Mandy Reads Fairytales: The REAL Little Mermaid

Oh, hello, there. Usually this is the day of The Princesses Read…or the Princes Read…or the Villains Read…or, like, any Disney character ever. But lately my creativity has been RIP (I even held a little funeral for it where I basically just went man, I have none, so I’mma binge watch 3 Buzzfeed Unsolved episodes – as you can see, it was very moving). So what is a book princess to do when she has no princess or book creativity?

the little mermaid
Look at the work of BEAUTY.

She goes back to the basics – the fairytale basics. I had made a quick decision to purchase these gorgeous Barnes and Noble leather fairytale collections because, um, they were pretty and sparkly and I JUST NEEDED TO HAVE THEM, OKAY. Anyway, I had bought them, and when princess morale was running low, I decided I needed to go to one of the greats – Hans Christian Anderson aka The Little Mermaid and Snow Queen guy before Walt Disney took the crown.

Only, my brain somehow blocked out the memory of just how UN-Disney the original Little Mermaid was??? I mean, the story is DARK. It’s SAD. It’s so unhappy that I would be hiding this from my children. And the Barnes and Noble Edition involved creepy mermaid children pictures.




Image result for ariel gifs

There are some things one does not need to see and creepy mermaid children is one.

Anyway, if you’ve never read the original Little Mermaid, it’s a delight…in all the ways you can pinpoint how weird is it and how it’s totally not like the adorable, fluffy, feel good Disney version. Shall we count the ways in one of Mandy’s legendary bullet point rants?

  • Okay, this Little Mermaid has no name. Literally, she is just The Little Mermaid. Not beautiful Ariel. No dashing Eric. NO MANDY KING TRITON. The sea witch doesn’t even have a name. Everyone is nameless, and Mandy was crushed because she had to imagine creepy mermaid child with Ariel’s name.
  • UM, NO SINGING CRABS OR FISH FRIENDS OR EPIC DANCE NUMBERS.But seriously, there’s no sea creature friends just chilling.
  • When Fake-Ariel agrees to make the decision with Fake-Ursula, her tongue gets straight up physically cut out. I mean, Fake-Ursula is all like, “omg, time to begin!” and then sneak attacks Fake-Ariel with snipping the tongue out with a knife. UM, TRAUMATIZING.
  • Pseudo-Ariel’s legs aren’t just new and uncomfortable to get used to – they’re PAINFUL. PAINFULLLLLLLLLLLL to walk on. Every step is like glass cutting up her feet into tiny pieces. And since Pseudo-Ariel can’t talk, she’s expected to win Pseudo-Eric’s affection by her epic dance moves WITH THE PAINFUL LEGS (seriously, did anyone check on Anderson? I think he might have been going through something.)
  • On a brighter note, Little Mermaid’s sisters are pals and actually love their sister and want to hang out and be her friend and even give her a magical knife to kill someone because they’re actually ~cool~ sisters unlike the girl hate in the Disney version.
  • Um, The Little Mermaid isn’t a hoarder???? She’s not all like, I’mma find a fork and exclaim, isn’t this neat? She finds nothing and doesn’t find human things neat in catchy songs.
  • Um, Fake-Eric is a CREEPER. I mean, he talks about how young and cute Fake-Ariel is, and the moment he sees her, he’s like, you know, you’re so charming and shy and a really good dancer, I’m going to make a little bed for you outside my chamber and basically make you come with me everywhere WHILE STILL CALLING YOU ADORABLE IN THE CONDESCENDING CHILD WAY. Omg, it was CREEPY. ~forever shuddering~
  • The Sea Witch was a lot harsher than Ursula with the deal (as if you hadn’t gotten that already with the straight up knifing her tongue off). Instead of just getting a magical first kiss, LM has to get PE to put a ring on it.
  • The story itself is very religious as well with a lot of talk about souls and God and how supernatural creatures have no souls. Um, moral of the story? I’m pretty sure it’s that supernatural creatures = pretty bad and we just all appreciate the fact we have souls??

Image result for ariel gifs

And now for the last two bullet points that Disney did NOT prepare us for. Hold on to your dinglehoppers.

  • The Little Mermaid loses her chance to marry her prince when her prince falls in love with fake-nun-but-real-princess and marries her. Since she loses, she will turn into sea foam and lose any chance at getting a soul. Her pal sisters bring up that knife and let her know that she can kill the prince, bath in his blood, and then she will turn back into a mermaid. That’s right – she has TO MURDER THE PRINCE.
  • Thankfully, for all of our childhoods, Fake-Ariel can’t kill him, and throws herself the sea. Since she took the noble route, she doesn’t turn into sea foam (let’s all throw a party now), and she turns into some kind of breeze? IDK. Eventually she can have a soul or something.
  • Happily ever after?

Well, um, on the OTHER bright side: Both Little Mermaids had a cool statue of their princes? So at least they kept that?

Image result for ariel gifs

If you’re like me, you are asking yourself what you just read. The real question is, though: how did the people at Disney read this and be like, yup, that’s it! That’s the one! We’re going to make a movie off that!

Image result for ariel gifs

So, um, I was concerned, sad, and not very pleased with the story I just read. I mean, I get Disney makes things happy and fluffy, but dear gosh, Anderson’s story had some STRUGGLES. I was going to pick her books for the princesses read, but I just had to go sit myself in a corner and give myself a princess time out and a few deep breaths.

I actually did a speech in college about the differences between some of the real fairytales behind the Disney stories, and trust me, this is definitely not the first fluffy spin that Disney took. While I usually love the book version a lot more, I have to say I’m firmly in the belief of letting Disney Disney-ify whatever fairytale they want.

UN Right #17

17. The Right to Your Own Things. Everyone has the right to own things or share them. Nobody should take our things from us without a good reason.

I’m not entirely sure how we got to Little Mermaid for this one, but I’m pretty sure it was Sha that pointed it out. The Sea Witch/Ursula takes away Ariel’s voice and her ability to walk. Yes, The Little Mermaid willingly agrees to have her voice taken away, but she doesn’t quite understand the terms of the agreement. She basically loses her voice, her chance for a soul, and more. Poor Fake Ariel, since no one deserves that.

What do you think? What fairytales did you read when you were older that made you lose your book mind like me? Did you prefer the original fairytale story or the Disney version? Let’s discuss in the comments below!

mandy signature

39 thoughts on “Mandy Reads Fairytales: The REAL Little Mermaid

  1. Ha ha! I loved this review!

    For the record, I LOVE the original Little Mermaid. I read this fairy tale (or had it read to me) as a child… BEFORE Disney’s version even existed. I loved her sacrifice in the end. I thought it was beautiful. (And yes, this from an 8-year-old!)

    That said, I also LOVE Disney’s version. When I first saw the movie, I thought I was too old for fairy tales. (I was maybe 12 or 13?) But I loved it. And it is one of my favourite Disney movies. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you!! ❤

      And yes, I do have to admit that the sacrifice at the end was quite beautiful. I mean, she honestly could have taken the easy way, especially when the guy didn't gave her a second look. But it did have a good moral for it!

      But yesssssssssssss. They did take a lot of the great things and put it in there. Plus, the songs definitely helped, lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your commentary on this. You seem horrified. While I haven’t read of the Hans Christian Andersen or Brothers Grimm versions of fairytales that have been retold by Disney, I do recommend Hans Christian Andersen’s The Wild Swans. It’s my favourite fairytale and I think it’s more Disney-like than what you just read.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I have every intention one day to read all the original fairytales that Disney adapted and one of my first will be The Little Mermaid because I have to confess about not being the biggest fan of the film. Shock horror, I know! I’ve always been intrigued by the darkness of Andersen’s original story though so it is not a story I’m giving up on.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes! Cinderella’s wasn’t too bad, The Little Mermaid was QUITE different, and The Snow Queen isn’t even recognizable to Frozen. But they can be quite intriguing in their own right. And the darkness is intriguing as well. But I’ll be so intrigued to see what you think of them!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Which version of Cinderella have you read? I have the Charles Perrault story in a collection of his French fairytales and I’ve been hesitant to read it because I’ve not been in the mood to read any French.

        However, this talk of Disney fairytales has, I think, just given me the motivation to read. I have both Grimms and Andersen books of fairytales, and they might just get me out of my reading slump. Thanks!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I read the Grimm brother’s version which gets a wee bit dark at the end. But I actually have not read his version. I haven’t heard much about his.

        You’re welcome! Totally hoping that it will help!! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I read all the fairy tales when I was a kid, so none of this was new to me. But honestly, didn’t Andersen have some issues? He wrote The Little Match Girl which was really sad and didn’t he write a story about these magic slippers and a dancer who put them on and had to dance until she died? Plus the Toy Soldier one which had this ending where he falls in the fire and melts away.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I used to love reading the Brother’s Grimm version of fairy tales in middle school. Everyone thought that fairy tales were for babies at that age, but the Grimm versions were entertaining for all ages and rather creepy at times. I loved the “Blue, Green, Red” fairy books.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Did you just essentially say that King Triton is your favourite/the one you relate to the most? I’m trying to read between the lines of that struck out text..

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Ahahahaha, thank you. XD I feel like sometimes when I’m reading YA, I turn into him, yelling at the Ariels of the book world. Plus, I may or may not have some awkward socks with his face on them, so we’re just bonding on a whole other level, lol?

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Michaela!! And ik! I remember it being dark when I did my research on it, but I full on didn’t remember some of the darkest parts. Anderson had some fun, lol. But noooooo, it totally makes me want to delve deeper, too, lol. Would love to see your thoughts on it.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh Mandy, Mandy, Mandy. I love this fit because the book didn’t fit your expectations. Don’t judge a book by its cover! You legit knew HCA had some shady tales for Ariel compared to the Disney version. I’m loving that he threw in stuff about souls (perhaps that’s why Disney made her voice all floaty and gray when she lost it? Because her voice was her soul? IDK probs not, that’t too deep for Disney lmao). Good review though, I liked it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Very, very true. It was just so pretty. D: AND I DID, SHA. I legit read this before and did an exact rant, but I somehow forgot it alllllllll??? But yeah, the souls was like THE FOCUS. Souls = most important thing. But you never know with Disney – they’re either way secretly deep or just totally not, lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. WHOA, whoa, whoa….Ursula snips off Little Mermaid’s tongue?! Holy dang, I just got the shivers. I’VE GOT TO READ THIS NOW. 😛

    Awesome review! I loved reading through all the differences between Disney and Hans’ stories, and the book sounds like it offers a lot of entertainment (in a creepy way) than one might expect! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. YES. It’s just casually thrown in there, too. Like, next thing I know, Little Mermaid has no tongue and Ursula has a knife, lol. XD But I’ll be so intrigued to see what you think!!

      And yes! It was certainly entertaining with all the little differences and more creepiness, lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I love this review and how in depth you went. In doing my Faerie Tale Friday posts I have really learned that a lot of faerie tales were extremely dark and horrific. Disney really added a lot of fluff, lol. I love fluffy faerie tales and getting happy endings, but I am so glad I have been able to find a lot of these original tales to read because I quite like the darkness and contrasts. And, I have noticed, just like Ariel, a lot of the main faerie tale “princesses” are nameless. Weird, huh?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you!! ❤ And yes! It really is amazing just how dark and twisty they were and it's just amazing they were for children, lol. But I'm with you – fluffy fairytales with happy endings are just the best. But it is super weird that they are nameless. Maybe they did it on purpose so we can place ourselves in there? totally a mystery.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. At least the cover is pretty?
    Lovely review, Mandy! When I first heard the original-but-also-Fake-LM story, I was left wide eyed! How could this dark, bloody and tragic story become a timeless Disney Classic? Clearly Hans Christian Anderson would have been 10000x more successful if he had added in singing crabs! Just saying.

    Liked by 2 people

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