Hans Christian Andersen’s 1837 classic, The Little Mermaid, tells the story of a young and beautiful (but melancholy) mermaid princess who longs for the love of a human prince. Only there is a problem, no matter how attractive a mermaid’s top half might be, humans consider fish tails “quite ugly,” the mermaid’s grandmother explains, making it unlikely any human prince would ever reciprocate the mermaid’s love. Ignoring grandma’s warning and “forsaking…kindred and home,” the little mermaid through the help of the sea witch becomes human but tragically fails to win the prince’s love. Having lost her beautiful voice, her loving family and home, and the prince she adores, the little mermaid turns to sea foam.
Disney’s The Little Mermaid diverges from Andersen’s in a number of telling ways. Read the rest here.