Today marks a momentous occasion worthy of one of Sebastian’s super-elaborate concerts (…and hopefully this time, Ariel will show up). Why? Because today is The Little Mermaid’s 25th anniversary! While we’re feeling slightly old because we were full-fledged toddlers when this movie opened in theaters, we’re also celebrating! We literally grew up with it. It’s basically part of our DNA. Ariel’s struggles are our struggles, Flounder is our best friend, and King Triton and our dad have almost morphed into the same person. How much do we love this movie? Here are 25 things from The Little Mermaid that continue to stay with us 25 years later:
1. Ariel’s Hair
To this day we are in awe of it, and still wish we could have bangs even half as bouncy. You know that moment when she blows them perfectly out of her eyes? WE’RE STILL TRYING TO DO THAT.
2. Mermaids in General
How many hours did you spend playing mermaids in the pool because of this movie? If you were anything like us, an embarrassing amount of hours. There was something magical about pretending you had a tail and flopping around in the water, which defines our childhoods to this day.
First of all, we learned what the word “guppy” meant, both literally and metaphorically from this movie. But we also learned that it’s okay to be scared sometimes, as long as you don’t let that fear paralyze you (and we learned that a healthy fear of sharks is a good thing).
4. “Part of That World”
Maybe the most iconic movie song ever? It’s definitely in the running. This was (and, let’s face it, still is) our anthem. We totally understood that Ariel wanted more from her life–we did/do too! We yearned right along with her to get to spend a day on the shore. And we sang the heck out of this during bathtime. And also yesterday when we were driving to work.
5. “Part of That World” Reprise
If you try to tell us that you didn’t look for a large rock every time you went to the beach to recreate this moment, we’re gonna think you’re lying. Just FYI.
6. Prince Eric’s Eyes
Has anything else ever been this blue in the history of blue?
7. Ursula’s Lipstick
Oh man, why doesn’t this exist in real life? We demand a sea flower that doubles as the perfect lip color.
8. The Dinglehopper
We wish Scuttle was in charge of defining all the things. We also tried this many a time on our unruly hair, and it was less successful that in the film.
9. Flotsam and Jetsam
We will NEVER be okay with eels because of these two. NEVER.
10. The Fine Print
We’re always going to read our contracts from start to finish because of this movie (oh, and because it’s the smart thing to do or whatever). What if we accidentally sign our voices away for all eternity? And what if we don’t get the prince to realize he’s our one true love in time and it’s our fault when our families are turned into shriveled up seaweed-looking thingies? (Real concern.)
11. “Les Poissons”
This song is educational, terrifying, and really catchy all at once.
He’s so cute, and fluffy, and slobbery, and silly, and has a keen sense of smell, and we want him to be our friend.
13. Grimsby’s Exasperated Facial Expressions
All the man wants is for Prince Eric to get married. Grimsby’s trying to secure the kingdom’s future, and we genuinely believe he wants Prince Eric to be happy, and also it’s part of his job to do both of those things. But that doesn’t mean Grimsby can stop himself from going through a myriad of faces ranging from annoyed to downright peeved during the course of the film, all while retaining his stiff upper lip.
14. Ariel’s Wedding Dress
The puffy sleeves. THE PUFFY SLEEVES.
15. “Under the Sea”
“The fluke is the duke of soul” might just be one of the most profound lyrics of the late twentieth century. Okay, maybe not, but this song is pure joy set to film. It’s so fun and catchy and colorful and we have never been more jealous of fish.
16. Aquata, Andrina, Arista, Attina, Adella, and Alana
Kudos to King and Mrs. Trition on their creativity and determination to stick to “A” names for all seven daughters. Although Ariel will always be our favorite sister, we also love her older siblings and their musical intro. Best part? “Allana, ah AH AHH AHHH!”
17. Eric’s Castle
It’s gorgeous and we’ve never seen another one that looks anything like it. Also, it’s situated on the beach as close to the water as is possible without actually being in the water. Thus, it’s a castle and beach getaway all in one. AKA the perfect place.
You know, like, “teenagers. Give ‘em an inch, they swim all over you” or “what would her father say? I’ll tell you what her father’d say. He’d say he’s gonna kill himself a crab, that’s what her father’d say!” And we’ll always love his impromptu kissing lesson: “You got to pucker your lips, like this…”
19. The Prince Eric Statue
What can we say? This is the moment that we knew we were gonna get along with Ariel just fine. And years later when our rooms were completely plastered with *NSYNC and Backstreet Boys posters, like to the point where there was no free wall space left, we thought back to this moment and knew we were not alone in our crazy fandom–and that maybe, just maybe, JC Chasez was our Prince Eric.
20. “Kiss the Girl”
Our favorite part is the flamingos giving Scuttle the evil eye.
This writer may or may not have been told that she looked like Vanessa one day in third grade. She’s chosen to take that as a compliment. But how is great is the “Poor Unfortunate Souls” reprise? And when those seagulls fly between Vanessa’s legs? Priceless.
22. The Jazz Flute Moment
We don’t really have an explanation for this. It just remains one of the best things we’ve ever seen.
23. “Poor Unfortunate Souls”
Ursula’s song is one of the best villains songs ever, and has a vaudevillian vibe that makes it super fun to sing.
24. King Triton
Though his serious, six-packed exterior might seem intimidating, deep down King Triton is a total softie and would do anything if it made his daughters happy. The hug he and Ariel share at the end of the movie still makes us cry.
25. Ariel’s Dream
While there are so many things to love about this film, one girl and her dream to explore the shore up above are at the heart of the story, and make it so compelling and so relatable, that we all understand Ariel immediately. We all have dreams, and if we’ve taken anything away from The Little Mermaid after watching it for 25 years, it’s that dreams can come true if we fight for them.
What’s your favorite thing about The Little Mermaid?