retorts smugly.
"Dear Lord my daughter's a gold digger," Tritona whispers to herself. "Ariel, listen to me. I know you're bored. I know you want adventure. You don't think after two or three years Eric's castle will become a stagnant pond? Honey, you need help. You endangered your entire community and almost got your father killed because of your obsession with 'his world'".
Ariel bows her head and swallows hard.
"Honey, are you crying? I can't tell because we're surrounded by water...".
"Mom, I feel so bad about what I've done. I think I really do love him and so want to experience life up there," Ariel points with a decapitated starfish tip.
Queen Tritona gives her daughter a hug, "Ariel, you have nothing to worry about. 2012 will be here any day now and-".
"I just don't know if I can wait that long."
"You must. Do it for your family. And your community. Think beyond yourself. If he loves you now, he'll love you a year from now."
Ariel sighs deeply and nods. "You're right mom. I'm so sorry. I wasn't thinking clearly. I want to make it up to everyone. Tonight we feast. I want to offer Flounder as the main course."
Flounder trembles and attempts a fast getaway but is quickly apprehended by Sebastian who in three quick waves of his crab-hands fillets the fish in a cloud of blood.
"Thank you, mommy. You saved me."
The mother and daughter embrace again. "That's my job, honey. That's my job"