Childrearing

I Regret The Day I Let My Daughter Watch ‘The Little Mermaid’

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My daughter is at an age where she is so easily influenced by things she hears and sees. This story is constantly running through her mind and her young obsession with princesses and marriage just sounds strange to me. A 2-year-old talking about marriage and imitating marriage? I’m just not into it. It doesn’t seem healthy and it kind of freaks me out.

Perhaps it’s because I personally don’t hold the belief that everyone should get married or that marriage is for everyone. Often times, though I am married myself, I wonder if marriage is even for me, or if it’s even a reasonable thing to do. Sometimes it seems an ancient tradition that our society perpetuates out of comfort and I don’t want my child to grow up with the idea that marriage is a necessity, or certainly that you need a “prince” to live “happily ever after.” Her learning about it at such a young age, seeing a movie where a woman (okay, mermaid) sees someone, literally changes herself to be with that person, just flat our rubs me the wrong way. Whether we like to think about it or not, it isn’t a positive message for a child.

While my daughter seemed to fall in love so hard and fast with the story and everything about it, it seems wrong to rip the mermaid from her life now, though I do try as hard as I can to limit this kind of play. But I pray Ariel will be phased out soon enough, if not for my own sanity and my husband’s than for the sake of my child’s imagination. Thank God she goes to a school where no media in any form is allowed because it makes for tons of Ariel-free adventures to be had from 8:30-11, Monday-Wednesday.

I just want my child to have room for plenty of other things in her life that don’t involve being totally immersed in a story about a princess who sets a piss-poor example for little girls everywhere. I wanted to remain blissfully unaware of this princess obsession I kept hearing about but I can only blame myself that it reared its ugly head in my household. Clearly, in this day and age, there are far better role models for little girls.

I just wasn’t thinking this princess thing would hit as hard as it did. I wasn’t thinking about what this movie was teaching my child when I blindly popped it in the old school VCR and hit play. It didn’t occur to me that not only the VCR was old school, but that The Little Mermaid was, too.

(photo: amazon.com)

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206 Comments

  1. C.J.

    October 3, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    My 10 year old daughter loved The Little Mermaid when she was little. Cinderella, Snow White, Areil, anyhing with a princess on it. She had the princess movies, clothes and toys. She walked around in princess costumes with magic wands constantly. She grew out of it and thinks princesses are kinda stupid now. She thinks boys are icky just like she is supposed to at 10. She won’t evenn read a book if she thinks it is too “romancy” as she puts it. It can get annoying at the time but they grow out of it. Having had 2 daughters I’m good with never having to see a princess again!

  2. ipsedixit010

    October 3, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    “First off, why does Ariel have to be a princess?” – Something you should have thought about ahead of time, if you have such strong views.

    This movie and its storyline have been out for over 20 years. While I might not agree with all things Disney, I think the person who lets their 2 year old watch a movie and then *complains about a known storyline after the fact* is a more “piss-poor” example than the cartoon character.

  3. Daisy

    October 3, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    When I was your daughter’s age, I was just as obsessed with Ariel. I’m now 22, and a perfectly healthy, functioning young lady with good grades, good relationships, and well-thought-through values and beliefs. So are most people who watched Disney movies. You are making a mountain out of an anthill. And I thought my parents were strict about stuff I wasn’t allowed to watch–if your “inappropriate” bar is set at The Little Mermaid, your kid is in for a lifetime of sheltering and the social and emotional damage that will inevitably ensue.

    • Sarah Bregel

      October 3, 2012 at 1:56 pm

      thanks for your input, daisy. while i totally get where you’re coming from, i also think that it’s good to think about the things we show especially young children because they tend to absorb so much more than we realize. i think at times when we are uncomfortable with something as a parent, there is often a good reason for that discomfort. we all have to do things our own way and if opting out of what’s popular might just be what suits my family a bit better. i don’t think that means my child will suffer emotional or social damage (she’s actually the most social person i know).

    • Aria

      October 3, 2012 at 2:46 pm

      The stunting will come in when she’s the only child who’s not allowed to watch the new kid movies. As she becomes distanced from her peers because of what she can’t watch or play with, she will become socially stunted. The vast majority of us grew up with Barbies and Disney movies and are fine. I have a couple friends right now who, as adults, are having to deal with the consequences of being overly sheltered growing up.

      But if you’re more comfortable making your kid an outcast because you personally don’t like kid shows, then that’s on you.

    • Sarah Bregel

      October 3, 2012 at 3:14 pm

      im kind of shocked that people think that not watching “all the new movies” the second they come out would make a kid an outcast… or that being different is to be something negative.

    • meteor_echo

      October 3, 2012 at 3:37 pm

      Being different is fine; I’ve been different my whole life. But having some common points and topics to discuss with other kids is a great thing.

    • mamabear

      February 9, 2014 at 1:16 pm

      And there’s so much to talk about in this world besides television and movies, so really, that’s not a valid point. Kids should be outside, reading, drawing or playing, not sitting on their butts staring at a screen for hours on end. That people are or were on here vehemently justifying this and angrily condemning people who don’t defies rational explanation.

    • rob

      August 18, 2014 at 1:32 pm

      What if I told you kids who are using technology and watching TV, playing games what have you have been proven to have an increased intelligence as well as more open minded thinking they learn to ask why they are doing things and through TV and games learn how to problem solve better. What if I told you that the childhood obesity rate is pretty much on par from 20 years ago and that in fact childhood fitness is on the rise? Would you believe that or just everything you hear from nut cases who can’t control their own child . (by the way if you don’t agree with little mermaid and it’s annoying you then act like a parent and put an end to it you are NOT your kids friend)

    • rob

      August 18, 2014 at 1:35 pm

      Its also you choice on what they watch and how often they go out . my daughter is 2 and loves national geographic world history channel discovery channel etc

    • Anna Parkes-Overmyer

      September 19, 2014 at 10:43 pm

      What Aria is saying is that it is not so much watching a movie the second it comes out but not being able to watch that movie at all . As an example everyone in you daughter’s class and all her friends have seen the movie frozen whether it was in theaters or on DVD but your child has not because her mother won’the allow it. By doing something like this I whether it be a mobie, book or something else that her fiends, classmates, or peers are into is emotionally and socially tramaticing because she is going to feel like she is being punished or like she did something wrong.

    • Daisy

      October 3, 2012 at 6:16 pm

      I completely agree with Aria. I remember having a movie day at school in grade 4, and all the other kids wanted to watch Star Wars. My mom said no because it was too violent, so the whole class had to watch a little kids’ movie. It took me weeks to live that one down. And it was certainly not the only time something like that happened. I agree it’s important to watch what your kids are watching, and talk to them about the lessons they’re taking from it, but regretting letting her watch The Little Mermaid at all?

    • Skye Belle Matilda Brand

      October 4, 2012 at 1:00 am

      I’m really saddened that you think that your advice is to lower her standards in order to make her child popular!

      I was one of those kids who was “sheltered” but I never saw it that way. We didn’t have a TV until I was 7 or 8 years old so I started reading. I could read by the time I was 4 years old so Mum enrolled in in school. I did well both academically & socially. All without watching inappropriate movies & TV…in fact, I think I saw ONE movie (ET) before the age of 10 & I hated it, still do…most boring film ever!

      And here’s a little juxtaposition for you…of the girls in my kindy class, the 5 with the most permissive parents were ALL pregnant before age 16 & one is now dead (drug OD). There rest of the class are all doing just fine, perhaps BECAUSE of a stricter upbringing rather than because of it!

    • Skye Belle Matilda Brand

      October 4, 2012 at 1:01 am

      Rather than in spite of it…ahhhh! Bloody baby brain!

    • Ashley

      October 14, 2013 at 7:46 pm

      I doubt that it had anything to do with the “The Little Mermaid” or watching TV at all for that matter. Some people can be way too over-protective. It is not healthy, whether it is social or domestic.

    • kALA

      November 18, 2013 at 2:31 am

      Wow my mom was pregnant with me at the age of 17 and has never done drugs and was lenient with me. I was ranked number one out of over two hundred kids in my graduating class. you’re point makes it sound like a 16 or 17 year old cant raise children right and I am highly offended.

    • babalootie

      February 24, 2014 at 8:19 pm

      How can you be number one and not know the difference between you’re and your? Or can’t and cant?

    • kala

      February 24, 2014 at 8:31 pm

      That would be because I have a learning disability when it comes to English if I could do a comment using math I would and I worked my ass off to get to number one thank you very much and that Is why I try to stay away from that but I know that you are being an ass.

    • Angelica

      October 4, 2012 at 9:47 am

      I grew up on Disney. Now I’m 21 and I barely watch TV. Everyone else talks about the newest movies, “musical artists,” and shows. I have no clue what they’re talking about. This doesn’t mean I can’t have illuminating conversations with them about sports, political stuff, books, classes, or anything else. I think if your only argument against what Sarah is saying is that it’ll make her kid an “outcast,” your idea of what friendship is based on is a bit shallow.

    • Arielsmellslikefish

      March 6, 2014 at 9:08 am

      No, have you met teens who have grown up with Disney? They are not fine! They are idiots who obsess over guys and are depressed when they don’t have some boy to trail around behind! They are obsessed with makeup and disgusting forms of changing themselves and if you think that that is ‘fine’ then what the heck do you mean by ‘fine’?

    • Nixiea

      August 14, 2014 at 5:20 am

      Excuse me ma’am but I grew up on Disney, I am in fact a teenager now. I do not obsess over boys nor makeup. I have never been depressed because I did not have a ‘boy to trail after’ I have found that Disney movies have encouraged my curiosity in other cultures ( much like ariels curiosity with the human world) and have also encourages me to broaden my horizons through novels etc.. I do not and have not felt the need to change myself in any form, the ‘obsession’ for dramatic body alterations come from societies ideals, this could be because of Disney but most likely comes from magazines that portray size 6 photo shopped models on every page.
      Secondly many children such as the girl in this situation tend to idealise fictional characters, the playing and mimicking of characters and the characters lives is very common, especially when it is rare to watch a fantastical film such as this little mermaid (forgive me if I am wrong but I am assuming that this girl does not usually watch fairy-tale movies or ‘magical’ movies often). My theory is that all her wonder and excitement from the magic shown has been concentrated into one movie as she has not watched many others so her interest is unable to be spread over multiple movies.
      In the time of the Grimm Brothers and many old fairy tales it was very common, if not expected that girls marry at 16-17. so if you take into account the era this movie was set her marriage choice was not unusual
      please do not take offence to anything said and I do not believe what you have commented was directed to all teenagers or to be offensive in anyway 🙂 I just felt that I needed to clarify that not many/all teenagers are how you have described

    • Lizopluradon

      August 18, 2014 at 12:02 am

      I grew up (and am still growing) with Disney, – Little Mermaid happening to be among my top favorites – I’m a fourteen now and your stereotyping of teenagers makes me sick. Speaking only for myself, I do not wear makeup (save for special occasions) and I do not “trail around behind” boys, nor am I depressed because of it.
      I would also like to address the fact that you chose to refer to not only me, but any other teenager who watched Disney as a child, as “idiots”. I can inform you that I, as well as many of my friends, are at the top of our class in several subjects.
      Thank you.

    • Arielsmellsamazing

      November 1, 2014 at 3:24 am

      That was wonderfully written Liz. You’re 14; yet you’re eloquent, respectful. Please keep that up – an appropriate answer to “Arielsmellslikefish”‘s obviously inaccurate comments. 🙂 Diplomacy will send you light years past people twice your age – don’t let them get you down just because you fall under a category of people that generally are simply trying to manage hormones and get their life together.

    • Miss Kitsune Luna

      September 8, 2014 at 4:13 am

      I disagree! I grew up watching Disney movies and I turned out fine, I didn’t depend on guys at all and I did not obsess over makeup either and I don’t believe in changing myself for anyone. so not all girls who grew up on Disney dont turn out the way you claim they do. that my friend is generalizing

    • King Triton is a widower

      March 28, 2014 at 7:33 pm

      Unfortunately for your daughter her grandmothers daughter is a douche with an agenda.

  4. Sarah Bregel

    October 3, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    sorry you feel that way, ipsedixit010! although parents are people, too and they do make mistakes such as a wrong movie choice from time to time. the point of the essay is that i’ll now be paying much greater attention to anything she watches from this point on, but also about how i felt that perpetuating her interest in the movie with tons of mermaid “stuff” was taking it to a whole new level where we couldn’t get away from it. everything in moderation 🙂

    • ipsedixit010

      October 3, 2012 at 2:25 pm

      You asked why a princess movie that has been around for 20 years had to involve a princess. This plot line – rebellion, chasing after a guy, marrying happily ever after – isn’t surprising.

      There’s owning up to making the wrong movie choice and moving
      forward…and then there’s making the wrong movie choice, asking why the
      plot of the movie is what it is, then dissecting all the wrong messages
      said movie is sending. I didn’t see a mea culpa in the essay, but I
      did see a lot of “this is what is wrong with this movie.”

    • Lisa

      October 3, 2012 at 2:47 pm

      Shouldn’t she have asked about these things BEFORE letting her kid watch the movie? Instead she let her kid watch, and now she’s got a problem with it.

    • ipsedixit010

      October 3, 2012 at 3:23 pm

      And I agree with her that stuff can become an obsession, but it’s a parent’s job to be a gatekeeper.

      Put out an APB to the grandparents, aunts and uncles that princesses are becoming a problem and not to perpetuate it by buying more items. If they continue to do so, put them away somewhere. What could’ve been a week long obsession with something new has probably turned into an ordeal. If Mom isn’t comfortable with the subject matter, don’t blame the movie and the messages it sends, just say no more and move on. There will be some tantrums in the process, but eventually she’ll move onto something new.

  5. PauperPrincess

    October 3, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    I’m thinking you are overthinking this just a tad. One,the horse is already out of the barn. You have to deal with what is now. My daughter is obsessed with Angry Birds. Does that mean she’s angry? No, she likes the game (and the t-shirts, toys, etc.).

    It’s an OK obession. She will outgrow it. Meanwhile, try not to project your fears about marriage et. al. on her. Just try to model your marriage positively and answer her questions as they arise. She’s little. Let her be a little girl for a while.

    That all said, I have not allowed my children to watch any of the older Disney films, because of their themes. I’d rather see strong heroines, like Merida from “Brave”, rather the “oh someday my prince will come!” types.

  6. Marshall Bausum

    October 3, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    isn’t it good to question not only what your kids watch, but play especially when it’s being done to such an extreme? i think the problem is not with a one time viewing of a movie, but more about inundating a small child with so much material, to perpetuate something into an obsession. there are much more useful things for children to play than the same disney movie game over and over and i think that is what the author is expressing concern for

  7. Aria

    October 3, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    “I’m not a child!” That’s when you step up and tell your toddler that yes, she is a child.

    A lot of your complaints are about things you should have known ahead of time. If you have a problem with princesses, then why let her watch a princess movie? (In case you didn’t know, the movie is loosely based on a Hans Christian Anderson story where the mermaid was…a princess). You’ve seen the movie, right? So you knew Triton let her go easily and without trying to talk her out of it. Did you have any problem with her declaring her undying love for someone she didn’t know, or that Eric was instantly in love with her when he realized she was the one who saved him and was willing to kiss her in front of his own wedding party?

    The fault is yours, not Disney’s.

    • Anonymous

      February 14, 2014 at 10:25 pm

      So agree.

  8. Meredith

    October 3, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    I’ll bet you’ll have no problem with the themes in Twilight.

  9. beatty

    October 3, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    It’s hard enough to divert kids from the overload of media cell phones ipads, etc these days. It takes parents putting thought into it. I was a preschool teacher years ago and it was difficult to pull kids away from the overload back then, I imagine it’s much harder now. Bravo to paying attention to when it’s becomes too much. Who cares if your kid is different if they don’t see every single new movie or have every new device? Those are the good differences to have.

  10. alice

    October 3, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    I think some of you are being too harsh on the author. Admittedly, the piece does flip flop between the tongue-in-cheek frustrations that come from a media obsessed child, and the more serious concerns about what this movie really preaches.

    I don’t think the author is really blaming anyone for her daughter’s recent
    obsession, or trying to evade personal responsibility for showing the film in
    the first place. I believe that side of the article is functioning as comic relief.

    There is a point to the piece though, and a discussion worth having, regarding the
    author’s statement: “Her…seeing a movie where a woman…sees someone, literally
    changes herself to be with that person, just flat our rubs me the wrong way.
    Whether we like to think about it or not, it isn’t a positive message for a
    child.”

    This is completely, unequivocally, true.

    Don’t get me wrong: I don’t think that The Little Mermaid is truly damaging at all to youngsters, any more than Cinderalla is, for instance. I believe that a lot of people like to make mountains out of molehills when it comes to what actually has a real impact on developing children’s psyches.

    However, it begs to be stated: neither The Little Mermaid OR Cinderalla would be made today. Period. If they were made today, the female characters would be re-written as fiercer, as more independent, as more EQUAL, and with more goals than simply “get the guy and live happily ever after.”

    And that, I believe, is what the author wanted you to think about.

    • Sarah Bregel

      October 3, 2012 at 4:59 pm

      yes! thank you, alice. there are a final paragraph to this essay that was unfortunately edited out which addressed this a bit further. it also said i realize i can’t control all things my daughter comes in contact with that makes every feminist bone in my body itch, but i can make sure she is checking out some more up to date female role models!

    • kathleen

      October 4, 2012 at 9:12 am

      Why was that edited out? Length? That’s a pretty vital paragraph….

    • sayitagain

      December 1, 2013 at 2:40 am

      Personally, I think all of you are on crack. It’s not your life it’s your child’s. Protect them from things that have a negative impact like horror movies at least until they reach a more mature age. As for the Disney movies, they are made for kids! They teach valuable lessons and positive outlooks.IT IS PART OF A GREAT LEARNING EXPERIENCE! It has nothing whatsoever to do with being social, it’s about innocence and being a kid, having fun and being young while they can. Drop your ridiculous argument and let your child grow and be happy otherwise they’ll resent and rebel against you more. You’re a poor excuse for a parent and should be deeply ashamed of yourself. As for the feminist “female power take back the night” bullshit, get over it. You say you’re an adult, start acting like one. I think women are powerful and beautiful but I don’t prance around advertising it like it’s everyone’s business. I am a woman, and i disagree with your piss poor attitude about everything. Today’s generation of mothers suck and don’t know shit about parenting.

    • Rollaartguy

      January 10, 2014 at 6:38 pm

      BRAVO!!

    • Lundyn Sheridan

      February 1, 2014 at 5:32 pm

      thats what we were trying to say idk who brought up the social aspect of it but it is kinda true tho because think about it according to society they become ” socially awkward ” because they dont talk to anyone or they dont have friends well its because they have nothint to talk about thats how i was only diffrence is my dad was abusive so i was affraid of everyone so i didnt talk to anyone so i became ” socially awkward “

    • StephS

      October 3, 2012 at 10:26 pm

      “If they were made today, the female characters would be re-written as fiercer, as more independent, as more EQUAL, and with more goals than simply “get the guy and live happily ever after.”

      Sorry, but I don’t believe it. Have you watched many Romantic Comedies lately–that’s still what most movies are!

    • alice

      October 4, 2012 at 9:15 am

      adult movies, sure! but when it comes to children’s programming/films, there has been a major effort in the last 10-20 years to include things that could be educational or inspiring, as well as entertaining (i.e. to have the crap our kids watch be a good influence).

      take Disney’s “Tangled” for instance – see how they re-wrote Rapunzel to be more of a role model to young girls?

    • Rollaartguy

      January 10, 2014 at 6:36 pm

      Tangled sucked, if disney is going to use classic stories then they should stick to the original plots and characters.

    • PrincessOfTheCrystal

      October 2, 2013 at 5:02 pm

      I’m pretty sure things worse than The Little Mermaid are made today.

      Ariel was fierce and independent. She was taken advantage of in a moment of weakness, as was Prince Eric. It wasn’t that Ariel wasn’t fierce and independent, it’s that Ursula was such a player.

      Seriously, TLM was probably the first movie(and maybe one of the first fairytales) where *the Princess saved the Prince*. Just because she fell in love(though “love at first sight” plots are problematic, they’re an inherent issue with the 80 minute format I think) doesn’t mean she’s weak and I think there’s a sort of misogyny hiding there – imagine if Ariel were a merman, would that character have been labelled as less than equal for fawning over some woman? No, that’s what princes do! If anything TLM was a Role Reversal!

      Writing every character as Merida from Brave would be boring as fuck.

      And I’m saying this as someone who’s essentially writing a Feminist Fairytale narrative at the moment.

  11. Jane S.

    October 3, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    It can be disconcerting when kids go through a “parroting” phase. When my little sister was your daughter’s age, she did the same thing but with TV commercials. “Part of this nutritious breakfast! For a limited time only!” For a while, the commercial quotes completely infiltrated her social interactions and her playtime. Her Sheriff Woody doll didn’t go on fun cowboy adventures. Her Sheriff Woody said the things Sheriff Woody said in the Toy Story trailer. When she played with Barbies, she’d use them to reenact Barbie ads: “What’s one plus two? Ten? Teacher Barbie says, ‘Try again!'” The whole thing probably panicked my mom and definitely made ten-year-old me want to go all late-period Elvis on the TV and her toys. Was it annoying and awful? Yes. Did she grow up a slave to consumerism? No. A few months later, the parroting stopped. There were a few phrases she held onto and would occasionally holler out in the car because they were especially fun to say (mostly nonsense phrases, which were their own brand of annoying), but once she learned that speech is best used for actual communication, a lot of the meaningless ad catchphrases went away. When kids that young repeat things they hear on TV and in movies, meaning takes a backseat to the thrill of just saying something snappy and emotionally charged that gets a lot of attention from adults. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be vigilant about the messages in kidvid, but do know that it’s unlikely that her whole perception of femininity will be warped by a few choice phrases from one movie that, at age two, she probably doesn’t fully comprehend.

  12. Fabel

    October 3, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    I don’t think the themes of The Little Mermaid are anything to worry about…I remember being obsessed with Ariel around that age, also (tying a red hankercheif around my head in order to pretend I had long, red hair, making my parents act out scenes, etc.) But I’m an adult now with no unrealistic expectations, & no intense desire for marriage. Disney movies have fantasy plots, and she’ll learn that with age.

    • Fabel

      October 3, 2012 at 4:53 pm

      And to add, I don’t think the “get the guy” part hold much interest to a child (even if she clearly is retaining the dialogue about it) I was much more interested, as a little girl, in the mermaid “under the sea” part.

    • Daisy

      October 3, 2012 at 6:27 pm

      Me too, Fabel! I always pretended to be a mermaid in the pool or bathtub, named my stuffed animals Flounder and Sebastian, and tried to comb my hair with a fork. The most notice I took of poor Prince Eric was that I named the mom and dad dolls in my dollhouse Ariel and Eric.

    • PrincessOfTheCrystal

      October 2, 2013 at 4:59 pm

      Ariel spent most of her time above ground being generally curious and experimenting with stuff. Her focus wasn’t really all that get the guy, even when it sort of had to be if she was to stay in human form.

    • maureen

      October 4, 2012 at 8:16 pm

      I agree – I haven’t watched The Little Mermaid in 20 years, but didn’t Ariel save Eric’s life when he fell overboard? She’s not presented as a helpless damsel-in-distress.

    • PrincessOfTheCrystal

      October 2, 2013 at 4:58 pm

      Yes. Ariel is actually pretty badass, she was just an insecure teenager that swallowed Ursula’s bullshit(which is one reason why Ursula was such an awesome villain). Also, in the sequel, she uses a sword.

      Just saying.

  13. Peachy

    October 3, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    You lost me at “only half an hour of TV on a rainy day”. Get over yourself.

    • Another Steph

      October 4, 2012 at 12:26 am

      Haha, me too.

  14. Aloysia Asterope Sterling

    October 3, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    “At this point, I am so effing over you, Ariel, I could scream.”

    Um, if you’re angry, you have not “gotten over it”.

  15. I'm refreshing

    October 3, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Woah, you seemed to have hit a nerve. The argument “I did such and such and I’m fine” is so weak. As is “my kid will do/watch/play the same as all the other kids” Way to be a sheep and not parent. These people come across defensive, maybe because they realize that they don’t think enough about what their child is consuming.

    • PrincessOfTheCrystal

      October 2, 2013 at 5:36 pm

      I touched on this as well, I think it’s a non argument since they’re vouching for themselves that they turned out okay and aren’t really acknowledging the cultural implications of being bombarded with Princess imagery.

      That said I love Disney Princess shit for the most part, it’s just a matter of being a responsible parent and Disney’s marketing division needing to be less atrocious, as most of the individual movies the princesses are from are fine.

  16. Pongo

    October 3, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    Actually, Ariel was obsessed with humans well before she even knew Eric existed, so I think her decision to become a human was more complicated than merely going after a boy she thought was cute. Also, I think Ariel is a lot more intrepid and spirited than some of the other Disney princesses, and definitely not a “some day my prince will come” type. She had goals and dreams and she followed them.

    All of that said, I’m sure the average child knows better than to take what they see in cartoon movies seriously. When I was a kid I was obsessed with 101 Dalmatians (to the point of knowing all the dialogue by heart), but I never believed real dogs could talk or solve complex problems like they do in the movie. I think I mostly just appreciated spending an hour or so in a world where such things were possible. It captured my imagination as I’m sure princess stories capture the imagination of other little girls. What’s wrong with that? If Disney movies were 100% like real life I know I wouldn’t have found them very interesting.

  17. Julie

    October 3, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    Any way you would be willing to break your limited TV rule once again to let her see another movie that you’ve researched better? Maybe she’ll latch on to the new movie and get over the whole Ariel thing. This time you’d be better prepared, know where the limits should be set with movie merchandise AND because you thought it through better, your daughter would have a more appropriate role model. Just a thought. It may not even work, but it’s worth a try.

    • Sarah Bregel

      October 3, 2012 at 8:47 pm

      absolutely, julie. actually did this last friday night with a bit more up to date film. 🙂

  18. kathleen

    October 3, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    I remember being mightily pissed off at what Disney did to the Little Mermaid story, so I made sure to read the HCA version to my daughters before they watched the movie (but after works just as well). The fact is that Disney does overemphasize the happy-ending-wedding-love stuff, because the little mermaid in the original version wanted to become human so that she could have a soul. She was told that the only way to achieve this was to make a human fall in love with her—essentially making the marriage a means to an end.

    But I understand why you are alarmed by your daughter’s reaction to the movie. And while her obsession probably won’t hurt her in the long run, at least you know now and can take steps to mitigate it. Because she also won’t be a total outcast if she isn’t on board with princessmania.

    • Sue

      October 5, 2012 at 3:23 pm

      “mightily pissed off at what Disney did to the story” To the original STORY, which is ALSO FICTION. This reasoning always makes me laugh. You’re not correcting history, you know. Like the original Cinderella story and the subsequent hundreds of others’ takes on it, including the Disney movie. None of it is real, it’s all entertainment.

    • kathleen

      October 5, 2012 at 6:03 pm

      The original Cinderella story has versions in multiple cultures, and was originally collected in print in 1697, making the original author difficult to identify. The Little Mermaid has a very clear author and an original text — written by HCA and published in 1837. Disney could change it because the copyright was expired, but they changed someone else’s story, and they changed a story that has more thought and depth to it. They changed the moral center and they changed the ending. Yes, I’m pissed off. The original was better.

      And I’m not sure why the story’s being fictional makes alteration okay…

    • PrincessOfTheCrystal

      October 2, 2013 at 5:10 pm

      The original version was an egyptian fairytale. The version we know that Disney adapted was by Charles Perrault.

      Check out a visual novel called “Cinders”, which is essentially a feminist reimagining of the tale, though it’s a little loosely based on it at times.

      Also, in Charles Perrault’s version, the moral is more progressive than you might think, though a little cynical.

      “The first moral of the story is that beauty is a treasure, but graciousness is priceless. Without it, nothing is possible; with it, one can do anything.[12]

      However, the second moral of the story mitigates the first one and reveals the criticism that Perrault is aiming at: “Another moral: Without doubt it is a great advantage to have intelligence, courage, good breeding, and common sense. These, and similar talents come only from heaven, and it is good to have them. However, even these may fail to bring you success, without the blessing of a godfather or a godmother.”[12]”

      It basically acknowledges the fact that even if you’re awesome, success isn’t guaranteed. Which is true. The Cinders in Cinders, or Princess Tiana in Princess and the Frog are great in their own right but they’re also meant to be read as somewhat naive because they don’t fully understand the original message of Perrault’s Cinderella – that unfortunately, you can’t always expect to succeed simply because you are gracious or have a positive spirit.

  19. Lastango

    October 3, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Well, it seems you’re the one with something to get over, not your daughter. What will it take to get you to stop trying to engineer her social and politicial attitudes? You might try this experiment: give her Tonka Toys for Christmas. A nice yellow bulldozer would surprise and delight her, no? Come back and tell us how that worked out…
    ======
    Alternatively, you could just try raising her to have good character and an appetite for worthwhile, interesting pursuits. The trivial will eventually be discarded along the way, because there will be something to discard it in favor of. In the meantime, she can savour the delights of her wee girlhood… a luxury no one had not so very long ago. (I’m thinking of pictures from 100 years ago, of 10-year-old boys with the faces of weary adult men.)
    ======
    …and every little princess deserves a pink four-poster canopy bed for Christmas. She will be so swept away she won’t even notice mommie’s angst!

  20. StephS

    October 3, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    I have to say–this seems to be an overreaction clothed in hyper feminist terms. Honestly, I see a bigger issue with the fact that you’ve allowed her grandparents and others to let it become a constant thing in your house, than with the fact that she likes the movie. When I was a child I LOVED Ariel. In fact I used to sing that song from the cave every day on the bus and get picked on miserably for it but the songs were AWESOME. And I was never obsessed with the marriage part of it, but was obsessed with the getting out and seeing things you’ve never seen before and exploring what else is out there. And now I’m a 26 year old woman, in law school, I’ve lived in various cities and countries and I just happen to be engaged (but always thought I didn’t want to be married before I was 30 and certainly will not be taking my future husband’s name.)

    My point is, why go so overboard with worrying about the “princess” and “marriage” thing? Yeah, its a weird not super feministy story (but let’s face it, all Hans Christian Anderson stories are), but there’s plenty of women who I grew up with who LOVED this movie and all the other Disney princess movies who are well adjusted, strong women, who don’t feel like marriage is the only thing that makes them worthwhile.

    You’re overreacting. Calm down.

    • GPMeg

      October 4, 2012 at 9:30 pm

      As a former (who am I kidding, she’s still my favorite!) Arial addict I showed this article to my mother who laughed her ass off. I remember having to clean up the bahtroom after baths because I tried to do that scene where she pushes up on the rock and the waves crash around? Yeeeah, I’m 27, married, and running a child care facility now– kids absorb a lot of stuff, but they don’t always understand it. I have one kid who can quote WORD FOR WORD the entire Princess and the Frog, but you ask him what a sentence means and he’s stumped.

      I can’t agree more on the overreaction– a two year old parrots, pure and simple, so stop worrying and pay more attention to what you’re popping in the VCR!

    • PrincessOfTheCrystal

      October 2, 2013 at 4:49 pm

      Princess and the Frog is badass though, possibly even moreso than TLM. It’s like they went out of their way to make a movie that addressed a lot of the problems people have with Disney Princess movies, while still having it every bit as magical as the best of the Disney Renaissance flicks.

      I’m 27 and I love PatF and TLM. I’m working my way through Disney/animated movies atm. I’d recommend these movies to anyone.

    • Jess McCloskey

      October 5, 2012 at 4:21 pm

      What is your definition of a “normal feminist” story, out of curiosity? Because if the story of a mermaid giving up her whole world, her tail, and her actual literal voice to try to woo a guy who she had only seen for a moment and never spoken to before only garners the definition of “not super feministy” then…I’m not sure what your baseline is.

      Also, just as an interesting metric for measuring a item’s feminist slant: Whether or not “plenty of women” loved it is not actually a defining characteristic of it having value as a tool for forwarding equality between the sexes. To be honest, I kind of question whether you know what ‘feminist’ means or if you just think anyone not loving cartoons that you loved as a child must mean they’re crazy, over-reacting femi-nazis.

    • Another Steph

      October 5, 2012 at 5:08 pm

      And I kind of question whether someone basically saying, “All women should have a voice, unless you disagree with me and in that case STFU,” knows what feminism means (honestly, I’d love to hear your definition). I also think the original statement is unecessarily bitchy.

    • PrincessOfTheCrystal

      October 2, 2013 at 4:54 pm

      As a feminist and disney fan I dislike how disney is scapegoated as being anti-feminist when while far from perfect, most of their female characters since TLM have been strong and positive role models in their own way.

      I don’t like how some feminists misrepresent Ariel’s character and the overall story, or ignore the fact that Ursula was tricking Ariel by getting her to believe such misogynistic things(which she even admits to doing *during the course of the song*).

      I resent the idea that every “feminist” tale must have perfect, well rounded female characters that have no flaws and cannot be taken advantage of – in this case may I add by other strong willed women. Ariel had a fierce, independent spirit, and was chasing her dream of exploring the world above and marrying a human.

      There is a very positive message in there and it’s sad to see some feminists have missed the point.

      I would consider The Little Mermaid important from a feminist perspective because it marks a turn in the tide(pardon the pun) of western animation from portraying females as more passive, to more active. The Little Mermaid was Disney’s first “Action Princess”.

  21. maureen

    October 3, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    “A 2-year-old talking about marriage and imitating marriage? I’m just not
    into it. It doesn’t seem healthy and it kind of freaks me out.”

    Maybe things have changed since I was a young whippersnapper in the 80’s, but I recall playing “house” as a kid and having pretend weddings on the playground. I’m sure it’s nothing to get fussed over – she’ll move on to a new phase soon enough!

    • C.J.

      October 4, 2012 at 12:47 am

      My daughter was a flower girl when she was three. She actually thought she got married until she was about 4. Even called the boy her husband! She eventually realised she wasn’t married and I don’t think she even remembers it now. I was young in the 80’s too. I remember playing house and pretend weddings too. We didn’t even have VCR’s to watch princess movies and we were still facinated with those things. It’s just what little girls do. VCR’s weren’t even invented when I was 2 (in the 70’s) but according to my mother I used to love to dress up in my grandmother’s high heels, costume jewelry and make up and have fashion shows. My mother didn’t like high heels, make up and jewelry so I had to play that game at grandma’s. My mother certainly didn’t encourage it because she doesn’t like those things but she didn’t make a fuss about it either. I grew out of it. I don’t bother with make up and jewelry as an adult and I hate heels.

    • Laura

      October 5, 2012 at 4:47 pm

      Agree. I told my parents at the age of 4 that I was going to marry a boy in my class. My parents took me to Disney World and allowed me to watch Disney movies.
      I didn’t marry anyone until I was out of graduate school (at a nice NYC uni), and had a good career with a nice car. I have chosen to not have children, despite what Disney movies depict women doing. I think I turned out okay.

    • PrincessOfTheCrystal

      October 2, 2013 at 4:56 pm

      the thing is, if you look at what Disney movies actually depict women doing – a lot of the time, it’s chasing their dreams or trying to break free of familial restrictions and traditions. Has everyone forgotten Mulan is part of their Disney Princess lineup?

      Even if there are aspects that are less than progressive in this movie – the base message of almost ever Disney Renaissance and Revival era Princess movies has been positive. None of them have been CInderellas just sitting around waiting for the magic to happen.

    • Arielsmellslikefish

      March 6, 2014 at 9:04 am

      Yes, but some dreams are very bad and dangerous dreams, so encouraging people to follow heinous schemes and evil plots is just because you should “follow your dreams!” is a very poor decision.

  22. brendandoherty

    October 4, 2012 at 11:30 am

    so, let your daughter watch genuinely interesting and wonderful movies, like My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and even Ponyo. none of these wonderful, hand-drawn japanese movies have the weirdness, shame and bad lady messaging of the Disney movies.

    • kathleen

      October 4, 2012 at 12:33 pm

      I was about to add Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Nausicaa, and Howl’s Moving Castle, but those are too mature for her daughter. But I completely agree with you — Miyazaki’s films are concerned with ecological responsibility, individual and collective responsibility, and gender equality and are superior to Disney’s collection in almost every way. Although we do have Disney to thank for making them available in the US.

    • kathleen

      October 4, 2012 at 12:33 pm

      And Ponyo is a much better version of the Little Mermaid story.

    • Louis Gonzales

      October 19, 2012 at 8:25 pm

      Ponyo is sort of meh compared to all those other films..

    • PrincessOfTheCrystal

      October 2, 2013 at 5:05 pm

      … but in the US, they’re distributed by Disney. And I disagree – Studio Ghibli movies can be great but some of them are really drawn out too. Disney movies are great, and they do have plenty of good female role models, look at Tangled, Princess and the Frog and Brave.

    • livefastbleedslow

      August 3, 2014 at 1:30 pm

      yessssssss!!!!! my neighbor totoro is amazing. when they make the trees grow it gives me goosebumps! it’s so beautiful. also the cat bus <3

  23. chomps

    October 4, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Wow. Wtf? Are you never going to take your daughter to someone’s wedding because you don’t want her to get married? The whole purpose of being a child is to learn how to be an adult. If you are this worried about your 2-year-old daughter’s obsession with a princess movie, I worry for both your mental health and hers. It’s like you’ve never met another two-year-old. This is probably the most bizarre thing I’ve read regarding parenting. Just… wow.

  24. mneiai

    October 5, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    You seem really against tv/movies, does that mean you’d let her read the book when she could? Because murder, suicide, and all those other topics are probably worse than marriage. And The Little Mermaid is worlds better than Twilight and the books that she’ll probably read as a much more easily influenced tween.

  25. slocean

    October 5, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    this makes me so sad….i loved the little mermaid so much when i was young (i knew all the songs, acted out parts of the movie in the pool, etc etc). i loved all the disney movies!! disney movies are not filled with terrible role models for girls. they are not too mature for two year olds. you should be glad she is imaginative and applying things she has seen to her her play. please just let her go through this phase and enjoy herself, and quit making a big deal out of it. not like she watched twilight or anything….(now she’s a bad role model!)

  26. Chris Meichtry

    October 6, 2012 at 10:12 am

    All I can say is that I’m happy for your daughter. It sounds like she’s finally getting a taste of whimsy and fantasy and what it’s like to be a kid.

  27. Aja Jackson

    October 21, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    You are reading way, way too much into this experience. Specifically, you are putting all of your own issues regarding marriage, feminism, princesses, womanhood etc. into what is simply child’s play. Chances are, three months from now she’ll have seen something else that she’ll think is even cooler and be imitating that. While I do think that we are overdoing it with the Disney Princesses these days, she’s two years old and not concerned with any of what you’re talking about. I know I didn’t realize the people I was watching didn’t actually live inside the television until I was at least 3.

  28. Mary Martha

    November 25, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    You are what you are, and I firmly believe you should give your daughter the right to choose who and what she wants to be, and experience everything. You only have one life you know, and plus.. Its just a movie. Its not real, and I’m sure your daughter is fully aware of that. What’s the harm in pretending your life is a fairytale?

  29. WOW.

    January 31, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    You’re a f**king moron. That’s really all there is to it.

  30. Antonio

    March 1, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    Obviously you are bat turd crazy lady!! First I think that you may have missed a few “morals to the story” in this fine Disney tale. As with most Disney princess stories there is an inherent good versus evil message. You have decided to focus on taking an innocent children’s story from 1989 that is based on a fairy tale from 1837 (which has a much more grim ending might I add) and decided to take it as a literal representation on life.
    I would say that there are a few bigger messages that your daughter will understand later. Sure for the interim you may have to deal with this princess complex. However let’s not forget the positive messages which are as follows.
    1. Deception and manipulation never get you anywhere! – Ursula deceives and manipulates Ariel throughout this story and what ends up happening might you ask? Oh yeah Ursula gets run through the abdomen by a part of the ship and dies. This continues the idea that good will triumph over evil.

    2. Love is an important part of life and it can inspire you to do great things. For the sake of argument here let’s say Ariel is a 24 year old mermaid and not the daughter of King Triton so not a princess and Eric is not a Prince, instead he is a good looking garbage make in Bar Harbor Maine. Now all of a sudden we have a touching love story in which Ariel saves her true from dying at sea and also saves her father by the time the story is done. That sounds like a pretty good role model to me. Ariel is no different than any other flawed hero, you get good and bad.

    These are just two things I thought of off the top of my head. You apparently neglected to see those two morals among a few others that are inherent in all Disney films. Instead you have decided to over analyze a children’s tale that was never intended to be taken in the manner in which you have. Your daughter in addition to my own will fixate in the short term on the princess part, but in the long term my just see the positive messages in the Little Mermaid. With all of the absolutely horrible influences that are available to children ie. Honey Boo Boo and Snookie just to name a couple are you really ready to crusade against Ariel and Disney? If that is the case I think that you might be setting you kid up for a very interesting life.

  31. Ginger

    March 17, 2013 at 2:59 am

    After reading this, all i can do is shake my head with parents now a days.

  32. Ariel (<---Real Name)

    April 20, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    Its a movie, that is all it is. give it six months and she will have a new obsession. if you are taking it this far, you are over thinking it, she is 2! children go through as many phases as there are ice cream flavors. plus there is a lot more stuff that she could be into that is % worse then ” The littler Mermaid” please don’t take your 2 year old, like a Disney movie the wrong way. like I said before it is just a movie!

  33. Candice Guerin

    April 24, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    I agree with you! Most Disney movies portray situations young children are far too immature to handle correctly. I would try role playing ariel…maybe she didn’t get her legs, maybe she falls in love with a fish, maybe she gets her legs but eric isn’t the “one” and she goes to college and becomes a smart educated woman. Maybe she meets a man who loves her as she is! if that doesn’t work i would try to slowly get rid of ariel things and then replace them with a healthier obsession or a better example (if you can find one in the media they create for children)

    • PrincessOfTheCrystal

      October 2, 2013 at 5:19 pm

      ‘ maybe she gets her legs but eric isn’t the “one”‘

      This is the original ending, actually. She dies and turns into some sort of air spirit. I think I prefer the Disney ending.

      I think part of the problem in “forcing” a strong independent role model(aside from Ariel *already* being a sort of strong independent role model in her own right) is that it sends the message that other types of woman are “wrong” to be. It moves from defining a woman’s worth from her man to her career, which can become a horrible archetype in of itself.

      A woman’s worth should come from her being herself, however she chooses to live her life. Feminism is first and foremost about choice. Sometimes we must criticise these choices, as like with Ariel & Ursula in the movie, women are manipulated into acting against their interests. But that’s no reason to shit on their hopes and dreams like King Triton did either.

  34. Jenny

    April 25, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    The little mermaid was my favorite movie as a kid and because of that I decided to learn more about the ocean. I now volunteer at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago and am planning to go to college for marine biology. I wouldn’t be doing what I love if I never saw that movie. You’re being too controlling for your daughter and I pity her.

    • mamabear

      February 9, 2014 at 12:52 pm

      Whether you love the ocean because of the movie (successful programming) or in spite of it (you would have ended up in your field anyway due to natural inclination), either way you’re definitely not making a good case for showing movies proven to have subliminal messages to our children. Just sayin’.

  35. Lia

    April 27, 2013 at 12:30 am

    You knew the storyline before you put the movie in the box, honey. This movie has been out since 1989. If you didn’t know it, you could have easily looked it up. There are all sorts of parental review Web sites out there for overprotective people like you. Might I just add that I have a two year old daughter myself, and she has watched The Little Mermaid several times. Does she quote it? Yeah. Does she have an Ariel doll? Yeah. Does she occasionally pretend that she is having a wedding? Yeah. BUT GUESS WHAT! Little girls like to play pretend. A movie that your little girl saw at the age of two probably isn’t even going to be remembered later in her life! How many memories do you have from when you were two? For real. None. I know I don’t, and I’m twenty-two, probably a lot younger than you are.

    Also, studies show that children with over protective parents who shelter them from the world are more likely to go wild in their freedom later in life. My former best friend is an example of this. She was home schooled and very sheltered, from sex (though she was given the sex talk), violence, everything, never allowed to watch movies over PG, hell, she didn’t even know what FML meant until I told her. But when she got away from her parents and into college, even thought she was “raised right” in her parent’s eyes, she ended up pregnant by the first guy she was allowed to date. You are suffocating your child.

  36. Tasha

    May 23, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    its just a movie i still love that movie but my mom made sure i knew who was mom and playing pretend is fine but she made sure i knew i was a child still. its like taking candy away from a kid if they never tasted a piece then do when ever they get a chance there going to stuff there face till there tummy hurts, I say give them a little space and teach them right from wrong it’s all you can do. No tv is fine but if they get a little of it and absorb it expect this to happen. Don’t blame Ariel she didnt create her charater it’s just a movie join in on the fun but remind her whos in charge.

  37. Momo

    May 24, 2013 at 10:56 am

    Just saying, from disney movies come the inspirations to dream of something positive in life. Only when they get older will they read more into the storyline. But I think instead of freaking out that she’s repeating lines you should just explain to her that ariel is older than 2. And 2 year olds repeat everything they hear anyways -_-‘ She’s just a kid. Sheltering her that much will only make it worse, I promise because I know it from personal experience. It’s a “You shelter me I will only get better at lying and being sneaky. You tell me not to watch it and I will STILL watch it only when you aren’t around” type of thing. Be protective and restrictive to a certain extent or be ready to deal with a VERY rebellious or sneaky young lady when she becomes a teenager. Honestly I waited for the right guy to take any relationship steps because of disney’s influence on me. Unlike most girls my age I still believe in the beauty of old school romance.

  38. Kitty

    June 7, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    I was OBSESSED with Ariel and Cinderella when I was a kid. I actually ended up piquing my lesbianism at a point when I had a huge crush on Jasmine. My mom, a valiant feminist never hesitated to show me these things- she said she enjoyed seeing me pretend to be a mermaid, that I could do magic, and she even WATCHED the movies with me! Her favorite was Beauty and the Beast and we would sing all the song together.

    My mom however would tell me, that I could be my own Belle, my own Ariel, and what would I do? If I said marry the prince, my mom would gently say, well make sure you really like him! Or, why not wait and hang out with him first, or, make sure you swim and see the whole sea first Ariel! Gentle reminders to play around. I couldn’t watch these movies either unless I read a little first or played outside and used my OWN imagination.

    You can have a well rounded child and still allow them to be themselves and a kid at the same time. It just requires more work on your part. I still know all the Disney songs and have fond memories of all the stuffed animals I had of them. I even went as Jasmine, my first girl crush, as HAlloween. I’m now married to my wonderful wife and we hope to have a daughter soon- and I’ll be allowing her to watch those movies and I will inform her, in the most non-opinated way possible, ways to be herself and still have fun with it. My mom is still burning bras and marching alongside me at rallies and we go to Disneyworld every chance we get.

    Encourage your daughter to read or if it really grinds your gears, highlight the other parts of the movie- Ariel being a mermaid, her fish friends, the songs about under the sea. Also, relax because it’s a movie and they’re 2.

  39. Teresa Kay Rather-Rogers

    June 21, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Oh, Please, There is nothing wrong with Ariel ~ The Little Mermaid. I have 2 granddaughters that are 5 & 2 yrs. old. They are amazing girls. They watch all of the Disney movies & they are just fine. Yes, the 5 yr old’s nickname is Tinkerbell & the 2 yr old’s nickname is Ariel. They love all The DIsney Movies. They play dress up & “PRETEND” all the time. They are taught what is right & wrong on a daily basis whether they are watching Disney or not. Sure, Tinkerbell throws a fit in her movie, Tinkerbell. My “little Tinkerbell” was taught that throwing fits were not nice. I have set down and talked to her and explained that even, Tinkerbell can have a “BAD” day but, it still does not mean that she should through fits. At least, they are realistic in some aspects even if they are “PRETEND”. It is up to the parent to take the stand in the home & teach their child that having fits are not nice. Sure, she still has one now & then, but, she knows that Gran Gran nor her Pop agrees that fits are not nice. I am teaching her that same way my mother taught me & I remind her that “Pretty is, Is Pretty Does” & explained to her what that means. I have used the movies to teach my grandchildren which I am extremely involved in their lives & very proud of them. If you let something take over in your home it is your fault, not the child’s & certainly, NOT DISNEY’S. I have introduce all the characters to my granddaughters & they have other favorites, too. The children of today pick up on what we the “Guardians” of those children teach them. My “little 5 yr old Tinkerbell” looked at me at 3 1/ 2 yrs old & said, Gran Gran you taught me manners. If she can pick that up she can relate to other things that Gran Gran teaches her. At 2, My “little Tinkerbell” was afraid one night & wouldn’t go to sleep because, she was afraid of Monsters, Buggie men, & Ghosts. I sat down & asked her if Tinkerbell was her real name & she said, “No, my real name is _________.” I explained to her what it meant to pretend or play make believe. I also, used her nickname to explain what pretending was & that Monsters, Buggie men & Ghosts where pretend. I explained that Gran Gran called her, “Tinkerbell” because, of your beautiful Blue Eyes & Blonde Hair”. I explained to her that “Tinkerbell” had always been one of “Gran Gran’s FAVORITE DISNEY MOVIES” & that one day she looked up at me smiling with her Beautiful Blue Eyes sparkling & I nicknamed her “Pretend” name “Tinkerbell”. She snuggled in her bed & slept like a baby princess that night.She knows that it was my special name for her. She is now, known throughout our entire family as “Tinkerbell”. She is a very smart, bright & creative little girl. She does very well in school & loves going to church & Vacation Bible School. She loves to play doll house, play dress up, & loves to play outside especially, at the park & beach, as well as the 2 yr old granddaughter that I remind you that her nickname is “Ariel”. “Tinkerbell” has lots of “Tinkerbell” toys, Blankets, pictures. It is our special thing between us & she understands that & it helps sometimes, to see just how special a little girl she is. “Ariel” is slowly collecting Mermaid toys, I am going to make her an “Ariel” blanket w/ “The Little Mermaid” on it It is one of Tinkerbell Favorite things to cuddle with & I hope, it will be the same for “My Little Mermaid.” Don’t blame “Disney”, it is not their fault.

  40. Disney Princess

    June 25, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    Lady, how dumb can you be to let a TWO YEAR OLD watch a disney movie? Those are to be watched after you daughter knows the rules of the house, not before. Two year olds soak up everything that you say and do. next time, definately don’t let your daughter watch atlantis, because that has the same or worse amount of nudity that The little mermaid has.

  41. Kasey

    June 30, 2013 at 3:41 am

    Ariel is a magical story that teaches young girls to follow their hearts and opens a door of wonder and imagination , let your daughter be a child and enjoy her world of no worries and innocents . You should be thrilled that your daughter is a happy child I loved Ariel growing up and I watch the movie a thousand times and I turned out just fine and on my way to finishing my pediatric degree . Children repeat what they hear , she probably doesn’t even know the meaning behind what she is saying . Relax and let your child be a child.

  42. Ally

    July 18, 2013 at 8:40 am

    I used to watch the little mermaid every day when I was little, I was pretty much like your daughter, but as she grows up and matures a bit more she’ll find a new things, like I started playing with Bratz Dolls and watching other disney films. And as for the bad influence thing about marriage I think that’s a tad dramatic, because you see girls with dolls and toy babies and they treat them like it’s their baby, that doesnt mean it’s going to influence them to get pregnant etc haha. But yeah she’ll grow out of it anyway it’s nothing to worry about at all x

  43. Dani

    July 21, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    Has it ever occurred to you that your interpretation of the Little Mermaid is more misogynistic than the movie? After all, Ariel wanted to be a human long before she met Eric. When she went to Ursula, she was asking to be made human, Ursula set the “True Love’s Kiss” condition. And what do you know, along the way, Ariel fell in love and got married. So, what you’re essentially saying is, if a woman fulfills a life-long dream and meets a man along the way, her experience becomes solely about the man. Meanwhile the fact that Eric spends the whole movie looking for a woman and falling in love with Ariel is totally fine, because men are allowed to prioritize love, and women aren’t.

    Do you know what it’s called when a man is allowed to do and want things that a woman isn’t? I’ve got a hint, it’s not ‘equality’.

    • PrincessOfTheCrystal

      October 2, 2013 at 5:06 pm

      This is exactly one of the points i was trying to make earlier.

    • livefastbleedslow

      August 3, 2014 at 1:44 pm

      totally agree!

  44. Hayleigh

    July 29, 2013 at 1:37 am

    I am 18 years old and i have a 2 year old sister she watches The Little Mermaid. I watched The Little Mermaid and im perfectly fine i agree with some of these comments that your kid will be oversheltered life because of some Disney movie. Yes she is obsessed with it i was too when i was her age but i know what it will be like for her because my best friend cant even go out with out a parent and she is 17 years old sad right? well i think you should try other Disney movies because it might get her mind off The Little Mermaid for a while.

  45. Din

    July 30, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    If “The Little Mermaid” is on your “inappropriate list” I’d hate to see of what you approve of.

  46. Riot Monroe

    August 1, 2013 at 9:00 am

    You’re stupid. Every child needs Disney princess movies without them we dont have a childhood. Its ever little girls dream to be a princess. You cant take their dreams and imagination away just because youre a close minded prude

  47. itismoi

    August 4, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Seriously, let your child be a child. Just because you, a grown woman, have these beliefs and you see things that are wrong with the movie, does not mean your child does too. You should know that children view things different than adults. For her the movie is a fun thing and I doubt it is affecting her the way you think it is. Children her age should engage in role play, it is a pretty normal things and if she wasn’t engaging in role play she wouldn’t be normal. Honestly, you are making too much of a deal about it. Let your child be a child and you go ahead and live your life. She will resent you when she grows up for making her live such an strict life. We all watched these films as children and to us were no more than fun movies, and yes we wished we were the characters in them and that we lived in theses kingdoms, because it looked like such fun. Now that we have grown up we just see them as fond memories of our childhood and we realize that those movies were not realistic because we are adults, not children anymore. Trust me these movies have not affected us in any way other than it made our childhood more amazing. I recommend you to let your daughter’s childhood be just as amazing.

  48. What did i just read

    August 13, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    OK, What did i just read? I came upon this while looking to watch the little mermaid as a video game I’m downloading is downloaded. Ya its 10 mnths old, but still… this rubs me the wrong way. I grew up watching disney films in the 80s (i’m 28 now) I loved the little mermaid. There is nothing wrong with the Disney version, nor is it “old fashion”. The little mermaid is a classic tale my Hans Christian Anderson. Infact, there was a “little mermaid” movie out prior to the disney version that was more closer tied. ALL disney movies are taken from famous children stories from 100s years ago.

    In the “real” little mermaid, the mermaid just was in love with a human (no curiosity prior) she wanted to be with him so she gave her voice as payment and was given a potion to turn her human (which was more dramatic then Disney version) and she was found by the prince. The prince in question ended up with another girl, but due to the contract the mermaid was never able to return to the sea. Her sisters then gave up their hair to give the mermaid a dagger to pierce the heart of the prince, to allow his blood to turn her back t a mermaid. The mermaid couldn’t kill the prince so she jumped into the sea and “dies” well turned to sea foam.

    Disney made it tame, and who cares over thinking children stories is beyond stupid. Try not to over think basic stuff… its just a kis movie about a gir doing what she can to be with someone she loves… How is that a bad message? Ariel didn’t changed who she was, just made it possible to be with him. In real life we tend to have to make great sacrifices for the things that matter most to us. How is that a bad message?

    • PrincessOfTheCrystal

      October 2, 2013 at 5:34 pm

      Not all of them are based off Fairytales actually but a lot are…

      Also, in the original version Sirenetta/TLM was always interested in the world above. It describes the mermaids of making different floral patterns at the bottom of the sea, and hers was always of the sun.

      She also saved him just like in the Disney movie. The Disney version stays pretty close with the following exceptions – her tongue isn’t *physically cut out*, using her legs doesn’t cause her pain(that we know of), and she does manage to gain the love of the Prince, thus Good End.

      Merpeople also aren’t soulless but I always hated that aspect of the Fairytale. It is beautifully written though.

  49. jagielski01

    August 13, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    I’m sorry but you’re overreacting a lot. I grew up being fascinated with the princess movies and I grew up just fine. I’m 24 and an artist. I’m also a highly sensitive person who is kind to others and very caring. I would actually say that the Disney princess films helped me to grow in that sense. Maybe you should take a look at your daughter’s personality and see if this could potentially be a positive thing. And what’s wrong with little girls having fun little fantasies or planning their dream wedding? In fact if your child is creative her imagination should be nurtured. Sheltering is important but going overboard with it will mess her up in some way.

  50. Sarah

    August 17, 2013 at 9:16 am

    So I’m not a mom, but I just wanted to drop in and give my opinion on the matter if that’s alright.

    Okay, I understand that you don’t want your daughter to grow up thinking “Oh, so to be happy I need to be a princess and find a prince” because that really is not a good way to grow up. I mean, I grew up on Disney and DreamWorks movies; I practically lived and breathed them to be honest and still have an immense love for them at 15 years old, along with countless fantasy themed novels, anime, and comics.

    I think the only reason I’m not stuck in a fantasy world where I have a false interpretation of a ‘happily ever after’ is because of a few things: For one, my parents were very clear with me that these Disney movies were not real, and were very careful (if a little to much) about letting me read/watch certain things while in elementary school. For example, I never saw a Harry Potter movie until I was in middle school, and didn’t actually read the book series until the 9th grade. I think this was a good thing that I didn’t get into it to young, because now that I’m older I can fully understand the wonderful themes and messages that JK Rowling set out on to write on a napkin many years ago when she was living in a car with her daughters.

    The second reason, is that once I hit middle school I was exposed to some wonderful anime and manga series, which are Japanese comics and cartoons. Now these can range from silly kids comics to very mature adult ones, but I was lucky to find the ones meant for all ages and had the best messages. For instance, Uta no Prince-sama taught me that you can create something beautiful if only you come together. Fullmetal Alchemist taught me that there are things in this world we will most likely never understand, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Naruto taught me that just because people outcast you and say you’ll never be something, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work hard to become something great in the future.

    I don’t think it’s good to shelter your kids from things like these, Disney movies especially, because they often have very inspiring lessons to teach us; just make sure you’re able to explain to them what’s real and what’s not 🙂

  51. Sk8Gr8

    August 25, 2013 at 9:24 am

    Three words: Get a grip! Seriously. I don’t think you’re equipped to be a parent. If you’re this bent out of shape over a Disney movie I can’t imagine how you’ll screw up your kid with bigger issues. Yikes.

  52. Charlotte

    September 10, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    You know the solution is to play Mulan, Beauty and the Beast, or Brave (although that is probably not for a 2 year old, but I saw it several times with very young children and have yet to see a scared face, yet) or really any other animated movie not just a princess one. Since you have limited your daughter so much with tv and movies of course she is going to cling to the only movie she gets to really see. Not that I am judging your parenting style, but of course the first movie she sees will impact her. Actually, the whole story for the Little Mermaid is pretty good if she would’ve seen it after other princess movies, because it is more about a parent coming to terms with the independence of their child than anything. If you knew the tv series at all it gives Ariel way more background, like how she wanted to be human far before seeing some guy on a boat. Her father destroying her collection was what finally triggered her to seek out Ursula. Plus, I was raised on plenty of tv and movies and I turned out fine. I find the idea of marriage to be archaic and while I do believe in happily ever after it does not need to be with a man by your side. Yet, I still love my Disney movies. There are just so many different ones besides the princesses. However, this article was hilarious and now I know if I ever have a child to perhaps show them something like The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh first instead of The Little Mermaid.

  53. Guest

    September 15, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Ariel is and always has been my favorite Disney movie. I’ve turned out just fine, I’m sure your daughter will too. I actually refueled an A on a paper where I was required to write about my “hero” Ariel wouldn’t have been a princess if her father had not been KING triton. But, since her father was a king, that technically does make her a princess. Ariel is much more than some rebellious little girl only going after a guy. I’ve written many papers about her thoroughgoing many different lenses about deeper meanings to her character. I don’t think your daughter is doomed.

  54. Really!?!

    September 21, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    When you use a movie as a babysitting tool and you don’t have the appropriate watching material for the age of your child you might want to rethink about having more children. My child only watches movies that are appropriate for their age and what their mental growth stage is, I also don’t use movies for a babysitter. You are making Disney movies out to be a bad thing and they are not, you let your child watch movies to where they are on their mental development stage, not just because the movie is rated G. Yes at that age children become parrots and you have to be careful of what they watch and hear, but you are the parent and are going to hear what that little sponge is saying and acting over and over again so think of the material you are having them watch and hear. Start as an example at home of a roll model and encourage them to look at other inspiring people or fictional characters, and have a positive attitude and outlook, stop worrying about everyone else and what their child hold in their mind as a roll model. You seem like the kind of person that looks at life as the glass is always half empty, try looking at it as half full and have a positive attitude your child is being influenced by you more so than a movie!

  55. Noelle

    September 24, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    This is really really sad. I mean, I grew up with princess movies and I’m fine. I don’t think you should worry so much. I’ve done a lot of research on this, and girls are naturally attracted to the idea of things like marriage and happily ever after, as well as pretty things. Think about it for a second please; if girls and women at one point didn’t like the idea of marriage, or finding someone, then there would be no driving force for humanity to populate, or in this day and age, have a family. I’m not saying that everyone should get married. I have friends who don’t want to get married, simply because they have other priorities and goals to accomplish. Just because your daughter watches a princess movie does not make her think she needs a man. Actually, society tells women they don’t need a man. If your daughter for some reason or another grows up to think that she needs a man, then its something else that taught her that, or she simply wants a relationship, which is perfectly normal and a stage many people, including me (at age 13), went through. But I don’t need a man. I have a boyfriend because I want to. Also, in the story, Ariel doesn’t make it clear that she wanted love before she met Eric. Yes, the love at firs sight doesn’t really happen, but I’m sure you’re daughter will learn in life that the little mermaid is a story.
    Every young child is influenced by something. I was influenced by the lion king and ran around on all fours roaring. I don’t do it today. There are a lot worse things that she could be doing, like swearing and showing violent behaviour. I think you’re overreacting just a bit.

  56. Melissa

    September 28, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    Ariel is the love of my life. I am obsessed with her and you’re a fucking idiot. That movie is perfect. I am naming my daughter Ariel. She’s perfect in every single way. And best fucking believe me that my daughter will be raised with Disney movies and I can’t wait for the day she memorized the movie and recites it to me. Than I will be a proud mother. You area idiot and pray your daughter stays in love with The Little Mermaid. Because you are a piece of shit mother who doesn’t know how to raise her child. Really only an hour of TV?pathetic. Reevaluate your parenting skills honey.

    • PrincessOfTheCrystal

      October 2, 2013 at 5:20 pm

      A bit harsh but I admire your spirit… and love of Ariel.

    • mamabear

      February 9, 2014 at 12:23 pm

      A bit harsh? More like raving mad!

    • mamabear

      February 9, 2014 at 12:21 pm

      You’re insane! Well, if it’s sarcasm, it’s brilliant–if you’re serious, God help you!

  57. just let her be a child

    September 28, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    My daughter is three and loves all the Disney princesses. Mainly for the fact that they get to wear pretty dresses. Not because of the prince or wanting to get married but because of the pretty dresses. Yes, she can quote the movies too, but so what I quote them right along with her abs she even sings along. You are just thinking way to much into this. Disney is not harmful to kids. I grew up on Disney movies and turned out just fine. And as for your daughter pretending about marriage, that’s all it is pretend. My daughter pretends that she has a baby. That’s what little girls do they pretend. There is also a thing called too much sheltering of children, just let them be kids. I actually feel sorry for your daughter because she’s not going to experience life if you keep on worrying about the small stuff like a Disney movie.

  58. Sunny

    September 28, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    At 2-3, I was obsessed with “Lady and the Tramp”. I made my family re-enact scenes with me word for word. When I was 8, the original Star Wars trilogy was my obsession. At 14, “The West Wing”. Kids go through phases, plain and simple. I didn’t grow up thinking I was a pampered Cocker Spaniel who would find true love with a stray that my people would adopt, so I’m sure this little girl will not fall into trouble.

  59. Amy

    September 30, 2013 at 8:13 am

    I think you might have some problems with your marriage, and therefore is effecting your judgement here. Stating that your 2 years old daughter obsession with princess and marriage is not healthily and blaming a movie.Wow I think most little girl love princess, marriage her come the bride and fairy tales that’s all part of being a little girl and a child and to rob your child from that is the problem. And saying you don’t believe in marriage and your married, and saying that don’t want that for you daughter. Wow you need help! Go to a marriage councillor or a divorce lawyer.

    • Amy

      September 30, 2013 at 8:25 am

      Ps it okay to limit What your daughter watches or plays with but to go on a two page rant about it, make me think this is underline issues besides the movie! If you didn’t have the movie in your home as you said you put it on because you busy it’s not on Tv you would had to buy it.

  60. PrincessOfTheCrystal

    October 2, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    I think the problem is that as adults we can often read too far into something, or make incorrect assumptions based on what we perceive certain things to be about. Disney Princess movies, in general, are viewed as outdated and sexist so the idea that there could be positive messages in them is often disregarded.

    TLM is still one of my favourite movies of all time. There is nothing wrong with kids learning that some degree of rebellion is healthy once they are of age. Most parents/kids have to go through that dynamic at some stage which is one of the things that made TLM so powerful(especially for gay/trans kids).

    Ariel wanted to see the world up on land before she even met Eric in the movie. She didn’t throw away her life and body to be with them, and a large part of the reason she did so was because she was *tricked by Ursula*, that was the whole point. The second half of the song “Poor Unfortunate Souls” was meant to be a bitter parody of misogynistic attitudes towards women. It turned out everything Ursula said was a lie, as she was unable to elope with Prince Eric without her voice.

    TLM actually has a lot of different layers to it. It’s important to note that in a lot of ways it quite closely follows the original fairytale, but is generally less dark with a more positive ending. She was a Princess in the original, it’s just a Fairytale thing. I don’t think she *needs* to be a Princess but you have to remember that things like Princes and Princesses in fairytales(especially modern ones) are more like metaphors for particularly graceful and noble men and women, not necessarily literally outdated symbols of what we now call the 1%, or even gendered stereotypes.

    Even as a feminist I believe that Ariel is actually a pretty fantastic role model for girls specifically because she is not a stereotypical Princess. In fact, a lot or even most of the Disney Princesses aren’t – which is partly Disney’s fault due to how they market that brand – try Tangled, Princess and the Frog etc. I still love Ariel to bits and I’m slowly working my way through the 90s TV show. Maybe you should try it with her, it expands on Ariel’s character a lot.

  61. PrincessOfTheCrystal

    October 2, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    I just want to address a few more things – first while I disagree with TLM being a bad influence from a feminist perspective I also disagree with “I watched Disney Princess movies and I turned out fine!” as an institutional thing. You may have turned out pretty OK, but there are all kinds of biases in society and patriarchy can use mediums like this to instil gender roles in kids.

    However I don’t believe that makes them BAD movies. Most Disney movies are magical and the Renaissance onwards are more progressive and positive than most feminists would have you believe.

    To the mother writing this article – I recommend that now she’s a year or so older, try explaining to her some of the points I’ve raised in my various comments and replies in this thread. Explain to her WHY Ariel is a cool character, not because she’s enamoured with some guy, but because she chases her dreams, and saves her prince long before he saves her. That she had a moment of weakness, and that there are women like Ursula out there who will take advantage of that, and trick them.

    A lot of stories don’t have fixed morals so what matters is how *you* as a parent present them. You can give these things context, which is part of the reason why you should have researched them first. As a feminist, a line we often use is that just because something is problematic, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it – as long as you understand it’s problematic. I think Renaissance era Disney stuff is actually fairly low on the problematic scale, compared to, say, the Siamese cats in Lady & The Tramp, or the Injuns in Peter Pan, but even these are fine if you *explain to her why they’re a problem*.

    If you’re looking for a really good series of movies to show your kid, I would recommend the Tinkerbell movies. Tinkerbell is intelligent, creative and independent and 5 movies in still doesn’t have a love interest. In fact one of the movies is about her relationship with her male best friend. They are surprisingly good movies. The only one I would not show her is Tinkerbell and the Great Fairy Rescue because it makes scientists look like assholes and pushes the You just have to BELIEVE thing a bit too hard, which I didn’t like especially since in this series, Tinkerbell’s talent is essentially that she’s a mad scientist.

  62. Rose

    October 3, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    When I was 3 my aunt bought me that movie. I loved it! My mom would hear me in my sleep singing songs from it and she would sing them too! Honestly I would just swim in my pool thinking I was a mermaid, with the odd time brushing my hair with a fork. Yes I loved that movie, but I watched all kinds of Disney movies. And now I’m a 21 year old living on my own. I turned out just fine. I wouldn’t worry if you teach your daughter the difference between movies and life she would turn out just fine.

  63. jenn

    October 7, 2013 at 1:03 am

    Remember…..this is fantasy….fiction. its a disney princess, its meant to be whimsical. Stop over thinking it ……if anyone is putting thoughts in your childs head…….its most likely you. Do i think its ok for a 16 year old to get married….no, but i also dont believe in mermaids. I was 9 when this movie came out….and i dont ever remember thinking about her age……..some of you parents are so over protective your pretty much guaranteeing defiant children. Relax for christ sake…..they are kids….let them be kids.

  64. Ninja B

    October 7, 2013 at 8:37 am

    My mom used to watch Legally Blonde with me and my sister in the room at about that age. She knew there was no way I would be able to understand that information, and even if I had repeated anything she probably would have straight-up told me it was a bad word. All I payed attention to was what I knew, which was: 1. There’s a lady who has lots of pink 2. She has a really cute dog 3. I think she eats chocolate at some point? I’m growing up rather nicely I would think. I have 3.0 GPA and the only psycological problems I’ve ever had was a brief stunt of depression due to my parents’ divorce and severe 7th grade bullying. Niether of those things had anything to go with the movie. My point is that if I am ok after watching Legally Blonde at 2 years old or so, then I think your daughter is fine. You are overreacting. And as I hear others saying as well, if you continue to censor or be concerned about your child watching something as mild as ‘The Little Mermaid’ then she is going to end up leading a much more sheltered life than Ariel.

  65. No harm done!

    October 12, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    Maybe she wouldn’t have become so fixated on it if it wasn’t the only thing you let her watch!

  66. Ashes

    October 20, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    To note, I am not agreeing or disagreeing with the point of view so much as pointing out a few things about this film.

    Ariel falling in love with someone at a glance sets a bad example to little girls everywhere. However: for the sake of the story it had to be that quick otherwise the movie would be too long and they had to fit in all the parts of her arguing with her father and rebelling as she is trying to find herself and his protective nature keeping her from growing (this is 90% of the movie for a reason, that’s really what this story is about, being true to who you are.) This is also the depiction of almost every 16 year old out there.

    Ariel marrying at 16 wasnt such an odd thing at the time this story is supposed to be taking place, just be glad they didnt make her 14, although that would have also been normal for the time. Period wise it is true to form, as kids grow up and take history classes they’ll learn that is so. Ariel is a princess because disney has a princess movie line. They have plenty of other films without pricess that you might be interested in watching yourself even. (I am an adult and i still enjoy the Disney movies, new and old)

    Your daughter’s reaction to this film is exactly that, HER reaction, not the sum of all little girls and i think that some people reading this are more taking exception to that. That it sounds as though you are saying its the movie rather than an individual girls reaction (although shes probably not the only one). A little more exposure to these things will probably take the obsession out of the equation and leave her with a balanced and healthy reaction to disney movies. Even though all little girls obsess about something, barbies, babies, she found Ariel. As for her fascination with marriage, i wouldn’t contribute that to The Little Mermaid. I used to make my barbies marry all the time because thats what people in love did, they got married (at least that is what society deems appropriate, you yourself are married so your daughter must naturally tie that in with love) and I dont think is anything to worry about.

    End note: more for the commentators than to the articel, Ariel and Eric BOTH fought Ursula. Ariel leaped at Ursual to save Eric from being shot by the Triton, and tried to fight her off. She also saved Eric from drowing, twice. Eric didn’t save the day all on his own, it was an equal effort.

  67. Nicole

    October 27, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    Okay first of all, in my opinion you’re being a little dramatic. This one movie or phase isn’t going to ruin your daughter’s life. “The Little Mermaid” is all about following your dreams and being your own person. It is for more of an older audience like teenagers because most teenagers can relate to Ariel and learn from her and feel better after watching her movie. She didn’t want to be a human just for Prince Eric, she’s been interested and very curious in the human life for so long and wanted to be one. Seeing Eric and falling in love with him is what drove her to actually undergo the transformation into a human. You might think just because she’s 16 and young, that she’s being stupid and doesn’t know what she’s doing but you’re wrong. She gave up her voice which if you saw the third movie “The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning” you would know that for 10 years music and singing was banned from Atlantis because of her mother Athena’s death. Ariel loved singing so much and loved to do so because she felt connected with her mother. Do you think she would just give up singing for just anything, or for something stupid? No, she knew what she was doing and she was in full control of her actions and understood what she was sacrificing to be with the love of her life. I know that you probably don’t think that “Love at first sight” is real but in this case it is. Like you said, this movie is old school, it is set in the late 19th century so yes it is a bit old school. That doesn’t mean that your daughter shouldn’t watch it. She’s just expressing herself and she’s going to get over it. I bet I was the same way when I was younger. I loved “The Little Mermaid” and still do till this day but I am not obsessed with it in a weird way, so your daughter is be perfectly fine. This story doesn’t teach the audience that you need a “Prince” or a man to be happy, because you don’t. It just teaches you to follow your dreams and in this case, for her was to be a human.

  68. Lena

    November 2, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    I agree with Daisy, you are making this out to be more than it is. She is still innocent, and you are robbing her of a blissful life while she is still a child. You’re so concerned with how this will influence her choices when she’s older, and she isn’t even in Kindergarten. Someday she’s going to grow up, and have to be an adult. Let her be a child while she is still able to be one. So many kids grow up with big responsibilities, and being treated as an adult that they don’t know what it was like to have any fun. And if you’re so concerned with these princess movies influencing her, you can always sit her down and tell her these are just movies, that aren’t based off anything. If she can understand the movie, she can understand this.

  69. rebeca

    November 11, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    You should put her Mulan, a Disney movie much better and more apropiate for little girls with which she actually can learn several good lessons.

    • Sita

      May 8, 2014 at 4:42 pm

      Mulan shows the murders of hundreds of men and outright warfare. The main character gets slashed across the stomach with a sword and nearly dies from the wound. Right after that scene, the captain of their battalion is ordered to kill her. Thousands of Hun soldiers are implied to be killed via avalanche. There is a ton of blood, violence , and so on. Not what I would consider “more appropriate for little girls.” That being said, Mulan is my favorite of all Disney films, and I effing love Disney.

  70. Kaitlin Bevis

    November 11, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    My daughter watched the lion king when she was 3. Once. Then she spent the next several months acting out the death scene by throwing stuffed animals off the couch and sobbing that it was all her fault after begging them to wake up (we watch lion king 1 1/2 now, less death). Seriously, take the pretend weddings and be happy. At least weddings are happy occasions

  71. sammy

    November 15, 2013 at 4:48 am

    What a load of crap. This movie came out the year before I was born, so I was very young when I watched it and it’s never done me any harm. My stepdaughter is nearly 3 and loves this film. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this film. It’s a PG for chrissake. If your child can’t watch a PG, I feel very sorry for her.

  72. Medora

    November 16, 2013 at 3:09 am

    Be glad your daughter watched the Disney version. The original story of The Little Mermaid ended with Ariel committing suicide because she didn’t want to hurt Eric, even though he had fallen in love with another woman. And Ariel by absolutely no means is a “piss-poor example for little girls everywhere.” She teaches girls to think for themselves and not be bound by the restrictions placed by society. If you consider that inappropriate, I will pray for your daughter.

  73. kALA

    November 18, 2013 at 2:11 am

    DISNEY TEACHES KIDS OF ALL AGES LIFE LESSONS. IM 21 AND STILL LOVE TO SIT DOWN AND WATCH ALL THE OLD DISNEY MOVIES AS WELL AS THE NEW. PLUS THE LITTLE MERMAID CAME OUT IN 1989 SO ITS SOOOO NOT A NEW MOVIE AND YOU SHOULD OF KNEW WHAT IT WAS ABOUT. IF YOU DONT LIKE IT WELL DONT LET HER WATCH IT BUT JUST KNOW SHE WILL WATCH THINGS YOU DONT WANT HER TO WHEN SHES NOT WITH YOU. DISNEY CAME OUT WITH PLEANTY OF MOVIES ABOUT GIRL POWER LIKE THE MOVIE ABOUT THE GIRL WHOS A VIKING AND TURNS HER MOM INTO A BEAR.

  74. Molly Louise Weasley

    December 6, 2013 at 2:10 am

    Sounds to me like you have a lot of personal issues and need to work on your marriage instead of over reacting over a simple Disney movie. You obviously were not ready to be a mother either and your tendency to dramatize and lose your head over a totally normal and innocent child behavior makes me believe you need to take a good look at your life and the reason you are so incapable of dealing with your own kid and your need to see life in such a negative way. In other words. Do yourself and your kid a favor, GET HELP IDIOT!!!! Before you damage her spirit with your dumb ass way of life .

  75. Disneylover

    December 9, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    I love the little mermaid. i think you are just stupid. its not unhealthy to be interested in things at a young age.it’s very common for children to be interested in things that catch their eyes. maybe marriage just wasn’t an idea you heard of when you were a child. i’m surprised you’re even married. oh and look around there isn’t any better role models today because if you haven’t been paying attention they aren’t as good as they used to be(miley Cyrus,Selena Gomez). a princess doing what she can for someone she loves is alright. its called sacrifice. she did what makes her happy. and since you weren’t paying much attention to the movie to begin with … SHE ALREADY WANTED TO BE ON LAND. geez i just hope your daughter has more sense thhan you.

  76. Princess Ariel

    December 14, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    Ok I’m sorry but I hate parents like this. What your child takes from Disney is what your child takes from.it, it is up to you too teach them what is right and wrong not a Disney movie. So if the Little Mermaid is bad than so is Elmo, Disney is supposed to put some magic in your life and your taking that away from your child. At least they didn’t make it based in the real story where she kills herself because he married someone else. I will always love The Little Mermaid and I just hope when your kid grows up she won’t have to look back and say, “I missed a lot of great movies and lessons I could have learned from because my.mom thought everything was bad.” Ease off your kid.

  77. Cyndi

    December 16, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    Ohhhh my god, please stop. You’re placing too much blame on a fictional character. She’s a child, children imitate everything they see. And quite frankly, pretending to be Ariel is definitely better than many other things in the world. Would you rather her pretending to be a teen girl walking around your neighborhood with a crop top, short shorts, and spewing profanities? Honestly, she’s just a kid. Ariel is a beautiful redheaded mermaid who has big dreams and is a bit immature. She made mistakes, but she learned from them and the story makes that clear. She’s a typical young woman.

    I grew up on Disney films, and Sailor Moon. These have not influenced me negatively in any way, in fact, these are my inspiration to be a strong, FEMINIST (and I mean, hardcore feminist), and independent woman… Despite my constant yearn to be Ariel, Belle, and Serena. I didn’t really care about being a princess, I just thought she was really pretty, smart, and had a beautiful singing voice. Plus that hair! You’re only regretting the movie because you’re sick of hearing about it, and you’re searching for issues with the movie. This is possible with ANY and EVERYTHING. Now, I’m not saying the Princess franchise is infallible or super feminist, but it’s not bad for little girls as long as they have a strong parent telling them that they do not have to conform to ideals. Plus the post-Renaissance princesses are even more awesome than the Renaissance princesses (though I do adore Ariel and Belle.) Tiana, Rapunzel, Merida, Anna, and Queen Elsa are all FANTASTIC. Rapunzel is a little weaker than the others, but she still serves as an awesome role model. Disney is definitely improving their female characters and moving towards a more progressive feminist outlook on them. Especially with their Once Upon A Time show.

    TLDR; Stop stressing out over a Disney movie. She’s two, she’ll grow out of it. Don’t limit her too much, at least with Disney movies (Disney Channel should be limited).. There are worst things out there. Either spectrum is bad for children – too liberated and they’ll go crazy and be DOA when they’re independent… and too sheltered they’ll go crazy and also be DOA..

    • Cyndi

      December 16, 2013 at 1:55 pm

      Also, if I friggin see someone else claim Ariel gave up her life to get Eric one more time, I’m gonna snap. She dreamed about being human long before she laid eyes on him. He was just an excuse and a trigger to finally TRY.

  78. T

    December 25, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    You’re an idiot. Drop off the earth please.

  79. Kristin

    December 31, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    I just don’t understand how you think that the movie made her act this way, and personally i don’t see why this behavior is wrong. Every little girl should be allowed to want to be a princess, heck I still want to be a princess. I just don’t understand why you think The Little Mermaid is “inappropriate.” I get it, there is some things that would be frowned upon in reality, but they still happen everyday. not the mermaid-morphing thing, but the getting married and having children at a young age. Personally, I think it is a movie that helps the imagination grow and run free.

  80. Selena

    January 11, 2014 at 1:03 am

    Honestly you’re blowing it out of proration. Children go through phases when she is older not only will she out grow The Little Mermaid but she will face bigger problems then this movie. As long as you do your job as a parent she’ll be fine.

  81. Marie

    January 11, 2014 at 10:05 am

    A movie is not going to shape who your child is or how she views life, you are. You have strong opinions and those seem like they will outlive a movie or phase your child is going through. You won’t be able to blame Ariel for your child’s future life choices or views on life, that’s all you!

  82. Pingback: Disneyfication | Lynley Stace

  83. Danniie Devro 'x

    January 17, 2014 at 6:41 am

    The Disney version to this story is nothing on the original. In the original Ariel becomes the human and the sea witch doesn’t tamper with her own magic. Instead of trading her voice for legs, she gives her tongue to the sea witch and she feels like shes stepping on broken glass when she walks. In the end prince Eric falls in love with another princess so Ariel jumps back into the ocean, and as merpeople have no soul, she dissolves into sea foam.
    Ariel was the only movie I wanted as a kid, she was the prettiest in my eyes.
    The reason shes a princess is because her dad is the sea king, with his trident, if you didn’t notice, thats all ursela wanted, was to be queen again. She has to have a happy ending with a prince as that’s Disney trademark. If anything the film shows how powerful love is. A young woman completely changing herself in the hopes of the man of her dreams falls for her too. Pretty strong.

    When I was a kid, all I cared about was Ariels face and how funny Sebastian the crab was.

  84. Sandy

    January 18, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    First of all toddler loves attention weather it’s negative or possitive I’m Shure if u just play with her after she yells shell just take it as game …she probably thinks shes just acting because I’m pretty Shure she knows cartoons aren’t real she just wants act like them start using her imagination but don’t take it personally or be harsh with her she just playing and testing make it a game ..

  85. lol

    January 23, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    Thanks for the laugh.

  86. Seth

    January 28, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    I am not a parent, but I do humbly admit that I learned a thing or 2 from my parents. I admit I am more traditional, and do believe in marriage, but obviously changing yourself for someone and running away from your parents and getting married at 16 is not recommended. But you can’t shelter your child from everything though I understand the sentiment. I am sure that as a mother you want the very best. I believe parents should talk openly and honestly with their kids. Kids are smarter than we give them credit for.

    You have to understand, The Little Mermaid was originally a fairy tale written in the 1800’s. Back then, 16 was an ok age to marry. People also had a much shorter lifespan and tended to grow up faster than most americans today. The fairy tale also deals with themes much deeper than the Disney version and ends in tragic beauty. I think Disney did a good job watering it down for children. However, in both versions, Ariel suffers consequences from her impulsive actions. In the fairy tale, she physically suffers for her legs, the prince marries someone else and she loses her life but redeems herself in sparing a life and receives an immortal soul as a reward. In the Disney version, she almost loses her father and the seas are almost taken over by a sea-witch and to be fair she did have a period of time where she really got to know Prince Eric. I know it was only 3 days but the movie was only 85 minutes.

    If it really is becoming a problem, you should talk with your daughter. This is movie based on a fairy tale. A make-believe world where true love at first sight and magic does exist. It is not real, though it is fun to play pretend. You should talk to her about the differences between a fairy tale and real life. It was also set in another time, in a different culture. Explain the differences between then and now. Talk to her about the good lessons that you can take from the movie (i.e don’t make a deal with sea-witches for a guy you just met)

    Disney is often accused of sexism, racism, promoting un-realistic views on life and love etc etc. But are they really? I mean, Aurora was cursed. It’s not her fault she slept through half the movie. I think they simply do a wonderful job of re-imagining and retelling wonderful stories. But that is what they are. Stories. You should enjoy them together for what they are.

    I learned from my parents to always filter things for myself. Where is the source material coming from? What can I learn from this? What is relevant? Etc etc. Obviously I didn’t learn how to do this when I was 3, but my parents always talked to me about movies, shows and books and I slowly learned what was ok, what was not, and how to tell the difference for myself. Media can have a big impact on children, but not because Disney wants to warp the minds of a generation and push an agenda. They just want to make great stories appealing to children and make a lot of money. Media has a big impact simply because children are easily influenced. However, there is no greater influence than the people around them. It is greatly up to parents to determine what their children are influenced by and how.

  87. linda

    February 4, 2014 at 2:29 am

    Wow ..seriously wow that is a lot of anger and self frustation ….omg seriously you have a lot to say about nothing … They’re are peoples kids out there who are more far obsessed with something much worse than a princess cartoon .. .. jeez I really hope you get over this it’s ok she still grow up just fine as long as you raise her right with love..ps maybe you have the weird obsession of flippingoout and turning nothing into something

  88. Leah

    February 6, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    This is the fuckin most stupid thing I’ve ever read in my entire life. Children go through fazes in there life she loves the little mermaid so fucking what… Wow and this movie is a priceless classic if you honestly have to put so much fuckin thought into it as to why Ariel did certain things… You obviously had a fucked up childhood and I honestly feel sorry for you.. But more sorry for your daughter for having a dumbass for a mother.. Really get a life

  89. mamabear

    February 8, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    Ignore those being triggered into ad hominem attacks and others trivializing this…you’re right to be concerned.

    Setting aside that “kids like it” and “it’s cute” (besides the point) movies like these encourage sexual behavior and adult relationships (love stories as central themes, willowy damsels always get married to strong men, I could go on…), plenty of violence and evil, some pretty frightening villains (nightmares, anyone?) things that kids really shouldn’t be thinking about or seeing until they’re older….and many kids end up seeing these “programs” hundreds of times throughout their childhood.

    I won’t even get into the darker side of the proven subliminal messaging (which is mostly sexual in nature) here on this board, but if you want to know a little slice of the truth about what the folks at Disney are really up to:

    http://www2.bgsu.edu/departments/tcom/faculty/ha/tcom103fall2003/gp13/gp13.pdf (Hidden Sexual Messages Hidden in Disney Movies)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7VrxCJY2YQ (examples, clips from Disney films)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uOgN2zNekw (Disney’s subliminal deception)

    And you can find more if you keep searching. Always research what your children are watching, don’t just assume everything marketed to kids is safe.

    This is all documented, folks–hidden in plain sight, for those that have eyes to see. Don’t respond to this until you’ve seen the clips–keep in mind some of these examples exist only on the original VHS copies, as parent complaints forced a change in subsequent releases. Subliminal message programming is real and is being used against your children to program them in various ways!

    I guess it really all depends upon your standards for your children and most importantly upon being a trendy zombie that doesn’t question anything.

  90. mamabear

    February 9, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Wow–this is the second time my well thought out response with no expletives was deleted!!! Interesting that the Morlock Disneyheads that are cussing this lady out get to stay, but my comment on subliminal messaging in Disney gets repeatedly deleted from *mommyish.com*–really?–W-O-W. What a world.

  91. mamabear

    February 9, 2014 at 11:27 am

    LOOK UP SUBLIMINAL MESSAGING IN DISNEY–surprised there are people out there who *don’t* know anything about this, or just don’t care.

    The powers that be and those in entertainment and marketing know full
    well even average adults can be easily manipulated using simple
    techniques. If you don’t believe in the power of subliminal messaging on children, then I’ve got a bridge to sell you on prime oceanfront property!

    To the people acting like this concerned parent is nothing but a wet blanket–use your brains for once!–your kid doesn’t need Disney to have a magical childhood, and if you needed to be told that, you’re lost!

    Go on and delete me again, whoever you are, I dare you–I took a screenshot this time.

  92. kelley johnson

    March 1, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    oh shut it…they will be fine. Just like rest of us.

  93. Tess

    March 1, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    I have a baby cousin who is the same age and I really worry about her too. She watches Disney movies with her mom and has become obsessed with “finding her prince” it is all she talks about non stop and if she is playing it is based on the same thing. The other day if she asked one time when her prince would come find her she asked one hundred, then if she did get quiet we would ask what was wrong and she would say that she is worried her prince wont find her. It is almost to the point to where I dread seeing her, yes that sounds terrible but that is absolutely all she will talk about!!

  94. Krista

    March 2, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    I got ¨married¨ when I was 5. You should let your child have an imagination, I grew up on Disney movies and they have been a big part of my life, and Disney motivates a lot of kids and teenagers to follow their dreams. There is no harm. I pretended when I was little that there was a prince charming and that I was going to get married. But I obviously grew out of that phase, just like growing out of thinking that your stuffed animals are real. And now I don’t even fully believe in marriage. All in all her having fun and having an imagination is not going to be negative. Disney is amazing, and you need to not nit pick the little things.

  95. Grace

    March 3, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    Lol, you think it’s bad that your child learned about marriage at such a young age, through a Disney movie? Do you plan on not taking her to weddings until she’s 18 as well? She knows you and her father are married, right? Well then guess what, she’s already been exposed to marriage. It’s a Disney movie, pretty much ALL girls go through this phase when they’re young, and pretty much ALL of them get over it. Playing house, acting out marriage, it’s part of being a little girl. A young child who watched The Little Mermaid isn’t thinking about the marriage and such, she’s thinking about the mermaid and the princess. I’m sorry, but you need to get over yourself.

  96. GothamCityGirl

    March 4, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    Maybe your daughter had such an obsessions because she’s never seen something like this before. I understand limiting tv time and all that but not enough exposure can be bad for a child. For example this may happen. Children take in a lot and develop quickly and if she’s never seen anything like this of corse she’s going to find it magnificent and obsess over it. Give it time and let her have exposure. The little mermaid is a fantastic movie. If your child takes it literally you should expose her to other types of movies so she knows the difference between fantasy and real life so that she can still enjoy movies.

  97. Dominique

    March 16, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    This is probably the dumbest thing I’ve ever read. It’s a pg Disney movie.. It’s not that serious. You’re definitely reading into it way too much.. I’ve loved Ariel since I was little, so did my mom, and so does my little sister and were fine.. Saying that it’s your biggest regret letting her watch it is a little over the top. And I thought my parents were strict, never thought someone would ever think the little mermaid is “inappropriate” or “too mature” for kids.

  98. Mona Kiki Mo

    March 19, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    Wow. So many opinions—-all for a stupid cartoon character–a mermaid, no less—don’t get me started—don’t even get me started—OKAY, BITCHES—NOW SING!!!!

  99. Lizzie May

    March 20, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    What you need is a good healthy dose of Frozen. ‘Anna, you cant marry a man you just met.’

  100. Caroline

    March 23, 2014 at 3:58 am

    Oh dear… I can sometimes only wonder what adults get out of their mouths. Your child was 2, so you know, child psychology tells us that the rebellious phase is just about that age. You honestly think you can “blame” you daughter’s behavior on a film? You daughter reacts just like any normal child would react. The imitating phase is just as normal as breathing. That’s how children learn. And the fact that she imitates getting married is just as normal. The things adults interpret sometimes are really what’s freaking me out. Let your child be a child for God’s sake. And about that thing where Ariel is not a good role model: let it be said that Ariel did not change herself to be with “some guy”, she wanted that change long before she even met the prince. She wanted “more”, she wanted to see the world, get out of her conventional role she was pushed in. If Ariel teaches us anything, then it’s that you should fight for your dreams, and that you should never let anyone push you into something you don’t want. She also tells us that real friends support you, no matter what you do and that you should accept yourself for who you are.Now if that’s not a valuable lesson, then I don’t know. The fact that she is a princess is so unimportant. Every little girl wants to be one, and you know why? Because they still are good role models! They are brave and strong and clever and they are selfless. If that’s not a valid role model…The only one interfering with your daughter’s healthy development is yourself, by pushing her into other “experiences” when what she needed right then, was the Little Mermaid.
    Quite frankly, I don’t understand your comment at all. And all that pseudo-feminism is just one of the things that make today’s world so hard to bear. But I would really like to know: what are the “better role models” nowadays?

  101. Jojo

    March 23, 2014 at 4:47 am

    I agree but for different reasons. I could never ever imagine giving up being a mermaid. Not for a single moment. I mean I could understand if she had both in the end but the movie makes it pretty clear that she’s stuck as human. Hello resentment and sadness would kick in 3..2..1.. That movie saddened me so much as a child partially because I always wanted to see what it was like to be a mermaid and I love the ocean. The idea of giving that up is just devastating. No guy is with that.

  102. Trinity

    March 31, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    Exactly I agree with daisy/ / / u are just to over protective every little girl loves princesses and the tought of getting married and Ariel just chases her dreams in that movie. And I Love Ariel

  103. Alex

    April 1, 2014 at 1:45 am

    Dear Sarah, I wonder how is the Ariel problem going after a year. But I don’t really think you should worry so much. More than seeing the negative influence you seem to be so worried about, you need to relax. I’m 25 and I’ve a 10 years old little sister, she is totally in love with Ariel since she was 3, in fact I gave her the movie as a present, and yes, she used to sing and act all the movie, she even acted as Ursula and pulled her own hair to imitate the part when Ariel is saving Eric from her attack, she talked talked and talked just about Ariel, and even my Dad was mad at me because I gave her the movie, but now she is 10, even if she still loves Ariel, she turned into a very smart girl, first in class, and her motivation in life is not just to meet a charming prince as Eric and marry him, in fact the other day she told me, I can’t believe Ariel married Eric and she was only 16!!! I can’t imagine myself marrying sooo young!…see my point? With time, your little girl, as she grows, will make her own personal opinion, not strongly based in a disney princess as a role model, I think Disney gives children the hope to believe in love, magic and the power of dreams, is part of their inocence…and you know, life doesn’t always have a happy ending, so sometimes you just need let them to believe and find their own way to live their lifes and be there for them and give advice in the right moment

  104. Cambria

    April 6, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    Let your daughter play with the stupid princess. You are over thinking it entirely and it’s something your daughter loves. When I was that age I was the same sort of obsessed with cinderella, my mom had to deal with it even though it wasn’t her favorite (actually her favorite was Ariel) and she humored me and I turned out fine. In no way do I have misconstrued conceptions about life and marriage. Let your daughter love princesses, she only gets to be a kid once. And having such adult interpretations of the movie keep her from loving things that kids should love isn’t fair to her. Let her make her own judgements as she grows up.

  105. Chris Skalski

    April 19, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    Sounds like a super strict mom gets her just reward.

  106. Rabbit

    April 30, 2014 at 8:52 am

    Wow, its you that has issues mom….not your daughter….yikes! Bitterness is one of them… what does your husband think? Oh wait, you’re married but dont think ‘its for you’….. well ‘theres your sign’….
    Dont drag your daughter down with you….seriously

  107. Abby

    May 1, 2014 at 3:37 am

    Hi there. I’m so late on the band wagon, but I know a lot of parents who get concerned about Disney, so for their sake I’m throwing in my two cents. So funny that the little mermaid should be the topic of choice here because when I was little I adored Ariel. I sang Part of Your World incessantly, and even insisted my parents called me Ariel for a little while. I don’t insist they call me Ariel anymore, but Disney is still something that I hold very dear to me. I can tell you’re concerned by why your daughter is obsessed with Ariel, and my best answer for you is that it’s a kid thing. She might like the princess because of her voice, or because of her pretty hair, or because of her cool underwater palace. My younger brother watched the movie Spirit: Stallion of the Cimmaron over and over and over again for a couple of months when he was about two years old. Then he moved on. Kids have a tendency to latch on to things, and I highly doubt your daughter’s love of the movie is really something unhealthy.

    One of the beautiful things about Disney is the underlying message in their movies. As adults we can tear them apart of inaccuracies, feminist flaws, and occasional mild moral ambiguity, but I promise that’s not what kids see. Let’s start with Walt Disney, the man himself. His philosophy revolved around family and family values. He set up these theme parks where staff are encouraged to keep families together and maximize family time. The Little Mermaid, like most of their movies from that time period, actually portrays a really interesting family. As a kid, I recognized the dynamic between Ariel and her father as a typical father/daughter relationship. It wasn’t until I was older that having seen a relationship like that really affected me. Every teenager has struggles with their parents. Sheltering your child from exposure to that fact can lead them to feeling like something’s wrong with them when such problems arise later on in their lives. King Triton and Ariel are dynamic and over the course of the story come to understand one another through love, which is something that carries into adulthood: so long as you put love first you’ll pull through.

    Why not use your daughter’s obsession with Ariel to your advantage? Rather than condemning it and hoping it goes away, use it as an opportunity to teach her about perseverance (something that whether we like Ariel or not, we can all agree she has a lot of). Despite many, many obstacles (read: Ursula), Ariel never gives up and eventually achieves her dream. Next time your daughter decides something is too hard you can use her favourite princess to help teach her.
    Remember, there is wisdom is every walk of life, don’t be too quick to condemn something that could be good for her.

  108. Jane

    May 2, 2014 at 11:40 pm

    Ariel’s desire to go to the surface was because of her love of human things, not Eric. And she’s a princess because– well, because Disney has an entire line-up of princesses. And those princesses aren’t princesses because of their royal parentage (some are royal, of course, but that’s not why they’re included), it’s because of acts of heroinism or bravery that earn them the honorary title of princess. Which is a great message for a child, I think– that you aren’t a princess because of what you were born with, but what you make yourself to be.

  109. Jodi Miles

    May 17, 2014 at 1:37 am

    Omg… Really? Is every little girls dream to be a princess and may her Prince charming! But they eventually grow out of it! PLEASE! I’M SO SICK OF THESE FRIGGIN by the book mom’s who state… Disney is teaching or children such horrible ideas! Most Disney movies only depict how children, in this case, Ariel, defy their parents to do what is what they think is right for them! If we, as parents in reality, allow our children continue this fantasy or dream as they get to be older. .. then it’s your own darn fault! The fact that parents don’t discipline children anymore is the true problem! It’s definitely not a friggin Disney movie! Come on lady!

  110. alicia

    May 18, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    He forbids her to the surface because her mother was killed by humans. If you have seen Aries beginnings you would know why he really doesn’t want her to be around humans.

  111. Seraphim

    May 25, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    Thank you, Aria, for mentioning the Hans Christian Andersen story. By the way, the age of the princess in the story is also 16. I agree with Aria’s post. I know this is an old discussion, but I read and read articles like this, and I wonder if anyone ever realizes how foolish you authors look whining about how Disney rears your children. Yes. If you are not doing it, then someone else is..

    I have a couple of points to add to Aria’s knowledgeable and eloquent post.

    The girl was 2. Is it possible to think that there is any major motion picture that is NOT too mature for a child that age?

    Parents are responsible for their children’s development, including what they
    view. You were on a deadline? So, you slipped your standards because you
    had to do a job. Are not your children your priority? Do you not have a
    responsibility to know and preview what you allow your children to just
    absorb? Can you not set boundaries for the grandparents? Are you the
    one in charge or is your toddler?

    On that point, the world is not owned and run by the children. Why should anyone else be deprived of movies like the Little Mermaid and the others because you
    find it inappropriate for 2 year olds?

    You complain about the themes and story lines of Disney movies and how they
    “ruin” your children, and yet you continue to purchase or at least own,
    view, and participate in them and their merchandising. Furthermore, you
    will whine and complain about an animated movie that lasts just under an
    hour and a half, but dump your children every day into a school,
    allowing them to be indoctrinated with whatever some faceless government deems good enough for your child. Does this make sense? It sounds to me like you are looking for someone to blame for your lack of parenting.

    If you are going to allow your child to watch these movies, at the very least, you should be thanking Disney for providing you with enough material to be able to talk to your child about the morals and values in them. After all, aren’t parents like you always complaining they don’t know how to talk to their kids?

    For the record. I love Disney, and have all my life, one of my favorite people is Walt Disney, but this is not a statement in defense or support of Disney. My parents were not harsh, but they did take a very active role in all my activities, especially as a young, impressionable child (a phase that does not end after the toddler years, I warn you). You don’t have to let your children watch movies to keep them from being
    outcasts. You do as you believe, but you DO, and you potentiate your control. My parents chose homeschooling for me since 4th grade. I am 36,
    well adjusted, socially normal, and I have a doctorate degree in
    Education.

    I echo Aria. The fault is yours. You are the parent. Act it.

  112. Ash

    June 25, 2014 at 6:01 am

    Sorry but…seriously? I feel bad for your kids to be honest…The truth is, when you try to hard to keep your children sheltered, it ends up having an opposite and negative affect on them. Those type of kids typically (typically, I didn’t say always) end up rebelling in their teen years or end up being very socially awkward. The fact is: one day your kid(s) WILL be exposed to pretty much EVERYTHING eventually, often times a lot sooner than you would imagine. That is unless you plan on trapping them in your house their whole lives.

    I know it’s crazy to think about Ariel getting married at 16, but think about it: Once someone is actually 16 years old, they are old enough to know that it obviously isn’t normal to get married at 16, they aren’t going to think back and say “Oh, Ariel got married at 16, I’m going to too!” so having watched TLM as a kid isn’t having a negative impact on anybody, it can only make a positive impact by teaching life lessons, as with all Disney movies. It’s completely fine to be mindful of what your kids watch on TV, but to analyze TLM so deeply, and to make such a big deal about a Disney movie? It’s overkill to me.

    Every Disney movie is completely harmless for people of all ages to watch, and they bring nothing but truly happy and positive experiences, and I honestly and fully believe that when you refuse to allow your child to watch these great, innocent movies, that you are actually robbing them of joyful childhood memories that can last a lifetime.

  113. Kate

    July 7, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    It’s a fucking Disney movie. Calm the hell down.
    And if your two year daughter is going to act like that, be a better parent and say that behavior isn’t acceptable

  114. kelbythedreamer

    July 18, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    It helps develop children’s imagination. It gives them something to believe in. I was the same way when I was little, as I’m told by my parents, but when you get older you LEARN that life isn’t the same as life in a disney movie. They’re fiction. There’s no problem with letting children believe and watch the films. I respect your perspective, but I highly disagree with you.

  115. mommyof3

    July 30, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    My 3 year old daughter watch it all the time and in no way does she get rid it in from it!I think that is completely wrong that you blame Disney or The Little Mermaid for how your child is acting, you are here mother maybe it isn’t used to guide her and not blame Disney shows on how she is behaving

  116. mommyof3

    July 30, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    I personally think that it is ridiculous that you’re blaming a Disney movie on how your 2 year old is acting!my 3 year old watches and lovse Ariel in no way rebelz from it… maybe you should step back and look at what you’re doing wrong because there are plenty of two and three year olds that are watching it and acting just fine! I am now 26 years old and I grew up on the Little Mermaid myself, I’m a redhead so obviously I had mybossiness and rebellion! But that’s normal it’s what kids do… I cannot believe you even took the time to write this article: you should look definitelyinto you and yourself as being a mother other than blaming a cartoon!or maybe your child has been so sheltered as you say you let her watch half an hour TV a day so maybe she doesn’t understand that it’s all make believe! And for those who say that kids who grew up on Disney are obsessed over men because of the so-called prince charming search… That is also just crazy Disney has been around forever everyone has grown up on Disney! Those who didnt still want prince charming… this is nothing more than a bunch of moms I want to blame their children’s behavior problems on something besides themself. … also just for future reference maybe you should try watching something before you allow your toddler to watch it! That way you can make her own judgement ahead of time

  117. Trina

    August 9, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    Our human nature makes us rebellious. It would have happened eventually anyways.

  118. mark

    August 17, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    This whole forum is so funny. Trying to make the perfect kid in an imperfect world is just nuts. Support your kid, don’t be afraid to yell a bit at them, and for God sakes keep them in the loop with society. Jails are full of mal-adjusted kids.

  119. Scarlett

    September 15, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    Have your kid watch Frozen, atleast Anna decides not to get married to a man she just met.

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  121. Anna Parkes-Overmyer

    September 19, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    I really believe that you are being over analytical about this movie, just because your daughter loves the movie and its characters does not mean the movie is bad for her. Also I understand that she may repeat a few choice words or sentences but the child is just two and that is what they do. She might be repeating what Ariel or triton says because she favors those characters. Also as far as Ariel being a princess, well king triton as well as his kingdom is based off of Greek and Roman mythology of the god posiden god of the water who had a triton. Plus little girls love princess and it made the movie that more amazing. This a kids movie from Disney not Simpsons or south park. Please don’t ever say this movie is bad for children because it is not.

  122. Shrix

    September 26, 2014 at 3:08 am

    The fact is Disney bases their stories on lessons that EVERY person should learn at a young age. Lessons that will present themselves at one point or another in our lives. Instead of your daughter taking away the great lessons… she only acts like a brat towards it because you apparently didn’t know anything about raising a child. Seriously if you actually pay attention to movies from that area (ESPECIALLY disney films) you would realize they have good life lessons that everyone deals with at some point. But no, instead of taking responsibility for the poor parenting you do you try to blame anyone but yourself. Grow up.

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  125. Ken

    November 14, 2014 at 10:37 am

    Just read this funny .? Just want to know how’s is your child with frozen ?wish you had mermaid back?

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