I have a spicy hot take, guys. It’s not particularly new or original but I’m going to tell you about it anyway. Because, despite the fact I’ve only recently come to this pointless and slightly rushed conclusion, it is a hill I am 100% ready to die on and it is thus:
Ursula the Sea-Witch is the absolute unsung hero of the Little Mermaid.
Fight me: it’s true and you know it.
Granted, I didn’t always feel this way. When I was growing up, she straight up scared the bejesus out of me. The mad hair, creepy sidekicks and penchant for theatrical megalomania were the stuff of my tiny nightmares. But they say with age comes wisdom, and never in history has this been as true as it is for this, my greatest revelation to date.
Sure, her moral compass doesn’t exactly point north – luring unsuspecting teenagers into endless servitude isn’t going to get her onto the New Year’s Honours list anytime soon (oh no, wait…). But if you really think super hard about it, without Ursula, Ariel would never have gotten the freedom to strike out on her own (albeit to run after a man, but we’ll set that to one side. Nobody’s got time to dig through that shit right now).
Hmm, yeah. This may be tenuous even by my standards…
Ok, let me put it another way: The chips are down, the knuckle-dusters are out and the fur is well and truly flying: who would you want on your side in a fight? The red-headed drip that thinks a fork is a hairbrush? The crochety old sea-king with a fondness for smashing crockery and shouting at crabs? The shit fish?
You want the woman with a swagger you could set a watch to and a voice so husky it could drag a sled. (This is, of course, working on the assumption that your imaginary fight is taking place under the sea. She’s got eight legs – on dry land you could presumably outrun her in a chairlift).
Plus, you’ve seen her sing. You just know she’d be a riot at a dinner party.
I suspect a part of the reason for my new-found respect for Ursula is that, as I get older, I find myself relating to her more and more. In fact, there is a solid chance I may actively be trying to become her.
Mad hair? Check.
Creepy Side-kicks? In progress. (Full disclosure: I’ve been informed I am under no circumstances allowed to co-opt my nieces, nephews or godchildren into becoming said creepy sidekicks. *Narrows eyes* We’ll see.)
Penchant for theatrical megalomania? *Hastily pulls sheet down over massive glittering statue of self sitting on throne* Nothing to see here.
But the thing that really does it is that, for sure, she and King Triton got up to some freaky shit back in the day. You just know she ruined him for everyone else and now he’s a bitter old man and she’s just back there in her witch cave cackling around and generally having the time of her life.
And if that, ladies and gentlemen, is not the hero you need in your life right now, I will eat my tentacles.
(Picture evidence of my actual tentacles:
Thanks Heather 😂)