The Little Mermaid released in theaters on this day in 1989, and it’s been a major part of our worlds ever since. We grew up brushing our hair with forks, attempting to achieve Ariel’s perfect bangs, and never signing contracts without reading the fine print—all because of this film. Suffice to say, we’ve watched it many, many times. Recently we sat down to watch it again, and noticed a few things we hadn’t before:
1. Prince Eric’s initials are on everything: His ship, his carriage, and banners around the town.
We assume he’s the regent and just isn’t of age to be king yet?
2. Max only has nostrils when he’s about to smell something.
The rest of the time Max has no nostrils. Yes, this is a real thing we noticed.
3. Ursula’s lair has a hidden treble clef.
See it to the left of the frame?
4. Ariel and her sisters have fish servants.
This seems like common sense, because Triton uses dolphins to power his carriage and other sea life to help rule the kingdom. But for some reason, we didn’t put together that these fish hanging out with Ariel and her sisters were working for them until we saw that the fish in the upper right is holding a necklace that it is delivering to them.
5. Ariel has an axe as part of her collection.
Isn’t it neat? We want to know more about the scenario in which she found it and brought it back to live with her gadgets and gizmos.
6. Prince Eric’s village looks familiar …
Yep! It’s pretty similar to Belle’s provincial town in Beauty and the Beast.
7. Is that Aladdin’s magic lamp on Ariel’s fireplace mantel?
Logically, no. Aladdin came out three years after The Little Mermaid. But maybe this turned out to be very early lamp development art?
8. The dress code at Ariel and Eric’s wedding is pretty casual.
Take for example the man on the very left who is wearing gloves, but a shirt with no sleeves. This is just confusing. Is it hot? Cold? What’s happening here?
Have you noticed anything in The Little Mermaid after watching it for years? Tell us in the comments!