The Little Mermaid

I don't see how a world that; makes; such wonderful things could be so bad

Ariel is one of the Main characters of Walt Disney's 1989 animated feature film The Little Mermaid and its 2008 direct-to-video prequel, Ariel's Beginning, and one of the two main protagonists (alongside Melody) of the 2000 direct-to-video sequel, Return to the Sea. She later appears in the film's prequel television series. Ariel had a strong love and admiration for human world, that she often had to keep secret due to her father laws against contact with the surface world. She longed to experience life on the surface. She also had a free-spirited and rebellious nature which often made seen as the odd-ball of the family amongst her sisters

Ariel's character is based on the protagonist of Hans Christian Andersen's fairytale of the same name; but was developed; into a different personality for the 1989 animated film adaptation. She is also the fourth official member of the Disney Princess line-up and is the first disney princess to be developed after Walt Disney's lifetime.

Ariel (Gaming Icon)

In the original, Ariel is voiced; by Jodi Benson and in the live action remake, she is portrayed; by Halle Bailey.


Ariel (3D Art)

Official Description[]

Ariel is an independent, headstrong, and determined young mermaid. She is the youngest and prettiest princess of the sea, but spends most of her time outside the palace walls of Atlantica singing, daydreaming, and adventuring with her best friend, Flounder the guppy fish, and sometimes Sebastian the crab, who is also the royal adviser to Ariel's father. At the age of 16, she unexpectedly becomes deeply infatuated with a young and handsome human prince named Eric and sacrifices all things dear to her for the chance of being with her one true love.

Ariel (Drawing)


Ariel (Gaming Art)

Walt Disney himself and artist Kay Nielsen began work on the story of The Little Mermaid in the 1930s and early 40s. The feature was to be a very faithful adaption to Hans Christian Andersen's tale with the Mermaid dying and turning into sea foam in the end. However, after writing the script and illustrating the storyboard, the project was shelved to focus on other projects also in the works such as Dumbo, Bambi, and Fantasia. There have been alternate statements, however, that indicated that Disney may have intended to go for the happy ending route.[1][2]

In the mid-1980s, the project was finally reopened, yet Disney decided to disregard the dark and grimy aspects of Andersen's story and make the film a more child-friendly version with a much happier ending which worked better for the company's brand. However, the development team indicated that the changes given for the film coincidentally matched up with the changes Walt Disney made during his attempted take on the film. During development, the studio officially gave their Little Mermaid the aquatic-like name of "Ariel".

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. 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. A challenge in animating her for the film was 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. The sea-green color of her mermaid tail was a hue specially mixed by the Disney paint lab; the color was named "Ariel" after the character. She has been compared to past Disney heroines from Walt Disney's lifetime, 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.


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. 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, to "feel a bit more enclosed" and create the feeling of being deep under the sea. She was also encouraged to soften her singing voice almost to the point of speaking so that the song would feel more intimate. Benson has remained as the main voice of Ariel since.


Ariel is a bright, spirited, and headstrong mermaid princess with a strong passion for adventure and exploration. 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 and her friends, and in the confines of her personal life - as seen when she gets into an argument with her overprotective father, King Triton. Despite this, Ariel's selflessness, compassion, and intuitive way of thinking often resolve such problems, as she always takes full responsibility for her actions.

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. Unlike her father at first, 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 passion is revealed to have been prominent throughout Ariel's life years before the events of the film, as seen in the television series. By the point of the film, as seen 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. Her obsession has also taken a toll on her emotionally, as the song begins with a sense of wonder and enchantment, but ultimately climaxes with a soft end, filled with hopelessness and despair, representing Ariel's dying hopes of ever experiencing life upon the surface. These feelings 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. Despite not having the best relationship with her father, especially in regard to their respective views on humanity, she nonetheless was very loyal to him as well as her sisters, as after Ursula explained the deal to her, Ariel expressed some hesitance as she realized that if she succeeded in the deal (never mind if she failed her end of the bargain), she wouldn't be able to see Triton or her sisters again, and later when Ursula cursed Triton, Ariel's first action was to attack Ursula to avenge him, even calling the sea witch a monster for what she did.

Ariel is extremely compassionate and loving towards almost all living things; more so platonically than romantically. 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. With Flounder, she is comforting and patient, as well as protective, with the tendency to risk her own life for the guppy on various occasions. Her ability to befriend all various creatures, including an abandoned killer whale, an irrationally feared sea creature and even the son of one of her nemeses is displayed throughout the franchise. 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. The only known exception was Prince Waverly of the Pacifica Kingdom, with whom she was infatuated. However, after meeting Eric, Ariel is revealed to be a romantic, willing to make daring sacrifices for the sake of true love. 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.

Like Ariel's father, Triton, she has a bad temper if she is ever provoked, although her temper is not as short as his. 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. She also had a degree of seeing the good in things, as she also doubted that humans could have been pure evil from their tools and artworks.

Also, despite her usual naivety and impulsiveness, Ariel has shown to be serious, careful, and very intuitive on many occasions. One example of her occasionally showing intuitiveness was just before exploring the sunken ship, where she suggested that Flounder stay outside and be on the lookout for sharks in the area when the latter tried to fake illness.

In The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea, as an adult, Ariel has matured into a sophisticated and distinguished woman, fully embracing her responsibilities as a mother and the princess consort of Eric's kingdom and fully adapting to her human body that she has had for some time now thanks to her father's magic. However, when Morgana threatens Melody at her christening, Ariel becomes overprotective of her daughter similarly to how she was treated by Triton in the first film. As a result, she severs all ties with Atlantica and the ocean in hopes of preventing Morgana from using Melody's heritage to her advantage. Despite being happy with her new life as a human mother and wife, she misses her father and sisters, but keeps this hidden from Melody for the latter's own safety. Later, she comes to realize that this decision does more harm than good.

However, at one point, Ariel subtly alludes 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.

Regardless of Ariel's few flaws, she is very much selfless, sweet-natured, and inspirational. However, her most notable trait was her deep love and fascination for humans, having desired to become human during the first film's events, even before meeting her future husband, Eric. However, she did not always have this trait; until she was 15 years old, she expressed a deep fear of humans similar to Triton's prejudice towards humans, although her witnessing a human saving a beached dolphin changed her views on the matter. Ironically, the human responsible for saving the dolphin was Eric, although she never knew it.

Physical appearance[]

Ariel is a beautiful mermaid with a curvaceous figure, fair skin, red lips, cheeky red hair, and large, aqua blue eyes. In stark contrast to the three previous Disney Princesses created before her, Snow White, Cinderella, and Aurora, who were drawn with smaller eyes and smaller heads in proportion to their bodies similar to adult women, Ariel is drawn with somewhat semi-neotenous features, with larger eyes and with a head more similar to a child's than an adult's in proportion to her body, giving her an appearance of youth rather than maturity. This suggests the combination of youthful innocence and physical maturity which Ariel represented; for example, it eventually became the design basis of most Disney Princesses created after her in recent years; such as Jasmine, Rapunzel, Anna, Elsa, and Moana.

Ariel Costume Drawing

From childhood to her teenage years, she wore a lavender seashell bikini top. As a child, her lips were the same color as her skin, and as a teenager, they are bright red. Ariel's most defining feature is her long, flowing, thick, bright red hair. From the waist down, she has a green horizontal fish-like tail with sea-green scales and sea-foam green fins and a matching V-shaped waist-line resembling fish-lips that reveals her midriff and her belly button. She most likely has the reproductive organs of a cetacean. In Little Mermaid's Island, her seashell top looks more like a strapless top that covers all of her torso. She is also fairly tall in human form, being only a few inches shorter than Eric, himself a fairly tall human.

When Ariel becomes a human, the only article of clothing she wore was her seashell bikini top, leftover from her mermaid form. She eventually wears an old sail from a shipwreck with some rope to keep it closed, fashioned by her friend Scuttle. Being prepared for dinner, she wears a pink-and-white gown, silver barrettes in 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 multi-shade-of-blue dress consisting of a powder-blue blouse with long sleeves, a midnight-blue bodice, and a cobalt-blue foot-length skirt, along with black heels. She wears a big royal blue bow in her hair. Ariel's hair was worn loose while wearing the outfit when she swims through the boat to stop the wedding between Eric and Vanessa (Ursula in disguise) before her feet reverts into her mermaid tail. After she's turned into a human once again, she wears a periwinkle, glittering dress. After she kisses Eric and during their wedding, she wears a white wedding dress with pale green trimming, big puffy sleeves, and a sparkling golden tiara on her veil.

During and after her daughter Melody's christening, she wears a gold-and-white dress, and has her hair in a low ponytail decorated with a white bow. She also wears a periwinkle gown with an up-do decorated, a golden tiara with green and white gems, a golden necklace and earrings with a green gem, and periwinkle heels with a yellow ornament during Melody's 12th birthday party with her hair being a bit shorter due to it being adjusted and pulled in a bun. 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. In one of the video games, she wears an aqua-colored gown with a matching flower on the side of her hair.


The Little Mermaid[]

Main article: The Little Mermaid

Ariel is the youngest of King Triton's seven daughters. Ariel has a vast fascination with the world of humans, despite contact being forbidden by her father, Triton, who hates humans. The beginning of the film shows Ariel salvaging human items, and taking them to Scuttle for identification. Ariel keeps them in a secret grotto as part of her collection, from books to other regular objects. During a storm, Ariel rescues Prince Eric, whose ship sinks. She sings to him on the shore, but is forced to leave when others approach. Ariel falls in love, and dreams of becoming human (meanwhile, Eric vows to marry the girl who saved his life, not knowing that it is Ariel).


Ariel giving up her voice.

After an argument with her father regarding her love for the human world, Ariel goes to Ursula, the sea witch. In exchange for Ariel's voice, Ursula makes Ariel human. However, if she cannot get Eric to kiss her within three days, Ariel would become Ursula's prisoner. Unknown to Ariel, this is simply a part of Ursula's plot to take Triton's throne. Though she is unable to speak, and thus unable to identify herself, Eric takes Ariel in. Ariel and Eric begin to fall in love, but Ursula intervenes, by turning herself human and hypnotizing Eric with Ariel's voice. The hypnotized Eric plans to marry "Vanessa", actually Ursula in disguise. Ariel is able to stop the wedding, and regain her voice. After this, it finally dawns on Eric that she has been the one he has been looking for all along. But before Eric and Ariel can kiss, the third day ends and Ariel becomes Ursula's prisoner. Triton offers himself in Ariel's replacement, allowing Ursula to gain control over the sea. Ariel and Eric have a final showdown, during which Ariel is trapped and left helpless at the bottom of a whirlpool. Ursula aims her newly acquired trident at the princess and fires bolts of pure destruction at her. Ariel manages to avoid her each time and is saved by Eric.


King Triton giving Ariel legs.

At the end of the film, Ariel is made human by Triton, who has realized how much Ariel really loves Eric. Ariel stays on land with Eric, and marries him. Ariel and Eric live happily ever after.

Ariel's theme song, which is referred to by Disney crew as the "I Want" song, is "Part of Your World", which she sings in her secret grotto proclaiming her fascination for human things. The song was originally going to be cut from the final film, due to the claim that it slowing the story down, but Howard Ashman reportedly fought to keep it in. A reprise of the song is featured a little later in the film when Ariel declares that she wants to become part of Prince Eric's world.

The Little Mermaid (TV series)[]

Main article: The Little Mermaid (TV series)
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The prequel series, which first debuted in 1991, takes place an indeterminate time chronologically before the 1989 film, and revolves around Ariel's adventures as a mermaid living under the sea. Most of Ariel's adventures involve her meeting various creatures, getting in trouble, and usually getting out of it successfully. Her friends Flounder and Sebastian are also featured prominently in the series. Ariel continues to be fascinated with human things in the series and is shown collecting items for her grotto. She can be deemed a magical character when using her father's trident and Ursula's potion bottles. Prince Eric is sometimes shown in the show, but Ariel always just misses seeing him, preserving the continuity that she sees him first in the 1989 film.

The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea[]

Main article: The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea

An older Ariel in The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea

An older, more mature version of Ariel, as seen in The Little Mermaid II. Ariel and her daughter Melody have certain similarities in terms of personality and appearance. The 2000 direct-to-video sequel shows Ariel as having given birth to a very beautiful baby girl named Melody. When Melody's safety is threatened by a sea witch named Morgana (sister of Ursula, who was killed in the 1989 film), Ariel and her husband Eric decide they must keep Melody from the sea, and to this effect, 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 in her mermaid form in order to rescue her. When Ariel finds Melody. When Melody, Tip, and Dash arrive at the surface, Morgana makes everyone bow down except Melody and Eric. After Morgana is defeated, Ariel is changed back into a human. This sequel features Ariel becoming a caring parent for her daughter, effectively taking over the role of her father in the previous film. As of 2009, Ariel is the only Disney Princess to have been depicted as becoming a mother. Ariel's hair is darker in this film.

The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning[]

Main article: The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning
The Little Mermaid Ariel's beginning 437

A younger Ariel in The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning

In the 2008 prequel set one year before the events of the film, an opening prologue shows Ariel as a very young mermaid, living a happy life with her father, King Triton, mother, Queen Athena and her six younger sisters. After Athena is killed, a devastated King Triton bans all music from Atlantica. Ariel and her sisters grow up not knowing music and living under their father's strict rules. Ariel eventually discovers a secret underground club where music is played, and there she sings the song "I Remember", which helps her remember her distant past surrounded by love and music. Later (with assistance from Sebastian) Ariel finds her mother's music box and, after they have a showdown with Marina Del Rey, Triton changes his ways and allows music back into Atlantica.

House of Mouse[]

Ariel 💕

In disney house of mouse

Ariel appeared as a regular guest throughout the animated television series House of Mouse and its specials, usually sitting with Sebastian and Scuttle and sometimes with Eric or Triton. Her appearance alternates irregularly between her human form and mermaid form (even at the same time in a few episodes), depending on what the situation requires. In her human form, she is mostly seen in her blue peasant gown, except in Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse where she is instead seen in her pink-and-white ball gown.

Daisy Duck seems to be a big fan of her and her films, as shown in "Daisy's Debut" and "House of Genius". In the show's opening song, she is seen combing her hair with a fork, like in the original film.

In a clip recycled for many episodes, she is seen sitting at a table with Scuttle and Sebastian and her and Scuttle clap starting with "The Three Caballeros". In "Gone Goofy", she appears next to Prince Eric near the end.

In "Timon and Pumbaa", Scuttle perches on Ariel's head telling that Timon is gonna lose something.

In the episode "Jiminy Cricket", while Jiminy Cricket is sharing his wisdom, he states, "Never sell your voice to a giant sea witch just because you have a crush on some guy, it's just not worth it". Ariel sits there looking embarrassed and ashamed, and upon hearing this, she snatches the necklace containing her voice away from Ursula, much to her anger.

In "The Mouse Who Came to Dinner", Ariel is sitting next to Sebastian before Goofy takes him to cook for Mortimer, who was pretending to be a critic. She is later seen laughing with the rest of the audience after the crew calls him out and insults him.

Also in "Everybody Loves Mickey", Ariel wishes that Mickey could visit her under the sea.

In "Suddenly Hades", Pete attempted to flood the club to run out the customers, as he could shut down the club if there were no guests. Though he succeeded in flooding the club, he was stopped from closing the club as Ariel was still present, having returned after Hades bugged out in annoyance from the flooding.

In "Mickey and Minnie's Big Vacation", she is seen in the crowd when the Pink Elephants invade the house.

In "Music Day", when Ariel saw Huey, Dewey, and Louie reuniting, she waved her hands as she cheered.

In "House of Scrooge", Ariel was one of many Disney characters shoved at one table as Scrooge was trying to save money.

In "Ask Von Drake", Ariel is seen in Professor Von Drake's song, sitting next to a giant seashell where Ursula is hiding.

In "Salute to Sports", Ariel is sitting next to Triton when he creates a literal wave after Mickey told the crowd to do the "wave".

In "Pluto vs. Figaro", Ariel tried to sing on stage, although the set ended up falling on top of her due to Pluto and Figaro's antics.

Ariel was also briefly seen in "Pete's House of Villains" where she held up a sign that read "Somebody stole my voice again" since she lost her voice.

Ariel also appears in Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse. In the film, Ariel, along with Eric and other characters, are snowed in and trapped inside the club. Ariel is the first to openly have faith in Mickey Mouse, who she believes will have a plan.

Sofia the First[]


Ariel in Sofia the first

Ariel appeared in the special "The Floating Palace". She was the first princess to be seen twice in an episode, and the fourth princess to appear in the series, overall.

Ralph Breaks the Internet[]

In Ralph Breaks the Internet, Ariel appears as a netizen resident of Oh My Disney. She and the other Disney princesses work as cast members that meet-and-greet net users. When Vanellope von Schweetz is confronted by First Order Stormtroopers, she glitches into the princesses' backstage room; Ariel is seen combing her hair with a dinglehopper at her vanity. The princesses mistake Vanellope for a threat, either from their respective Disney Villain, or a user who broke the cardinal rule of trespassing in a "Cast Members Only" restricted area, and charge at her with various weapons at hand; Ariel wields a dinglehopper. Vanellope explains that she's actually a princess, as well, prompting Pocahontas to ask what kind of princess she is. Ariel questions if Vanellope made a deal with an underwater sea witch in exchange for human legs, but to Ariel's relief, Vanellope denies. When Jasmine asks if Vanellope has "daddy issues", she notes that she doesn't even have a mom, to which Ariel relates. Only once Vanellope confirms Rapunzel's question about having a big strong man saving her all the time do the girls finally believe that Vanellope is a princess, stand down, and welcome her into their group.

Shortly after, Ariel and Cinderella take a liking to Vanellope's casual modern attire. As the other princesses take an interest, Ariel excitedly declares she also wants an outfit like Vanellope's. After Cinderella asks her mice to craft comfy modern outfits for each of the princesses, Ariel dons green shorts and a lavender shirt which reference the colors of her mermaid form and is seen lounging between Jasmine and Belle; unlike the majority of Disney Princesses, she is seen the whole time being barefoot when in modern clothes (another exception is Moana). Ariel is overwhelmingly delighted to finally have a shirt and expresses through song that she's always dreamed of someday wearing one before Vanellope cuts her off. Vanellope questions Ariel's singing, but the other princesses explain that they've all had songs that help them express their desires. They encourage Vanellope to find her song, but the results are not very impressive. Pocahontas advises Vanellope to find some water and stare at it. Though Vanellope isn't convinced, Ariel reaffirms that it's not merely water, but "important water".

In the climax of the film, Ariel and the other Disney princesses spots Ralph falling to his doom. They rally together to rescue him. Moana summons the ocean, which Ariel dives into. She then swims upward, creating a spiral with the water. When Ariel emerges, she lands on Jasmine's magic carpet, from where Elsa freezes the water while in its spiral formation, creating a slide for Ralph to safely descend. After Ralph is safe, the princesses formally introduce themselves as friends of Vanellope as they befriend him as well.

The Little Mermaid (2023)[]


Ariel as seen in the Live-Action Remake

Ariel appears in the live-action remake of the 1989 film and is portrayed by Halle Bailey. In the live-action film, Ariel slightly differs in appearance from her original animated counterpart; she has caramel skin, auburn hair styled in dreadlocks, peach lips and brown eyes. Her lavender sea-shell bikini top has scale designs and being mixed up with the colors of teal. Her green mermaid tail becomes teal which was combined with red and pink scales below the tail.

When she became human and being taken in by Prince Eric, her dress is different than from her animation counterpart. It was a cerulean blue dress with white designs and her hair was worn loose while wearing a pale pink headband instead of a big bow.

Stage musical[]

Main article: The Little Mermaid (musical)

A stage musical version of the 1989 film had its world premiere in Denver, Colorado in 2007 for its pre-Broadway tryout, and on January 10, 2008, debuted on Broadway. The character of Ariel for the stage adaptation was originated by Sierra Boggess. Jodi Benson, the original voice actor for Ariel, attended the musical's opening night.

A few new songs were added to the score, accompanying the songs in the film that were moved to the stage. "The World Above" is Ariel's introductory song, replacing the entire shark-chase sequence in the film. In Act 2, although Ariel has become mute, she sings two songs expressing her thoughts and feelings, these songs being "Beyond My Wildest Dreams", in which Ariel explores the human world for the first time, and "If Only", in which Ariel bemoans that she cannot express her feelings to Eric. Additionally, Ariel's voice can be heard in the extended opening of "Fathoms Below", although she is not seen on-stage.

Sierra ariel

Sierra Boggess as Ariel on Broadway.

The stage musical features new plot elements not present in the film. It is explained through dialogue that Ariel inherited her mother's singing voice, adding another layer to Triton's protectiveness of her. Ariel and Eric's romance is expanded from the film, as explored in a musical sequence "One Step Closer", in which the pair dance together. In the climactic battle, it is Ariel, not Eric, who destroys Ursula by smashing the magic shell. The reason for this change was that the musical's creative team did not want Ariel to come off as passive and because it was easier to stage (and more dramatic).

Video Games[]

The Little Mermaid (NES game)[]

Main article: The Little Mermaid (video game)

Taking place after Eric skewered Ursula in the original film, Ariel and Eric are planning to wed, but the sea-witch Ursula has taken control of the ocean. So, Ariel becomes a mermaid once more and sets off to rescue the sea. The game takes place from a side view and Ariel (swimming most of the time, but hopping around on the land occasionally) can shoot bubbles to trap her foes and can then throw them at each other. She can also dig through sand to find treasure and pick up sea shells to break chests open with. The treasure she finds in the sand is usually just bonus points, but the treasure you find in chests will increase your bubble's power and range. Although this game is not canon, this exact situation where Ariel had to be turned back into a mermaid would be duplicated in The Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea, when she dives off a much larger boat (Eric's lead fleet ship) rather than his rowboat in the NES game.

Ariel (Gaming Art)

Ariel: The Little Mermaid[]

The Genesis game features Ariel or Triton on a quest to save the transformed Atlanteans from Ursula's spell. This game most likely takes place before Ariel saved Eric from drowning.

The game allows the player to move in 8 directions, with the goal being to locate and transform Ursula's polyps back into Merfolk. The player is given a normal attack and a special attack. During the gameplay, the player can collect treasure, which after finding his icon, can trade with Scuttle for health, special characters (like Flounder and Sebastian), and special powers to aid them on their quest. After saving all the Atlanticans in a stage, the player must face a boss, the final encounter being Ursula herself, and the transformed Triton (or Ariel if the player chose to play as Triton), the final polyp that must be rescued.

Kingdom Hearts series[]


Ariel in Kingdom Hearts.

The Kingdom Hearts video-game series uses elements from various films in the Disney animated canon, integrating and reinterpreting the stories to fit into the game's plot as the playable characters travel into different kingdoms or "worlds". The 1989 The Little Mermaid film and the kingdom of Atlantica are included as part of the game play.

Kingdom Hearts[]

In the first game, Ariel's story is similar to the 1989 film, but in addition she's to deal with Ursula's attempt to use the Heartless to defeat King Triton. Ariel can be one of Sora's party members for this world. She encounters Sora as a merman (with a dolphin tail instead), Donald Duck as a male cecaelia, and Goofy as a sea turtle, who claim that they are from a distant ocean to protect the fact that they are from another world. She is the only Disney Princess featured in the game who is not one of the Princesses of Heart and also the only female fighter to join the party up until Mulan. Within the game, Ariel is duped by Ursula, who also reveals that Sora, Donald, and Goofy are in fact from another world, into giving up her father's trident. After Triton is injured by Ursula, Ariel helps Sora, Donald, and Goofy defeat her to atone for her mistakes. After Atlantica's keyhole is sealed, Sora apologizes to Ariel for lying about their origins, but she lets it slide, confident that, if they could find a way to travel to other worlds, then so can she.

Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories[]

In this second game, Ariel is a character in Atlantica; but one in Sora's mind. Here, Ursula kidnaps Flounder and baits Ariel into stealing her father's trident. Ariel brings Ursula the trident, believing that Flounder has been taken to the human world, and learns the truth when she does. After helping Sora defeat Ursula, she resolves to tell her father what happened. She can be acquired as a Friend card after visiting the Key of Guidance room. Using the card causes her to swim across the arena, injuring any enemies she strikes.

Kingdom Hearts II[]

As in the first Kingdom Hearts, Ariel's story is almost a mirror of the 1989 film's plot. Songs in this world are "Swim This Way", "Part of Your World", "Under the Sea", "Ursula's Revenge", and "A New Day is Dawning". There are some slight changes from the film, among them being:

1. The musical numbers "Poor Unfortunate Souls" and "Kiss the Girl" are removed.2. The deal between Ursula and Ariel is made in the Courtyard instead of in Ursula's cave.3. Instead of Sebastian and Flounder pushing the human Ariel to the surface, Sora drags her to the top by himself.4. Ariel already has clothes on immediately after her human transformation. She is wearing the sail from the film. In the film, she is completely naked after the transformation.5. Eric throws the trident — as originally storyboarded for the film — to defeat Ursula. 6. Eric is conscious after Ursula is defeated, speaks with Ariel as a mermaid for a longer time, and eventually asks her if she'd teach him how to swim.

Disney Heroes: Battle Mode[]

Disney Heroes- Battle Mode ariel

Ariel appears as an unlockable in the game, and to unlock her you need 10 Ariel chips. Her abilities in the game include Mermaid song (a ability in which she sings and creates ripples in the water and heals her and her allies for over 4 seconds and also knocks back and damages enemies), Soothing voice, Fish squirt, Sea music and Flipping around

Her friends in-game are Gerald, Marlin, Nemo and Hector Barbossa

Other appearances[]

Disney Theme parks[]

Ariel Disneyland

Ariel makes regular appearances in the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, having a special location called Ariel's Grotto at most of them. Ariel also makes cameo appearances in Peter Pan's Flight at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom and in It's a Small World at Hong Kong Disneyland. She also has a major role in Mickey's Philharn Magic and stars in her own live stage shows at Disney's Hollywood Studios (Voyage of the Little Mermaid) and Tokyo Disney Sea (Mermaid Lagoon Theater). A dark ride based on the movie was designed for Disneyland Paris, but was never built, it has since been announced that a re-designed version of the attraction is to be built as part of the major expansion for Disney's California Adventure. She is also featured in Fantasica! at both Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios.



Ariel in one of the books.

Kids Books

Disney has a number of little mermaid cartoon books for kids. Both the full version of the story and very short versions. There are a few differences in the books then they are in the movie. First, when Ariel becomes a human, her seashells come off and she is unconscious. In the books, she is shown wearing her seashells. She is shown full body but he knees blocks her waist from being shown. Ariel's bottom is not fully shown, but half of it is. She is still awake, but holding her breath. Second, when Ariel wakes up on the beach, Skuttle comes in and helps her put on a sail. In the book, Skuttle does not come out. Instead, Ariel is shown standing with only a small rock covering her vagina. Third, when Eric finds her, she is wearing a sail and is sitting on a rock. In the book, Ariel is hiding behind a rock but somehow, she is not wearing her shells. There two pictures for this; One which shows Eric's perspective, which shows Ariel's head above the rock, and from Ariel's perceptive which shows her sitting behind the rock. Her front side is not shown only her face and backside. It then says she gets up from the rock and tries to walk to Eric. Disney has also made digital story books of the little mermaid. These too have a difference from the movie. First is when Ariel gets her voice taken. In the movie, Ursula summons two hands that take Ariel's voice. In the book, Ariel leans back. When she then goes forward, her voice comes out. Second it the transformation. In the movie, Ariel is put into a bubble and her tail splits inside of it. In the book, Ariel is not placed into a bubble. Instead, the transformation happens out in the open. A light goes around Ariel's tail and splits it into her legs. As the transformation is happening, Ariel is shown panicking and screaming. As the transformation finishes, Ariel becomes unconscious. She is then carried to the surface by her friends. As she is being carried, the transformation finishes.

Disney Princess franchise[]

Ariel is one of the ten characters in the Disney Princess line, a prominent franchise directed to young girls. The franchise covers a wide variety of merchandise, including but not limited to magazines, music albums, toys, clothes and stationery. Ariel is usually depicted in her mermaid form on the merchandise, but also appears in human form wearing her blue dress, white wedding dress or pink dress. The Disney Princess magazine features comics and posters of Ariel, usually in mermaid form. Of all the Disney Princesses, Ariel is the only one who is originally not completely human to begin with, and the only one to have been depicted as having a child.

Other Disney media[]


In the 1995 film A Goofy Movie, the main characters stay in a motel that is decorated according to an oceanic theme, and the room lamps are in the shape of Ariel in her mermaid form, with red hair, purple shells and green tail. Ariel also makes a cameo appearance in the Roger Rabbit short Roller Coaster Rabbit on a sideshow poster at the carnival. One of the Lilo & Stitch movie trailers is including a scene from The Little Mermaid.

Music albums[]

Due to the success of the 1989 film, a series of music albums were released as part of Disney's The Little Mermaid franchise and featuring Jodi Benson singing in-character as Ariel. Among these albums are: Sebastian from The Little Mermaid - Ariel sings two full tracks, "Dancing Mood" and "Dance the Day Away", and provides supporting vocals in "Day-O (The Banana Boat Song). Splash Hits - This album features a few songs used in the prequel series and other original The Little Mermaid songs. Ariel sings about half the tracks on the album. Songs from the Sea - Features entirely original songs, and Ariel sings the majority of the tracks. Ariel is also included in the various albums that have been released as part of the Disney Princess franchise. The most prominent song for the franchise is "If You Can Dream", which features solos by most members of the Disney Princess group including Princess Jasmine, Cinderella, Princess Belle, Pocahontas, Princess Aurora, and Fa Mulan. Snow White has been excluded due to unknown reasons. Jodi Benson sings as Ariel in this line as well.

References in Non-Disney media[]

The character of Ariel has been referenced and parodied many times in various unrelated media, occasionally making unofficial "cameos". Some of these appearances are listed below.

  • The animated television series Futurama contains a few references to Ariel. In the episode "The Series Has Landed", a female robot called the Crushinator says "No, Daddy, I love him" to her father referring to Bender, a line which was uttered by Ariel towards her father in the film.
  • In the direct-to-video movie Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation, when underwater, Babs Bunny sees a parody version of Ariel and some sea creatures singing a parody of "Under the Sea". Babs then says "Oops, wrong cartoon." before resurfacing.

    A parody version of Ariel in Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation.

    • The line is also used in the Seinfeld episode "The Bottle Deposit part 2" where Kramer discovers Newman being chased out of a farmhouse in Michigan by a farmer with a shotgun after it is revealed that Newman slept with his daughter, an act which the farmer forbade earlier in the episode. The daughter later responds with the phrase "No daddy, don't hurt him, I love him".
    • In the episode "The Deep South", the main characters' ship is dragged to the bottom of the ocean where the lead character, Fry, encounters a mermaid similar to the fashion in which Ariel first meets Prince Eric except certain situations reversed. The mermaid's name is Umbriel and she hails from the lost city of Atlanta. Of note, Ariel and Umbriel are both moons orbiting Uranus, named for two of the sylphs in Alexander Pope's The Rape of the Lock.
  • In the episode of Saturday Night Live that aired on October 29, 2001, Reese Witherspoon dressed as a mermaid for a sketch. Her costume consisted of a colored tail fin, seashell bra, and red hair.
  • The webcomic Penny Arcade also makes a joke on this subject when Gabe remembers his younger "Undersea adventures" or, rather, his attempts at having them.
  • In the animated series Drawn Together, Princess Clara's appearance and personality is based on Princess Ariel all the way down to her relationship with her father, the King, who is nearly identical in appearance and personality to King Triton. Princess Clara is voiced by Tara Strong, who also voiced Ariel's daughter, Melody. Besides Clara, Ariel herself made two cameos in the show. The first was in the episode "Foxy vs. the Board of Education", where she was at a vet with a plastic ring set caught in her throat. The second was in the episode "Spelling Applebee's", in which she was one of Clara's friends, and ended up killed alongside Snow White and Aurora in the ending of the episode by Captain Hero. She was voiced by Tara Strong in the latter episode.
  • In the NES video game, Skate or Die 2, the girlfriend of the playable character, CJ, is based on Ariel in design.
  • In the episode Francine's Flashback of American Dad!, Stan goes on a fishing trip with his friends, who accidentally kill Ariel.
  • In the Family Guy episode "Hot Pocket-Dial", after Joe loses his legs while parasailing. Ariel then appears wishing she had legs, just as Joe's legs float towards her. Ariel then eats them claiming it was her fish part that wanted them.
  • In the American Dad episode "Francine's Flashback", Ariel dies in the water.
  • In the “Accidentally in Love” sequence in Shrek 2, a mermaid who looks like Ariel winds up on the shore kissing Shrek and Fiona throws her in the water, where she was (supposedly) devoured by sharks. She is the only princess in Shrek who resembles their Disney counterpart.




King triton

Ariel's father, Triton.

Triton is Ariel's father.

In the prequel film, Ariel and Triton were once very close; but after the accidental death of her mother, Athena, Triton bans all music from Atlantica and their father-and-daughter's relationship becomes strained; but after Triton saw Ariel getting hit; by Marina Del Rey; because of this, he is remorseful for his actions, as he finally comes to terms; with his wife's death; restoring music to all of Atlantica, their father-and-daughter reconciles after this, becoming close once again.

In the television series, Ariel and Triton's relationship was not always strained, as they do sometimes see eye-to-eye, as in the episode "Stormy", when Ariel attempted to ride a wild giant seahorse named Stormy that her father warned her not too do, because it was too dangerous. After Ariel is accidentally injured by Stormy, she admits that he was right about the danger. Triton later offers her a tamer giant seahorse more appropriate to her skills.

Ariel's love for human things often clashes with her father; due to his prejudiced; regarding of humans and human culture; despite this, he is capable of realizing his mistakes, like in the episode "Metal Fish"; when he saved a human from drowning after his daughter had pointed out to him that; all merfolk; including himself are half-humans.

In the original film, Ariel and Triton's relationship has become very strained, partly; due to his overprotectiveness of his daughter and Ariel's fascination; with humans; but mainly; due to her father's prejudiced belief of humans; believing that; all humans in general to be nothing more than savage fish eaters; when Ariel forgot about the concert, her father becomes very furious and; when his daughter returns home, after her friend, Scuttle the seagull had unknowingly reminded her about the concert, he scolds her for her careless and reckless behavior; despite the fact that; she did not intentionally mean to ruin the concert; but; during the scolding, Flounder unintentionally reveals that; she went to the surface again, in an attempt to defend her. The two get; into a heated argument; regarding humans; during the argument. Ariel then unintentionally disrespects her father, as after she states that; she is now sixteen years old and and is no longer a child; who is to be protected. Triton angrily tells her to never raise that; tone of voice with him, as he lacks patience with his youngest daughter. When she tries to get her father to listen to her; regarding humans, he refuses and after being demanded; by him to obey his every rule and not to go to the surface again, she tearfully swims off, after she leaves the palace, Triton correctly believes that; he was being too hard on Ariel.

For the last few days, Triton has notice Ariel's unusual happy behavior lately, but was completely oblivious to the reason behind this behavior of hers. His second youngest daughter, Adrina then points out that; Ariel is in love, much to his delight (initially) unaware at the time that; she has fallen in love; with a human, named Eric, believing that; the person Ariel had fallen in love; with is a merman.

Triton summons Sebastian, wanting to know the identity of Ariel's love, the Jamaican crab (incorrectly) believes that; he already knows, as his anxiety blinds to the obvious joy the sea king feels, he then accidentally reveals that; his daughter saved a human from drowning, as contact between humans and merfolk are forbidden; by the sea king himself, breaking the promise that; he had made to Ariel that; he had promised her to keep it a secret. Sebastian is then forced to reveal Ariel's secret grotto, where he goes and confronts Ariel, not only for going to the surface again; but also for saving a human, Ariel points that; Eric could have died if it weren't for her; with Triton stating that it was "one less human to worry about", she responds that; he doesn't; even know what Eric is like, only for him to (arrogantly) state that; he doesn't need to know him, that; all humans are the same; spineless, savage, harpooning fish-eaters, incapable of any feeling, this causes Ariel to accidentally reveal that; he has fallen in love; with Eric, much to Triton's shock.

Out of fear that; Triton may have lost his daughter, Ariel to the human world, he loses control of his temper, he destroyed most of Ariel's human artifacts, in a failed attempt to "get through to her"; which ultimately backfires. She begs her father to stop; but he doesn't listen. After he destroys a statue of Ariel's love, he is horrified at what he had done, feeling extremely guilty and remorseful for his unjustified actions. He then leaves out of shame, knowing that; Ariel is not yet ready to receive an apology from him; especially after what he had done, and the relationship becomes damaged after this. Triton's actions indirectly lead to Ariel to; make a deal; with his archenemy, Ursula to become human; in order to be; with Eric. Unknown to Ariel, she was being used; by the sea witch in a plot to take Triton's throne.

When Ariel goes missing (after becoming human) Triton blames himself for the situation and tirelessly spends his time searching for her, unable to rest; until she is safe at home and to apologize to his daughter for what he had done, as he realizes that; he had gone too far this time; when Sebastian; who had been watching over Ariel, arrives from the surface and tells the sea king about Ursula's scheme (off-screen) he quickly goes out; with Sebastian to rescue his daughter from the sea witch. Ariel apologizes to her father; regarding signing a deal with Ursula; who attempts to destroy the contract between Ariel and Ursula to no avail. Upon learning from Ursula that; Ariel had willingly signed an agreement; with Ursula and that; she may be willing to; make an exchange for someone; even better, Triton willingly takes his daughter's place; despite knowing the cost of his choice, this; proves just how much he loves Ariel, as he will willingly risk anything for her; even at the cost of his own kingdom.

Despite the fact that; Ariel was angry with Triton for his previous actions; regarding destroying most of her human artifacts and a statue of Eric, she never hated her father, after he takes her place, and was turned; into a polyp, much to her horror, enraged; by what Ursula did to him, she attacks her, only to be restrained; by the sea witch.

After Ursula is killed; by Eric, Triton returns to his original form, not only does he realizing just how much Ariel truly loves Eric; but his beliefs about all humans being bad were completely wrong, he also realizes that; his daughter has (metaphorically) grown up. as she needs to live her own life, he willingly transforms her; into a human permanently; allowing her to be; with the man that; she loves; even though he is going to miss her very much. The relationship is repaired after this, as Ariel forgives Triton for his previous actions; to the point that; he is invited to attend her and Eric's wedding, near the climax of the wedding, he gives his daughter, Ariel one last hug, she in return tearfully tells her father that; she loves him very much, after saying goodbye, he then uses his trident to cast a beautiful rainbow over the sky, a sign that; he approves of Ariel's marriage to Eric.

In the direct-to-video sequel of, despite Ariel and Triton not seeing each other for over a decade, their still very close, as she introduces Triton to his newborn granddaughter, Melody, much to his delight. Triton is no longer overprotective of Ariel, as he also respected her decisions, even if he does not agree with some of them, such as after Melody was threatened by Morgana, she decided not only should Melody not be allowed in the ocean or know about the existence of the merfolk (until Morgana has been dealt with once-and-for-all). Although Triton agreed with the decision to keep Melody out of the ocean for her own safety, secretly he did not agree with the decision to keep her mermaid heritage a secret from her or not tell her the reason why she is not allowed in the sea, much to his heartbreak.

Years later, when Melody runs away, Ariel reunites with her father who turns her back into a mermaid and helps her look for her missing daughter. After Morgana's defeat, Ariel and Triton are able to stay in touch and remain closer than ever after Melody allows people from the land and sea to coexist together peacefully again.


Athena was Ariel's mother.

At a young age, Ariel showed a great love and admiration for her mother, Athena. Ariel resembled her mother so greatly and even shared a love of music with her. After the death of her mother, Ariel was saddened and mourned her death with the rest of her family.

Years later, after discovering an underground music club, Ariel rather than exposing the club, expressed happiness in hearing music as it gave her fond memories of her mother. When the club is exposed and the band is sent to jail, Ariel confronts her father and angrily states that her mother wouldn't want music forbidden.

Ariel then decided to run away as she couldn't be happy in Atlantica without having music to remember her mother. When Ariel found her mother's music box and realized how broken her father was over her death, Ariel decided to bring the music box back to him, hoping to make him happy again and bring music back. After Ariel was knocked out by Marina Del Rey, Ariel was awoken by her mother's song Endless Sky and reconciled with her father, bringing music back to Atlantica just as Ariel hoped to do.

Attina, Alana, Adella, Aquata, Arista and Andrina[]

Ariel’s sisters

Ariel's sisters, Attina, Alana, Adella, Aquata, Arista and Andrina.

Attina, Alana, Adella, Aquata, Arista and Andrina are Ariel's older sisters.

Due to Ariel's free-spirited and rebellious nature, Alana, Adella, Aquata and Andrina (except for Attina and Arista) have always considered her to be the oddball of the family. But they all love and care about her despite their differences.

Although Attina, Alana, Adella, Aquata, Arista and Andrina were all saddened; by Ariel's decision to start her own life on the surface; with Eric, they all showed their support and wished her good luck while present on her wedding day. They were also present during Melody's christening and were excited to get to know their first niece.

Out of all Ariel's of sisters, she is closest to Attina and Arista, but Ariel does love all of her sisters deep down.


Ariel is one of Disney's most iconic animated characters, and her specific color combination of red hair, lavender sea shells and green tail make her distinctly identifiable. She has become an iconic character for children and young women to impersonate; some frequently donning home-made costumes of Ariel's green tail and seashell top, and seen swimming about in pools in amateur home videos on sites such as YouTube. Many amateur artists on art sites such as DeviantArt also model their own mermaids after Ariel, some claimed to be different characters though certainly inspired by her. Fan sites devoted to the iconic Disney princess are not uncommon; and there is even a bi-annual convention dedicated to her (and other TLM characters) called Ariel Con. Ariel is often considered the first Disney feminist as she plays a much bigger role in her story than the previous Disney heroines. Ariel is an official "ambassador" for the "Keep Our Oceans Clean" campaign by Environmental Defense, The National Maritime Sanctuary, and The National Oceanic and Atmospheric.



Click here on Ariel/Gallery to view the collection of images and videos related to this page.


  • Ariel's sisters, Attina, Alana, Adella, Aquata, Arista and Andrina respectively have stated that; is unpredictable.
  • Ariel's hobbies are collecting gadgets, gizmos, whosits, whatsits and thingamabobs.
  • Ariel severely dislikes rules that; do not make any sense at all.
  • Ariel's biggest fear is being told that; something is impossible.
  • Ariel's favorite color is emerald green.
  • Ariel's favorite food is the surface food, called strawberries.
  • Ariel's favorite genre of music is every kind.
  • Ariel's favorite musical instrument is the piano.
  • Unlike Ariel's sisters, Attina, Alana, Adella, Aquata, Arista and Andrina respectively; she doesn't wear any hair accessories; except for the occasional sea flower; which she wears more often in the film's comic adaptation.
    • This could possibly be a nod to the original Hans Christian Andersen story; where her original book counterpart is only interested in tending to underwater red flower.


  1. (2006) Treasures Untold: The Making of Disney's 'The Little Mermaid' [Documentary featurette]. Bonus material from The Little Mermaid: Platinum Edition DVD. Walt Disney Home Entertainment.
  2. Musker, John (2006). Audio Commentary from The Little Mermaid: Platinum Edition[DVD]. Walt Disney Home Entertainment.