Published on Sunday, 21 July 2013 00:00
This is the true story of The Little Mermaid. Original fairy tales are not as cheerful and innocent as Disney make them out to be, they are in fact on the other end of the spectrum of sunshine, rainbows and butterflies.
As we have established in Will The Real Sleeping Beauty Please Stand Up
, original fairy tales are dark and disturbing. The fairy tales you are familiar with are adapted from the original stories to be more kid-friendly and feel-good. You have been warned. Stay away from this article if you do not wish to have your childhood ruined.
Once upon a time...
Far out in the ocean, hundreds of feet below sea level dwell the Sea King, his beautiful mer-daughters, and his loyal marine subjects.
Ariel, a 16-year-old mermaid princess is extremely bored with life under the sea and endeavours to learn more about the human world. With her BFF (best fish friend) Flounder, Ariel hoards human knick-knacks that have been carelessly dropped into the ocean and she occasionally rises to the surface to listen to inaccurate stories of human culture from Scuttle the seagull.
Her father, King Triton, and his crab advisor, Sebastian, constantly warn her about the dangers on land. Being too cool for school, what with her going through the usual rebellious teenage phase, she pays no heed to their warnings and long to join the human world and become a human herself. Now I know that you can be anything if you set your mind to it... but damn! This girl really needs to have some self-respect and embrace who she is.
One fateful night, Flounder and a reluctant Sebastian travel to the ocean’s surface with Ariel to watch Prince Eric’s birthday celebration on a ship. Ariel promptly fell head over heels in love with Prince Eric as soon as she laid eyes on him. To be more accurate, it was not love at first sight because THERE IS NO SUCH THING, it was more like the spoilt princess thought he was incredibly hot and wanted to bang him very badly.
A raging storm hits and the ship capsizes. Ariel swims to the rescue of the drowning prince. She sings to him but as soon as he starts regaining consciousness, she slips back underneath the waters. Eric awakes with the sound of her lovely voice stuck in his memory. He vows to himself that he will find the person with the alluring voice, and Ariel vows to herself that she will figure out a way to be with him.
Sighing happily, Ariel swims back to her kingdom under the sea where King Triton noticed a change in her behaviour. He questions Sebastian and learns of her love for the human prince. King Triton and Ariel got into a shouting match and in a fit of anger, the mer-king destroys all of her precious human possessions she has collected over the years.
A scorned Ariel heads to Ursula, the sea witch, to make a deal. In exchange for Ursula transforming Ariel to a human for three days, Ariel has to give Ursula her voice, which Ursula puts in a nautilus shell. The catch is that Ariel has to receive the “kiss of true love” from Eric within the three days, if not, Ariel will revert back to a mermaid and will belong to Ursula for all eternity.
Ariel in desperation to meet up with her true love once again quickly agrees to the terms and conditions. She is then given human legs and taken to the surface by Flounder and Sebastian. Eric finds the mute Ariel on the seashore and takes her to his castle.
The next day, Ariel and Eric almost kiss but were disrupted by Ursula’s eel minions. Ursula threatened by the near encounter disguises herself as a beautiful brunette named Vanessa and appears onshore singing with Ariel’s voice. Eric on recognizing the voice falls in love with the disguised Ursula, and Ursula casts a spell on him to make him forget about Ariel.
Shit is getting serious!
On the third day, Ariel finds out that Eric is getting married to Vanessa. Scuttle finds out that Vanessa is in fact Ursula in disguise and informs Ariel who immediately goes after the wedding barge. Sebastian rushes to inform Triton, and Scuttle helps Ariel buy more time by disrupting the wedding barge with other animals. In the chaos, Ursula’s nautilus shell containing Ariel’s voice breaks, restoring Ariel’s voice and breaking Ursula’s enchantment over Eric. Upon realizing that Ariel was the one who actually saved his life, he rushes to kiss her, but unfortunately for Ariel, the sun set and she transforms back into a mermaid.
Ursula reveals who she is and kidnaps Ariel. Triton pursues after Ursula and demand she release Ariel, but the deal cannot be void unless another exchange is made. Triton agrees to take Ariel’s place as Ursula’s prisoner. Ursula releases Ariel and transforms Triton into a polyp, absorbing all his powers and authority over Atlantica. A struggle breaks out and Ursula accidentally kills her eel minions. In a rage, she uses Triton’s trident to grow to monstrous proportions.
Ariel rejoins Eric back on land just before Ursula grows and towers above them. Ursula attempts to kill Ariel in a whirlpool she created but Eric stabs Ursula in her fat abdomen with his ship’s splinted bowsprit. For some unfathomable reason, when she gets injured, her power breaks and Triton along with other polyps in her garden revert back to their mer-people self.
Despite Ariel almost single-handedly destroying the entire underwater kingdom, Triton, the extremely noble father realizes that Ariel and Eric’s love is true. He happily changed her from a mermaid back into a human. Ariel and Eric marry on a ship and sail off into the sunset. And they lived happily ever after.
Original Hans Christian Andersen's Version:
The Sea King has six beautiful daughters, each born one year apart. When a mermaid turns 15, she is allowed to swim up to the surface to watch the world above. When the Little Mermaid’s sisters become old enough, each of them visits the world out of the water every year and returns with various stories about the humans.
When the Little Mermaid’s turn finally comes, she eagerly swims up to the surface of the ocean. She sees a handsome prince on a ship and falls in love with him. Like Ariel, she just thought that he was hot and wanted to bang him. A great storm suddenly hits and the Little Mermaid saves the prince who gets thrown overboard. She deposits him on a shore and waits till a temple girl comes to his aid. The prince never sees the Little Mermaid.
Back in her underwater kingdom, the Little Mermaid learns from her grandmother that humans have a much shorter lifespan than mer-people who can live up to 300 years. However, when mermaids die, they turn to sea foam and cease to exist. For the humans, they have a life after death where their eternal souls will reside in Heaven.
The Little Mermaid desires for the prince and an eternal soul, and in desperation, seeks help from the Sea Witch. The Sea Witch sells the Little Mermaid a potion that gives her legs in exchange for her tongue. The Sea Witch warns that once she becomes a human, she will never be able to return to the sea. Drinking the potion will make her feel as if a sword is being passed through her, but she will have a pair of beautiful legs when she recovers and will be able to dance like no human has ever danced before. However, ever step she takes will be excruciatingly painful and will make her feet bleed terribly, and to obtain an immortal soul, the prince has to bestow upon her true love’s kiss, love her, and marry her. Otherwise at dawn on the first day he marries another woman, the Little Mermaid will dissolve into sea foam.
Ignoring all the warnings, the Little Mermaid drinks the potion and meets the prince who is captivated by her beauty and grace even though she is mute. He loves watching her dance, and dance she does for him even though it feels like she is walking on sharp swords. The prince calls her his little foundling and she is basically his bitch; she sleeps at his door on a velvet cushion.
One day, the king orders the prince to marry the neighbouring king’s daughter. The prince pays the princess a visit and finds out that she is the temple girl whom he thought was the one who rescued him from the shipwreck. The prince immediately falls in love and they marry. The Little Mermaid’s heart breaks.
As the Little Mermaid despairs while awaiting her doom, her sisters swim up to her before dawn with a knife that the Sea Witch had given them in exchange for their long hair. They told the Little Mermaid to slay the prince with the knife and let his blood drip on her feet so that she will become a mermaid again and escape her death.
The Little Mermaid creeps into the room where the sleeping prince and his bride lie. However she cannot bring herself to kill the man that she loves. And as dawn breaks, she throws herself into the sea where her body dissolves into foam.
Moral of the story: Love is a bitch and then you die.