Wednesday, July 01, 2009
When I was but a wee lass, I happened across an animated version of The Little Mermaid playing on TV. Not the Disney one. This one stuck very closely to the original Hans Christian Anderson story. And I think it may have emotionally scarred me at a very young age. What an f'd up story to tell your kids.
Maybe this is why I love the disney version so much. Happy endings are always better.
So anyway, I recently rewatched it on youtube and it went a little something like this. The little mermaid gets turned into a human to get the prince to fall in love with her. If he doesn't, she'll turn to seafoam. Prince falls in love with a different girl who he thinks saved him. They get married. Little mermaid's sisters cut off their beautiful hair and give it to the sea witch. In return they are given a knife. Little mermaid needs to use that knife to kill the prince. When his blood spills over her feet, it'll turn back into a fin and she can be a mermaid again. Little Mermaid decides she loves the prince too much and cannot kill him. She turns into seafoam. Prince wakes up, sees a scale that the Little Mermaid left behind and realizes it was her all along who saved him.
So EVERYBODY IS SCREWED! Little mermaid is DEAD. Sisters cut off their hair for NOTHING! Prince is stuck with the OTHER girl. Depression ensues until I watch Disney's little mermaid and am happy again.
Even more screwed up, I remember the TV version I watched when I was young saying if the little mermaid stabbed the prince in the heart with the knife, he would fall in love with her instead of the woman he married. I also remember being totally confused how someone could get stabbed in the heart and potentially live through it. My guess is that this was the American censor way of making this movie suitable for airing on television. Good work television censors. Tell kids that stabbing people in the heart makes them like you MORE!
As an adult, I am able to appreciate the tragedy and irony of the original story a little more, but as a kid.....well, I wouldn't recommend showing it to kids.
Well anyway, since this Little Mermaid is by far my more favorite of the two, I figured I'd do an Ariel to go along with the series of her sisters that I did a while back. You can't have all the sisters without Ariel. :)