A feminist/queer/crip close textual reading of Disney’s The Little Mermaid and its straight-to- DVD sequel, The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea, uncovers contrasting cultural narratives of disability. The first film, and mermaid Ariel’s story line, represent conservative ideologies of compulsory able-bodiedness and the need for overcoming disability, as well as a strongly reinforced binary of merfolk versus humans. Conversely, the sequel, and (Ariel’s and Prince Eric’s daughter) Melody’s narrative, imagine more progressive desirably disabled futurities and welcome hybrid embodiments through the process of shifting societal perspectives and deconstructing binaries that work to other those with nonnormative bodies.
Hammond Sebring, Jennifer and Greenhill, Pauline. "The Body Binary: Compulsory Able-bodiedness and Desirably Disabled Futures in Disney’s The Little Mermaid and The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea." Marvels & Tales 34.2 (2021). Web. <https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/marvels/vol34/iss2/7>.