I went ahead and watched the Little Mermaid for a probably another million times today, no, not for the sake of throwing myself into whirlpool of Ariel/Eric related feelings 或者 fangirling over Ariel’s omg so awesome mermaid species and not even in order to procreate another lengthy and insightful analysis from the perspective of social critique and how patriarchy and condemnation of natural curiosity affects women but on behalf of documenting - in the most objective manner possible and without examining the thorough underlying subtext - actual plot points such as:
A) during the Grotto sequence preceding “Part of That World” musical number Ariel tells 比目鱼 she has a different attitude towards the human world than her father does adding that the existence of some wonderful things in it makes her 问题 whether it’s as horrible as Triton insists it is. She doesn’t use the “pretty” 或者 “dazzling” 或者 “magnificent” term in order to address her stance and describe human items but says “wonderful” instead - which has a large number of multiple dimensions and as promised I’m not going to resort to personal interpretations therefore here is the dictionary definition of “wonder”: “something extraordinary 或者 surprising … Synonyms: caution, flash, marvel, miracle, phenomenon, portent, prodigy, sensation”. Here we have a number of meanings, varying from the 给 term being used to describe relatively superficial conditions such as external visual appeal as well as considerably 更多 profound characteristics defining uniqueness, extraordinary qualities and phenomenons. The latter is what gets Ariel drawn to the human world that contrary to her father’s statements about it being the epitome of everything disgusting and wrong is capable of producing not only aesthetically pleasing but useful, inventive, imaginative things that indicate intelligence and creativity of the ones in charge of making them. Hence her curiosity which isn’t bordering on being attracted to shiny and beautiful but to what’s behind it.
B) a casual reminder of Ariel’s willingness to risk her own life multiple times for the sake of keeping the bag filled with significant findings because she literally values knowledge 更多 than her well being but dropping 说 bag in an instant once her friend is in danger and rushing to his rescue. No, not going to turn it into a long, comprehensive examination of Ariel’s selflessness, frankly, only pointing this out because we’re going to need this reference just a little bit later.
C) to deviate from Ariel for a moment inserting a lovesick prince Eric who is desperate and devotedly invested in the idea of finding his mysterious gorgeous siren at any cost. “Ariel got a guy due to good looks and because she didn’t talk!” - a common accusation directed at both characters. Once again, resisting the urge to analyze every emotional struggle Eric undergoes due to the fact that Ariel could NOT talk which put him off forming a relationship of any kind with her initially remaining loyal and dedicated to “the one” until a certain point - which IS going to be addressed because it’s fundamentally important - and sticking strictly to canon. And go figure! When Eric approaches Ariel who sits on the rock trying her best to look attractive and unabashedly flirt he is NOT AT ALL smitten with her gorgeousness (obligatory side eyeing of John “not going to shoot 你 because you’re pretty” Smith) - he doesn’t even pay attention! No, as an incurable and hopeless gentlemen he apologizes for his dog’s inappropriate behavior and tries to turn it into a joke (jeez Eric, it’s not like she’s going to sue you). He doesn’t react to flirting on her part! And THEN when he catches the striking resemblance between the mysterious siren his blurry eyes clouded 由 post traumatic stress envisioned on the 支撑, 海岸 after the shipwreck and this unexpected stranger he actually gives her a longing look - no, not the look of lust, but the look of HOPE for he thinks he has found the one his unapologetically romantic mind has been set out to reunite with. And can 你 imagine?! WHEN it turns out that Ariel is mute/can’t talk the let down written all over his face is so explicit it even makes his dog embarrassed. Ariel’s looks are irrelevant to him because she - as he believes - is not the one he has been searching for and he only offers her help because it seems she has been through something (Eric, 你 have no idea) and needs a place to stay. It’s not until she makes him smile for the first time in days that he agrees to take her to Kingdom tour while not promising anything at all - he doesn’t even know her yet thus it’s a completely healthy and rational approach. But ok, ok, not making any additional comments, this is recap and recap only.
D) once again skipping through the prolonged analysis of massive and overwhelming inner conflicts Eric endures during the Kingdom tour due to being torn between his commitment to the mysterious siren and the electric crazily enthusiastic girl who drags him with her whenever she feels like exploring something new because that’s what she, as a true explorer, does (what IS worth mentioning is the fact that on several occasions Ariel is so preoccupied with gaining individual experiences with making observations 或者 participating in puppet 街, 街道 theater 或者 riding a carriage she hardly pays any attention to Eric - in fact, she nearly kills him when figuring out how carriage riding process works and mind 你 this is the guy she risked her life to save when staying around the burning ship before and after it’s explosion while the debris was falling right into the water) and highlighting a crucial canonical point: so, we have these two in the boat, they have spent the entire 日 together (minus the 晚餐 a 日 ago), they are young, wild and intimate. 你 know what happens? Nothing. Not until Eric takes it upon himself to determine Ariel’s name - because he wouldn’t even take it as far as 接吻 someone without knowing their name. He literally draws away when her proactive and sexually liberated self attempts to do it - and she respects his need for time rather than thinking “what a loser”. She understands. She lets him guess (with a little help of Sebastian) what her name is and only THEN do they draw closer both literally and figuratively. The night is young and so are they but the guy that tends to get enormous backlash for supposedly only caring about looks wouldn’t even 吻乐队（Kiss） a stunning young thing without knowing her name first because he takes her seriously and doesn’t objectify her. He doesn’t want for them to behave young and wild, he wants them to behave like adults and Ariel appreciates that and recognizes the logic behind his mindset.
C) and finally, the truth. No, wait, it’s from Harry Potter. Whatever. Basically, Ariel is taken 由 Ursula due to not managing to fulfill her part of the deal. She is upset, indeed, but she doesn’t actively fight Ursula 或者 try to escape 或者 somehow avoid taking responsibility. Ariel KNOWS she made a conscious choice to sign the contract and is willing to face the consequences. She doesn’t cry, yell, beg 或者 attack Ursula who is currently unarmed. BUT when the events take an unpredictable turn with her father offering himself in Ariel’s place and is transformed into little mutated entity Ariel gasps “no” in horror, calls Ursula WHO IS NOW THE 皇后乐队 OF THE OCEAN AND OWNS AN UNLIMITED POWER DUE TO THE TRIDENT a monster and PHYSICALLY CONFRONTS HER because no one messes with Ariel’s family! She was ready to sacrifice herself on behalf of pursuing her goals but was NEVER willing to put her father in danger. Then Eric arrives and can 你 imagine, Ariel once AGAIN has to embrace the role of a protector and attack armed and dangerous Ursula saving Eric’s life the 秒 time. The rest of the sequence is spent 由 Ariel trying to make sure Eric doesn’t drown and telling him to get away (which he refuses to do, obviously, because, 你 know, true 爱情 and all). See why we need to bag reference now? Because that’s how Ariel’s mind functions - she IS reckless and she DOES make controversial, thoughtless, sometimes downright stupid decisions but she only EVER subjects herself to the consequences of them. The 秒 it affects her friends, family 或者 lover 你 are going to regret ever crossing her path. And then because Eric and Ariel are such a good exceptionally effective, proactive and organic team they destroy Ursula and liberate her victims - the ones that objectively should have been freed 由 Triton long time 以前 seeing as taking care of his people’s well being is the King’s legitimate duty but his prejudiced/discriminatory self would rather patronize his daughter and perpetuate the concept of “one human less” and it being desirable for representatives of other culture to die under his waters never helped 由 the merfolk than prevent Ursula from running illegal business that causes a deliberate harm to the citizen on his territory. Ariel already apologized, already fought, already risked herself for literally everyone and as a bonus she and her lover saved a bunch of innocent victims a ruler of the Kingdom could care less about. She gained experience. Some of it included making mistakes, some was necessary to make a change in her society and defy her father’s extremism, some of it contributed to helping people.
To sum it up:
Initial goal of being a human, exploring the 支撑, 海岸 up above, standing, walking along down the street, becoming a part of that world: fulfilled. Family relationship: strengthened. Cultural discrimination: battled. Innocents: saved. Oh, and she also gets the guy but that’s a deliciously pleasant bonus.