Ariel (The Little Mermaid)
Ariel is a fictional character and the lead protagonist of Walt Disney Pictures' twenty-eighth animated film The Little Mermaid (1989). She subsequently appears in the film's prequel television series, direct-to-video sequel The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea (where her daughter takes over as the protagonist, while Ariel is a secondary character instead) and direct-to-video prequel The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning. Ariel is voiced by Jodi Benson in all animated appearances and merchandise. She is fourth in the Disney Princess lineup and the only princess to become a mother.
Ariel has a very distinctive appearance, with her long, flowing red hair, blue eyes, green tail and a purple seashell bra. In the films and television series she is the youngest daughter of King Triton and Queen Athena of an underwater kingdom of Merfolk. She is often rebellious, and in the first film longs to be a part of the human world. She marries Prince Eric, whom she rescued from a shipwreck, and together they have a daughter, Melody.
The character is based on the protagonist of Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid" story, but was developed into a different personality for the 1989 animated film adaptation. Ariel has received a mixed reception from critics; some publications such as Time criticize her for being too devoted to her man whereas others, such as Empire, praise the character for her rebellious personality, a departure from previous Disney Princesses.
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... Ariel has received a mixed reception by critics ... Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times praised the character, writing that "Ariel is a fully realized female character who thinks and acts independently, even rebelliously, instead of hanging around passively while the fates decide her destiny" ...