The Little Mermaid (2023) Ending Explained (In Detail)

By Marc Miller
Published: May 26, 2023
The Little Mermaid (2023) Ending Explained

We discuss the ending of the film The Little Mermaid (2023), which will contain spoilers.

The Little Mermaid follows Ariel, who craves adventure that her current world cannot quench. Ariel is obsessed with the human world and is the youngest daughter of the sea king, Triton. He has trouble keeping Ariel inside his safe salt-water bubble because she frequently visits the surface world. After saving a gallant prince named Eric, Ariel falls in love with him.

The Little Mermaid (2023) Ending Explained

However, they cannot be together because Ariel is a mermaid, and Eric is a human. That’s when Ariel makes a deal with her evil aunt, Ursula. Ursula is a traitorous sea witch with the tentacles of an octopus. Ariel makes a deal to become a human by offering her voice as collateral. She must get Eric to fall in love and kiss her within three days, or she will lose her voice to Ursula forever.

Why does Prince Eric fall for Vanessa?

Prince Eric falls for a woman named Vanessa, who claims she is the one who saved Eric from the fiery shipwreck. When Eric is knocked out cold, Ariel is the one to save him from drowning and delivers him safely to his kingdom.

Eric wakes up on the beach, remembering a woman but can’t remember her face, only her voice.

Who is Vanessa?

Vanessa is Ursula’s human alter-ego. Watching from the sea, Ursula knows Prince Eric and Ariel are falling in love. Ursula becomes Vanessa to stop Ariel from kissing Prince Eric within the three-day window.

Vanessa also has Ariel’s singing voice, which tricks Prince Eric into thinking Vanessa is the woman who saved his life. This is unfortunate for Ariel, who has fallen deeper in love after spending the last two days with Eric.

How does Ariel regain her voice?

Ariel regains her voice when she interrupts Prince Eric and Vanessa’s engagement party. After Prince Eric presents Vanessa with his mother’s ring and asks for her hand in marriage, Ariel tackles Vanessa. Ariel’s voice, placed in a locket hanging from Vanessa’s necklace, comes loose, and Ariel can now speak after she grabs it.

In the original, this symbolizes Ariel’s regaining of innocence somehow. In the new film, this can be viewed through a feminist lens, and Ariel can no longer be silenced.

Prince Eric now recognizes the voice of the woman who saved him, Ariel. (Even before this, it was evident to both the viewer and the characters that, despite thinking Vanessa is the one for him, he still has feelings for Ariel). As Eric and Ariel gaze into each other’s eyes, Vanessa screams in anger, but Eric and Ariel fail to kiss before the time runs out and the sun sets.

How does Ariel defeat Ursula?

After Ursula declares herself the Queen of the Sea upon obtaining Triton’s trident, she uses the weapon to increase her size to enormous proportions. Ursula creates a storm with the trident and attempts to kill Ariel and Eric by controlling the ocean.

In the film’s climax, Ariel kills Ursula by impaling her body with the front of a ship’s bowsprit, resulting in Ursula’s death.

Why does Ariel become human?

Ariel’s father, King Triton, uses his powers to make his youngest daughter human so she can be with Prince Eric. Throughout the film, Triton tries to protect his daughter from the human world because of the loss of his wife. Triton realizes that Ariel, his youngest daughter, will never be happy without Eric and ultimately lets her go.

The film ends with Prince Eric and Ariel getting married. Triton stops them as they sail off to embark on a grand adventure. Ariel’s father expresses his love for her and how much he will miss her.

This touching moment between the two signifies their turbulent relationship since the film’s beginning and indicates that Triton is finally ready to let his youngest daughter go.

What did you think of the ending of the 2023 film The Little Mermaid? Comment below.

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