I honestly haven't watched The Little Mermaid in ages. In my humble opinion, Mulan was Disney's last animated triumph. Aladin, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and Sleeping Beauty, liberally sprinkled my childhood, and I've fond memories of them all. As I strive to write my own stories, be they fantasy, sci-fi, or real world, the simple lessons, good humor, and dose of magic inherent in the classic Disney tales give me excuses to test creative wings.
Ariel made a choice to sacrifice her voice for a time because she wanted something with every fiber of her being. She wanted the unknown, the elusive forbidden world beyond the sea. Evil, of course, had to make a showing or it wouldn't be a good story:-)
There are several types of love demonstrated in the story. Prince Erik has his servant friends, and Ariel has that bumbling bird and the lucky crab. They eventually find they love each other, though the realism, even fairy-talish, is stretched by the whole love on first sight bunk. There's a father's love which is both sacrificial in nature and scarily overprotective at other points.
I'm a sucker for details. So I find myself asking a bunch of questions, such as, where are the prince's parents? What kingdom do they rule? Does he have any siblings? What are Ariel's sisters doing during all her adventures? Part of me always wonders what happened to the "little guys" of a story.
In many ways, everyone is a "little guy" in life. Riches flow over the backs of the ordinary, and many a good story tells the tale of the ordinary in extraordinary circumstances. Well, with a thousand tales to tell and so little time I'm off to dream the dreams of high adventure and ways to bring good old stories back in business.