The Little Mermaid Turns 30: How Was The Original Tale Different Than The 1989 Film?

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The Little Mermaid was released 30 years ago on November 17. The 1989 Disney was about the little mermaid was much more different than the original fairy tale.

Written By Tanvi Dhote | Mumbai | Updated On:
the little mermaid

The Little Mermaid animated film which was released on November 17, 1989, turned thirty this year. The film was considered to be one of the best works of Disney at that point in time. The Little Mermaid was not only a box-office hit but a critically acclaimed film as well. This 1989 film also found its remake on the Broadway and TV special and now a live-remake has already found its new cast. But the film’s story was not completely based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale. Read on to know how the original story was different than the Disney film.

The Little Mermaid: The dark tale transformed into a fairy tale

1. Daughters of Air, not the Little Mermaid

The original story written by Andersen was known as Daughters of Air, not The Little Mermaid. In the 1989 film, Ariel was a single child to King Triton. Whereas in the original story the little mermaid had five other sisters.

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2. Her feet will bleed and hurt terribly

In the film The Little Mermaid, Ariel trades her voice in exchange for turning into a human. But in the original tale, the little mermaid gives away her voice and tongue to receive a pair of legs and great dancing skills. But this skillset came with a cost. In the original tale, every time she would dance she will feel excruciating pain and bleed as if she is walking on sharp knives.

3. The prince marries a different princess

In the film The Little Mermaid, Prince Eric finally gets to marry Ariel as she is transformed into a human by her father King Triton. But in the original tale, the prince marries a princess from the neighbouring kingdom. This twist in the original tale leads to a different and dark storyline.

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4. Scuttle, Flounder and Sebastian were missing

Yes, that is right. The characters of Scuttle, Flounder, and Sebastian brought their own twist to the story and were an integral part of this iconic tale. But the original story did not have these characters. The little mermaid in the original tale did not have Scuttle to talk about the human world or Flounder to talk about her feelings.

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