Final for my English 99 class last year!

Michael Masterson


November 27, 2006

The Little Mermaid: Brain Washing Children

      In the two different versions of The Little Mermaid one written by Walt Disney and the other written by Hans Andersen the plots were essentially the same.  But there were some main differences; there is clearly an attempt to brain wash the children that are reading the story by Andersen where as the story by Disney does not.  One of the main points where Andersen is seen trying to brain wash kids is with names of the characters, Andersen does not give names to the characters to prevent the children from being attached to the characters, but Disney gives the characters names.  Another point of brain washing the children was how Ariel looses her voice, Andersen shows a more vivid experience where as Disney does not.  The third item proving that Andersen is brain washing kids reading his story can be seen where the sisters are allowed to have gardens of things from the human world but in Disney’s story it is looked down upon. The changes in the two stories were made to work with the current time period.

One of the main points showing that Andersen was brainwashing children is how he did not make the characters of the story personable by giving them names.  Andersen did not give the characters names to show that they were worthless and are nothing more than tools to achieve his higher subliminal goal.  Disney did not do this because he has the morals, teach kids that life is always perfect and will always have a happy ending.  The best part of Andersen’s idea was that he was targeting an audience that would not know that they were being brainwashed and could easily spread it to their offspring years later.

Another part of the story showing that Andersen is brainwashing his audience is when the Sea Witch cuts out The Little Mermaid’s tongue.  This subliminally shows the children reading the story that are smart enough to understand his goal of brain washing that if they tell anyone their tongue will be cut out just like the little mermaid.  Disney takes Andersen’s idea and improves it and removes the subliminal message with one that adds a conflict to his version of the story he choose to make it less violent for obvious reasons, the story is aimed toward the younger age group and not meant to.  The two different versions of the story when the main characters voice was taken was created because Andersen wanted to brains wash kids but Disney wanted the kids to be happy.

The gardens that were seen in Andersen story showed that the sisters were allowed to keep things from the human world, but in Disney’s story Ariel was forced to hide it from her father.  Andersen is indirectly telling the kids that stealing is good and socially acceptable by the community but most important their father. Disney does a good job of countering Andersen’s idea by showing that it is bad for people to steal, Ariel is punished because she has stolen so many things from the human world, her punishment for stealing is that everything including – statue of Eric, collection of silverware, and globe all get destroyed by her father.  The use of subliminal messages by Andersen was very effective for the time frame when the story was written and Disney does a great job of turning it around to make it have great morals and not incite bad behaviors among children.

Andersen idea and Disney’s morals of the story were very different because they were both in search of different morals.  The two stories share many unique points that aren’t shared in each other, but over all the two stories are essentially the same.  Disney went more on a happy theme where as Andersen went to more of a moral role to the story to get his point across to the reader.  Disney did a great job of changing the story to work for its targeted era and Andersen did a good job of brain washing kids into doing bad things.


One comment

  1. for serious michael, how you ever passed high school i have no idea.


    the little mermaid kicks ass.

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