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The video explores the dark origins of Disney's "The Little Mermaid" and compares it to Hans Christian Andersen's original fairy tale, revealing the more tragic and violent aspects of the story. It dives into the themes of soullessness, sacrifice, and the predatory nature of the prince, offering a deeper understanding of the tale's origins.
✨ HighlightsπŸ“Š Transcript
✦
The original story of The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen is darker and more tragic than Disney's version.
00:00
The original mermaid in the story doesn't have a name, nor do the sea witch or the prince.
The lack of a name for the mermaid may signify that she is not a fully autonomous person.
Mermaids in the original tale are revealed to not have immortal souls.
✦
The original Little Mermaid story is motivated by a fear of death and the desire for a soul, while the Disney version focuses on love and curiosity.
02:21
In the original story, the mermaid learns that she can obtain a soul and an afterlife if a human loves her more than anything and marries her.
The Little Mermaid's five sisters are older than her and are depicted as sirens who lure sailors to their deaths in the original tale.
In the original story, the sea witch takes the mermaid's voice because it is the sweetest voice in the underwater world.
✦
In the darker version of The Little Mermaid, the sea witch brutally cuts out the mermaid's tongue and the mermaid's legs cause excruciating pain.
04:43
The sea witch takes the mermaid's voice by cutting out her tongue.
The mermaid's legs come at a terrible price, causing every step to feel like treading on sharp knife blades.
Ursula reminds Ariel that body language is important, implying that a woman's looks are often valued more than what they have to say.
In the original version, the mermaid can never return to the ocean and will die of heartbreak if the prince marries another woman.
✦
The prince has a mixed relationship with the mermaid, kissing her and saying he loves her but ultimately marrying another woman who he believes saved him.
07:09
The prince's treatment of the mermaid is inconsistent and he sends mixed messages.
The mermaid is distraught when the prince marries another woman and doesn't notice her distress.
The mermaid's sisters make a deal with the sea witch to give the mermaid a magical dagger to transform her back into a mermaid if she kills the prince.
The mermaid can't bring herself to kill the prince and throws herself overboard instead.
✦
Hans Christian Anderson's childhood experiences of poverty, loneliness, and mistreatment influenced the darker and more complicated origin story of The Little Mermaid.
09:29
Anderson grew up poor and lived in a cramped home with two other families.
He faced ridicule and mistreatment from classmates and teachers for his ambitions to become a writer.
The isolation, ridicule, and poor treatment experienced by Anderson are reflected in his fairy tales, including The Little Mermaid.
00:00with the little mermaid releasing soon
00:03and with children everywhere falling in
00:06love with mermaids all over again and
00:08even some parents
00:10it's about time we take a closer look at
00:13the real story of Ariel the real story
00:15laying deep in the dark trenches at the
00:18bottom of the ocean
00:21Ariel
00:22a beautiful strong-willed mythical
00:24creature who spends her time collecting
00:26Treasures hanging out with a friend
00:28flounder frolicking under the sea and
00:31singing with that Angelic voice
00:33what dark secret can Ariel possibly be
00:36hiding behind that innocent smile
00:39everything if only you knew Hans
00:42Christian Andersen's original fairy tale
00:46The Little Mermaid was created by Dana
00:48schreider Hans Christian Anderson in
00:511837 about 150 years before Ariel was
00:55singing Under the Sea with Sebastian and
00:57Flounder Anderson's Little Mermaid
00:59endured a far grizzlier life and her
01:02desire to be human is far more dramatic
01:04than Disney lets on
01:10while the creatures in the story existed
01:12previously in folklore be it in the form
01:14of deadly flesh-eating Sirens it's time
01:17for supper
01:19[Music]
01:21Anderson's version was an original fairy
01:24tale
01:25some have theorized that the success of
01:27Frederick de la Martin Focus 1811 novel
01:30and Dean which also follows a mythical
01:33water creature may have encouraged
01:35Anderson to explore a more tragic
01:37Narrative of his own
01:38Ariel the eponymous protagonist doesn't
01:41have a name in the original story
01:43neither do the sea witch or the prince
01:47this is a common fairy tale convention
01:49allowing the characters to better embody
01:52their archetypes and hint at the
01:54universitality of their stories
01:57but it's also possible that the
01:59mermaid's lack of a name is a sign that
02:01she is less than a full and autonomous
02:03person and to give a better reason to
02:05think so would be because mermaids don't
02:08have souls foreign
02:11's original tale The Little Mermaid's
02:14grandmother reveals a particularly
02:16unsettling piece of lore mermaids do not
02:19have Immortal Souls The Little Mermaid
02:21is curious about the human wall then
02:23constantly asks questions about what
02:26humans are like and one day she asks her
02:28grandmother if humans die her
02:31grandmother explains he can live to be a
02:33hundred years old but when we perish we
02:36will turn into mere foam on the sea we
02:39have no Immortal Soul no life Hereafter
02:42we are like the green seaweed once cut
02:45down it never grows again human beings
02:48have a soul which lives forever
02:51and it's from here that the mermaid then
02:54learns that the only way she can win a
02:56soul and a beautiful afterlife is if a
02:58human comes to love her more than
03:00anything and marries her and in doing so
03:02he'd share her soul with her
03:06while in the animated version Ariel is
03:08motivated by her love for Prince Eric
03:10and her arted desire to be where the
03:13people are
03:14Anderson's mermaid is largely motivated
03:17by a fear of death she wants a soul and
03:19an afterlife in addition to love and she
03:22goes to great lens to attain them
03:24The Little Mermaid's Five Sisters may be
03:27sirens
03:29in Disney's The Little Mermaid Ariel
03:32sisters are hardly characters but
03:34they're more prominently featured in
03:36Anderson's fairy tale
03:39in the original story all five of The
03:42Little Mermaid sisters are older than
03:44her so they all get to visit the surface
03:46of the ocean before she does and are
03:48actually Sirens who lure Sailors to a
03:51watery grave the author writes many an
03:54evening the Five Sisters interlacing
03:56their arms would rise above the water
03:58together they had lovely voices much
04:01clearer than any mortal
04:05and when a storm was rising and they
04:07expected trips to be wrecked they would
04:10sing in the most seductive strains of
04:11The Wanderers of the deep bidding the
04:14seafarers have no fear of them
04:16the sea witch takes more than Ariel's
04:19voice
04:21in Disney's The Little Mermaid as part
04:24of the Faustian bargain Ariel makes with
04:26Ursula the witch takes the mermaid's
04:28voice in exchange for giving her legs
04:31and Anderson's original fairy tale the
04:35sea witch says you have the sweetest
04:37voice of anyone down here at the bottom
04:39of the sea and while I don't doubt that
04:41you would like to Captivate the prince
04:43with it you must give this voice to me
04:47not only does the sea witch take the
04:49mermaid's voice but she does so by
04:51brutally cutting out her tongue
04:54clearly The Little Mermaid is seriously
04:57committed in this darker and more
04:58violent version of the story
05:01The Little Mermaid's legs come at a
05:03terrible price
05:06in Disney's The Little Mermaid when
05:08Ariel asks how she's supposed to win his
05:10heart with no voice Ursula tells Ariel
05:13that body language is important
05:16a Despicable reminder from the villain
05:18that a woman's looks are often seen as
05:20more valuable to some than what they
05:22have to say
05:25in Anderson's version this trade isn't
05:27such a sweet deal after the mermaid's
05:30tongue is cut the sea witch says that
05:32the mermaid will be the most graceful
05:34woman in the human world
05:36but every step you take will feel as if
05:39you're treading upon knife blade so
05:41sharp that blood must flow
05:44there's no going back for the little
05:46mermaid
05:48in Disney's The Little Mermaid Ariel is
05:51given three days with Lex and no voice
05:54to win Prince Eric's heart or else
05:56she'll become imprisoned by Ursula as a
05:59piece of seagrass in her creepy Garden
06:01the stakes are pretty high here
06:03but the stakes are even higher in
06:05Anderson's original town when The Little
06:08Mermaid takes the sea which is deal she
06:10can never return to the ocean again the
06:12sea witch says in the original text once
06:15you have taken a human form you can
06:17never be a mermaid again you could never
06:19come back through the waters to your
06:21sisters or to your father's Palace
06:24as if that wasn't enough the sea witch
06:27also explains that if the mermaid can't
06:29win the prince's heart the consequences
06:32will be dire if the prince marries
06:34another woman the mermaid will die of
06:36heartbreak at Sunrise the day after his
06:39wedding and turn
06:43the prince isn't very princely in the
06:45original story
06:47the prince of Hans Christian Anderson's
06:49The Little Mermaid isn't such a great
06:51guy in fact he's a predator
06:55he enjoys being entertained by dancing
06:57slave girls and the Little Mermaid joins
06:59in the dancing too hoping to win his
07:02affection
07:02[Music]
07:06in Anderson's text the prince calls her
07:09his little family and gives her a velvet
07:11pillow to sleep on the outside of his
07:13bedroom door his treatment of her is
07:16inconsistent and he sends a lot of mixed
07:18messages the prince engages in a weird
07:21relationship with the mermaid sometimes
07:23kissing her and saying he loves her but
07:26obviously still toying with her and
07:28never having a true intention of
07:29marrying her and in fact he marries
07:32another woman a princess who he believes
07:34was the one who saved him when she found
07:37him washed up on a beach after his
07:38shipwreck
07:40of course The Little Mermaid knows she
07:42really saved the prince but there is
07:44nothing she can do to explain with the
07:46lack of her tongue the prince is so
07:48callous and unobservant that he doesn't
07:50even notice how distraught the mermaid
07:52is she accompanies the wedding party out
07:55to the sea on a boat feeling just awful
07:57that she's failed and understanding that
07:59by Sunrise she'll turn into seafo and
08:03soon be forgotten
08:07The Little Mermaid sisters cut a new
08:09jail with a sea witch
08:12Disney's animated adaptation gives Ariel
08:15and Prince Eric a happy ending after the
08:18mermaid breaks up his marriage ceremony
08:19with Ursula revealing her to be a fraud
08:22and showing Eric that Ariel was the one
08:25who actually saved him Ariel
08:29but Anderson's fairy tale still has a
08:31couple of plot twists left after the
08:34prince's wedding the mermaid's older
08:36sisters negotiate a new deal with the
08:38sea witch in exchange for their
08:40beautiful hair the sea witch gives them
08:42an enchanted dagger this is another
08:44instance of The Little Mermaid sisters
08:46having a much bigger part in the
08:48original story than they do in the
08:50Disney version they bring their little
08:52sister the magical dagger explaining
08:54that if she stabs the prince in his
08:55heart Before Sunrise his blood will
08:57transform her legs back into a fin and
09:00she can come home to live under the sea
09:02with her family The Little Mermaid takes
09:04a dagger agreeing to the deal but when
09:06she approaches the prince sleeping
09:08peacefully with his new wife she can't
09:10bring herself to kill him she throws
09:13herself overboard instead willing to
09:15turn into safe
09:17rather than kill the prince
09:19this is a pretty darn departure from the
09:22happy ending Disney jokes
09:24but Anderson's aerial does get a happy
09:27ending after all rather than becoming
09:29foam when she throws herself into the
09:31ocean as the sea witch told her the
09:33little mermaid is greeted by the
09:34daughters of the air ethereal beings who
09:37welcome her into their tribe they
09:39explain how because of the goodness of
09:41her heart and her sacrifice she's been
09:43given a chance to earn an immortal Soul
09:45she'll spend the next 300 years earning
09:48her soul and Afterlife by doing good
09:51deeds
09:52so where did Hans Christian Anderson get
09:55his inspiration for The Little Mermaid
09:58well if you're familiar with the tale of
10:00the ugly duckling then you can guess
10:03what Hans Christian Anderson's childhood
10:06was like
10:09he grew up poor and lived in a cramped
10:12home with two other families totaling 12
10:14People Under One Roof
10:16after Anderson's father died when he was
10:1911 the future writer attended School
10:21sporadically and worked to help support
10:23himself and his mother
10:25The Apprentice as a weaver
10:28work at a tobacco shop
10:30and worked for a tailor before he was
10:3214. Anderson moved to Copenhagen when he
10:36was 14 determined to find creative work
10:39he was in a boy's choir until his voice
10:42changed and tried his hand at ballet
10:45when he was 17 years old Anderson met
10:47Jonas Colin the director of the Royal
10:49Danish theater who saw promise in
10:52Anderson's stories and secured funding
10:54for his education
10:55although attending school was beneficial
10:57for Anderson's future it was also sad
10:59and lonely for him as classmates and
11:02teachers ridiculed and mistreated him
11:05making fun of his Ambitions to become a
11:07writer
11:09in Anderson's fairy tales many of his
11:12characters suffer isolation ridicule and
11:15poor treatment these darker emotions and
11:17themes are reflected in his writing
11:19giving his beloved tale of the little
11:21mermaid a darker and more complicated
11:23origin story inspired by his own life
11:27An Origin story that most Disney fans
11:30might not have expected
11:35if you liked our video don't forget to
11:38subscribe and follow our channel for
11:40more videos like this one
11:45[Music]
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FAQs about This YouTube Video

1. What are the dark origins of Disney's The Little Mermaid?

The dark origins of Disney's The Little Mermaid can be traced back to Hans Christian Andersen's original fairy tale, which revealed a more tragic and violent story compared to the Disney adaptation.

2. How does Hans Christian Andersen's original fairy tale differ from Disney's The Little Mermaid?

Hans Christian Andersen's original fairy tale portrays a more tragic and violent story, exploring themes of soullessness, sacrifice, and the predatory nature of the prince, which are not emphasized in Disney's adaptation.

3. What themes are explored in the dark origins of The Little Mermaid?

The dark origins of The Little Mermaid explore themes of soullessness, sacrifice, and the predatory nature of the prince, offering a deeper understanding of the tale's origins.

4. What is the significance of exploring the original fairy tale of The Little Mermaid?

Exploring the original fairy tale of The Little Mermaid reveals a more profound understanding of its dark origins, providing insight into the themes of soullessness, sacrifice, and the predatory nature of the prince.

5. How does the comparison between Disney's The Little Mermaid and the original fairy tale provide a deeper understanding of the story?

The comparison between Disney's The Little Mermaid and the original fairy tale provides a deeper understanding of the more tragic and violent aspects of the story, shedding light on themes of soullessness, sacrifice, and the predatory nature of the prince.

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