I think we can all agree that it appears the main characters in The Little Mermaid, Ariel & Eric, are perfect for each other. They have so much in common. They are both royalty. Ariel is the princess of the sea and Eric is the prince (where are his parents?) on land. They are both heroic. Ariel rescues him from drowning and Eric rams a sunken ship into Ursula’s stomach to rescue her. They both even have blue eyes! On the surface, the only real difference they have are the fins. And after going through so much to be together, they truly deserve to live happily ever after. But that’s the question: is that really possible? I honestly don’t think so…
There is a fundamental difference between Eric & Ariel that runs more than fin deep. We can assume that Ariel, like all mermaids, must not eat seafood. This assumption is based on the fact that many of her closest friends are sea creatures that can talk, sing & dance. I think it is safe to say that the eating of her sea buddies would be abhorrent to her people and one would hope that she wouldn’t be able to stand even being around someone who practiced that type of cannibalistic murder. But that is exactly what humans do…that is exactly what Eric must do. There is no doubt that Eric eats seafood. As his castle in on a harbor, it is more than likely a primary staple of his diet. How would Ariel ever be able to reconcile this? Would she expect Eric to completely change his lifestyle? Would she try to ban all seafood consumption throughout the kingdom? But wait. She could hear Scuttle talk too. That must mean that all animals can talk and she would want to stop the ingestion of any living creature, right? I have a feeling that they didn’t discuss any of this during their short engagement.
But maybe I am giving Ariel a little too much credit here. Maybe she would be ok with the murder of her friends. If we look at her actions during the meal that follows the battle between Sebastian and The Chef, we see Ariel comfortably dining at the table enjoying a meal in which the main course is stuffed crab. This does not appear to bother her in the slightest. She is more focused on her hair and Grimsby’s pipe. Sebastian’s cousin is the only thing on Eric’s plate in this scene so she must watch him eat the crab before the meal is over. How can she do this? Is love so important to her that she would be willing to condone the genocide of her former throne’s subjects?
What do you think? Could they live happily ever after?
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