Welcome to Disney Debate!
Over the next 11 weeks, we’ll discuss each of the “official” Disney princesses. Read the information and question below and then use the comments section to join the debate. Engage with people’s comments by replying to them, and add your own points by creating a new comment. Comments must be civil to be included.
WEEK 4: ARIEL
When The Little Mermaid came out in 1989 , Ariel was considered a feminist heroine. Roger Ebert called Ariel, “a fully realized female character who thinks and acts independently, even rebelliously, instead of hanging around passively while the fates decide her destiny.” But, these days, feminist critics add Ariel to the list of anti-feminist Disney princesses, bemoaning the fact that she gives up her voice and “morphs herself into a human at the age of 16 to go be with some dude she saw on a boat” (Sarah Bregel).
So, is Ariel a “fully realized female character who thinks and acts independently,” or is she just a girl running off to be with “some dude she saw on a boat”?