Ursula Makes a Deal #AtoZChallenge

I had to do it.  I had to have one Disney villain.  I'm not a big fan of most Disney villains--they are too often stepmothers and moms.  But Disney is too big a part of our culture not to include one in a month long look at villains.

For U, I give you Ursula, a sea witch in the Disney Film the Little Mermaid.  I chose her because the movie was based on a story written by Hans Christian Anderson. Ursula is only a minor character in the story, but plays a major role in the film.

In the movie, Ursula wants to oust King Triton and uses his daughter Arielle's desire to walk on two legs as the lever to get her that throne.  She makes a bargain with Arielle, with some pretty nasty fine print. Arielle soldiers on, determined to use her newly grown legs to live on land and win Eric's heart. Here's the fine print. Arielle had to give Ursula her voice in exchange for the legs. Eric was looking for the girl with the voice.

iStock Credit: strangestar

All's well that ends well because its a Disney movie. Its not so happy in the actual story.

Ursula gets her just desserts, Arielle gets the prince, and the father accepts the uniqueness of her daughter.  What does Ursula add to our study of villains?

The power of the deal.  She reminds us that one way villains get their way is by offering the hero/heroine something they want, badly, and there is no other way to get it.  The use laws and integrity to trap the honest, even though they don't respect those laws themselves. Villains use and abuse the systems and cultural mores we put into place to keep us honest  to their own ends. Its not always a gun or magic wand or a computer program that destroys. Sometimes its just the signing of a contract.

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4 Responses

  1. A contract can be pretty tantalizing - also, HELLO drama. :) In a similar note, I'm excited for Disney's live-action Little Mermaid - I believe Bella Thorne is portraying Arielle, and Ursula is... who knows. But I hope she isn't ugly and mean. I think it would be fun to have a young, mischievous Ursula (crossing my fingers for Chloë Moretz, although I think she's out).
    • Shari E
      I love the idea of young, mischievous Ursula. That could be great fun.
  2. The Little Mermaid is my favorite Disney movie. I so wanted to be a mermaid when I was little. LOL
    • Shari E
      I'm a sucker for the actual Hans Christian Andersen story, although its sad. I just love fairy tales.

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