Every time I watch the 1989 anime version, this line catches my attention. little mermaid This is not famous. It’s not the “Part of Your World” lyric, nor Ariel’s defiant “but I love you daddy” lyric, nor Sebastian’s witty digression. That’s towards the end of the movie, when Triton finally realizes that Ariel would be happier on land and uses a magical trident to give Ariel a leg. After that, he turned to Sebastian and said: “I think there’s only one problem left with her: how much I’ll miss her.”

This moment has more impact than any other line in the film, as it subverts the traditional “live happily ever after” narrative. Unlike other Disney fairy tale endings, little mermaid It’s deeply bittersweet. True love saves the day and a grand wedding takes place. But unlike Cinderella, who runs away from her abusive stepmother. beauty and the beastBelle is reunited with her father, and Ariel leaves behind her beloved family to start a new life, but she cannot return to the way she was before.

New live-action remake for 2023 little mermaid We’ll keep that line but shift the ending a bit in a way that overwrites the sequel to the original movie. The Little Mermaid II Return to the Sea. But as it turns out, it’s not a bad thing.

[Ed. note: This post contains spoilers for the 2023 Little Mermaid, and also for Return to the Sea.]

Image: Disney

Triton is a strict and overprotective parent, but like many parents, he believes he is keeping his daughter safe. But unlike many of his parents, he realizes the error of his ways and takes his opportunity to correct it. He has to let her daughter go to give her a chance to be happy. But he is still sad! It’s moving! This shows the potential for a strict father to grow up and realize that what he wants is not necessarily what his daughter wants.

The idea that Ariel would have to part ways with Triton for good in order to achieve her dream is reemphasized in the direct-to-VHS sequel, where Ariel goes to the undersea world to protect her daughter from Ursula’s vengeful sister. make the difficult choice to cut off all contact withbut The Little Mermaid II Return to the Sea One of Disney’s best direct-to-video sequels, but its era isn’t always well known good movie. But there is one particularly poignant scene in the film, in which a grown-up Ariel walks to the beach, dips his feet in the water, looks up at the sky and sighs that he can’t see his father.

Image: Disney

Writer David Magee and director Rob Marshall have retained many elements of the 1989 animated film in the live-action version, including Javier Bardem as Triton, who “will miss her”. There is also a line that says, and he conveys it with the utmost kindness and tenderness. Unsurprisingly, they made the smart choice of adjusting the ending to make it less painful. And in the process, they’re closing the door on the possibility of adapting the sequel directly to VHS.

Ariel and Eric will also get married in the 2023 movie version, but their wedding will be more low-key. What matters is that they head out on a long sea voyage together, hoping to satisfy both their appetites for exploration and expand diplomatic relations with Erik’s small island nation. As they board the rowboat and make their way to the ship, Triton emerges from the water and looks intently at Ariel and Eric. As more and more mermaids jumped out of the water, Triton told Ariel they were always here for her.

Image: Disney

It’s a small detail, but it makes a big difference in the ending. Ariel doesn’t have to choose between worlds. Part of her will always be a mermaid, although she feels happier and more comfortable in the human world. But this time the ending feels more like a new chapter for Ariel’s relationship with the underwater world than a farewell. Marshall and Maggie intersperse this version with an imaginary conflict between mermaids and humans without actually delving into or resolving it. But that conflict makes the ending all the more poignant, where Ariel doesn’t have to choose between worlds.

there is more many Dive into (ha) with a potential sequel. (Possible sequels to these live-action remakes continue to be announced.) And there’s no need to focus on giving Ariel a child or cutting her out of the mermaid world. The relationship between Ariel and Eric represents something new for both humans and merpeople, and their voyage quest will surely take them into uncharted waters, both literally and figuratively. return to sea It may not come true in live action, but there are plenty of oceans to explore. This time Ariel knows that her father will always be there for her because he has learned to let her go.

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