The Little Mermaid, And Disney 's Version Of The Story Essay

The Little Mermaid, And Disney 's Version Of The Story Essay

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In both Hans Christian Andersons “The Little Mermaid,” and Disney’s version of the story, the main character— a young and beautiful mermaid— waits anxiously for her fifteenth birthday to venture from her father’s underwater castle to the world above the water. As the story carries on the mermaids priorities change; her modest and selfless nature is revealed towards the end in Andersen’s version. However, Disney’s version encompasses a rather shallow ending and plot throughout. The theme found in comparing the two versions reveal that Andersen’s substance trumps Disney’s entertainment factor in fairy tales.
The mermaid in Andersen’s version offers a greater depth of character as opposed to Disney’s mermaid. Anderson writes when introducing the mermaid in the story that “She was a strange child: quiet and thoughtful.” Each child of the mer-king has their own garden beneath the sea and has been given the freedom to fill it with what they choose. The mermaid’s appreciation of beauty and simplicity is shown in her garden by the modest statue of a boy and an arrangement of beautiful, crimson flowers in likeness of the sun. (Cravens). Andersen’s description of the mermaid’s pensive personality strikes a sense of curiosity in the reader considering how unusual her personality is compared to a normal child, such as Disney’s Ariel. Ariel’s character takes on a completely alternate personality. She is rambunctious, loud and finds beauty in the things of the world above the sea instead of also realizing the beauty all around her as Andersen’s mermaid does with her flowers. This example demonstrates the modesty Andersen’s mermaid holds compared to the superficial personality of Disney’s mermaid.
The mermaid in Andersen’s version desires mo...

... middle of paper ...

...selflessness. Not all stories have to have happy endings to satisfy a reader (Whitty); this story for example holds so much more depth, substance, and emotion because it does not have one. Disney chose a happier, predictable ending where Ariel marries the prince in the end; this ending makes it easy to smile, but lacks in allowing the reader to develop much more emotion than that.
In conclusion, when comparing Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid” to Disney’s verison, the theme of substance exceeds entertainment is amplified. Through Andersen’s version the reader has more opportunities to connect with the main character and relate to her feelings. It teaches moral lessons, and requires the reader to do more than just think, but also causes them to imagine and feel. Disney’s may be entertaining, but in comparison it greatly lacks the gravity that Andersen’s version holds.

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