July 9, 2023

I was only five or six years old when I started crying at the sight of an animated octopus-witch. My grade one class went to the class next door to watch The Little Mermaid. I had to leave the room, I was in such a fit. I spent the rest of the movie at my desk, in our classroom. I imagine it took me a while to calm down. I was a crier. I still tear up when I feel emotional.

Tonight, we went to go watch the latest rendition of The Little Mermaid. This version has real actors and CGI working together to create a fantastical world, full of adventure, and an octopus-witch. Melissa McCarthy did a great job in the role. I think her work as Sookie on Gilmore Girls helped me remain calm when the traumatic memories of my childhood came rushing back.

Since that day, I never ventured to watch the movie again. I accepted that I’m afraid of underwater, tentacled, loathsome, dejected sea gods. She must’ve taken Ariel’s voice because she, herself, felt unheard. How loudly she must’ve cried when she was overlooked and her brother was given the trident. I want bothered enough, though, to learn the whole story.

It was unfair that Ursula tricked Ariel and added that forgetfulness piece to the spell. That she then used her voice to fool Eric into believing she was the woman who saved him was also an underhanded move. Thankfully, Sebastian, Scuttle, and Flounder were able to breach the sea creature-human divide and help Ariel. We all need help sometimes.

I have a few questions about Ariel’s relationship with her father, like why he chose to destroy everything she collected when he found out she had gone to the Above World, or why he gave her her wish at the end but not the opportunity to return to being a mermaid. I’m not sure that was the main storyline of the movie, however. What was?

I managed to sit through the entire film this time. I finished the bag of popcorn, likely using each kernel as a distraction from my unsettled fears. There were a couple of touching moments that the chewing helped assuage. The theatre was pretty empty, too, but I didn’t have to wait out the movie by myself this time.


Leave a Reply