When we are young, pure creatures ("children"), years away from the callous-producing jaded things we grow into ("adults right now"), things are more simple. Although kids are naturally curious, I feel like AS kids, we can sure be dumb as rocks—missing things we will later find glaringly obvious as adults. Now the Internet brings to our attention a hole so mind-blowing I cannot believe it took almost 30 years to surface—and it completely derails a central plotline for a classic. New information suggests Little Mermaid 's Ariel was illiterate.
Disney is truly top dog for these gotcha! treats, spanning from incredibly subtle sexual innuendo to pretty awful negligence (like where is the plus-sized Disney princess? What did it take so long for a Latina Disney princess to materialize? Their slew of cartoon royalty is hardly exhaustive).
As most anyone knows, Little Mermaid follows mermaid princess Ariel as she chases human babe Prince Eric. Evil aquatic queen Ursula grants Ariel temporary human legs and the ability to breathe oxygen (now that I'm thinking about it, where are Ariel's breathing gills while in mermaid form?? I hate this so much) in exchange for her voice. Meaning, Ariel was lurking around Eric's palace as a mute human so she couldn't vocally explain the deal—like, "Hey dude. Gimme a kiss so we can talk like normals." And...she never thought to write an explanation because she was illiterate. Except she totally was literate, as evidenced that time she signed a freaking contract with Ursula for the swap. Besides that, she was royalty and royalty usually have enough baseline education to learn the ability to read. UGH.
Reminder that this happened, Ariel. USE YOUR WORDS:
Skip to 4:05 if you don't wanna dig into Ursula's musical number. But I mean, clearly Ariel is gonna read some insane wizard lady's contract before signing, yes? ALSO BECAUSE SHE HAS THE ABILITY TO READ. Basically none of Little Mermaid makes any sense.
Looks pretty practiced to me, A. While we're at it, here's some more things I find questionable and annoying about Little Mermaid. Although they don't completely derail the film, they are still horrible facts.
1. Eric and Ariel don't even have a conversation but are like, totally in love
The two just oggle at each other a whole lot. Without the conversational component and therefore the ability to get to know each other intellectually, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, Eric pretty frankly falls in love with some hot, potentially homeless chick he found on the beach who doesn't really understand basic silverware.
That'd be chill for a physical thing, I guess, but you probably shouldn't try to marry someone you're not entirely confident thinks thoughts. Eric, get your shit together.
2. Ariel feels she needs a dude to rescue her
She is openly obsessed with dry land culture which is whatever, sure, but why did she need a guy as excuse to GTFO of there? G'on, girl—solo is an option. Not to mention, this is a pretty crummy message to perpetuate to young girls. "You don't like your hometown? LOL, you can meet and trap a man to rollerblade you outta here." No.
3. Ariel finds bubble baths enchanting
You'd think she'd be over all that water...? But to be fair, bubble baths are enchanting. Whatever.
I don't know. I don't know anything anymore.
Images: Daddy-David/Flickr; Giphy (6)