Princess Ariel is a mermaid who first appeared in Disney's 1989 theatrical release, The Little Mermaid, as the main protagonist. She reprises her role as the protagonist in its prequel television series, and prequel The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning. Though she is the secondary character in The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea, while her daughter, Melody became the new primary character. She is the fourth of the Disney Princesses and the only mother in the Disney Princess franchise.
The character is based on the protagonist of Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid" Fairy Tale, but was developed into a different personality for the 1989 animated film adaptation. Her distinct appearance consists of long, flowing red hair, a green tail and a purple seashell bikini top.
Ariel's original design was developed by animator Glen Keane, who reportedly said in an animation lecture that she was based on his own wife. Ariel's appearance was also based on model Sherri Stoner, who provided live-action references for the animators during the development of the film and also inspired the look for Belle. A challenge in animating Ariel for the 1989 film were the color required to show Ariel in the changing environments, both under the sea and on land, for which the animators required 32-color models, not including costume changes. The blue-green color of Ariel's fin was a hue specially mixed by the Disney paint lab; the color was named "Ariel" after the character. Ariel has been compared to past Disney Heroines but is more physically similar to Alice from Alice in Wonderland as they both have big eyes, a broad forehead and a small mouth and chin.
Ariel is a bright, spirited mermaid who is also adventurous and stubborn. Her curiosity and love for adventure sometimes gets her into trouble. Usually, however, Ariel overcomes any obstacle she faces like she uses magic to change things. Her best friend is a fish named Flounder, and she develops a close relationship with a crab named Sebastian, the court's composer. Ariel is also impulsive, as evidenced by her exploring whilst forgetting about the concert. In The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea, Ariel matures after becoming a mother. Due to the threat of Morgana, she becomes overprotective of Melody in the same manner she was treated by King Triton in the first film. She is shown to long for the sea, but keeps this hidden from Melody for her own safety.
Her most notable trait, however, was her deep love and fascination for humanity, having desired to become human during the events of the first film, even prior to meeting her future husband, Eric. She did not always have this trait, however: Until she was fifteen years of age, she expressed a deep fear of humanity similar to Triton's xenophobia of humanity, although her witnessing some humans saving a beached dolphin changed her views on the matter. Ironically, one of the people responsible for saving the dolphin was Eric, although she never knew it.
As a mermaid, Ariel is strikingly beautiful; so beautiful in fact that she won an award for most beautiful Disney Heroine. She has an hourglass figure and fair skin. In her childhood, she used to wear a purple tube top her lips were the same color as her skin. From the waist down, she has a green tail with paler green, translucent fins and wears a brassiere made out of purple seashells. She has large, deep sea-blue eyes and full red lips. Her most defining feature is her long, red hair that matches her lips.
When she becomes a human, Ariel's lovely tail is turned into two beautiful, long, slender legs with small feet. At first, the only article of clothing she wore was her seashell bra, but wears an old sail with some rope to keep it closed fashioned by her friend Scuttle. Being prepared for dinner, she wears a pink and white gown with silver barrettes on her hair and pearl white earrings. Getting ready for bedtime, she wears a pink nightgown. After being taken in by Prince Eric, she wears a dress with light blue sleeves, a dark blue bodice, and a blue (sometimes white) shirt. She also wears a big royal blue bow in her hair and black heels. After she's turned into a human once again, she wears a light blue glittering dress. After she kisses Eric, during their wedding, she wears a white wedding dress with a sparkling golden tiara on her veil. During and after her daughter's christening, she wears a gold and white dress and wears a low ponytail, decorated with a white bow. Ariel also wears a periwinkle gown with an up-do decorated with a golden tiara with green and white gems on her necklace and earrings during her daughter's 12th birthday party. Ariel still wears the same up-do with a green peasant dress when she's on her husband's ship. In one of the video games, she wears an aqua-colored gown with a matching flower on the side of her hair.
In The Little MermaidEdit
As depicted in the 1989 film, Ariel is the youngest of King Triton's seven daughters, and is 16 years old. Ariel has a vast fascination with the world of humans, despite such contact being forbidden by her father, King Triton, who is xenophobic, meaning that he hates humans.
At the beginning of the film, Princess Ariel and her fish friend Flounder swim through a shipwreck where they salvage human items. During their adventure, the two are attacked by a shark, but Ariel manages to outwit the vicious creature. After escaping the shark, Ariel and Flounder swim up to the surface, where they speak to Scuttle to identify human objects. Scuttle misidentifies a fork as a "dinglehopper" used to straighten their hairs and a pipe as a "snarfblat" used to make music. The identification of the latter remind Ariel about the concert she was initially supposed to a part of. Ariel hurries home to her father King Triton and Sebastian the crab, who both rebuke her for missing the concert. Hearing from Flounder about Ariel's encounter with a seagull, King Triton reprimands Ariel for going up to the surface, telling her how she could have been spotted by what he calls "barbarians" who could have snared her with a fishhook. After being demanded by Triton to obey his every rule and never to swim up to the surface again, Ariel tearfully swims off to her secret grotto, where her collection of human objects, from books to other regular objects, such as globes, mugs and chests of jewels, is kept. She feels that collecting human objects isn't enough and gets more curious about the world above the ocean, even expressing her desire to actually live among the humans.
Later, Ariel spots a ship passing above. Incited, she quickly swims up to the surface and toward the ship, where she watches the party on board. She then spots a male human by the name of Prince Eric and remarks to Scuttle how she has never seen a human this close before. Just then, a storm moves in and destroys the ship. Ariel looks around for Eric and finds him unconscious in the sea. She carries him to the shore, where she sings to him how she longs to be with him in his world, but is forced to leave when others approach. Ariel falls in love with the prince and becomes more determined to accomplish her dreams of living alongside humanity.
Back at Atlantica, Ariel's other sisters notice her humming dreamily, giving them a notion that she is in love. Ariel comes up with a plan to somehow see Eric again, but Sebastian tries to talk her out of it, telling her how life under the sea is better than the world up above through the song Under the Sea. While Sebastian tries to entertain Ariel with a band of crustaceans producing music, Flounder comes over to Ariel to tell her something, and they both swim off.
Flounder takes Ariel to her grotto, where he surprises her with a statue of Eric that Flounder has somehow salvaged from Eric's destroyed ship and added into Ariel's collection. Ariel thanks Flounder, but then faces her stern father, who is very upset to learn from Sebastian that she has rescued a human being from drowning. Shocked and enraged that Ariel is in love with that human, Triton loses all his temper and proceeds to destroy all the human artifacts in the grotto with his trident, including the statue of Eric. Ariel tries plead for her father to stop, but to no avail. Devastated, Ariel breaks down in tears, and an ashamed Triton leaves the grotto. Sebastian, who has accompanied Triton to the grotto, try to console Ariel, only for her to tell him to leave. After Sebastian and Flounder exit the grotto, two eels, Flotsam and Jetsam, appear to convince Ariel to see their master Ursula the Sea Witch, who may have the power to make Ariel's dream come true. Ariel reluctantly follows Flotsam and Jetsam to Ursula's fortress.
Ariel nervously and fearfully enters the fortress, and Ursula calls for her. The sea witch, who knows that Ariel is in love with a human through spying on her via Flotsam and Jetsam, tells Ariel that she must become a human herself to be with Eric. Ursula explains the deal to Ariel: Ariel will become human for three days, during which she must get a kiss of true love from Eric before the sun sets on the third day in order to stay human; otherwise, Ariel will turn back into a mermaid and will be bond to Ursula forever. Ursula furtherer states that as part of the deal, Ariel must give up her voice in order to become human. (Unknown to Ariel, the deal is simply a part of Ursula's sinister plot to take Triton's throne.) Ariel accepts the deal as she signs a contract conjured by Ursula. The sea witch then orders Ariel to sing for her and summons magical hands to rip out Ariel's voice, which is then sealed into a seashell of Ursula's necklace. Ariel is then turned into a human and is helped to the shore by Flounder and Sebastian due to her inability to swim.
At the shore, Ariel is found by Eric's sheepdog Max, who leads his master to her. When Eric sees Ariel, he finds her familiar, but when he sees that she is unable to talk, he gets the feeling that she cannot be the girl he is looking for. Nevertheless, Eric takes Ariel to his palace, where Ariel takes a bath and gets dressed for the dinner. As Eric, his manservant Grimsby and maid Carlotta join her, Ariel notices a fork and uses it to comb her hair, making the three dumbfounded, which makes her embarrassed. Noticing Grimsby's pipe, Ariel takes it and, thinking it as a musical instrument, blows the contents into Grimsby's face, and Eric laughs at Grimsby's face covered with ash. After Grimsby wipes his face and dinner is served, he suggests that Eric take Ariel out on a kingdom tour, which Ariel accepts.
The next day, Eric takes Ariel out to show her his kingdom. During the tour, he teaches her to dance. That evening, Eric and Ariel spend time in a lagoon, riding in a rowboat rowed by Eric. In order to get the two to kiss, Sebastian leads some animals in the lagoon to create the mood with music and his song Kiss the Girl. Ariel and Eric enjoy the sights and draw closer to a kiss, but then Flotsam and Jetsam tip the boat over, prompting Eric to help Ariel out of the water.
The next day (which is the third and last of Ariel's human days), Scuttle wakes Ariel up and delivers the news that Eric is getting hitched. She excitedly runs downstairs, only to see Eric with a dark-haired girl, whom he intends to marry. Ariel breaks down in tears and runs off, devastated that Eric is not marrying her. Later that afternoon, the wedding ship departs with Eric, the girl, and the wedding guests on board, leaving a heartbroken Ariel to mourn the loss of her dream prince. Just then, Scuttle comes over to tell Ariel a shocking news: the girl Eric is getting married to is the sea witch in disguise. Recalling Ursula's deal, Ariel jumps into the sea, but has to grab onto one of the barrels released by Sebastian to stay afloat, and Flounder helps her to the wedding ship by pulling the barrel. Just as Ariel reaches the ship and climbs aboard, the seashell of Ursula's necklace that the bride has been wearing shatter in front of Ariel, freeing Ariel's voice, which is then restored to her. Eric, who has come out of a spell placed on him by the girl who seduced him with Ariel's voice, realizes that Ariel is the girl he is looking for. He dumps the bride and runs over to Ariel. But just as Eric and Ariel are about to kiss, the sun sets and Ariel turns back into a mermaid and collapses. The girl dumped by Eric transforms back into Ursula, takes Ariel as her prisoner, and dives back into the sea.
As Ursula thinks of what she should do to Ariel next, Triton appears to confront the sea witch and orders her to release his daughter, to which Ursula refuses. Ariel apologizes to her father as he attempts to destroy the contract, to no avail. Ursula proceeds to wither Ariel, but offers someone even better to take Ariel's place. Triton accepts by blasting his signature on the contract with his trident. Ariel is released, but is forced to watch as her father is withered and transformed into a polyp. Ursula then takes Triton's crown and trident. Angered, Ariel tries to fight Ursula, only for the sea witch to threaten the mermaid princess with the trident. Eric arrives to help Ariel, hitting Ursula with a harpoon. Ursula prepares to destroy Eric with the trident, but Ariel pulls on Ursula's hair just as the trident shoots, causing the shot to miss Eric and hit Flotsam and Jetsam instead, desroying them and making Ursula furious.
Ariel and Eric try to escape, but then face a towering, gigantic Ursula. The sea witch declares herself as ruler of the ocean who has the power to control the waves and creates a rainstorm and a whirlpool. Ariel is separated from Eric, and Ursula causes her to become trapped at the bottom of a whirlpool. Ursula aims her trident at the princess and fires bolts of pure destruction at the now helpless Ariel, who barely manages to avoid her painful demise each time. Just as Ursula charges the trident to prepare an unavoidable blast that will finish Ariel off, Eric plunges the splintered bow of one of the shipwrecks (that have surfaced as a result of the whirlpool) through the Ursula's abdomen, destroying the sea witch and saving Ariel at the last minute.
At the end of the film, Ariel is seen sitting on a rock, watching Eric on the shore. Triton, who has transformed back into his original form and regained his regal status after the destruction of Ursula, softens his attitude toward humans. Noticing how Ariel loves Eric as much as Triton himself loves his daughter, he transforms Ariel permanently into human, allowing Ariel to be with Eric. After the transformation, Ariel walks up to the shore, where she is happily reunited with Eric as he embraces her, and the two share their first kiss. Soon, Ariel and Eric have a wedding on the wedding ship attended by Eric's loyal subjects onboard and Ariel's family and friends in the sea around the ship. Ariel bids farewell to Scuttle and Flounder and gives her father a heartwarming hug before happily sailing away with Eric.
Little Mermaid IIEdit
Ariel as having given birth to a daughter named Melody. When we first see Ariel playing with her beautiful newborn daughter, many toys of Flounder, Sebastian and other fish can be seen in the room, showing that she misses her old friends and family. When Melody's safety is threatened by a sea witch named Morgana (sister of Ursula, who died in the 1989 film), Ariel and her husband Eric decide they must keep Melody away from the sea, and to this effect, they build a large wall separating the castle from it. Melody's love of the sea proves too strong, however, and when Melody falls into Morgana's clutches, Ariel is forced to temporarily resume her mermaid form in order to rescue her and save Melody from Morgana's scheme. In this time, Ariel briefly returns to her grotto as seen in the first film, and studies the objects, (which we are left to presume survived King Triton's anger in the first film) and keeps looking for Melody. This sequel features Ariel becoming an over-protective parent for her daughter, effectively taking over the role of her father in the 1989 film. Ariel is the first and only mother of the Disney Princesses.
In Sofia the FirstEdit
Ariel appeared in the special Sofia the First: The Floating Palace on November 24, 2013. She is summoned to help Sofia with her trouble of saving her mermaid friend and her family's ship in danger and sings "The Love We Share" to encourage Sofia to enlist Cora to help her save Oona. She is seen at the end of the special by the floating palace jumping into the water.
In Kingdom HeartEdit
Ariel appears in the Kingdom Hearts series and is voiced by her original voice actress Jodi Benson. She is featured in the game not as one the seven Princesses of Heart (her spot is taken by Alice from "Alice in Wonderland") but as one of two female warriors, along with Mulan, to join Sora, Donald and Goofy in the fight against the Heartless.
Ariel makes her Kingdom Hearts debut in the first game in the series. She meets Sora, Donald, and Goofy when she is running away from the Heartless with Sebastian and Flounder . They teach the player how to move around in their new forms, and Sora, Donald, and Goofy cover up the fact that they are from another world by claiming that they are from a distant ocean. When she hears Goofy talking to her father about a Keyhole, she decides to help them find it and manages to find the crystal, that resembles her father's trident, that has the power to reveal the Keyhole. King Triton arrives in time to destroy it, and Ariel leaves in tears.
The sea witch Ursula lures her into helping her steal the Trident from her father, with the promise of helping her get to other worlds, while also revealing that Sora, Donald, and Goofy are in fact from another world. However, things don't go as Ariel planned, as Ursula makes off with the trident and injures Triton. With Sora's help, they defeat Ursula.
After sealing the Keyhole, Sora apologizes to Ariel for lying to her, but she lets it slide, confident that, if they could find a way to travel to different worlds, then so can she.
Kingdom Hearts: Chain of MemoriesEdit
In Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, she appears as a memory of Sora . She roams around Atlantica though when she sees Sora and friends she runs away for no reason. Sora and company find out she was running away because she stole her father's Trident to save Flounder from Ursula's clutches. Sora and his friends help Ariel confront Ursula and save Flounder. After Ursula's defeat Sebastian arrives and Ariel decides to face the consequences for taking the Trident.
Kingdom Hearts IIEdit
In Kingdom Hearts II, she has an unusual role, as Atlantica sets a musical stage about Ariel and Prince Eric. She saves the Prince from drowning and takes him to shore. There she sings to him until he awakes.
Unable to forget about the Prince, she falls into deep depression, and so Sora and the others decide to help her. When her father finds out that she has fallen in love with a human, he tries to make her forget about him by destroying the statue of him that Flounder gave to her as a gift to cheer her up. But then Ursula reappears and makes a deal with her: to make her human for three days in exchange for her voice. In addition, she must make the prince kiss her willingly before sunset on the 3rd day, otherwise she will become hers forever. Despite the hardship, she signs the contract and finally gets to meet Eric in person, although he does not recognize her at first.
On the third day, Ariel gets her voice back with Sora's help, and they all battle the sea witch again. Once Ursula is defeated, Ariel reveals to Eric that she is a mermaid and says goodbye to him, but he does not change his feelings about her. Seeing how much they are in love, King Triton's view of humans changes and he lets his daughter be with a human prince. After the final song, "A New Day is Dawning", is sung, Ariel is disappointed to learn that Sora, Donald, and Goofy are leaving, but they refuse to say goodbye and assure her in song that they will meet again, to which she happily agrees. In the ending credits, Ariel is seen in human form and marries Eric.
Story of Joining Sora's TeamEdit
After Sora, Goofy, and Donald visited with Riku, Kairi, Ventus, Aqua, Terra, Xion, Roxas, and Lea, Ariel was interested with their company and skills. When Lock, Shock, and Barrel visited to look for Sora, Prince Eric thought the trio were thieves, but after the Heartless, Nobodies, and Castlevenoms attacked the castle, the fight lasted for 25 seconds. After the fight, with the trio helped, Prince Eric apologized and Melody came down from her room with Stitch after the two talked about things. King Triton then came to surface with Sebastian, and Flounder who were persuaded by Mickey Mouse and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit to join the team. When
Melody asked Ariel if she could join, she said she would if Ariel joins also. After they were all accepted, Ariel's appearance began to change. Soon she was an honorary member and top leader of the team.