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13.10.2015
Ariel is a featured article, which means it has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the DisneyWiki community. Ariel's original design was developed by animator Glen Keane, who had reportedly said in an animation lecture that she was based on his own wife.
Jodi Benson, who was predominantly a stage actress when she was cast, was chosen to voice Ariel because the directors felt "it was really important to have the same person doing the singing and speaking voice." Co-director Ron Clements remarked that her voice had "sweetness" and "youthfulness" that was unique. Voice actress Melissa Fahn auditioned for the role and was called back many times, but was turned down because she sounded a little too young. At the start of the original film, Ariel is shown to have a burning obsession with the human world, and a desire to learn more about their culture.
Ariel is also shown to be extremely compassionate and loving; more so platonically than romantically. Like her father, Ariel has a bad temper if ever she is provoked, although hers is not as bad as his. Also, despite her usual naivety and impulsiveness, Ariel has shown on many occasions to be serious, careful, and very intelligent and intuitive. When Ariel becomes a human, the only article of clothing she wore was her seashell bra, but wears an old sail from a shipwreck with some rope to keep it closed, fashioned by her friend, Scuttle. Atlantean Strength: She is known to have at least a very certain degree of Atlantean strength, as she was able to move away an underwater boulder blocking her grotto with relative ease in the original film (which, in real life, an underwater rock blocking an object with an unbalanced volume would result in the rock being immobile and the door being sealed shut, virtually impossible to open, which doesn't even take into account water pressure and other related factors).
Alantean Endurance: Ariel may also have Atlantean endurance, as during the final battle with Ursula in the film, she was at one point knocked into a whirlpool that is several miles deep and survived with barely any injuries. Underwater Breathing: As a mermaid, Ariel is also able to metabolize oxygen from the water, which negates the need to surface, though she is certainly more than capable of breathing on land. Speed Swimming: Also, Ariel is capable of swimming at a much faster rate than humans or even certain marine creatures in terms of undersea travel, or sea travel as a whole due to her half-marine status. Aquapathy: Because of her being a mermaid, Ariel is also capable of speaking with aquatic fauna.
Swordswoman: While in human form, Ariel seems to at least have some knowledge of swordplay, which is evident when she used one to cut the rope off a mast to save Melody from Morgana. Thermoendurance: Ariel has demonstrated the ability to endure temperatures far more extreme than would be survivable for a human (especially one of her build). It's also implied that Ariel was capable of reading advanced literature, as during "Part of Your World", she is seen reading an immense book in her grotto.
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She is based on the protagonist of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale "The Little Mermaid", but was developed into a different personality for the 1989 animated film adaptation. Her 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.
When recording the vocals for Ariel's theme song "Part of Your World", she consented to Howard Ashman's suggestion that the lights in the studio be dimmed, so as to "feel a little bit more enclosed" and create the feeling of being deep under the sea.
Her tendency to explore the more mysterious depths of the ocean (or more importantly, the world beyond the ocean) can lead to an array of problems to both herself, her friends, and in the confines of her personal life—as seen through her constant confrontations with her protective father, King Triton. Unlike her father, she views humans as aspiring creatures, astonished by their ability to constantly create, and heavily goes against the idea of them being "barbaric" and selfish as a result of this. This is most notably seen through her friendship with her closest companion, Flounder, and even her father's court composer, Sebastian who, despite being against Ariel's recklessness and overly adventurous nature, is given a considerably large amount of love and respect from the princess, which is often reciprocated. Although spirited, even she has had some degree of self-doubts about herself, as she actually at one point considered her father might have been correct and that she may have been a freak for having any fascination for humanity.
Due to the threat of Morgana, she becomes very overprotective of Melody in a similar manner to how she was treated by Triton in the first film.


Being prepared for dinner, she wears a pink and white gown, silver barrettes in her hair, and pearl white earrings. When discovering Eric's ship due to the fireworks, she is shown effortlessly climbing up the side of the ship with just her arms. Such a feat would kill a normal person if not completely destroy the body of a said person.
She retains her ability even in human form, but whether her abilities of superhuman strength and endurance were retained upon becoming human is debatable.
This is especially evident in terms of her becoming a temporary human, where she learned how to stand in a few minutes, and move in presumably the same timespan (whereas the average human seems to need a few months at the very least to learn how to walk), as well as quickly learning about the true human customs and abandoning her original beliefs about how human artifacts work, or at the very least not doing it in public.
This is shown in the film's and TV series, where she went to the arctic with minimal ill effects other than feeling a bit cold, as well as in Return to the Sea, where she traveled to Morgana's lair, which was located inside an iceberg, and when visiting Ursula's, which was located in a volcanic region.
In the episode "The Evil Manta" of the TV series, her singing voice seemed to be only weapon that could banish the Manta from Atlantica.
In one of her episodes, she became a sea-witch and used her magic to grant Sebastian's wish of being bigger but unfortunately, it continuously worked, making him continue to grow to the point where he surfaced while standing, and it was fueled by the light of the full moon.
Her distinct appearance consists of long red hair, a green tail and a lavender seashell bra.? She is the 4th official member of the Disney Princess line-up. A challenge in animating her for the film were the color required to show her in the changing environments, both under the sea and on land, for which the animators required 32-color models, not including costume changes. She was also encouraged to soften her singing voice almost to the point of speaking, so that the song would feel more intimate. Nevertheless, Ariel's selflessness, compassion, and intuitive way of thinking often resolves such problems, as she always takes full responsibility for her actions. This passion is revealed to have been prominent throughout Ariel's life years before the events of the film, as seen in the television series.
With Flounder, she is comforting and patient, as well as protective, with the tendency to risk her own life for the guppy's on various occasions. She also had a degree of seeing good in things, as she also doubted that humanity could have been pure evil from their tools and artworks. She is shown to long for the sea, but keeps this hidden from Melody for the latter's own safety; even though it would've been easier if she had explained everything to her, she even points this out in a later scene and at the film's climax. When saving him, she effortlessly pulls him towards the surface and manages to keep them both afloat while holding him with one arm. Like her Atlantean strength, it's debatable if she ever retained her Atlantean endurance when she turned into a human, although her first transformation implied that it was retained as her body was not being crushed while trying to swim for air (in real life, a human who is at that depth would be crushed into oblivion in a matter of seconds due to the immense water pressure). For example, she was able to get to King Triton's Greenland Palace from Denmark (the implied location of Prince Eric's kingdom, assuming it isn't the Southern Mediterranean) in less than a day, as well as getting from Atlantica to Norway in the episode "Metal Fish" in a similar time fashion. She lost her magic and status as a sea-witch when she wished the whole entire mess never happened, and her magic did just that, erasing the entire event and influencing her so it wouldn't happen in the reset timeline. The sea-green color of her fin was a hue specially mixed by the Disney paint lab; the color was named "Ariel" after the character. By the point of the film, as shown through her lament, "Part of Your World", Ariel's obsession with the human world has reached unimaginable heights, as she spends most of her time focusing on finding, observing, and collecting various human objects that have sunk into the sea. Before she met Eric, she was rarely interested in romantic relationships, not even with any of the merman princes that Triton tried to get her to marry.
At one point, however, she does subtly allude to her true heritage as she mentioned to Melody when sympathizing with her about not fitting in that she was "a fish out of water", with Melody not quite believing her. From the waist down, she has a horizontal, fish-like tail and the reproductive organs of a tropical fish. After being taken in by Prince Eric, she wears a dress with light blue long sleeves, a dark blue bodice, and a blue (sometimes white) shirt.


In Ariel's Beginning, she seemed to be able to knock down a door to free her friends (This is especially telling as Sebastian stated immediately prior that she was "a weak helpless girl"). In another episode of the TV series known as "Giggles", she was cursed that if she laughed her laughter would cause Sea-Quakes; however, this curse was removed by the end of the episode. She has been compared to past Disney Heroines, but is more physically similar to Alice from Alice in Wonderland, and Belle from Beauty and the Beast, as they all have big eyes, a broad forehead and a small mouth and chin. Her obsession has also taken a toll on her emotionally, as the song begins with a sense of wonder and enchantment, ultimately climaxing in a soft end, filled with hopelessness and despair, representing Ariel's dying hopes of ever experiencing life upon the surface.
The only known exception was Prince Waverly of the Pacifica Kingdom, with whom she was infatuated. 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. These factors of desperation and despair are the prime motive behind Ariel's eventual deal with the sea witch, Ursula, to become human and experience the world above the surface.
After meeting Eric, however, Ariel is revealed to be a romantic, willing to make daring sacrifices for the sake of true love. She did not always have this trait, however: until she was 15 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. Although she herself never used her voice in this manner, her voice can also be used in a far darker way, such as mind control, as evidenced by Ursula, while adopting the identity of Vanessa, using Ariel's voice to brainwash Prince Eric to be her puppet as a means to get him to marry her, and thus ensure Ariel can't win her end of the bargain. Her love for him is validated by Eric's returned selflessness and sacrificial actions for the sake of love; notably seen during the climax of the film. Ironically, one of the people responsible for saving the dolphin was Eric, although she never knew it. In Little Mermaid's Island, her seashell bra looks more like a strapless top that covers her belly. After she kisses Eric, during their wedding, she wears a white wedding dress with a sparkling golden tiara on her veil.
This ability can be further proven for the only way Vanessa's (Ursula's) control over him could be broken was if the nautilus containing Ariel's voice was released. During and after her daughter Melody's christening, she wears a gold and white dress and a low ponytail decorated with a white bow. If this was Ursula's own magic Ariel's voice wouldn't have been needed to cast the hypnotizing spell. She 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 Melody's 12th birthday party, with her hair being shorter due to it being adjusted. She still wears the same up-do with a green peasant dress when she's on Eric's ship and a blue and white dress with light blue earrings in the song "Here on the Land and Sea" in the second movie.
They were mystical creatures depicted as having the heads of beautiful women and the bodies of birds (though in more recent years they tend to be portrayed as mermaids); their singing was so sweet and enchanting that anyone who heard it would be hypnotized and irresistibly drawn to them and suffer a watery death by wrecking their ships on the rocky coast of their island.
In one of the video games, she wears an aqua-colored gown with a matching flower on the side of her hair. Since they were also portrayed as femme fatales, it could be said that Ursula, as Vanessa, was metaphorically fulfilling the role of one in hypnotizing Eric with her (stolen) voice and attempting to lure him to his doom).



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