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I am utterly eclectic and this one time, I met Gillian Anderson. Welcome to the ramblings of a fangirl/designer. Warning, there are Unicorns, X-files and Paula Abdul ahead. I am totally infatuated with my cats, read more books than Lindsay Lohan snorts lines of coke, and believe that normalcy is a horrible horrible disease. I collect school buses and a few other things.
I agree with the OP. This hate is a reality for too many people and it makes me chuckle because:
Everyone loved this movie as a kid (or adult). So what? It makes you ‘deep’ to analyze it now? Nope it makes you a dick because you are missing the point.
Ariel single ‘fin’-edly pulled Disney out of its dark ages. All those movies you like? Pixar? Would never have happened if not for a certain little redhead.
Guess what? Fans of Ariel know she is a bit of brat, we get it. She is. But the real reason for this movie being so popular and SO overwhelmingly loved by everyone (most everyone) is the simple fact that it has MERMAIDS. That is IT. That is all I ever took out of the film as a child. I wanted to be a mermaid, mermaids were pretty oh look the underwater realm is pretty. I never paid close attention to Ariel’s treatment of her father or how she fell in love too quickly and caused a bunch of shit. I took out of it that she should make Eric a mermaid too so we could have more mermaids. Kids are simpler (and sometimes smarter). Quit over-thinking!
Get over yourself (those who hate Ariel) because your argument is laughably invalid.
If your panties remain in a painful twist consider watching the deleted scenes on the Little Mermaid DVD (released October 3rd, 2005) which include an extended final scene with Ariel apologizing for her actions. The cutting room is a painful place and it IS too bad this wasn’t kept in but at least they included it after-the-fact.