Disney is known for portraying biased gender characters. This can potential effect the way children view not only races but also human beings in the real world. Little Mermaid is one of the original and most famous Disney princesses; however, some parents may argue that Disney is placing biased opinions of races and unrealistic expectations others may have of them. However, every Disney movie has life lessons and possessing the courage to follow your dreams is the theme of the film.
In Little Mermaid, Ariel acts and looks, like a child. For someone who is looking to get married and find prince charming, she is immature for her age. The only sign of maturity is her breast and her wide hips that younger children would not have. Ariel has a delicate nose that makes her look younger than she is. All throughout the movie, Ariel constantly struggles to find a way to get her voice back, because Prince Eric fell in love with her from her voice. Eric is a little shallow if he only wants Ariel for her voice. Children may think that they must possess an innocent, calm, soothing voice for men to like them. Prince Eric never said that he likes her personality or that she was beautiful. Although did say she has the prettiest voice which was the reason he became intrigued with her. On top of that, Ariel is the one that is pursuing the prince and is trying to get him to fall in love. She fell instantly fell in love with Eric after she saw him on his ship looking out into the ocean. After that, she wanted to have legs and she wanted to be part of their world. Children can be confused by this action because they could get the assumption that the females have to pursue the man first for them to fall in love. The body types vary drastically from Ariel to Ursula. Ariel is skinny, has beautiful flowing hair, soft voice, and has a sense of innocence to her. Children grow an immediate attachment to her and ultimately want to be like her. While in the first scene that the viewers see Ursula, Ariel is escorted to her layer by her pet eels. Ursula is big, fat, rough/deep voice, ugly, etc. She is clearly the antagonist of the film. Disney does not do a realistic portrayal of evil in movies. Because of this, children will assume that every bad guy in life will contain all the qualities that Ursula possesses. Disney stereotypes the bad guys and races in films. Disney gave Sebastian a Caribbean accent. Disney is stereotyping this particular race by the way he talks, the songs he sings, like Under the Sea, and is serving to Ariel. One of the most famous songs that Disney has created is Under the Sea. Sebastian plays the steel drums, which are the “drum sound of the Caribbean,” making the song sound tropical. Caribbean people not part of the upper class because the island's economy is based on tourism. They make a living off of serving to the tourist and the people that are financially above them. In Little Mermaid Sebastian's primary role is helping Ariel. He is constantly trying to guide her in the right k direction that is why he sang Under the Sea. Disney stereotypes races and portrays character poorly which effects they way children perceive life in their future.
Disney does have some positives that come from the movies. Ariel’s voice was taken from her and during the whole film she is determined to get it back. She is also committed to having Eric fall in love with her. Kids can learn courage and determination from the film. Ariel became courageous enough to go on a date with Eric even though she could not speak to him. She was determined enough to become a human because she fell deeply in love with Eric at first sight. She must possess the courage to face her fears to gain her voice back. Another quality that children can learn and develop from Little Mermaid is hope. Every kid needs a little hope in his or her lives. Hope that everything will work out in the end, and hope that happy endings do exist. Growing up watching Disney movies, every little girl has hope that true love exists, prince charming, and happy endings. Disney plants expectations in young girls minds on how a man should act and treat a lady. This is a positive quality of the movie because girls should have high expectations for males because we live in a society where men do not hold as many gentlemen qualities like they have in past decades.