Ariel is the main/titular hero of Disney's 1989 animated feature film The Little Mermaid, and its 1992-1994 television series, 2000 sequel and 2008 prequel.
The character is based on the protagonist of Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid" fairy tale, but was developed into a different personality for the 1989 animated film adaptation. Her distinct appearance consists of red hair, a green mermaid tail and a purple seashell bikini top.
Ariel is voiced by Jodi Benson in most of her appearances and is the fourth official Disney Princess.
A stage musical version of the film debuted in 2007, in which the live role of Ariel was originated by Sierra Boggess and finalized by Chelsea Morgan Stock, who previously played her sister Andrina. She is portrayed live again in the ABC series Once Upon a Time by Joanna Garcia.
Ariel's original design was developed by animator Glen Keane, who had reportedly said in an animation lecture that she was based on his own wife. Ariel's appearance was also based on model Sherri Stoner, who provided live-action references for the animators during the development of the film and also inspired the look for Belle. A challenge in animating Ariel for the 1989 film were the color required to show Ariel in the changing environments, both under the sea and on land, for which the animators required 32-color models, not including costume changes. The sea-green color of Ariel's fin was a hue specially mixed by the Disney paint lab, the color was named "Ariel" after the character. Ariel has been compared to past Disney Heroines but is more physically similar to Alice from Alice in Wonderland and Belle from Beauty and the Beast as they all have big eyes, a broad forehead and a small mouth and chin.
Jodi Benson, who was predominantly a stage actress when she was cast, was chosen to voice Ariel because the directors felt "it was really important to have the same person doing the singing and speaking voice." Co-director Ron Clements remarked that Benson's voice had "sweetness" and "youthfulness" that was unique. When recording the vocals for Ariel's theme song "Part of Your World", Benson consented to Howard Ashman's suggestion that the lights in the studio be dimmed, so as to "feel a little bit more enclosed" and create the feeling of being deep under the sea. She was also encouraged to soften her singing voice almost to the point of speaking, so that the song would feel more intimate.
Voice actress Melissa Fahn auditioned for the role, and was called back many times, but was turned down because she sounded a little too young.
As a mermaid, Ariel is strikingly beautiful and attractive; so beautiful in fact that she won an award for most beautiful Disney female hero. She has an hourglass figure and ivory skin. In her childhood, she used to wear a purple bikini top. Her lips were the same color as her skin. From the waist down, she has the green tail, fins, and reproductive organs of a tropical fish. She has large, deep, aqua blue eyes and full red lips. Her most defining feature is her long, red hair that matches the color of her lips. In Little Mermaid's Island, her seashell bra looks more like a strapless top that covers her belly. When she becomes a human, Ariel's lovely green tail is turned into two beautiful, long, slender legs with small feet. At first, the only article of clothing she wore was her purple seashell bra, but wears an old sail with some rope to keep it closed, fashioned by her friend Scuttle. Being prepared for dinner, she wears a pink-and-white gown with silver barrettes on her hair and pearl white earrings. Getting ready for bedtime, she wears a pink nightgown. After being taken in by Prince Eric, she wears a dress with light blue long sleeves, a dark blue bodice, and a blue (sometimes white) shirt. She also wears a big royal blue bow in her hair and black heels. After she's turned into a human once again, she wears a light blue glittering dress. After she kisses Eric, during their wedding, she wears a white wedding dress with a sparkling golden tiara on her veil. During and after her daughter's christening, she wears a gold and white dress and wears a low ponytail, decorated with a white bow. Ariel also wears a periwinkle gown with an up-do decorated with a golden tiara with green and white gems on her necklace and earrings during her daughter's 12th birthday party, with her hair being shorter due to it being adjusted. Ariel still wears the same up-do with a green peasant dress when she's on her husband's ship and a blue and white dress with light blue earrings in the song "Here on the land and sea" in the second movie. In one of the video games, she wears an aqua-colored gown with a matching flower on the side of her hair.
Ariel is a bright, spirited mermaid who is also adventurous and stubborn. Her curiosity and love for adventure sometimes gets her into trouble. Usually, however, Ariel overcomes any obstacle she faces like she uses magic to change things. Her best friend is a fish named Flounder and she develops a close relationship with a crab named Sebastian, the court's composer. Ariel is also impulsive, as evidenced by her exploring whilst forgetting about the concert. However, her impulsive nature does not impact her conscience, being portrayed as being extremely reluctant and hesitant to do something she knows or at least suspects is morally wrong to get what she wants, as evidenced by her reluctantly going to Ursula in the film as well as her reluctance to steal her father's trident as part of a dare in the third issue of the Marvel Comics. Ariel is able to risk everything for her love for Eric and for her dreams, even if this might hurt herself. She is also protective of her friends, saving them even when in doing so she endangers herself in the process, this is especially evident when she saved Flounder (who had been knocked out hard enough to render his swim bladder temporarily inoperable and sink to the ocean floor) from Glut the Shark when nearly home free from the shark, nearly getting herself eaten in the process (the only thing preventing Glut from eating them being an anchor in its way that trapped the shark), as well as saving Sebastian from potentially being Grimsby's meal and attempting to tell Eric to leave her behind and save himself just before Ursula emerged as a giant. She was also very forgiving and defended even people who were unable to defend themselves or were considered bad, as evidenced by her protecting Urchin despite the latter stealing from Triton as well as her defending a bad luck creature from both her friends and enemies for its reputation, and her saving Hans Christian Andersen. She was also shown to be compassionate, as evidenced in the fourth issue of Disney Comics where Ariel decided, against Sebastian's statements, to save a human whose submersible was trapped, despite knowing full well that he tried to harm her beforehand. Like her father, Ariel has a bad temper if ever she is provoked, although Ariel's temper is not as bad as her father's. Although spirited, even she has had some degree of self-doubts about herself, as she actually at one point considered her father might have been correct and that she may have been a freak for having any fascination for humanity. She also had a degree of seeing good in things, as she also doubted that humanity could have been pure evil from their tools and artworks. Also, despite her usual naivety and impulsiveness, Ariel has shown on many occasions to be serious, careful, and very intelligent and intuitive.
In The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea, Ariel matures after becoming a mother. Due to the threat of Morgana, she becomes very overprotective of Melody in the same manner she was treated by King Triton in the first film. She is shown to long for the sea, but keeps this hidden from Melody for the latter's own safety, even though it would've been easier if she explained everything to her, she even points this out in a later scene and at the film's climax. Her most notable trait, however, was her deep love and fascination for humanity, having desired to become human during the events of the first film, even prior to meeting her future husband, Eric. She did not always have this trait, however: Until she was 15 years of age, she expressed a deep fear of humanity similar to Triton's xenophobia of humanity, although her witnessing some humans saving a beached dolphin changed her views on the matter. Ironically, one of the people responsible for saving the dolphin was Eric, although she never knew it.
While she is a Mermaid, Ariel has a few abilities.
- Atlantean Strength: She is known to have at least a very certain degree of Atlantean strength, as she was able to move away an underwater boulder blocking her grotto with relative ease in the original film (which, in real life, an underwater rock blocking an object with an unbalanced volume would result in the rock being immoble and the door being sealed shut, virtually impossible to open, which doesn't even take into account water pressure and other related factors). When discovering Eric's ship due to the fireworks, she is shown effortlessly climbing up the side of the ship with just her arms. When saving Eric, she effortlessly pulls him towards the surface and manages to keep them both afloat while holding him with one arm. Also, according to a slightly alternate version of the ending to the original film, Ariel slams into Ursula damaging her enough to knock the Trident off of her hand. The fact that she can give an Octopid Sea Witch who is at least 300 pounds and far larger than her a degree of damage by bumping into her implies that she has Atlantean strength. Even though, Ariel may not be stronger than Ursula (while she is in her normal form or not amplifying her strength via magic). In Ariel's Beginning, she seemed to be able to knock down a door to free her friends (This is especially telling as Sebastian stated immediately prior that Ariel was "a weak helpless girl"). It's debatable if she ever retained her Atlantean strength by the time she became a human. It is apparent that she might be the physically strongest of the Disney Princesses, while Rapunzel would be the only competition.
- Alantean Endurance: She may also have Atlantean endurance, as during the final battle with Ursula in the film, Ariel was at one point knocked into a whirlpool that is several miles deep and survived with barely any injuries. Such a feat would kill a normal person if not completely destroy the body of a said person. Like her Atlantean strength, it's debatable if she ever retained her Atlantean endurance when she turned into a human, although her first transformation implied that it was retained as her body was not being crushed while trying to swim for air (in real life, a human who is at that depth would be crushed into oblivion in a matter of seconds due to the immense water pressure). Her Atlantean endurance is also briefly alluded to in Kingdom Hearts, where one of her abilities, second wind, allows her to recover quickly from being knocked out.
- Underwater Breathing: As a mermaid, she is also able to metabolize oxygen from the water, which negates the need to surface, though she is certainly more than capable of breathing on land.
- Speed Swimming: Also, she is capable of swimming at a much faster rate than humans or even certain marine creatures in terms of undersea travel, or sea travel as a whole due to her half-marine status. Like dolphins, she is capable of leaping out of water at great heights. For example, she was able to get to Triton's Greenland Palace from Denmark (the implied location of Eric's kingdom, assuming it isn't the Southern Mediterranean) in less than a day, as well as getting from Atlantica to Norway in the episode "Metal Fish" in a similar time fashion.
- Aquapathy: Because of her being a mermaid, she is also capable of speaking with aquatic fauna. She retains her ability even in human form, but whether her abilities of superhuman strength and endurance were retained upon becoming human is debatable.
- Aquakinesis: Ariel in her mermaid form seemed to possess at least a small degree of aquakinesis, which was evident when a large wave crashed from behind the rock she had been perched on shortly after rescuing Eric right when she sang "World!", even though the ocean itself had been relatively calm. Her having aquakinesis is also supported by the NES/Sega game as well as the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom franchise, which had her using a bubble as an attack/spell. Her actions in the reprise of Part of Your World would suggest that her aquakinesis is linked to her emotions, much like the cryokinesis of Elsa in Frozen.
- Swordswoman: While in human form, she seems to at least have some knowledge of swordplay, which is evident when she used one to cut the rope of a mast to save Melody from Morgana. In addition, in one of the Marvel comics set before the movie, Ariel had a brief stint as a black knight and utilized swordplay during this time, indicating that she knew swordplay when she was a mermaid.
- Rapid Adaptability: She also seems to be capable of rapid adaptability. This is especially evident in terms of her becoming a temporary human, where she learned how to stand in a few minutes, and move in presumably the same timespan (whereas the average human seems to need a few months at the very least to learn how to walk), as well as quickly learning about the true human customs and abandoning her original beliefs about how human artifacts work, or at the very least not doing it in public.
- Thermoendurance: Ariel has (primarily in the video games in which she is featured) demonstrated the ability to endure temperatures far more extreme than would be survivable for a human (especially one of her build). She has swum in icy waters with no ill effects, and in the presence of undersea volcanoes she has only been damaged when coming into immediate contact with burning magma. She also demonstrated this to a lesser extent in the films and TV series, where she went to the arctic with minimal ill effects other than feeling a bit cold, as well as in Return to the Sea, where she traveled to Morgana's lair, which was located inside an iceberg, and when visiting Ursula's lair, which was located in a volcanic region.
- Magical Voice: Ariel's voice seems to possess magical abilities. In the episode "The Evil Manta" of the TV series, her singing voice seemed to be only weapon that could banish the Manta from Atlantica. Her voice conjured an underwater storm that cast the Manta out of the empire. In another episode she was cursed that if she laughed her laughter would cause Sea-Quakes; however, this curse was removed by the end of the episode. Her voice was also able to awaken an unconscious Prince Eric. Although Ariel herself never used her voice in this manner, her voice can also be used in a far darker way, such as mind control, as evidenced by Ursula, while adopting the identity of Vanessa, using Ariel's voice to brainwash Eric to be her puppet as a means to get him to marry her, and thus ensure Ariel cannot win her end of the bargain. This ability can be further proven for the only way Vanessa's (Ursula's) control over Eric could be broken was if the nautilus containing Ariel's voice was released. If this was Ursula's own magic Ariel's voice wouldn't have been needed to cast the hypnotizing spell. (It should also be noted that the hypnotic quality of Ariel's voice is extremely similar to that of the Sirens from the Greek myths. The Sirens were mystical creatures depicted as having the heads of beautiful women and the bodies of birds (though in more recent years they tend to be portrayed as mermaids); their singing was so sweet and enchanting that anyone who heard it would be hypnotized and irresistibly drawn to them and suffer a watery death by wrecking their ships on the rocky coast of their island. Since Sirens were also portrayed as femme fatales, it could be said that Ursula, as Vanessa, was metaphorically fulfilling the role of a Siren in hypnotizing Eric with her (stolen) voice and attempting to lure him to his doom).
In the Kingdom Hearts timeline, she also seems to excel at Lightning Magic (presumably due to her father wielding the Trident), Wind Magic (in the form of a protective barrier), and Healing Magic. In addition, as noted above, she also possesses the second wind ability, which allows her to recover quickly from being knocked out.
It's also implied that she was capable of reading advanced literature, as during "Part of Your World", she is seen reading an immense book in the grotto. In one of her episodes, she became a sea-witch and used her magic to grant Sebastian's wish of being bigger but unfortunately, the spell continuously worked, making Sebastian continue to grow to the point where he surfaced while standing, and Ariel's magic was fueled by the light of the full moon. She lost her magic and status as a sea-witch when she wished the whole entire mess never happened, and her magic did just that, erasing the entire event and influencing Ariel so it wouldn't happen in the re-set timeline.
Ariel makes appearances in all of the Disney parks. At Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom and Tokyo DisneySea, she can be found for meet-and-greets at her own special location known as Ariel's Grotto in her mermaid form, while her human form is available for meet and greets at Fantasy Faire in Disneyland and the princess meet-and-greets at Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland.
She's commonly featured in a slew of live shows in both her mermaid and human form, including Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Fantasmic! and Mermaid Lagoon Theater.
Interestingly, Ariel is rather common in terms of cameo appearances in a few attractions. She can be spotted in Peter Pan's Flight amongst the other mermaids ofMermaid Lagoon and in the Disneyland and Hong Kong Disneyland versions of It's a Small World.
In animated form, Ariel also takes part in Mickey's PhilharMagic, where she performs "Part of Your World" as Donald Duck tries to retrieve the newest addition to her human collection—Mickey's sorcerer hat. The duck also becomes smitten with the mermaid and her beauty and makes an attempt to kiss her, only to lock lips with a flirtatious electric eel.
She also takes center stage in her own segment of the Disney California Adventure nighttime spectacular World of Color, singing a rendition of "Part of Your World" that transitions in Sebastian's "Under the Sea" performance.
Like many other iconic characters, Ariel has appeared in many parades (mostly starring in her own float), including Mickey's Soundsational Parade, the Festival of Fantasy Parade, the Disney Stars and Motorcars Parade, Parade of the Stars and various others, including holiday-themed parades.
Ariel serves as the star of the dark ride The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure, which can be found atDisney California Adventure and Magic Kingdom. Ariel makes several appearances throughout the ride, mostly in audio-animatronic form. On the exterior of the Magic Kingdom version, she appears as a figurehead on a shipwrecked ship. In the queue area of the Magic Kingdom version, guests can help her organize her human treasures.
In Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, Ariel assists Sebastian, Merlin the Wizard and the park guests in stopping Ursula when Hades brings her back to life to assist the Underworld ruler in his attempts to take over the Magic Kingdom. Ursula even attempts to disguise herself as Ariel at one point to try and fool Merlin and the guests. Later on, the real Ariel happily congratulates the park guests after Ursula is defeat. Ariel also has her own spell card called "Ariel's Bubble Attack".
Ariel's Seaside Treasures
After the marriage with Prince Eric, Ariel heard that her father King Triton had been feeling lonely for missing her. So she planned a big party at the seaside with both human and mar-people for the king! This was the special event taken place at Tokyo Disney Sea on Summer of 2003.
Mermaid Lagoon Theater
Ariel, Flounder, and other sea characters "swim" freely in this "undersea" theater, in a show featuring dazzling music and dynamic aerial performances. Here, Ariel and her undersea friends stand up to the evil sea witch Ursula, in a musical performance of courage and friendship.
Greeting Show "Be Magical!"
Tokyo Disney Sea's 10th anniversary celebration. At the start of the show, Mickey Mouse arrives at Mediterranean Harbor aboard a special barge. As he calls out "Be Magical!" together with the guests, the magic spreads throughout the area, bringing seven Disney characters dressed in 10th anniversary costumes to Mediterranean Harbor. The seven Disney characters have been transformed into Sorcerer's ambassadors for the 10th anniversary. By spreading to each of the seven themed ports, the magic of the 10th anniversary event has awakened. Together, they celebrate the milestone year with lively music and colorful dancing. Main characters: Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Chip 'n Dale, Genie, Ariel.
Ariel is one of Disney's most iconic animated characters and her specific color combination of red hair, purple seashell bikini, and green tail make her distinctly identifiable. She is also thought of as being the first Disney Princess to break free from the traditional princesses of the 1930's through 1950's as she is a very proactive character, while earlier heroines were more reactive. Ariel makes the choice to exchange her voice for legs and fights to achieve her dream. Earlier Disney heroines often had dreams, but they did little about them and they usually only involved finding a prince and living happily ever after. Although Ariel wishes to be with Eric, her desire to become a human also adds a dimension to the story. Many see her as being the first contemporary Disney Princess, since she is independent and proactive about making her dreams a reality instead of just simply waiting for them to come true.
Ariel is one of the eleven official members of the Disney Princess line—a prominent franchise directed at young girls. The franchise covers a wide variety of merchandise, including, but not limited to, magazines, music albums, toys, clothing and stationery. Ariel is usually depicted in her mermaid form on merchandise, but also appears in her human form wearing her blue dress, white wedding dress or pink dress. The Disney Princess magazine features comics and posters of Ariel, usually in her mermaid form, but also in her human form as well.
Ariel, with her new redesign, is less franchised in her mermaid form and is more focused on her human form.
Ariel's red hair is much wavier and greater detail is shown and it also appears more voluminous. She is clad in a beautiful off-the-shoulder gown that has the same distinctive sea green color as her tail, with the overskirt being a paler green that matches her tail fins as do the long, puffy sleeves covering her arms and the petticoat under her dress. The hem of the overskirt has many elaborate swirly designs which include pictures of sea-related things. She wears lavender scallop seashell earrings with a matching brooch on her dress and a pair of sea green pumps to protect her feet.
In early redesigns, Ariel had a pale pink dress that was a revamp of her previous pink-and-white gown.
The modified redesigns of her mermaid form have added a sparkly effect to her mermaid tail, giving the impression of fish scales caught in a gradient light and a similarity to the patterns on her sea green-colored dress.
- (Remembering) "Music?"
- "Oh, the concert! Oh my gosh, my father's gonna kill me!"
- "Nothing happened."
- "Daddy, they're not barbarians!"
- "I'm 16 years old! I'm not a child anymore!"
- "But if you would just listen!"
- "But Dad, I...!"
- "Daddy, I had to."
- "He would've died!"
- (Angrily) "You don't even know him!"
- "Daddy, I love him!" (gasps, as she has accidentally slipped the truth)
- "I don't care!"
- "If I become human, I'll never be with my father or sisters again."
- "All right, I'm going inside. You can just stay here and watch for sharks."
- (Regarding King Triton, as Sebastian watches, unobserved) "If only I could make him understand. I just don't see things the way he does. I just don't see how a world that makes such wonderful things could be bad."
- "Can you do that?"
- "But I don't have any."
- "My voice?"
- "But without my voice, how can I..."
- "It looks just like him. It even has his eyes. Why, Eric, run away with you? This is all so so sudden."
- "But without my voice, how can I."
- "Flounder, don't be such a guppy."
- "You're not getting cold fins now, are you?"
- "I've never seen a human this close before. Oh, he's very handsome, isn't he?"
- "No, not that one. The one playing the snarfblatt."
- "I love you, Daddy."
- "Morning, Daddy."
- "Who who are you?"
- "I don't understand."
- "The sea witch? Why, that's I couldn't possibly no! Get out of here! Leave me alone!"
- "I'm going to see Ursula."
- "Why don't you go tell my father? You're good at that!"
- (After Rescuing the Prince) "Is he dead?"
- "No look, he's breathing. He's so beautiful."
- Ariel's currently the only official Disney Princess who isn't born a human.
- Ariel is one of the most popular Disney Princesses, probably because of her uniqueness of not being born human.
- Ariel is the first Princess of the Disney Renaissance, and her first movie marks the beginning of the Disney Renaissance.
- Although Ariel is so far the only Disney Princess to have a child of her own (not counting Descendants), she is not the only Disney heroine to have that honor if you count Wendy Darling from Peter Pan who is shown to have a daughter and a son in Return to Never Land, and Esmeralda from The Hunchback of Notre Dame who has a son in the film's sequel and Lilo from Lilo & Stitch with her daughter Ani Pelekai.
- Ariel is the first Disney Princess to have biological siblings. The second is Merida, and the third is Anna with her sister Elsa.
- Ariel is the third youngest Disney Princess as she was already 16 before her feature film began. Aurora is the fourth youngest for a majority of Sleeping Beauty takes place on Aurora's 16th birthday. Jasmineis the second youngest as she was 15 during the events of Aladdin and turns 16 at the third movie's conclusion, while Snow White is the youngest, being only 14.
- Ariel is the second Disney Princess to be depicted nude (not counting the seashell bikini top). The first is Cinderella (briefly), and succeeding them is Mulan.
- Ariel is the second Disney Princess to be tempted by the villain's offer to make her wish come true (the first being Snow White and the third being Tiana), and yet, the last to give in to the temptation in all versions of the story.
- Ariel is one of the only Disney Princesses to have a level of strength higher than a normal human being, the second is Rapunzel and the third is Elsa the Snow Queen.
- Until Tiana in The Princess and the Frog nearly two decades later, Ariel was the last Disney Princess to actually be seen getting married in her debut film. Belle, Jasmine, Mulan, and Pocahontas either had their marriages occur offscreen and left unmentioned, or otherwise had their marriages depicted in sequels.
- Alongside Snow White and Belle, she is the only Disney Princess not to have a duet with her love interest.
- Unlike her sisters, as a mermaid, Ariel doesn't wear hair accessories except for the occasional sea flower.
- Although all of Ariel's sister's names begin with the letter "A", Ariel is the only one to be of Roman instead of Greek origin, and the only one to not end with the letter "a", as in Aquata, Andrina, Arista, Attina, Adella and Alana. This could have been in an attempt to draw more attention to Ariel and emphasize how original she is.
- In Hebrew Ariel translates to English as "lion of God" and is the name of the archangel Ariel.
- Ariel's namesake is most likely a reference to William Shakespeare's, where the play's character of Ariel, is an air spirit (referring to HC Andersen's original ending of his tale).
- Ariel's pose while she was sitting in a rock looking at an unconscious Eric near the end of the movie was inspired by the statue of The Little Mermaid in Copenhagen, Denmark, which primarily the story originated.
- Although Ariel and Athena bare a striking resemblance, her personality is more similar to that of her father, King Triton's. This is especially noticeable in The Little Mermaid II, when Ariel reprimands her daughter, Melody, for disobeying orders and venturing out into the sea, the same way Ariel disobeyed her father's orders in the first film.
- Ariel's daughter, Melody, shares almost all of Ariel's personality traits from the first film. However, Ariel dreamt of becoming human and living on land while Melody's dream was to swim beneath the waves. Melody also resembles her father, however they only have the same eyes and hair texture.
- In Return of Jafar, Genie briefly transformed into Ariel near the film's climax (having disguised himself as a figurehead that's modeled in her likeness, in order to steal Jafar's Lamp from an elated Abis Mal).
- In A Goofy Movie, a mermaid lamp with Ariel's trademark colors was seen in Goofy and Max's motel room. Before that, a prop resembling Ariel could be seen in the school auditorium.
- In the video game Skate or Die 2: The Search for Double Trouble, CJ, the main protagonist's girlfriend, was modeled after Ariel.
- At the beginning of the film Shrek 2, Shrek and Fiona are kissing on the beach when the tide comes in, bringing with it a familiar-looking mermaid. This Ariel-lookalike has involuntarily landed atop Shrek in place of Fiona, so the latter grabs her by the tail and flings her back into the sea, where she encounters a couple of sharks.
- In Enchanted, the animated troll hunted down by Prince Edward wears Ariel's seashells as earrings.
- In Timon and Pumbaa's Wild About Safety short Water Safety, Pumbaa briefly makes a reference to Ariel.
- Ariel is one of two Disney stars to meet their author. The other is Tarzan of the movie of the same name. In both cases they meet them in their television series, made after the film they first appear in, and in each case they are unaware of the significance of the meeting.
- Ariel is the first Disney Princess/Heroine to wear a midriff-baring outfit, with Jasmine being the second and Kida being the third.
- Ariel is the first Disney heroine to save their love interest's life. As she saved Eric from drowning, she was followed by Belle, Pocahontas, Mulan, Esmeralda and Rapunzel.
- Ariel is the first Disney Princess (second if you include Princess Eilonwy from The Black Cauldron) to be created since 1959, with Princess Aurora.
- Ariel is the first princess to come from an underwater kingdom, with the second being Kida.
- Ariel was the last Disney Princess to have a female villain until Rapunzel's debut in 2010.
- Although Belle is the princess most associated with reading, Ariel was the first princess to actually be seen reading, predating Belle.
- The first real dress Ariel wears after she is a human is pink, similarly the first dress her daughter is shown wearing is pink as well.
- The first line Ariel speaks in The Little Mermaid is "Flounder, hurry up!".
- Ariel speaks the last non-musical line of The Little Mermaid which was "I love you Daddy." Her husband speaks the first non-musical line of film being "Isn't this great, the salty sea air, the wind blowing in your face."
- Ariel is the third Disney heroine to share a dance with her love interest, however the dance did not take place right after they met like it did for Aurora and Cinderella.
- Ariel is the fourth Disney Princess to be forced to run away from her love interest, she was preceded by Snow White, Cinderella and Aurora, and was succeeded by Pocahontas.
- Ariel shares some similarities with Prince Naveen.
- Both Ariel and Prince Naveen each accepted a villain's offer and were double crossed by them. This is notable for though Snow White took a villain's offer, she was unaware of who she was taking it from. Ariel and Naveen were both taking offers from outcasts of Atlantica, and New Orleans.
- Ariel and Prince Naveen were both magically transformed at the end of their villain's song.
- Ariel and Prince Naveen needed their respective love interest to save their life. For Eric defeated Ursula before she was about to kill Ariel, and Tiana defeated Facilier who was going to use the prince's blood to gain power.
- In Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion, Ariel is seen trapped in a crystal.
- Ariel's nightgown resembles the one worn by Princess Anne in the film Roman Holiday.
- Ariel's eyes are redesigned when she became a woman in Return to the Sea.
- Ariel has the second biggest eyes after Rapunzel.
- Voice actress Melissa Fahn, known for voicing Gaz on Invader Zim and Rika Nonaka on Digimon, auditioned for the part of Ariel and was called back several times, but was turned down in favor of Jodi Benson because she sounded "too young."
- According to the Disneystrology book, she's the character associated to October 8.
- Ariel is right handed, as shown when she signs her name on Ursula's contract in the first film.
- As Ariel shares similar personality traits with her father it should be noted she has deep regret over her actions (not telling Melody the truth about her heritage/keeping her from the sea), the same way King Triton regrets how he treated Ariel (not allowing her to study human objects/destroying her whole collection of objects). Due to both Ariel and Triton trying to protect their children they ended up putting their child at risk, and themselves for by the time the truth was revealed Ursula and Morgana gained the upper hand due to their manipulations of Ariel and Melody. Notably both villains believed Ariel and Melody were the key to King Triton's undoing.
- Ariel is normally seen with Belle, Jasmine and Rapunzel than the other princesses.
- As stated by her father, Ariel's curiosity in other worlds drew her to her grotto, the place of Atlantica's Keyhole.
- The storyline of Ariel stealing King Triton's Trident in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories is taken from The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea, where Ariel's daughter Melody, stole Triton's Trident (although for completely different reasons).
- Ariel has the reddest lips of the Disney Princesses, following Snow White.
- Ariel has appeared in more Princess-themed merchandise than any of the other princesses.
- Ariel has the most songs sung of any Disney movie character, despite the fact that she only has one song in her original movie (not counting the reprise).
- Ariel is the second princess to run away from home. The first being Snow White and the third being Jasmine and the fourth being Elsa.
- Of the Disney Princesses with a confirmed real-life timeframe and location, Ariel is the second most current, existing during the early 19th century (as heavily implied in the TV series); She is beaten only by Tiana, who lived during the 1920's. Anna, Elsa, and technically Rapunzel also lived during this period of time, during the 1840's (as confirmed in Disney's The Art of Frozen, along with Rapunzel's cameo in the film confirming her placement). In addition it is implied Cinderella also lives in the 19th as well due to the cameo of The King and The Grand Duke attending the wedding of Eric and Vanessa. Preceding them are Belle (late 18th century, as confirmed by Glen Keane in the second disc for the Special Platinum Edition for Beauty and the Beast); Pocahontas (15-16th century, due to the first contact between Great Britain and what would become the state of Virginia); Aurora (14th century, as explicitly stated in her film) and Jasmine (confirmed to be during the time of the Hellenistic Era in "Hercules and the Arabian Night").
- Many people think her kingdom, Atlantica, is Atlantis, or that it is located in the Carribean or Portugal, but Atlantica is actually located in the oceans of Denmark.
- Jodi Benson also did the voice of Thumbelina, who are both from Danish fairytales and have similar appearances.
- She is being portrayed by Halle Bailey, an African American singer, in the upcomiif remake, it has been criticized racist because most fans assumed that Disney is officially changing her race which isn't true because she will always stay the same on Disney Princess merchandise and they can't use Halle Bailey 's image because they have to pay royalties using her image.
- Ariel was the subject of an internet meme called "Hipster Ariel", which depicted Ariel with horn-rimmed glasses and saying a humorous statement.
- Hipster Ariel also has her own Funko POP! figure as a Hot Topic exclusive.
- Ariel is the first Disney Princess that Sofia met that hasn't been in her redesign look, because she met her in her mermaid form. The second is Mulan in the episode "Princesses to the Rescue", in her warrior disguise appearance, rather than her redesign look.
- Ariel is one of the only three Disney Princesses to appear in the Walt Disney World attraction Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom (the other two being Pocahontas and Tiana).
- 1941 concept art of the original idea of The Little Mermaid (before shelved) shows Ariel with long black hair and a blue-ish or greenish tail. It was also much closer to the original story. This art work was done by Kay Nielsen.
- Ariel is the first Disney Princess to get grounded.
- Ariel is the first rebellious Disney Princess and to have reddish hair, followed by Merida.
- In some foreign-language versions of the film, her name is on the title.
- Ariel is the second Disney Princess to appear in a Broadway musical, she was preceded by Belle.
- On the Marvel site, there was a create your own Marvel Superhero. One of these Superhero concepts, "Little Mermaid", was based on Ariel.
- Ariel shares some similarities with Pinocchio.
- Both have an adventurous, cheerful, and naive personality.
- Both dream of changing something about their appearances. Pinocchio wanted to become a real boy, while Ariel wanted to become human.
- Both have a small musical companion assigned to keep watch over them (Jiminy for Pinocchio, Sebastian for Ariel).
- Neither of their companions are listened to.
- Both have a fish for a friend (Cleo for Pinocchio, Flounder for Ariel).
- Both have white-haired fathers who worry for them when they disappear.
- Both have come across unsavory characters ( Honest John + Gideon for Pinocchio, Flotsam + Jetsam for Ariel) who convince them to go to another villain (Stromboli and later, The Coachman in Pinocchio's case, Ursula in Ariel's case) down the wrong path.
- Both make choices that lead to sadness and disaster. Pinocchio chose to perform in Stromboli's show, resulting in him getting locked in a cage. Later, he chose to go to Pleasure Island which resulted in Pinocchio almost turning into a donkey. Ariel chose to accept Ursula's deal, which later resulted in Ursula usurping King's Triton's crown and trident.
- Both were attacked by giant sea monsters in the climax (Monstro for Pinocchio, a gigantic Ursula for Ariel).
- On the note of oceans, the Disney animators used the same underwater techniques that were used in Pinocchio to make the underwater scenes in The Little Mermaid.
- Both their dreams finally come true in the end.
- Disney Wiki