Doing a Who Reigns Supreme? blog post about Ariel might be a little redundant. We already explored The Little Mermaid in depth back in 2019. Still, she and The Little Mermaid’s characters are too fun and interesting to skip over completely. Like we did with Beauty and the Beast, we’ll comb over this charming cast here.
Ariel’s defining feature seems to be her voice. Ursula wants it for her ends. Her father and Sebastian want to show off in a grand concert, then put her under supervision when she doesn’t appear. It’s even the only thing Eric remembers about her after she saves him. Once she trades away her voice, though, her contagious cheer and adventurous pluck are enough to win the prince over. Ariel’s portrayal is not as shallow as some may believe.
Ursula’s motivations have more levels than most Disney villains. Her monologues suggest that she was once in a lofty position before being relegated to her cave. She doesn’t get involved with Ariel because she has it out for her. The sea witch craves power above all else, and owning the soul of Atlantica’s princess is just part of the path to overthrowing King Triton. Ursula is playing four-dimensional chess — well, until she goes mad, gets big, and fights a boat.
Prince Eric seems to be the only member of his kingdom’s royal family, but he does very little that even suggests his position. Chief attendant Grimsby’s reminders of his stature only seem to embarrass him. He loves the sea and the adventures it promises, making him an interesting foil to the mermaid who dreams of the land. It’s no wonder that Ariel’s antics, such as driving their carriage over a cliff, prove so attractive to him.
Sebastian is the court composer for King Triton, not his majordomo. His love of music makes him a clear vessel for the movie’s songwriters, who masterminded much of the story. “Under the Sea” has the crab lose himself in his colorful effort to dissuade Ariel from dreaming. In “Kiss the Girl,” he uses that ability to orchestrate the romantic gesture that will break Ursula’s curse. This progression shows how he learns that what’s best for Ariel may be to help her achieve her goals.
Flounder and Scuttle
Unlike Sebastian, who snitches on Ariel to her father at first, Flounder and Scuttle are there for her from the start. The former is not the bravest fish in the sea, but his loyalty pushes him to free Ariel from the clutches of Ursula’s nasty eels. Arguably more supportive still is the joke character Scuttle. The seagull may be clueless, but he indulges in Ariel’s fascination with the human world and does everything he can to help her find love.
Being a single father of seven teenage girls cannot be easy, even when one is the most powerful being in the sea. King Triton, leader of the merpeople, hates humans on principle. He even declares that Ariel should have let Eric drown. His hostility towards his daughter’s interests and refusal to even have a normal conversation about it nearly causes him to lose his crown and soul. When a human defeat Ursula and saves him, the humbled king gives his blessing with the Noah-like peace offering of a rainbow.
The Little Mermaid Characters at Your WDW Store
The Little Mermaid’s characters are still fun to spend time with almost four decades later. You can find all kinds of gifts related to the ones listed above and more at Your WDW Store.