God, I love The Little Mermaid. I love it so much. I love the music and the story and the characters and the animation and every inch of every frame. I wish I could separate this love from any critical appraisal of it, but for all that it’s hard for me to do that, it’s also easy to say the The Little Mermaid is also an incredible film.
It’s a wonderful musical, with the gold standard of “I Want” songs and a handful of kick ass group numbers, and a lead who’s overflowing with agency and personality. (Spare me your “Ariel gives up her voice for a boy” takes. Love is not weakness, and questing for it in a fairy tale is not a failure of feminism) Even silent, Ariel exudes warmth, fun and delight. Her discovery of the human world, exploring the market with Eric, dancing with him, learning to drive a coach, is probably my favorite sequence in Disney Animation, or was before this project. (I’d say Wort and Merlin as fish and Lady and Tramp looking over the city have supplanted it.)
I count The Little Mermaid as one of the defining influences on my taste and writing, (the other two are Les Mis and Dawson’s Creek) which is why I named my sailor prince after Eric, have “scored” many love scenes to “Kiss The Girl,” (read any of my slow quiet lead ups to a kiss, it will usually fit the rhythm) and love few things more than a couple who rescues one another.
Watching it this time (Again, about a month into quarantine,) it felt like wrapping myself up in a warm blanket and being safe. It’s the best, I love it very much.
Next week is The Rescuers Down Under which I have only a few sketchy memories of, and am very much looking forward to watching again, since I loved the first movie so much.