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The Little Mermaid

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Faith Elliott

on 11 April 2014

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Transcript of The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid

Faith Elliott
April 11, 2014
Sources:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BZp2dxpwF
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Little_Mermaid_(1989_film)
http://www.overthinkingit.com/2010/11/30/little-mermaid-humanism/
http://www.the-little-mermaid.com/symbolism.php

Thank you!
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About the Film
Based on a fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen
Released in theaters on November 17, 1989
28th film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series
Lifetime gross of $211 million
Sparked a revival of Disney animated features, as well as sequels and adaptations of the film
Where is religion present in this film?
The storyline and characters of The Little Mermaid are symbolic of the Fall from Eden.
Some symbolism in the film presents Ariel as Mary Magdalene.
The full storyline is full of religious (Christian) symbolism but shows support of secular thinking.
Symbolism - Fall from Eden
Story of a woman with a desire forbidden by a higher power. She goes against the higher power, gives in to Evil, obtains what she desires, but leaves her home forever.
Ariel -> Eve
King Triton -> God
Prince Eric -> Forbidden Fruit/Fruit of Knowledge
Ursula -> Satan
Why is this symbolism important?
The Little Mermaid is very popular and a Disney classic. It has been around for over 25 years - it is important to notice religious symbolism in a film that is so popular and well-known.
The Little Mermaid is a children's movie that teaches kids important lessons about making your own choices and about good and evil. Disney films in general are very influential over their audience and can affect the way the audience thinks.
The Little Mermaid and Secular Thought
Adam, not King Triton, saves Ariel from Ursula.
Power of knowledge and wisdom (which was forbidden) over God
The film ends with Ariel happily marrying Prince Eric and saying goodbye to King Triton and all of the creatures of the underwater kingdom.
This shows that Ariel could only be fulfilled and made happiest by knowledge and wisdom in the form of Prince Eric, not by her world living under a higher power.
Despite all the religious symbolism, The Little Mermaid ultimately supports more secular thinking and the independence that comes with it.
Why is this film important?
The Little Mermaid is important to our society because it, and Disney productions in general, are very popular and influential over their young audiences. This film is very well-known and is widely popular, and its storyline teaches the audience life lessons and influences their thinking.
Symbolism - Ariel as Mary Magdalene
Vanity - combing her hair with a fork
Her red hair is said to be symbolic of the Magdalene as well
During Part of Your World, the painting Magdalen of Night Light by George De La Tour, is shown
Ariel - Eve
Young, 16 years old
Adventurous, curious, but doesn't always think about the repercussions of her actions
Collects items from the human world - worshiping idols
Beautiful voice - symbol of purity - gives it up to live in the human world and experience the world of knowledge
King Triton - God
King of the seas
All-powerful - causes storms and destroys Ariel's human possessions
Calls humans barbaric, senseless, spineless
Has many daughters, one being Ariel, making her not only symbolic of Eve, but she is literally a child of God
Shows love, anger, sympathy, remorse, regret
Ursula - Satan
Villain of the film, seawitch, performs magic
Mermaids sell their souls to her to get what they want
"I used to live in the palace" - Lucifer used to be an angel
Flotsam and Jetsam, her evil henchmen, are eels - like snakes or serpents
Prince Eric - Forbidden Fruit
Looking for the perfect girl to marry
Ariel's key to living out of the sea, not because he's beautiful, but because he is her ticket to the human world
Can provide Ariel with answers, knowledge, and wisdom, much like the Forbidden Fruit and Eve
Any Questions?
Full transcript