A to Z Challenge Day 1: Ariel (the Little Mermaid)

Aariel

My first alphabetical fictional character is one who was a huge favorite of mine growing up: Ariel, better known as “The Little Mermaid”.

I’ve defended Ariel (and the other Disney Princesses) before, but for today we’re going to ignore the people who like to complain about what a bad influence the Disney Princesses are on young girls and just pretend for a moment that The Little Mermaid is just a nice movie with nothing to complain about, because this is my childhood, dammit.

Back as far as I can remember, I’ve been watching Disney movies, but The Little Mermaid was the crowning jewel of my childhood and I loved Ariel absolutely beyond words. She was my favorite Disney character when I was little because she embodied what every little girl imagines their life to be like. Admit it, ladies: even if you had a charmed childhood, you grew up imagining that there was something better out there, that no one truly understood you, that every time your parents scolded you or reprimanded you they were just stifling who you really were!Β Don’t even try to deny it. That self-important, adventurous attitude is part of growing up, and that’s what made Ariel so easy to relate to. She gave up everything she had in order to follow her dreams, and in the end she proved to everyone that they’d just been blind to the truth that she saw so easily.

Plus, come on. Mermaids!

My cousins and I must have watched this movie more than a hundred times, easy, and it became a regular game for us to play “mermaids” when we were out swimming at the beach. We would hold our legs together and swim by kicking like we had one big fin, and we’d pretend that Ursula was trying to drag us down to the depths of the ocean. How cute is that?

These days I’ve been passing my love of Ariel and her adventure down to my daughter. The Disney movies aren’t her favorite thing in the world (she is much more interested in superheroes of both the Marvel and DC varieties), but she did watch The Little Mermaid in its entirety with me one night, and was very concerned when Ariel’s fin became legs. If I recall, the conversation went something like this:

Her: “Oh no! Ariel can’t swim”Me: “Why can’t she swim?”
Her: “She lost her tail!”
Me: “Yeah, but she has feet now.”
Her: “She’s got to find her tail!”
Me: “But it’s okay, she has feet now!”
Her: “Then she needs shoes! And she has to put on a shirt and be a princess!”

(I was extremely amused by the fact that she didn’t need a shirt until she had legs. Logic, by the littlest Tobin.)

So, in conclusion. Ariel rocks, and I’ll not let anyone tell me otherwise. πŸ˜‰

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44 thoughts on “A to Z Challenge Day 1: Ariel (the Little Mermaid)

  1. I was more like your daughter as a child. I strongly preferred super heroes to princesses. Ariel sounds cooler than the Disney characters I grew up with. Great idea for an A to Z theme.

    • Which Disney characters did you grow up with? I pretty much grew up with all of them, starting right back with Snow White. lol
      My daughter loves the Disney Princesses too, but she definitely spends a lot more time watching Teen Titans and Superhero Squad than The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. πŸ˜‰

  2. ” The Little Mermaid is just a nice movie with nothing to complain about, because this is my childhood, dammit.” Haha! I almost couldn’t even read the rest, because this had me snorting my coffee. I absolutely agree! Ariel was the *best* when I was growing up. Without her songs to sing, my mother would never have been serenaded with such wonderful music during bath time… LOL

    • Seconding the “fun” part. πŸ˜€ People these days seem to forget that movies are supposed to be FUN, when they’re moaning and groaning about gender roles and stereotypes. πŸ˜›

  3. My dearest, oldest friend is named Arielle, so you can imagine the kinds of comments she got when the movie came out. Even today, she still has some people asking her if she were named for the mermaid, when she was born in 1980! Kind of fittingly, my middle name is Ursula.

    • People are silly that way, am I right? I grew up with a couple of guys named Luke who were constantly being asked if they were named after the Star Wars character, as though that name never existed before the movies were made. >.>

      On the other side of things, how funny is it that you guys are Arielle and (kinda) Ursula? πŸ˜„

  4. i loved the little mermaid! i was a teen when it came out, and i will admit i bawled at the end of the movie when her father gave her legs again.

    epic post!

  5. I always loved Disney princesses as a kid–including Ariel–but now my husband has gotten me seriously into Marvel/DC. πŸ™‚ I think your daughter and I could be friends!

    Ariel actually always makes me think of one of my best friends, because her favorite princess is Ariel.

    Loved your post and I will definitely be back for the rest of the Challenge! Doing it with you!

    • Thanks for dropping by, Jaimie! Yes, I think you and my daughter could be good friends! lol She’s the funniest little thing…she’ll be all dressed up like Cinderella or Rapunzel or Snow White, and she’ll be sitting there watching Spiderman Ultimate or Teen Titans Go! Cracks me up every time. πŸ˜„

      Ariel was definitely the favorite of myself and my cousins growing up, and I think she always will be to an extent. ^_~

  6. I love that you and your cousins played mermaid. Because isn’t that what great characters do? They inspire us to be like them. πŸ™‚
    I’m looking forward to more of your favorites!

    • Oh we had huge imaginations as kids, and acting out Disney movies was just the tip of the iceberg. lol Our parents used to get a big kick, though, out of how we would try to swim just by wiggling our legs like a big fin. I wasn’t even a good swimmer to begin with without trying that silliness! lol

  7. Stopping by from A to Z – nice to meet you! The Little Mermaid wasn’t around when I was a kid, but if she had been, I would have loved her, as mermaids always fascinated me. Thanks for sharing!

  8. 1. Ariel is YES. Little Mermaid is YES. Your theme is YES.
    2. My daughter wants nothing to do with the Disney Princesses and I don’t quite know what to do with that. She played with Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars when she was little, then moved to stuffed animals, skipped Barbie altogether, and is now into books and video games. I’m down with books. I can do books. Books are YES.
    3. Ursula was scary as all hell. That part after she changed back from Vanessa into her true self, and scampered across the ship to grab Erik? Holy wow, that freaks me EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. As far as Disney villains go, Ursula is YES.

    • lol Glad you like the theme!
      Isn’t it weird when your kids go all out in left field on you? My daughter is a strange concoction of my husband and I when it comes to the things she likes, but one thing that always gets us is her obsession with being outside, because the two of us are total vampires. lol
      And yes, I definitely agree with Ursula being a super villain. She scared the crap out of me when I was a kid. lol

  9. I re-watched The Little Mermaid fairly recently, and was reminded of its awesomeness. It doesn’t deserve a lot of the flack and derision it gets.

    Also, maybe your daughter believes the shirt will help Ariel swim. At least your daughter thinks of the practical things.

  10. Ariel DOES rock. AND she was my favorite Disney Princess as well. Still is. In fact, I just received in the mail a few days ago my copy of the blu-ray from Japan. I’m actively learning Japanese and what better way to continue learning than listening to the language, especially when it’s geared towards kids. (I’m a kid in the language after all.) The Japanese dub is actually REALLY good! I think I even like Eric and Ursula MORE in Japanese than English!

  11. […] Day 1: Ariel (the Little Mermaid)Day 2: Buffy Summers (the Vampire Slayer) Day 3: Castiel (the Monster-Fighting Angel) Day 4: Deadpool (the Lunatic Assassin) Day 5: Eric Northman (the Viking Vampire) Day 6: Freddy Krueger (the Nightmare Demon) Day 7: Gau (the Wild Orphan) Day 8: Han Solo (the Cocky Starpilot) Day 9: Iron Man (the Smarmiest Avenger) Day 10: James T. Kirk (the Star Fleet Captain) Day 11: Kefka Palazzo (the Magitek Monster) Day 12: Lisse (the Child of the Dystopian Future) Day 13: Magus (the Lost Wizard) Day 14: Neville Longbottom (the Heart of Gryffindor) Day 15: Other-Mother (the Other World Evil) Day 16: Peter Parker (the Spider-Man) Day 17: Qui-Gon Jinn (the Jedi Knight) Day 18: Ryuk (the Shinigami) Day 19: Sherlock Holmes (the High-Functioning Sociopath) Day 20: Tyrion Lannister (the Exceptionally Clever Imp) Day 21: Usagi Tsukino (the Sailor Senshi) Day 22: Victoria MacKinnon (the Lost Princess) Day 23: Winchester Brothers (the Monster Hunters) Day 24: Xander Harris (the Lovable Sidekick) Day 25: Yuki Miaka (the Girl from Other World) Day 26: Zelda (the Hyrulian Princess) […]

  12. The Little Mermaid was, and remains to this day, one of my favorite Disney movies. I sang “Part of Your World” at many auditions. Now I only sing it in the shower, but it still sounds great…

  13. Ariel is my favorite out of all the Disney princesses. I loved her as a grown-up watching her with my two daughters. Although, I’m following your blog, I just wanted to stop in for Post A to Z Road Trip!

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