Sailors on the sea tell a young man about the mermaids below. Then we meet some merpeople having a concert, but the one who is supposed to be making her debut isn’t there. Instead, we meet Ariel as she searches a shipwreck for human artifacts with her friend Flounder the fish. She finds a fork and a pipe. When a shark chases her, she goes back to get the objects, putting herself in more danger. She tricks the shark into getting its head stuck in an anchor. Then she shows her friend Scuttle the bird the objects, and he makes up lies about what they do. She remembers the concert and goes back to get yelled at by her father. Meanwhile, we meet Urusula the sea-witch who is plotting against her.
Why Ariel might be hard to identify with: No reason. She’s adorable.
- We hear about the legend of her and her culture before we meet her.
- She has predictable behavior. No one is that surprised when she doesn’t show up for her recital.
- She naïve (and she has a limited perspective): She believes what Scuttle tells her about the objects she finds.
- She has friends, Flounder and Scuttle.
- She loves and collects objects: the fork and the pipe.
- She has an “I want” song.
- Her father is angry with her, and banishes her from doing the one thing she longs to do. “I am never, never to hear of you going to the surface again, is that clear??”
- She feels terrible that she forgot about the concert.
- An evil witch-octopus is plotting against her. “She may be the key to Triton’s undoing.”
- She’s brave, facing off against a shark to get what she wants.
- She’s the most talented of her singers, though she doesn’t care and doesn’t bother to show up. “She has the most beautiful voice, if only she’d show up for rehearsals once in a while.”