First off, why do we even pretend that underwater creatures have the ability to sing? The notion that speaking would be possible in the depths of the ocean is irrational in itself, and indulging in the idea that jamming out to a lively soundtrack is feasible for fish is ludicrous.
The Little Mermaid certainly does possess a compilation of absurdly simplistic tunes, such as “Under the Sea.” The mere fact that they are under the sea and absolutely killing these tracks doesn’t sit well with me. It’s scientifically impossible for creatures to sing with lungs full of water! Does Disney not know anything about Marine Biology?! And that’s just one of the reasons I hate The Little Mermaid.
The other component of this film that I don’t believe has been discussed enough is Ariel’s hygiene (or lack thereof). The red-headed mermaid was sixteen years old in this movie, which means she had been living underwater for an entire sixteen years. Can you imagine what a sixteen-year-old fish would smell like? Try to conjure up that smell in your head, and then attempt to think of this beautiful little mermaid the same way.
(Example of how Ariel should have looked)
Ariel becomes a human due to a foolish deal she makes with Ursula (deals clearly aren’t her art form), and has the chance to kiss and win over her beloved Prince Eric (which is a basic-ass name for a prince). What’s confusing is how, in the midst of Ariel’s time on land, nobody ever questioned the foul odor inevitably oozing off of her. Even if everyone was being kind and polite, there couldn’t have been one character passive-aggressively stink-eyeing the teenage mermaid?
Furthermore, during the kiss at the end of the film, when the love-seeking mermaid’s likely very chapped lips met Prince Eric’s, he didn’t seem disturbed at all. She hadn’t brushed her teeth for sixteen years, at least as far as we know. And if even if she had potentially “brushed” her teeth, it would have had to been with some sort of coral or ridged shell, which are not brushing avenues recommended by most dentists.
It’s likely that Ariel’s teeth were filled with disgusting cavities and yellow stains and ocean residue. Yet Prince Eric clearly was not a dentist or even a human concerned about personal hygiene at all, as he exhibited when he passionately sucked face with perhaps the smelliest Disney princess of all time.
While these issues may be more personal than central to the plot, they stick out just the same. Some may say I’m nitpicking, and they might be right, but they’re not. They couldn’t be more wrong. The Little Mermaid sucks and you’d better believe it.
Article by Garret Falke
Art by Marion Moseley