Next up on Christian Parallels in the Movies is The Little Mermaid. Now, I hadn’t seen this movie since I was a kid. My little sister loved this movie, so in good big sister fashion- I did not. I actually promised myself that I would never let my daughters watch this movie because no woman needs to change herself for a man… boy did I see something totally different when I watched the movie for Christian parallels.
First, Ariel is curious about the surface dwellers long before she meets Prince Eric. She has this longing to be part of their world. A longing that she cannot control. Though her father, the King, forbids it. She is told she cannot ever go to the surface.
But she does. So often, in fact, that she has made friends with Skuttle, a seagull. He is her resource this world she desires to be part of.
In the beginning of the movie, Ariel and her fish friend, Flounder, are exploring a sunken ship. Ariel finds a fork and a pipe which she puts in her sack. She brings these items to Scuttle who incorrectly identifies and gives purpose to the items. He tells her the fork is a “dingle-hopper” use for combing hair and that the pipe is a “snorf-black” used for making music. Later in our story Ariel will attempt to use these items incorrectly…
Ariel is so consumed with this world that she forgets all about the musical performance she is supposed to be in with her sisters. After the King confronts her, Flounder lets it slip that they were with the seagull. King Triton forbids his daughter to ever go to the surface again. While venting to a crab, Sabastian, the crab accidently volunteers to keep an eye on Ariel.
Though he cannot convince her life under the sea is better, Sabastian ends up befriending her and helping her.
Well, not long into our story, Ariel does see a real human. Here she falls in love with him. When a storm blows in and catches their boat on fire, Ariel saves him from the burning ship.
As she lays him on the land, she is singing. He hears that voice and falls in love as well.
Ok blah, blah, blah.
But Ariel is love. Her sisters know it. They say something to the king. He wants to know who she’s in love with. When he confronts Sabastian, Sebastian assumes the King knows and spills all the bean. In rage, the King goes to the cavern and destroys all of Ariel’s artifacts.
She is heartbroken. And while crying, our evil character takes the opportunity to get what she wants. She doesn’t want Ariel; she wants Triton. Yet, Ariel will get her to Triton, and she knows it.
While crying, Ursula’s eels convince Ariel that the Sea-Witch can help. Thoughs he comes in to an area surrounded by Ursula’s minions, Ariel agrees to the terms set by the sea witch.
Flounder and Sebastian both try to stop her. She even hesitates. But in her hurt, her desire to be part of that world consumes her and she signs her name.
The agreement: She will become human for three days. She has to get the prince to kiss her with a real true love’s kiss. All without her voice. If she doesn’t pay the prince, she will become one of Ursula’s minions.
Well, she becomes a human, learns to walk, and without her voice is almost able to pull it off. But the Sea Witch intervenes becoming human and using Ariel’s voice.
During this time, the King has been endlessly searching for his lost daughter.
Long story short, the sun sets as Eric realizes what has happened. He almost married the Sea witch, but Ariel gets her voice back. At the same time, Ursula turns back into her evil octopus’ attire, snatches Ariel and takes her to place in the sea.
Eric though is determined to not let her get away. He rows after her.
The King finally learns what’s going on. Ariel is turned into a minion, but the King signs an agreement to take her place.
Triton is turned into a minion, and Ursula takes the crown. A huge storm brews as Ariel and Eric try to take on the Evil Sea-Queen. Yet somehow, Eric manages to drive a ship straight into Ursula’s heart. Everyone is free from the Sea-Witches curses. And King Triton becomes King again.
Recognizing that Ariel really does love Prince Eric, King Triton uses his power to make Ariel a human.
The movie ends with a beautiful ship wedding attended by Mir-people and humans.
There are so many ways I could take this. That longing in our hearts for heaven. The misguided incorrect information from Scuttle effecting the way we see the world (and Christianity as a well). Evil blinding us.. manipulating us. Making a deal with the devil turns you into his minion… But there is only one that I feel like deserves the focus.
The King’s role in all this.
He tried to protect his daughter with rules. She disobeyed. Yet he took Ariel’s place.
She made a deal with the devil. He took her punishment. Willingly. So, she could live. Knowing he was giving up the throne. Because he loved her that much!
This has the Gospel written all over it. God created a perfect world with order giving one command. Do not eat from that tree of that fruit. Man did not obey, and sin entered the world. But God, who loved us so much sent His Son to willingly take on the punishment of death we deserve. He gave up His place in Heaven and came to live a humble life on Earth. Though He never sinned, He suffered as if He did. My His wounds, we are healed!