I didn’t really get to socialize much as a kid so I didn’t know how to act in situations. I felt like I didn’t have a personality at all. So I would base most of my personality traits on Disney Characters. I would smile in a big goofy grin like Sora. I would scream like Snow White when I was scared. I would laugh at my own jokes like King Fergus, and I would be Clumsy like Anna, and dance like Rapunzel. I would be curious like Ariel. It helped me make friends and feel human like I was a person.
I’m autistic and didn’t talk until I was 3, and for obvious reasons The Little Mermaid was my favorite movie ever. Having a main character who couldn’t speak for, like, half the movie, and did just fine? And got to be where the people are? Revolutionary. Also everything about Part Of Your World gives me chills because that’s exactly what my life has been like since I can remember
I’ve always been a shy and quiet person. When I was younger, I couldn’t speak right because of a speech disorder. Because of this, I had no friends at school and got bullied by peers and even my own family. I ended up becoming selectively mute as a result. The Little Mermaid resonated with me because Ariel was different like I was, and she had to deal with having no voice. When Gabriella the deaf mermaid was introduced, I cried because she was non-verbal like me. Ariel and Gabriella got me through hard lonely times and I’m glad to say I am more confident now, and I have great friends who accept me for my differences
It annoys me that Ariel from “The Little Mermaid” gets called a selfish brat for having to make a deal with a witch to get what she wants when Merida from “Brave” did the same thing and no one complains about it. I think there seems to be a double standard since Ariel is a girly-girl while Merida is a tomboy. If you’re gonna complain about a character’s actions, at least keep them consistent.
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always watched every single bonus feature of Disney movies (deleted scenes, songs, behind the scenes, audio commentary, etc.) and I always got so much more immersed in the world that way. Chimpanzoo from Mary Poppins and Proud of Your Boy from Aladdin were two of my favorite songs. In fact, one DVD from years ago had a mock set of a Disney ride for The Little Mermaid. When the ride opened, I noticed it had some elements of the bonus feature from my childhood DVD. It was pretty cool to feel like I had been in the know since I was a kid.
Recently I can’t watch The Little Mermaid without crying. I’m in a long distance relationship and when Ariel saves Eric and she says “What would I give to live where you are? What would I pay to stay here beside you?” I just break down in tears. I can feel that heartache in her voice
The Little Mermaid helped me to understand more about myself and my own essence. I’m a gay man, and since I was a kid I could relate to Ariel and her intense desire to be herself in a world that does not allow her to be her true self. Thank you, Ariel, for giving me voice and hope!