King Triton

What’s the Deal with Ursula?

Am I the only one who has an endless amount of questions about Ursula? When you first meet this octo-witch, you kind of take everything about her at face value. But when you start to dig a little deeper, the water gets more and more murky. First of all, she used to live in the palace. Did you catch her mentioning that when she was spying on Ariel? She didn’t just visit the palace, she lived there. Was she part of Triton’s council? Was she in politics? She obviously has to know something about the Oceanic legal system as she was able to best Triton with a legal document. For some reason, she ends up getting banished. I think we can all assume that her exile had something to do with her spells and general evilness. But none of that bothers me as much as the fact that she is part octopus. All the other half human creatures in Triton’s kingdom, that we see anyway, are half-fish. You don’t see any other shark-boys or seal-ladies floating around. Are we to assume that Ursula was changed into her current self by some sort of irreversible spell? Or could it be that she was an anomaly in the kingdom. A mutant of sorts. Could it be that she was looked upon differently her whole life because she had something different going on down below? Maybe she also ate her feelings which lead to her less than healthy physical state. Her appearance is definitely an issue she struggles with regardless of  if it was enchantment or genetic. She didn’t seem too keen on merpeeps who want to change something about their physical appearance.  Could it be jealousy? Remember the ugly merpeople she makes pretty only to have them become part of her living garden? I know every movie needs a villain but maybe she is not the one who is truly at fault here. What about the merparents out there that are obviously not educating their children about the direct link between the rash of local disappearances and a visit with Ursula? Maybe she is doing the ocean a favor by weeding out the stupider merfolk. I we could chalk this up to survival of the…unfittest?

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Image Credit: disney.wikia.com

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Non-Definitive, Completely Biased Ranking of Disney Dads

This post is going to be a little different format from my typical pointless questioning. With Father’s Day just around the corner, it’s got me thinking about being a dad a little more than usual. When it comes to Disney, most of the father examples provided to us are what I would consider lacking. The ones that tend to be the best are often killed off as fast as they are introduced. So when I think about the question of who is the best Disney Dad, I decided it was only best to create a list of 15 Dads and rank them. Why 15? Because Father’s Day is on June 15th this year. (that’s not true…just a happy coincidence.)

(15 Disney Dads ranked Best to Worst)

1. James – The Princess & the Frog
This father is the perfect example of a good dad that is gone too quickly. He pops in, gives some good fatherly advice and then dies a hero. This guy is my number 1 because he doesn’t just talk a good game, the way he lived his life instilled values in his daughter that made her strong & self-sufficient.

Marlin - finding nemo2. Marlin – Nemo’s Dad in Finding Nemo
Sure he is over protective but after the loss of his wife and other kids, you can’t blame the guy. Stopping at nothing and facing his fears to find his kid across a whole ocean is definitely commendable. Rapunzel’s dad should’ve watched this movie on how to respond to a lost kid…Oh, and his jokes are terrible. That’s a prerequisite for an awesome dad!

Pongo

 

3. Pongo – 101 Dalmations
I have to say that Pongo is along the same caliber of dad-ness as Marlin. When his kids are taken, he and his wife do everything in their power to save them. He also is willing to adopt 84 other puppies and raise them as his own. He is dad to the bone. (sorry for that)

 

Mufasa4. Mufasa – Simba’s Dad in The Lion King
James Earl Jones’s voice can make anything sound more grand than it is.  This fact leads us to believe that Mufasa has this thing parenting down. Most think this dad should be number 1, but I have to disagree. Unfortunately we can see from Simba’s ‘Can’t wait to be King’ song, that he is learning more from Mufasa’s actions than his words.

5. King – Elsa & Anna’s Dad in Frozen
This dad has gotten a lot of slack for isolating Elsa but as I discussed in my previous post, that might not have been the worst idea for the Kingdom’s sake. That said, his isolation actions punish Anna as well and create lots of ‘daddy issues’ that result in an engagement to a scoundrel and the freezing of a kingdom.

6. King Triton – Ariel’s Dad in The Little Mermaid
Not only is he running a Kingdom but also raising six girls on his own. This would be a hilarious 80’s sitcom come to think of it. Triton gets grief for being prejudice against humans but I think we can assume this is well founded. His harsh treatment of his daughter’s fondness of the dark side is a little misguided but can’t fault him too much for it. However, I don’t understand him giving up so easily against Ursula (see post) nor changing his whole belief system regarding humans because of one good encounter with Eric.

7. Fa Zhou – Mulan’s Dad
At the end of the day, this guy is a product of the culture. His treatment of his daughter is based on societal norms. We find it limiting and wrong but that’s because we are looking at it from a western, twenty-first century perspective. So, let’s calm down. Plus, he is the coolest looking bald guy in all Disney movies for sure!

 

8. King Stefan – Sleeping Beauty’s Dad
So he’s willing to not see his daughter for 18 years in order to hide her and keep her safe. Then he has her brought back to the palace the last day BEFORE the curse ends? That’s a mix of amazing fortitude and poor planning. Couldn’t he have had the celebration the next day?

 

 

9. The Great Prince of the Forest – Bambi’s Father
If people don’t even realize that you are Bambi’s father until his mom dies, maybe you are being a little too aloof. This buck’s cold attitude toward Bambi can be seen by many as helping Bambi into manhood…but I think there could be a better way to do it.

 

10. King – Rapunzel’s Dad in Tangled
I give this guy a lot of credit for honoring his lost daughter for 16 years but the rampant security issues in his castle are one of the main contributing factors to his daughter’s kidnapping in the first place. Also, you would hope that if his guards scoured every inch of the countryside they would have come across the tower that held Rapunzel. He really needs to shore up his ship.

Cinderellas dad11. Aristocrat Widower – Cinderella’s Dad
Points to this guy for understanding the importance of a mother in a young girl’s life. But even more demerits for both being duped by and willingly marrying Lady Tremaine.

12. King – Snow White’s Dad (not pictured)
This guy apparently read from the same playbook as Cinderella’s dad. He’s not even technically in the story, but we know that he was married to Snow White’s mother and then after her death, remarried a smoking hot queen who was evil. If you have kids, you might want to take them into account when choosing a step-mom…

13. Mr Incredible – The Incredibles
For being a super hero, I can’t say that this guy is very extraordinary when it comes to fatherhood. I get that he is in a rut for having to hide his powers, but becoming a father mean sacrificing…it’s just part of the gig. And he doesn’t really get this even at the end. He has his happy ending because he gets to go back to crime fighting. I think it is just icing on the cake that his family is with him.

George Darline14. George Darling – Wendy, Michael & John’s Dad in Peter Pan
I don’t think you could consider George a very ‘present’ father. Letting his pre-teen daughter live in a nursery with two younger brothers while a dog serves as nursemaid wouldn’t win him any parenting awards by today’s standards. But what can you expect from a former lost boy right?

And the worst father award goes too……

The sultan15. Sultan – Jasmine’s Dad in Aladdin
If you read my previous post on this guy, you probably saw this one coming. Only thing left to say is that while he does choose to allow his daughter to marry for love, he does the opposite of the King in Frozen and potentially sets up his kingdom for ruin. A street rat does not a great ruler make.

I know I haven’t exhausted the Disney dads with this post…that’s why I called it ‘non-definitive’. I may do another one…who did I miss that should have definitely been included in the next 15?

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Image Credit: disney.wikia.com

Flounders Keepers?

prince-eric-statueI honestly have questions about nearly everything surrounding Prince Eric’s statue. I’ve never been to a statue unveiling before, but I can tell you the ideal location of said event would be on land, not on a ship. Just the logistics of getting something of that weight on and off a ship would be ridiculous. Not to mention that once placed it would need to stay in the same location for the entire voyage making the surprise element of the gift next to impossible. And I think Grimsby lucked out that Eric didn’t hit it off the Princess of Gloucester, otherwise that would have been one strange wedding gift. ‘To celebrate this happy union, I’ve commissioned a stone statue of just Prince Eric.‘ I bet both his new wife and in-laws would have been a little nonplussed regarding that tribute.

Then after the ship sinks, we are supposed to believe that Flounder, a 9″ long tropical fish, is able to move the 10 ft tall stone effigy underwater and somehow maneuver it through a tiny cave opening to gift it to Ariel? It is preposterous to believe he could achieve such a feat even if the figure were made out of paper mache, let alone carved limestone which is more likely. Unless there is a fish that is yet undiscovered possessing opposable digits for grasping and incredible strength & dexterity, I’m not sure who could of even helped the little guppie with such an undertaking.  Maybe that’s one of the reasons that Triton destroyed the statue, the whole thing didn’t make sense to him either!

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Part of Our World?

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…

ariel weddingThere 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.

ariel-crab

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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Powerful Trident?

You have the power to control the seas, wind & air with it. You can summon terrible storms, command lightening bolts and raise sunken ships in a giant spinning whirlpool with it. You can even sign your freaking name with it! With King Triton’s Trident in your possession, you are arguably one of the most powerful beings on earth. Yet, even with all that power, there is one fatal weakness. Something that even the most powerful being on earth cannot supersede. And like Superman with Kryptonite, the nearly unstoppable King Triton is brought to his knees…or fins as it were…by–a legal document.

little mermaid question

Wait, what? I know. I thought the same thing. Remember the scene when Triton confronts Ursula telling her to let Ariel go? When she refuses and shows him the contract, he immediately tried to destroy it with a lightening bolt. Only to have his assault thwarted by not Ursula but the contract itself.

So, we are to believe that the Trident which is the source of such amazing power is unable to destroy a piece of paper because it is ‘legal?’ Seriously? Then I thought, maybe it’s enchanted with some sort of magic that is immune to the powerful fork? It is possible, but let’s consider Ursula’s response when the lightening bolt fails to destroy the document. She says, ‘You see. The contract is legal, binding & completely unbreakable. Even for you.’ If it was a spell, surely she would have said something like ‘Ha! This is more powerful magic than even your trident!’ But she didn’t.

And did you see Triton’s face when she reveals the alleged legality of the document? Triton is crushed and he just gives up. Throws in the towel. As a dad, this raises many other questions…but we will discuss that in a later post. You would think that the King of the Sea would have counsel on retainer to handle legal seafood matters like this. I mean, I thought all sharks were lawyers…or was that the other way around…

So, we have we learned today? No matter how powerful you think you are, you are never above the law.

I wonder if this was a line that got cut from the original movie: ‘You tell Triton the law is coming. You tell him Ursula is coming. And hell is coming with me!’

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