How many of you, growing up watching The Little Mermaid, are now in your thirties, have the care of small children, and have changed your glowing opinion about the sea-shelled Ariel? Do you find yourself saying, "No Susie, we're not watching that; you've got all the example of selfishness, disrespect and disobedience in your own little sin nature you could possibly need-- you don't need help."
Ariel's a brat! Self-absorbed, can't imagine why something might be bad or dangerous if she doesn't personally think so, assumes a pretty face automatically means you're the good guy, yet unquestioningly trusts people she knows to be untrustworthy just because she'll get what she wants!
Why the sudden vitriol at the amphibious redhead? I was listening to my Tangled Pandora station last night, skipping through all The Little Mermaid songs when I was arrested by Ursula's fantastic, bombastic villain solo. How can you skip that one? Now, I know The Little Mermaid, despite Hans Christian Andersen's best attempts with the original, is just Faust retold for the toddler, so the parallels should have been obvious. But it really wasn't till last night that I heard the Gospel.
Ariel is me. There she is, making a deal with the devil to satisfy her selfish lusts, giving excuses, running away from the Father who does, in fact, know best, getting her friends into hot water, not to mention nearly killing her beloved as he attempts to unwind her mistakes. It's not until Daddy steps into her place, bears her sins, takes her punishment, that Ariel is brought to any kind of remorse.
Of course the illustration breaks down rather quickly after that, but it was the "I am Ariel" thought that occasioned this rant. It's very humbling to see oneself in an object both despised and envied (who didn't want that hair and those, uh, seashells?), all the more so because she is only a cartoon; if I am shamed by animation am I really any more important than pixels?
Praise be to God, yes I am. "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you." And so I make peace with Triton's youngest daughter. No, I'm still not wild about the lessons of the movie in general (Combing your hair with a fork at the dinner table is cute? French chefs are unequivocally evil? Kissing solves everything? And if you don't believe me, watch me throw in a Blue Lagoon reference?), but the Lord of All being omnipresent, I can't escape Him. Even under the sea.
What are some of your favorite "Jesus Finds" in popular culture?