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PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 4:30 pm 
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As most of you know, Ariel is one of the most popular and also one of the most discussed Disney Princesses. She's also a character that people either seems to love or hate. Many people dislike her (at least in the movie) because they think that she's self-centered, selfish, puts her friends in danger, risks everything for a man that she hardly knows, ect.

Okay, I'm not going to deny it; I'll confess that I've brought up her bad qualities prior. However, I promise that I'm not going to trash her and I've started this thread just of genuine curiosity. Why do you like her? And just to be said, I have no problem with the affection for her. I'm not a Ariel-hater at all.


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PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 5:38 pm 
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Ariel is one of my favorite princesses and favorite characters because she is one of the first princess characters to me that was a character first. I love her brash, spunky and rebellious nature. Sure, some people may not like that about her but I feel like makes more of a real teenager and I know people want to look down on her as her "I want" was to be with Eric, but in my view, that's only part of it, Ariel had been fascinated by the human world long before she developed her crush on Eric as observed by her collection thingmabobs and dinglehoppers in the movie. In many respects, Ariel is a fan girl and to her getting to experience the human world in the ultimate dream come true. Yes, she goes up there to be with Eric and that is her main reason to go up there but there is much more to her than that. I really love Ariel, she's in my top 3 princesses along Rapunzel and Anna. I honestly think Ariel is one of the best characters as she set the trend that the princesses can be something more than just a title. I don't know if that explained why I like her but to me, Ariel is great. She's a childhood favorite.

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Favorite Animated Disney films: 1. Dumbo, 2. Tangled, 3. Frozen, 4. Beauty and The Best, 5. The Little Mermaid, 6. Cinderella

Favorite Princesses, 1. Rapunzel, 2. Ariel, 3. Sofia, 4.Elsa, 5. Belle, 6. Cinderella/Anna


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PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 5:46 pm 
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Well.... from a visual standpoint, she is beautiful, expressive, she was the first princess to have the huge eyes...

From a character standpoint, she was the first princess to be proactive, driven... some might say she risked it all just for "some guy", but the truth is Ariel was longing to be on the surface long before Eric came along. He was just the trigger (that, combined with the borderline abusive-repressive treatment from Triton). She knew what she wanted in life would be tough to get, and had to sacrifice a lot to get it.

She is also much more relatable in behavior (the way she moves and talks) than the previous princesses... and she even has a couple of comedy bits. What;s not to like??


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PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 8:00 pm 
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Ariel was my most favorite princess long before Rapunzel came about.

Design wise, I love the way her hair moves, how it's always bouncing around, even when on land.

Character wise, Ariel is the kind who is willing to FIGHT for whatever she wants. It's not like Triton meant to spoil her dreams; like any parent, he was reacting to the downsides of the human world that Ariel seemed to overlook. The truth is, there are speed bumps that come with any dream, and dealing with them is arguably better than letting dreams die. (In Pixar expands upon this in their films, where sometimes, one dream is a stepping stone that leads to newer and better dreams.) The lengths Ariel was willing to go to to fulfill her dream was a well-intentioned one, as she looked past whatever prejudices that lied between the human world and the sea world, which when you think about it, could be applied to any real world issue (love between races, cultures, religions, etc.)

Also, Ariel sorta becomes a different character when she's on land without her voice. It's very a admirable trait to be recognized without any dialogue, a skill that most modern cartoons don't bother with.

All of those qualities put Ariel miles ahead of her predecessors. She was a more active heroine who was just as crucial to her own story as any of her sidekicks.

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PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 8:21 pm 
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I LOVE her rebellious nature. Reminds me veeery much of myself when I was around her age (men... I'm older than Ariel. What is going on with time?). Also, I think that if I lived in a romantic movie, I would be as... impulsive as her to be with the person I love.
And, I don't care about all this "she hardly knows him it's unreal bla bla bla" because it's a freaking movie. I don't think that you can create love between a mermaid and a human in many ways than love at first sight, let alone create a gigantic time span for them to know each other.
She is beautiful too and the way she moves is, I don't know how to explain, I just like it.
And to finish, The Little Mermaid was the first movie I dug in when I started to show interest in animation (I was 12 or 13 at the time I first saw it. I don't have any childhood memories linked to the movie. Guess I wasn't a movie child lol)


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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 2:44 pm 
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…..because I think, she seems real. Like other posters have said; a real girl with real emotion which you can recognise in yourself and others. As a child first watching I just feel in the love with her - every part of her. She was fun and expressive and had her best friends with her for adventures ! She wanted to achieve something more than what was given to her in life, and Eric was the catalyst to help her find the strength within herself to do that.

As Semaj said; she doesn't have a voice for a good portion of the film. It shows the sheer strength of a well written (and obviously well animated) character that you can still follow on her journey want to root for her; you laugh when she's brushing her hair with the dinglehopper at the dinner table, you can join in with her enthusiasm when discovering dancing or Punch & Judy, or taking the reigns of the carriage to jump over the vast cliff-face. When she's in the row boat with Eric and she's getting more and more frustrated that they haven't kissed, and when he finally 'guesses' her name … the beaming smile that comes from her just warms my hear. When the wedding ship is leaving, and Ariel sinks down on the side of the dock…my heart breaks for her, every time. All of that … and not one word is spoken.

Getting older, I relate to her on a different way; my relationship with my dad was fraught as well. He was overbearing and had a tendency for outbursts like Triton. I can understand Ariel going away into her own world and wanting to be somewhere else … anywhere else … to where she had to be. And her song is a huge part of her appeal; not only is it a foundation song (if you like to call it that) for Disney, but it reaches far beyond that. Its a song thats so full of longing, hopes and wishes that I guess it could be relatable to just about anyone.

And as has been mentioned previously; she has been shoehorned into the Princess line as the others, but she is still a standout character, not just a standout Princess. A character in her own right if you will (I really agreed with her not being one of the Princesses in Kingdom Hearts but a character separate instead). Not really the sequels, but I still regard 'Ariel's Undersea Adventures' as a clear cut predecessor of The Little Mermaid. Ariel is full of personality, life, and a great sense of fun and adventure. It was there in the original film, and fleshed out through the series and subsequent musical albums released. She has probably had the most features of any other lead Disney Animated Classic character, let alone Princess ? Original film, one sequel, one prequel, three seasons of her own TV series, several volumes of music albums, and inclusion in all the Princess video games. Therefore I guess you could say she has had substantial screen time to establish herself, and to become, well, beloved by people.

So, in conclusion I think she's a brilliant character for the aforementioned reasons :)

:tlm:

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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 1:33 am 
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1. I LOVE mermaids.

2. The same reason she gets so much grief and criticism from people on their high horses is one of the things that endears her to me. She is a flawed protagonist that makes a very bad decision to try and get what she wants. I feel too much pressure and great storytelling is sacrificed in making our heroines say the right thing all the time. Ariel came about at a time where there wasn't so much political scrutiny hanging over Disney, so we got a more fleshed out, realistically rebellious 16 year old girl, rather than someone who had to reassure the audience that she had a strong feminist political stance that reflects her being light years ahead of her era. She was simply allowed to be her own character in her own story, regardless of what was or is a representation of the ideal female figure.

3. Did I mention that I LOVE mermaids?


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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 6:43 am 
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DancingCrab wrote:
She was simply allowed to be her own character in her own story, regardless of what was or is a representation of the ideal female figure.


Exactly ! Very well put. :up:

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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 9:19 am 
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DancingCrab wrote:
2. The same reason she gets so much grief and criticism from people on their high horses is one of the things that endears her to me. She is a flawed protagonist that makes a very bad decision to try and get what she wants. I feel too much pressure and great storytelling is sacrificed in making our heroines say the right thing all the time. Ariel came about at a time where there wasn't so much political scrutiny hanging over Disney, so we got a more fleshed out, realistically rebellious 16 year old girl, rather than someone who had to reassure the audience that she had a strong feminist political stance that reflects her being light years ahead of her era. She was simply allowed to be her own character in her own story, regardless of what was or is a representation of the ideal female figure.


Ditto. You hit the nail on the head.


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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 9:29 am 
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DancingCrab wrote:
The same reason she gets so much grief and criticism from people on their high horses is one of the things that endears her to me. She is a flawed protagonist that makes a very bad decision to try and get what she wants. I feel too much pressure and great storytelling is sacrificed in making our heroines say the right thing all the time.

Well said.

DancingCrab wrote:
Ariel came about at a time where there wasn't so much political scrutiny hanging over Disney, so we got a more fleshed out, realistically rebellious 16 year old girl, rather than someone who had to reassure the audience that she had a strong feminist political stance that reflects her being light years ahead of her era.

*cough-Merida-cough*

DancingCrab wrote:
She was simply allowed to be her own character in her own story, regardless of what was or is a representation of the ideal female figure.

Agreed. Not to mention that the very concept of the "ideal female figure" is anti-feminist to begin with. I think you'll find interesting this article on why one-dimensional, self-proclaimed "strong" female characters are problematic.

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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 12:26 pm 
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Speaking of Merida, Sotiris, what are your thoughts about "Brave"? Sorry for nagging, but I'm genuinely curious.


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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 12:36 pm 
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DisneyFan09 wrote:
Speaking of Merida, Sotiris, what are your thoughts about "Brave"? Sorry for nagging, but I'm genuinely curious.

I thought it had great potential which was squandered by one-dimensional characterizations, uninspired plot, unnecessary and obnoxious gags, and cheap sentimentality. In short, I'm not a fan. :P

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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 3:32 pm 
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What is the difference between cheap sentimentality and...better sentimentality? Can I have an example, too?

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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 3:53 pm 
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Disney Duster wrote:
What is the difference between cheap sentimentality and...better sentimentality? Can I have an example, too?

Well, this is quite subjective but here it goes. To me, the sentimental ending in Brave with the Queen returning back to human and the mother-daughter reconciliation felt rushed and forced because both the characters and as well as their relationship were not adequately and convincingly explored. Because of that I did not invest emotionally in their relationship and thus the attempted heartfelt ending did not feel earned.

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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 8:02 pm 
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Disney Duster wrote:
What is the difference between cheap sentimentality and...better sentimentality? Can I have an example, too?


The Dead Parents trope is an easy one.

It worked fine for Bambi, since it played into the character coming into his own despite Man's intrusion. It also worked well in Lilo & Stitch to emphasize tension between two sisters. But other than it being a part of many classic fairy tales, it does not always seem necessary to deprive the leading hero(ines) of a mother and/or father. The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, and Mulan ALL involve the heroine not having a mom; Michael Eisner reportedly tried to put a stop to that with Pocahontas.

If it teaches people how life isn't always fair, and how you can still overcome an imperfect home life, the Dead Parents trope can be, if not better, plausible sentimentality. But if it's solely done for its own sake, if it's ONLY because all the previous films did it, which Disney tends to do a lot, then you're being cheap and in some cases lazy.

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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 9:00 pm 
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Sotiris wrote:
To me, the sentimental ending in Brave with the Queen returning back to human and the mother-daughter reconciliation felt rushed and forced because both the characters and as well as their relationship were not adequately and convincingly explored. Because of that I did not invest emotionally in their relationship and thus the attempted heartfelt ending did not feel earned.

I disagree. In my opinion, it was one of the film's finest moment. "Rushed" and "unearned" is how I'd describe the ending of 'The Snow Queen'...

Semaj wrote:
The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, and Mulan ALL involve the heroine not having a mom; Michael Eisner reportedly tried to put a stop to that with Pocahontas.

What?


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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 11:01 pm 
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Thanks Sotiris. Brave's sentiment did work for me, but you have a very valid point.

Thanks Semaj, you have a good point and a good example.

Old Fish Tale, did you mean The Snow Queen fairy tale has that or Frozen has that?

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PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2014 2:50 am 
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Old Fish Tale wrote:
Semaj wrote:
The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, and Mulan ALL involve the heroine not having a mom; Michael Eisner reportedly tried to put a stop to that with Pocahontas.

What?


Never mind. :P

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PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2014 7:04 am 
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Sotiris wrote:
I thought it had great potential which was squandered by one-dimensional characterizations, uninspired plot, unnecessary and obnoxious gags, and cheap sentimentality. In short, I'm not a fan. :P

OK.

All in all, I liked "Brave", despite that the storyline was fairly weak and not well executed and the second and third half were inferior. However, the first half of the movie beforeElinor turns into a bear was brilliant. The music, the animation, the dialogue and the atmosphere excelled and made the movie good, I just wished that more effort and soul was put to the entire movie.


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PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2014 7:18 am 
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Semaj wrote:
The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, and Mulan ALL involve the heroine not having a mom; Michael Eisner reportedly tried to put a stop to that with Pocahontas.
That's true with Pocahontas. However, her mom is referred to quite often in the film.

I'm sorry to nitpick, but Mulan actually had a mom. The thing is that movie vaguely emphasized on her relationship with her mom. The problem with the many of the post-1988 films is that the emphasis is put on the father figure, rather than the mother figure (including "The Lion King" and "Hercules"). The exceptions are "Tarzan" and "Treasure Planet", where the mothers are essential to the plot, but the protagonists were male ones. Although "The Princess and the Frog" does have a twist to have Tiana's mother alive, it's still emphasizes on her father (a thing that also "Quest for Camelot" does). One of the rare animated movies besides "Brave" that really have a genuine dynamic between a mother and a daughter is "The Little Mermaid II". Yes, it might seem contradictory since it's a cheapquel, but at least the emphasis was put between a mother and a daughter.


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