Ariel is the beautiful blue eyed, red headed mermaid from Disney's The Little Mermaid and she is unlike any mermaid you've ever seen! She is King Triton's youngest daughter and sings with her sisters in an undersea choir, creating music that is as lovely as she is.
Ariel is independent and free thinking. Even though no one seems to be as interested in the human world as she is, she keeps on with her secret collection and enjoys all her cool treasures. When it comes to thinking for herself, Ariel is the queen (and not just a princess!). She loves learning new things and will continue to grow and make new friends even if people disapprove. Without her curiosity and adventurous spirit, Ariel would be just another mermaid under the sea!
The Little Mermaid, the story of Ariel is based upon the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale. It is the first Disney movie to be based on a fairy tale since 1959 when Disney produced Sleeping Beauty.
The plans for The Little Mermaid began long before Sleeping Beautys opening day, however. Disney Studios first began conceptualizing or imagining what Ariel's story would look like on film back in the 1930s.
An animator named Kay Nielsen who worked for Disney Studios at that time began creating The Little Mermaid with story sketches, pictures that captured Ariel in different situations. She drew them with watercolors and pastels and the Studio kept them until recently when they picked up Ariel's story again.
Animators at Disney's modern studios studied Nielsen's drawings and based The Little Mermaid upon them. They gave Nielsen 'visual development' credit for her work.
Ariel's film, The Little Mermaid, has another unique feature: almost 80% of the film had special effects involved with the animation! All those scenes with the crashing waves and the dancing under the sea – all these incorporated the use of computers. No other Disney film had as many special effects since Fantasia – remember Mickey and the dancing mops and buckets?
Nobody understands Ariel – not her sisters; not her father, King Triton; and certainly not Sebastian, the lobster Triton tells to keep Ariel safe. She tries to follow the rules, but somehow she always seems to get into trouble. She often wonders if there isn't somewhere else that she can go where they understand what she loves best – humans.
Ariel collects all sorts of funny looking human contraptions from ship wrecks and the ocean floor, but her favorite is the statue of Prince Eric, the young prince that she rescues from drowning. When Ursula, the evil sea witch, offers Ariel the chance to trade her beautiful voice for human legs (instead of a mermaid's fin), Ariel can't believe it. Her curiosity to see what it's like in the world above the sea is too much to bear and she's off and running. Literally!