One theory suggests Disney’s The Little Mermaid wasn’t a sweet story about love at first sight; instead, could Ariel have been a siren?
Disney is notorious for its love-at-first-sight storylines, but one theory suggests something more sinister in The Little Mermaid: that Ariel is a siren. These creatures from Greek mythology lure sailors to their death through their songs. It is said that no one can resist the sirens’ call, and sailors crash their ships into the rocky islands the sirens inhabit. While the original sirens are sometimes described as a group of bird-like women, over time, the myth evolved to become mermaids, which is the more widely known variation. It isn’t the only connection to mythology in this film, either, as others have pointed out that Ariel and Hercules are likely cousins.
The Little Mermaid is an iconic Disney film based on the 1837 Danish fairy tale from Hans Christian Andersen. Its soundtrack and artwork are much-beloved by fans. The plot is simple: a mermaid princess named Ariel (voiced by Jodie Benson) falls in love with Prince Eric (Christopher Daniel Barnes) as he sails through her kingdom. She rescues him from drowning, singing as he awakes, and he falls in love with her. Ariel sells her voice to a witch named Ursula for a pair of legs. Though this plan initially backfires, in the end, she and Eric do live happily ever after. The Disney film changes the original fairytale in which the mermaid dies. However, this siren theory brings back some of that darkness.