The first of Disney’s Renaissance films was a project in progress since 1930. Based on the writings of Hans Christian Andersen, the film updated the original tragic story for a modern family audience. In this episode, Lesley places the original story within the religious, cultural, and imperial context of its creation...while revealing a personal pain the author wrote into the mermaid’s story.
Jacob Bøggild and Pernille Heegaard, "Ambiguity in Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘The Little Mermaid’”, The Hans Christian Andersen Centre, University of Southern Denmark, (2018).
Chyng Feng and Erica Scharrer, "Staying True to Disney: College Students' Resistance to Criticism of The Little Mermaid", The Communication Review, Vol 7 Issue 1, (2004).
Rictor Norton, Excerpts from Me Dear Boy: Gay Love Letters through the Centuries, (1998).
Leland G. Spencer, "Performing Transgender Identity in The Little Mermaid: From Andersen to Disney", Communication Studies, 65:1, (2014): 112-127.
This episode is part of our Footnoting Disney Series.
The Little Mermaid, Disney, (1989).
Music: "Evening Melodrama" by Kevin Macleod (www.incompetech.com)