For the next in the series, I took a look at my sister’s favorite movie, The Little Mermaid. The tail (so punny) that gave us such karaoke-worthy hits like Part of Your World and Under The Sea, also gave us the most..WTF ending. I remember as a child being so confused. Tritan could have turned Ariel into a human the whole time?!
Typical dad. Being the baby in the family myself, I empathized with not being able to do or decide things for myself..like, not being allowed fall in love with a member of another species. Such a drag. And the fact that Ariel was in more danger with her fellow ocean-mates (*coughURSULA*) than she ever was with humans underscores poppa Tritan’s insane overreaction. My parents learned after their first born: if you tell them no, they will anyway, so let them learn their lessons. After her six older sisters, you’d think Tritan would have gotten it right by the time Ariel tested the waters (so much pun).
To tell this story of how over-protective parenting stifles Ariel’s growth as a young woman, I focused on a pivotal point of tension in the film: when Tritan finds his daughter’s shrine to humans. My original idea was to recreate the scene where Ariel sees herself in human form in Ursula’s lair, and insert King Tritan into the background as an ever-looming figure that essentially pushes Ariel towards her rebellious decision. I didn’t like how the composition was coming out, and the amount of detail needed for the front view of Ariel was feeling disconnected from the level of simplicity of the Pocahontas poster. I decided to make the aspect of from behind views/silhouettes of the protagonist a thing throughout the series.
This definitely proved to be another learning experience with designing on screen for print. I displayed this alongside the Pocahontas poster at a gallery event, and the detail in the treasure drove definitely becomes muddy when printed. But, the event gave me a winner by vote of what movie would be next: Aladdin!
Detail shot & first draft below!