1. Little Mermaid
So to start off this wonderful blog I watched Disney’s Little Mermaid for a college class. Personally I love Disney films. I grew up watching them and saw some in the theater (though I don’t really remember this). I still enjoy watching the new movies that Pixar, Disney, DreamWorks, etc. produce. Maybe it is the kid inside me, but I still love watching those films.
I haven’t seen the Little Mermaid in ages. It isn’t one of those flicks I re-watch on a regular basis, even when I do Disney marathons. I enjoyed it though. It was extremely entertaining and got a laugh of my classmates most of the time as well. Of course as adults we picked up on a number of things that we hadn’t seen before, but I’ll touch on that later. This film really does a wonderful job at showing what made Disney popular. It’s referred to as the start of the Disney Renaissance, and it’s right. I can’t say much on the animation because I know very little about it. It looks wonderful though. The large musical numbers of course are one of those things that stands out for most people and is what made this era of Disney popular. The movies are over the top and filled with energy that gets you excited regardless of your age.
I really don’t know what else to put here because it is a very well-known Disney film and it is well worth the watch. So to get into some very iffy waters I’ll make a few comments about the film in regards to seeing it as an adult/for a college class where we are watching this in conjunction on discussing Psychoanalysis in literary theory. I give you one word: Penis. The movie is filled with them if you want to view it that way, and having read Freud a few hours before the viewing, I couldn’t help myself. Please don’t take this to seriously, because I really don’t. It’s just an example of how easy it is to read into things, regardless of whether it is actually present. So the basics: The Ocean is Female and the Human Land/Ground is Male. The Ocean lacks notable male figures for one. Triton is obviously the only source of true masculinity, since really Flounder and Sebastian are hardly that masculine. Even this doesn’t matter because the merpeople are fish where it counts. As in they have no genitalia, at least none that I could see and I’ve never heard of it (not that I know anything about Mermaids). So the ocean lacks a Penis and thus is Femine. The only Penis is found with Triton and it is his magical, all-powerful, shiny Trident. It is a penis in that it has a shaft and it’s point and fits the description enough.
So moving on to land. What we see on land is male figures mostly, especially since the focus is on those sailors at sea. These men all have legs and thus a penis dangling in between them. Make sense that land is Male, more so than arguing that the Ocean is Female. The figures on land are also the object of desire for Ariel, mainly for erotic/romantic reasons. You could argue that she has penis envy of Erik or what not, but who cares. Triton rejects men because they eat fish and are barbaric and whatnot. This could be read at his envying them at having an actual penis while he is left with a pseudo-penis in the form of his Trident. Stretching things, but it kinda fits. Ursula now comes into the picture as the middle force. She is neither man nor woman. Her figure is strikingly different from the female figures we do see. This may piss off some people, but her hair is one thing to notice. Short hair on women tends to be associated with being butch. Ursula also has a rather deep, more masculine voice and talks to Ariel with words like honey, sweetie, angle, etc. Those aren’t the exact words, but what I mean is that she uses terms that are now often viewed as being sexist for men to say. Ursula also craves a penis in that she wants Triton Trident – a penis. She ultimately gets a penis and ironically dies by a penis – Eric kills her – she is impaled upon a large wooden shaft from the boat that Eric wields.
So everyone has penis envy. Plenty of people are familiar by now with the statues of the underwater castle. They resemble penises. And the priest gets an erection. It’s stretching things, but regardless it’s fun to add crap like that into a move viewing. So yes watch the Little Mermaid and enjoy it for what it is; a wonderful piece of cinema that may have some nostalgia for some, and for others just plain fun.