Health Editor’s Note: We took our kids to see The Little Mermaid and while enjoying the music, characters, color, they were able to see that someone was not comfortable with being who she was supposed to be, a mermaid who lived only in the sea. She wanted to have a life on land. Over the past 30 years we have seen other movies in which the characters want to be “different” than how they are meant to be. In these movies was the subtle message that it is okay to explore who you want to be. The Disney corporation would have never been able to continue if it has not embraced this trend in how someone looks at how he or she fits into society and how much he or she wants to pursue what makes him or her happy. We need to look at others with a broad pallet and say and believe it is okay to be “different.” ..Carol
‘The Little Mermaid’ Was Way More Subversive Than You Realized
by Michael Landis/Smithsonian/com
A drag show? Gay rights? Body image issues? Hardly the stuff of Disney animation, but 30 years ago, Disney’s The Little Mermaid tackled these topics and made a courageous statement about identity in Reagan-era America. Moreover, the movie not only saved the company from almost certain death, but allowed Disney to become the international corporate juggernaut we know today.
Without the brave storytellers and desperate animators of The Little Mermaid, moviegoers would have missed out on the new classics of Beauty and the Beast (1991), Aladdin (1992), and The Lion King (1994). And without the profits from those films, Disney would not have had the capital to build new parks and resorts, invest in new media ventures, or expand its urban planning program, let alone gobble up Pixar, Marvel, Fox, the Star Wars universe, National Geographic, ESPN, A&E and Hulu—moves entirely unthinkable back in the 1980s, when the corporation was in its darkest hour.
When Walt Disney died suddenly in 1966, his company was left aimless. “The creative atmosphere for which the Company has so long been famous and on which it prides itself has, in my opinion, become stagnant,” wrote Walt’s nephew Roy E. Disney in his 1977 resignation letter from Walt Disney Productions (though he retained his seat on the board).