The Little Mermaid and a History of Mermaids

“A girl, rescued me.” “Eric I think you’ve swallowed
a bit too much sea water.” Ariel may want to be
where the people are, but for three decades she’s
been making humans fantasize about becoming mermaids. “It’s a mermaid! I’ve
always believed in them!” What is it about the mermaid
that so captures our imagination? “When you say mermaid
you mean, I take it a sort of fish. “Only half. The other half
I understand is quite human.” If we look at our culture’s vast
collection of mermaid movies, literature and art,
we can see a number of repeating elements in
the Mermaid character: “She had the most beautiful voice.” A beautiful singing voice, [singing] a mirror and a comb for
brushing her lovely long hair “best known for sitting on
rocks, staring into mirrors, and obsessively combing
our long, beautiful hair.” a weakness for human men “He’s very handsome, isn’t he?” and a powerful
influence over them too. “That voice. I can’t get
it out of my head.” “MADISON!” Often the mermaid
is an adventurous spirit who’s self-educated “Where’d you get all these?” “I picked them up
mostly from ships.” “So you can read?” “Of course.” “I didn’t know English”
“Oh, I see and now you do?” “Yes I learned this afternoon
from television, it’s wonderful, now I can ask you questions
and if you answer them correctly you can win one
of these valuable prizes.” Meanwhile, her
dark sister version — the siren or sea witch,
may complicate the good-hearted
mermaid’s plans. 30 years after The Little
Mermaid hit the big screen, here’s our Take on the history
of the mermaid in cinema and what the princess under
the sea really represents. “Won’t you believe in me? If you
do, there will always be mermaids.” Before we go on, we want to
talk about this video’s sponsor. Skillshare is an online
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below, to sign up NOW. First, a brief primer of
the mermaid in cinema. In 1904, early special-effects
master George Méliès made a short film about a mermaid
and already it visualized the figure’s transformation into a human woman. Starting in 1911, Austrailian
professional swimmer Annette Kellerman starred in
a number of mermaid films Including the first ever
mermaid feature film “Neptune’s Daughter”
in 1914, and you can see her legacy
in the elaborate synchronized swimming sequences that later
became popular in Hollywood. In the post-World
War II period, mermaids, according to
Beatrice Phillpotts, were “an escapist expression
of post-war optimism.” As a lady of the wide
open sea, the mermaid is connected to a feeling
of freedom and liberation, and we can see this in the 1948
British mermaid comedy, Miranda. “I may be a bit light-headed
but to me you seem to have a…” “Tail?” “Yes” “I have. I’m a mermaid.” Glynis Johns’ beguiling Miranda
may be intent on catching more than her share of men and
putting them under her spell. “Men are fickle creatures.” “I love them” but she’s hardly looking
to be tied down by what these guys and their wives
or fiancées assume she’s after– marriage. “Well I think they both
wanted to marry you.” “Both of them?” “Isn’t it absurd?” The upbeat ending of the film
is her escape, and her avoiding a future on earth as some
kind of fish in a bowl. Later mermaid stories continue
the fear that this beautiful creature might be trapped and
confined to a fish bowl, and they lament what
a crime it would be to sentence this
wild soul to captivity. The same year saw Mr.
Peabody and the Mermaid, “My husband’s in love.” “Of course.” “With a mermaid.” and Miranda was followed up by
the sequel Mad about Men in 1954. “I dare say he’s very dependable.” “Dependable my tail.” These mermaid movies had
a certain permissive playfulness “Oh, so you’ve got a wife.” “Yes.” “Well, there are plenty of men on land
she’ll soon find another one.” The mermaid as a symbol
of liberation continues in later versions of this character
as a free spirit and rebel who doesn’t care for
conventionality. “Mrs. Flax doesn’t believe
in ritual or tradition.” The 80s gave us the two most iconic
mermaids in modern memory — Darryl Hannah’s Madison
in Splash and of course Ariel, voiced by Jodi Benson,
in The Little Mermaid, based on the 1837 story
by Hans Christian Andersen. Ariel’s looks were based on
Alyssa Milano and her red hair was a conscious attempt to
distinguish her from Hannah, as Splash was also
released by Disney, under its adult-facing
label Touchstone Films. In broad strokes,
these two films both tell the story of a pure love
that has to overcome obstacles. “All my life I’ve been
waiting for someone and when I find her
she’s…she’s a fish.” Since these two films,
countless mermaid movies have catered to an explosion
of fascination with the figure. “Ponyo loves Sosuke,
I will be a human too!” Going back to long before
she hit the big screen, let’s look at the mermaid’s roots
in mythology and literature. “We are not fictional. We’re discreet.” Her earliest version appears
to be Atargatis — an ancient Syrian fertility goddess who
was sometimes represented with a fish tail. This spirit continued in
the Greek goddess Aphrodite and her Roman counterpart Venus —
the goddess of beauty and love “How are you
going to paint me?” “Ah, like uh, like Venus
rising out of the sea.” Aphrodite may not
have a fish tail, but she’s born of sea foam,
and Ovid’s Metamorphoses mentions Venus transforming
into a fish to disguise herself. To this day, the mermaid
continues to be, at her core, a Venus-like embodiment
of beauty and love. She’s not only stunning
herself, but she also sees beauty everywhere she looks. “Have you ever seen anything
so wonderful in your entire life?” “Music I like it. I heard
some in the television.” She’s moved by small wonders
in the world around her, “There’s something about your
face that makes me want to cry.” and teaches humans
to re-open their eyes to all the beauty they’ve
become blind to “Pretty.” “Well, uh, yeah. I’ve never really
thought about it before.” In her less innocent
iterations, the mermaid is well-aware of her charms,
and the Mermaid’s mirror is traditionally a symbol
of her vanity. The mermaid’s story is
typically all about love, “It’s the closest thing
we have to magic.” as we can see in The Little
Mermaid and Splash. “He’s got to kiss you. Not just
any kiss — the kiss of true love.” The figure feels and
inspires love at first sight, “Come back! Oh why didn’t
I learn how to swim?” giving herself instantly
and totally. “Hi.” She’s driven by a pure,
shameless sexuality and she doesn’t have any of
a typical woman’s inhibitions. She also bravely
expresses her emotions without
self-consciousness. “Madison, where
is your necklace? “I traded it for
the statue.” “Why?” “Because I love you.” She’s a deeply instinctive being: “You don’t know
me very well.” “Oh yes I do.” “Well, how could you after
such a short time?” “Knowing some people
is a matter of instinct.” At first, in Splash and
The Little Mermaid, falling in love seems
easy and simple. The couples enjoy an immediate
connection and rapport, even before they can
talk to each other. Sooner or later, though
love presents a test. “You said whatever my secret
was, you’d understand.” “Thought at least
I was a human being.” In Splash, the conclusion of
Tom Hanks’ Allen giving up his human life to live with
the mermaids is a fun twist on the usual assumption that it
must be the mermaid who sacrifices her underwater
existence for love. In the end, love demands
that both parties be willing to sacrifice everything to be together. “If I become human, I’ll never
be with my father or sisters again.” “But you’ll have your man [laughing]
Life’s full of tough choices, isn’t it?” We can see the mermaid’s
nature as a fertility goddess in the character of Miranda. The movie ends with her giving
birth to a baby, presumably fathered by the doctor she
caught and seduced. “I wonder why she said she wanted
to be somewhere lovely in May.” “I wonder.” So the suggestion is that her
goal was really to procreate, while having a little fun,
and then go back to her world. “Aren’t there any men under
the sea who you can give them to?” “Yes a few but they have little eyes
and flat noses, most unattractive. That’s why we’re
practically extinct.” And after the turbulence of
the men’s lust for Miranda, the couples reaffirm
their commitments to each other and end far more
passionately in love than before. So it’s as if they’ve
been visited by some mischievous otherworldly force
to reawaken their fertility impulse. Likewise, after Mr. Peabody’s
embarrassing affair with the sea maiden, in the end when
he gives the mermaid Lenore’s comb to his wife and they decide
to “stay in for the night,” symbolically it’s as if their
marital lust has been restored. There’s no denying that to
a large degree, the mermaid is a sexual fantasy, “I was being drawn to
this creature by something more than just
a scientific interest.” and many of her symbols,
like shells and the comb she’s often pictured with,
have sexual connotations. The ancient Greek and Latin
words for “comb” carry double meanings related
to the pubic area. The mermaid is a symbol
of unattainable sexuality. “But don’t you find your tail rather
a handicap with the gentlemen?” “Oh no. It provides what you
might call an element of surprise.” Frequently her narrative purpose
is to represent or draw out sexual urges that the characters,
generally men, have to confront. There’s a recurring trope of
the mermaid’s love saving the man In Miranda the men’s desire
for the mermaid is their bachelor impulses putting
up one last fight before they’re ready to settle
down for good. “I don’t think I shall want to
go fishing next year.” “No more bachelor
holidays?” “Never again.” In Mr Peabody and the Mermaid,
the mermaid is there purely to help solve the man’s
mid-life crisis. “You don’t think that 50 is
so conclusive do you?” “No of course not. Why should you? What’s so dreadful really
about a few grey hairs?” She doesn’t actually
speak a word of dialogue while Mr. Peabody monologues
incessantly at her, narrating her feelings, teaching her to kiss, “That’s what
we call a kiss.” naming her, “Lenore” and interpreting her personality
entirely around his desires. “You do love me
don’t you? [gasp] “Teenagers. They think
they know everything. You give them an inch,
they swim all over you.” As Ariel’s story makes clear,
on one level the Mermaid myth symbolizes coming-of-age,
especially, the coming of age of a young woman. “I’m 16 years old. I’m
not a child anymore.” “Don’t you take that tone
of voice with me young lady!” At its core, The Little Mermaid
is the story of a girl’s metamorphosis into an adult. This hybrid of human and
fish is an apt metaphor for the adolescent who’s half
in one state, childhood, and half in the other, adulthood. Ariel is eager to become
fully human, or to grow up, but her dad wants
her to stay a fish. In other words,
he doesn’t want his little girl to
grow up too fast. “As long as you live under
my ocean, you’ll obey my rules.” The mermaid story is a perfect
parable of puberty because it gets at the physicality
of that phase’s transition. The change from fins to legs mirrors
a young woman’s maturing sexuality. And it’s no accident
that getting legs usually coincides
with her falling in love. Meanwhile, losing her tail
can feel like a loss just as it can be sad to
leave behind childhood. And the changes can be
very messy and painful. Mermaid characters can
be a little boycrazy, “He’s beautiful.” “He’s so, beautiful.” echoing the adolescent’s
excitement over first crushes. “Why Eric, run away with
you? Haha this is all so sudden.” So Ariel captures
the teen’s eager enthusiasm for
what’s to come, and as a character she’s
so compelling because of her positive curiosity, courage
and sense of adventure. “Isn’t it fantastic?” At the same time she reflects
the conflict and struggle of the adolescent period. “Daddy, I love him!” [Gasps] 1990’s ‘Mermaids’ —
which features only metaphorical mermaids, also uses the figure to
embody a state of transition. Director Richard Benjamin
said that Winona Ryder’s teen Charlotte is “half
girl, half woman.” “You know Charlotte
I think you might be old enough for
a boyfriend now.” “If I’m old enough maybe
you’re too old.” “Don’t be ridiculous a real
woman is never too old.” The mermaid figure is a mix
of child and woman “A beauty of eternal wisdom. And it’s the beauty of a child too.” Despite her womanly charms,
she has a childlike sense. of wonder and openness. “She’s been here for six hours.” “Excuse me miss
I’m going to have to insist that uh, that
you stop doing that.” Her youthful and new way
of looking at things rejuvenates those she
encounters who may have become too worldly and
realistic, too “adult” about it all. In a broader way, the mermaid
as a symbol of flux is relatable to people who are going
through transitions of any kind. Some have seen
Ariel’s story as an illustration
of gender dysphoria. While others relate
to the mermaid’s feeling of being an outsider, “Because I feel the seawater
in my veins. Because I listen to the roar of
the sea and it speaks to me like
a mother’s voice.” between two worlds, not
fully belonging to either. “I’m a fish out of water.” The mermaid story also dramatizes
the feeling of cultural differences, “My name is [screeching]
eee eee ee.” and what it’s like to be
a foreigner or alien in a place very unlike
where you come from. “Where I come from,
it never gets cold.” “They don’t have ice,
and they don’t have music and they don’t have clothes! Just what kind of a place is this?” Comedy derives from
the fish out of water trying to learn our customs. While sometimes failing to
hide her natural habits, [Chewing] and bringing little pieces
of home with her, “Are you allowed to
drink, Miranda?” “A glass of salt water.” “A what?” “A glass of salt water.” There are two broad
categories or types of mermaids: The Light version — the lovestruck
maiden who dreams of coming on land, falls for a human man,
and/or wants a soul. And the Dark one. The evil
femme fatale-mermaid — an animalistic man-eating siren. “Mermaids. Sea ghouls. Devil fish. Dreadful in hunger for flesh of man.” In Little Mermaid, we can
see a version of both the light and the dark sea woman. Ariel is the good-hearted
love-driven type, while Ursula is the evil
enchantress, “So long, lover boy!” more animal than human,
and therefore a perceived enemy to our kind. “Well, it’s time Ursula took
matters into her own tentacles.” We can see prototypes
for the dark mermaid in Greek Mythology’s sirens
who used their beautiful songs to lure sailors
to their deaths. [Singing] “There’s
no need to fear We won’t eat you my dear” In siren-descended stories,
the dark mermaid pairs her beauty with a false illusion
of human feelings, underneath which lurks heartless
animal hunger. “Them sirens did
this to Pete. They loved him up and turned
him into a…horny toad.” This dual form is of course
exactly what Ursula uses to bewitch Eric. “The Sea Witch!” 2015 Polish horror musical
The Lure also features the dark mermaid
who likes to eat men, and the light mermaid
who loves one. But that movie highlights that,
while the dark mermaid is an unapologetic man-eater,
the light mermaid ends up, like in Hans Christians
Anderson’s story, losing herself for a man
who doesn’t love her back “You have to eat him
by daybreak. He’s just a human. You’ll
be sea foam if you don’t.” Dennis Hopper’s 1961
mermaid thriller Night Tide, “Yes, I love the sea most of all. But I’m afraid of it, too.” also plays on the mermaid’s
hunger to consume men, as we can see in the poster. The mermaid-as-femme fatale
represents pure sexual energy. “Now, mermaids are not
as they are in storybooks. They are dark creatures in
touch with all things mysterious.” You might say
that the light version of the mermaid
represents sexual love, while the dark version
represents sex without love. Unbridled sex is
seen as a threat to civilized society, and
its building block, marriage. Over time the mermaid changed
from a god or mythical creature into one that people
really believed existed. “I’m tellin’ you, Grim,
she was REAL!” By the time of Pliny the Elder’s
writing in the first century AD, people reported sightings
of mermaids all over, and these increased as maritime
travel became central with the Age of Discovery around
the 15th to 17th centuries. To make sense of her
growing popularity, Christianity framed
the mermaid-siren as a symbol of
vice and a temptation to men’s souls. “Undines”, or underwater spirits,
were seen as mentally just like people, but lacking a soul. Still, it was thought that a select
few mermaids wanted to be saved and a folklore developed
that they could achieve an immortal soul by
marrying a mortal man. In The Little Mermaid’s inspiration,
the 1837 Hans Christian Anderson tale, the mermaid longs for a soul as much
as she wants her beloved prince. When he chooses another and it
appears all has been in vain, she dies. Disney went with a happier
romantic ending — but Anderson’s tale
has a silver lining: the little mermaid becomes
a daughter of the air with the opportunity to earn a soul
through doing good deeds over the next approximately 300 years. Now at least, her
destiny is in her control. As this is a story of transition,
the peril and sadness of it comes from the fact that
she can’t stay forever on land. The mermaid can only soak
her tail in a bathtub for so long. “The mermaid was
taking a bath?” “A bubble bath.” She has limited time. “How long are you
going to be in town?” “Six fun-filled days.” “Oh, six days. Is that all?” “Three days.” This period of change
must give way to permanence of one
kind of another. “If I stay longer than
that I can’t ever go back.” All things, however
lovely, must pass. And throughout her
many iterations, this figure is infused with a tragic
longing for what can never be — a beauty that’s too good to be
true, a love that can’t last, just as the dream of
being a mermaid, or being with one is, for
most of us, only that — a dream. “Then I guess there’s
just one problem left.” “How much I’m going to miss her.” This video is sponsored
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  • You guys didn't mention Yoruba Orisha Yemenja, the Goddess of sweet water who is represented as a mermaid. Many greek and Nordic deities are based on Yoruba Orisha's. This info is important and will educate the idiots who were pissed about a beautiful a d talented black actress was cast as Ariel in the live action The Little Mermaid.

  • Wow, Mr Peabody is Freudian projecting all over the place. That poor mermaid!

  • shame you didn't talk about Oshun

  • Next Episode : Milk and the History of Cows

  • Fun fact: In the original Greek mythology, the sirens were half-woman and half-bird (hence, the beautiful singing voice). Somehow, over time, the siren and mermaid legends merged together.

  • Legend of the blue sea?

  • 4:44 And to think that it was TWO “mermaid movies” released in the 80s that saved Disney!

    “Splash” saved Disney’s live-action film division, and “The Little Mermaid” saved Disney’s animated film division.

    “Splash” was the first film released by “Touchstone Films” (later renamed “Touchstone Pictures”), which was a label created by Disney in order to release films with mature themes, or content that would undermine the wholesome, family-friendly Disney name.

    Also, the film “Splash” grossed $69.8 million domestically, making it Disney’s biggest live-action hit since 1969's “The Love Bug”.

    “The Little Mermaid” was responsible for kickstarting the “Disney Renaissance Era” in the 1990s.

  • Love this video. Can you do witches next?

  • Some influence of the modern mermaid also came from selkies and manatees…

    I kinda see the Dark mermaid as a cis straight male fear of women's power in sexuality.

  • It’s funny that Ariel’s looks are based on Alyssa Milano because she becomes a mermaid herself in an episode of Charmed.

  • Love this, ganna share ❤️

  • 12:59 anyone knows which movie is part that from? 🤔

  • 7:02 hey it’s us 🧜🏻‍♀️🤴🏻

  • Wrong! Disney had already a short of Neptune when a redhead mermaid appears

  • Do Young Adult!

  • It's funny they said "often the mermaid is an adventurous spirit who is self-educated", and then the video is sponsored by Skillshare. That's cute~ 💜

  • Do the Leprechaun sitings of Alabama. Key and Peele did a skit on unicorns based on that.

  • As a wiser machine than me once said, a thing isn't beautiful because it lasts. So it is with the mermaid.

  • As a trans man I always loved mermaids they are still my favorite

  • I remember reading the original Hans Christian Andersen Fairytale of the The Little Mermaid as a child and crying my eyes out because of how tragic and beautiful the ending was.

  • Fitting since its the 30th Anniversary Of The Little Mermaid it was a good one

  • The Lure is the best!

  • Please make videos on the godfather trilogy <3

  • and meerremen are often pictured with a phallus symbol
    a tridont or a speer

    i think meer men are a thing since gay men can be more open and woman are more indipendent

  • When will you analyse Fleabag and their characters?

  • Can somebody tell me that at 13:00 which movie is it?

  • Do Godfather or Scarface please.
    How many agee with me?

  • Can you please do Vampires or Werewolves or even any other monster next that will be a great video to explore the history of monsters in movies.

  • Great video! I wish you could of used footage 2 or 3 footage of the little mermaids one from 1968, 1974, and 1975

  • Earlier versions of the Mermaid was she’s a Manic Pixie Girlfriend?

  • Go read Louise O'Neill's book "The Surface Breaks" (2018), it's a must for any mermaid fan

  • Don't forget also the tv series SIREN

  • My favorite thing

  • You are the best The Take. I really lover mermaids. Have to make one video about them 😀

  • A history of fairies or werewolves next?

  • She Creature should have been discussed too

  • What an incredible analysis of the themes of the mermaid. Plus, thanks to this video, I now have a few more mermaid movies to check out! 😁

  • I can't thank you enough for this video. so many good films recomendations😍👍

  • "Sex without love is a threat to society" is one of the best sayings I have ever heard.

  • At 19:44 "By your own good deeds….you may work out for yourself an undying soul." So the Little Mermaid becomes Catholic in the end?!

  • So you went through this entire video without even mentioning Rusalka ????? Hans Christian Anderson stole the plot of “The Little Mermaid” from the story of Rusalka!!!! 🇨🇿🇨🇿🇨🇿🇨🇿

  • She Creature (2001) & maybe even The Shape of Water (2017)

  • The little mermaid is actually a metaphor of Andersen's story. He was gay and in love with a prince. It was a story that could never end well and the prince was actually in love with a princess and married her.

  • ( 016)

  • I was hoping to see the mermaids from Pirates of the Caribbean. The change from lovely songstress to frightening monster was chilling on the big screen.

  • the original manic pixie dream girl, born sexy yesterday fantasy

  • I just always think “someone probably peed in that pool” when I see people swimming

  • It's a shame you didn't even touch the anime movie based on the same tale as The Little Mermaid, which is more faithful and beautiful.

  • I'm almost halfway through the video but haven't seen a reference to H2O yet

  • It'd be nice if there was a list of all the movies/ shows used.

  • Where is the mermaid lagoon from Peter Pan?

  • Really interesting video! I’m familiar with stories that feature mermaids as symbols of sexuality, but I never imagined that they symbolized womanhood altogether. Thanks for making this video!

  • @6:00

    Literally the same face.

  • Ariel's looks were Sherri Stoner NOT Alysia Milano Mermaid legends are WORLDWIDE AND JUST AS MANY VARIANTS From Seal Maiden to Dragon Maiden

  • YEAY ~*+*+*+ THANK YOU~!!

  • 4:41 dear diary 1987(lol that’s what I thought when I heard her voice I’m pretty sure she’s Veronica in heathers)

  • Wow…I really admired you guys but as a person of 'sirenic' descent , I am in shock by the ignorance of 'drylanders' when it comes to the Mermaid/Men-culture.
    The myths are a 3 millenia old warning against global warmng(sink or swim)and is obviously symbolic to the plight of the blind, the mute,the deaf, the paraplegic and dealing with veganism. It also, clearly deals a lot with white vs fish-scaled-racism.
    As a merperson growing up in a homo sapian society, my parents always told me:
    'You can act like them, walk like them, eat with them, laugh with them but, they can always smell the fish on you and once they're done with you; you're just another kelp-eating,seafoam guzzling-'Fishboner'-I can say it because we use it as a term of endearment amongst our own and took ownership of that word.but coming from non merpersons… it is a highly offensive slur still used against people of the merperson-community.

    The wave of 'Merploitation-films' in the 70's has brought some improvement but there is still a lot of mer-bias in hollywood. The little mermaid was clearly not written by a mermaid and questions are raised over the authenticity of the autobiography of Anne Plank(ton)"The secret coral: diary of a guppy" that's ofcourse reaching back to the days before Martin Luther Krill;when merpersons were only accepted/tolerated unless they hid their fishiness and kept quiet. Movies like the Little Mermaid are extremely offensive to the Mer community; yet it is one of the most popular movies by Disney…Krilluminati confirmed. Stay woke, stay floatin'

  • Fun fact: There are even accounts of mermaid sightings in the logs of Henry Hudson's voyages.

  • Can y’all do a video about Ariel, specifically one similar to your stop blaming the victim video for Cinderella. Maybe something like stop underestimating Ariel, or stop dream shaming Ariel. Yeah she became crazy about a guy and the movie had problems for young people just like any, however she also values having freedom, curiosity, adventure, and she is really determined to get what she wants, people don’t think about this but if Ariel would not have gone to Ursula to get legs, Ursula would have never put herself in the position to be defeated and at the end the souls Ursula has trapped that become free when she dies, would stay trapped.

    Edit: alright got a little further into the video saw that y’all touched on Ariel a little more.

  • Really good video! I think an interesting twist would be a comparison of the Little Mermaid and The Shape of Water. You could read them as the same trope with inversed genders

  • You didn't mention She-Creature, a true horror story HP Lovecraft type take on the mermaid

  • "I'm 16 years old! I'm not a child!" yes you are.. go to your room.. you're grounded

  • What about H20 Just Add Water and Mako Mermaids which stars a merman which is rare. It’s only mermaids that are told not mermen.

  • LeWiS..?

  • I can’t believe u missed h2o

  • H2O: just add water left the chat

  • Aren’t sirens half bird?

  • there needs to be a movie portraying mermen unironically. not as a parody of mermaids to be mocked for their "cringey awkwardness", but a serious portrayal of badass mermen (aquaman doesn't count since he has legs and not a tail)

  • Great video about mermaids!

  • Have you seen the Disney Channel Original Movie "The Thirteenth Year"?

  • Tritan had no problem with Ariel dating in the Disney Cartoon. What he had a problem with was her going after what he considers a killer's heart.

  • I'm a big fan The Take and LOVED this topic! I would love to see a deeper analysis on the parallels between being a mermaid and the trans experience as depicted in films. Mainly Ursula being based on Divine the drag queen/film star, and her depiction as a sea witch who uses magic to "steal" traditional accoutrements assigned to cis women as a means of "tricking" society into affirming her gender. Obviously, it would be great to explore a more modern take that feels inclusive of the trans experience–potentially referencing Maleficent or Elphaba and how their stories were re-written to show their own more sympathetic perspectives as highly misunderstood women.

  • In French there is no difference between mermaid and siren, it's just sirène

  • If someone is curious, 16:48 is in polish 🙂

  • Good video but I wish it had come out later and included Halle Bailey's portrayal in Disney's live action adaptation.

  • HELP ME WHAT MOVIE THIS IS FROM, PLEASE! I remember this movie when I was a little kid where a man carries the mermaid from a wheelchair to the sea. I just remember that scene and it stayed with me forever since. Saw it like maybe 20 years ago.

  • Please do fairies and witches next! 🧚🏽‍♀️🧙🏽‍♀️

  • Siren is not a mermaid …. according to Greek mythology, siren is a bird with a woman’s head who has voice to lure sailor to their death. Mermaids are like daughters of the water …. please stop misuse the word siren

  • Don't forget the mermaids on the little screen, too! Shows like H2O: Just Add Water and Mako Mermaids are awesome!

  • Please, next: History of Witches in Cinema!!!

  • Siren were more bird like

  • Good video but there were at least ten, fifteen second non skip ads. It really takes you out of the video.

  • My favourite's are "She chronicles" was a great siren/mermaid movie also the perfect mermaids/Sirens on the big screen so far are on potc mermaids (Serena). Siren is a good tv show her name in the show is Ren.

  • You mention that Ariel's looks were based on Alissa Millano but no mention of Pheobe becoming a mermaid in charmed?! Not even a nod?…

  • It’s funny cause Aphrodite was created from sea foam while in the story of the little mermaid
    When she dies she turns into sea foam

  • Where are all the mermaid scenes from?
    Minus Little mermaid,Splash,Pirates of the Caribbean,2 old timey ones and Peter pan

  • I'm glad you included Polish LURE. It's highly underrated movie! With amazing twist for original Little Mermaid story.

  • Fantastic vid! Really fascinating, especially coming from a writer (I had ideas for two mermaid narratives and it makes me look at the stories in a different way).

    Hey! Can you do a video on witches?!
    I'm doing some research for my own film and it'd be great to have a Take video on its symbolism!!! 😀
    Like have it relate to The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (and the franchise itself) or something?
    (Even if I request it, I wouldn't be surprised if you already had it planned haha).

  • Maybe a mermaid is the embodiment of a dream come true a beautiful girl who, not knowing the standards and ways of living on earth, then is always authentic. But some dreams can become nightmares too.

  • I’ve been a mermaid stan since I was like 7

  • Can you do videos on other mythological creatures? Like “ What about Dragons?” Dragons had been told countless stories and their own share in movies as well. Dragons had gone thought many chances thought out the ages. Like fire-breathing beasts that burned down villages and need a knight in shining armor to slay to be beast friends to children.

  • The in-betweenness of mermaids that makes them reflective of teenhood is also the reason why they're so popular amongst trans people

  • Yeah, I kind of agree with you that even though Ariel wanted to be part of our world as a human, she made us humans want to be part of her world, as beautiful Merpeople.

  • I really enjoyed this

  • When I was a little girl, I would say “splash” was my favorite movie

  • In my culture mermaids were drown young women (mostly by suicide because of a broken heart), who lured men into bogs and rivers in the forest and tickled them to death.

  • “Cause I’m no ordinary girl.
    Upon a deep blue underworld.
    Land and sea. I got the power if I just believe.
    Cause I’m no ordinary girl.
    Upon a deep blue underworld.
    Land and Sea. The world’s my oyster.
    I’m the pearl.
    No ordinary girl.”

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