There's One Big Plot Hole In 'The Little Mermaid' That Would Have Changed Everything

Now hold on just one fin-flipping minute.

While scrolling through my Facebook news feed this weekend, I came across a friend's post that posed an interesting question about that beloved Disney movie, "The Little Mermaid."

It seems like Ariel could have been "part of our world" a whole lot sooner if she had just done one little thing: write a note.

It should be noted that yes, other people have wondered about this before, and yes, it's a movie about mer-people and there are a lot weirder things going on in the movie than this particular anomaly (you know what I'm talking about), but from a screenwriting standpoint, this one really is a head-scratcher.

Here's how Mary Falls from Washington, D.C. summed up the conundrum on Facebook:

Well I found myself thinking, Ariel could have saved herself a lot of trouble if she had just learned to read and write. She could just scrawl out an explanation of her situation for Prince Eric like, "Hey Blue Eyes, I saved your life and then you fell in love with my voice, which I could probably get back if you just used your love to try to suck it out of my throat through my mouth here," but like nicer and in princess language. Then they could go ahead and seal the deal. But then I figured, if she was the daughter of a king, she probably could read and write. She probably had the finest underwater education available, especially since she was the star of the under sea orchestral extravaganza, which had absolutely no room for scrubs. Then it occurred to me, duh - they can't write underwater without those special pens, and they'd have to be able to walk to The Sharper Image to get those. But I'll be damned, she signed that contract with Ursula.

Image via Giphy

And there it is, the smoking magic fishbone pen! Plus, she writes in perfect cursive, not some special mer-people language that wouldn't be legible to the Prince if he, say, read a note scrawled in the sand.

Image via Reddit

Falls continues:

"So, Ariel is completely flipping literate and, in point of fact, has excellent penmanship! I had to give her the benefit of the doubt and think, well maybe she didn't want to explain herself cause she was trying to be a cool water fish about the whole deal and take her game to the next level. Except she tried to explain herself on the beach while dressed in a sail and miming like an adorable lunatic. Crushingly, Ariel absolutely could've closed from moment one and happens to be a moron."

Oh, Ariel, you poor, unfortunate soul.

Image via Giphy

UPDATE: The Huffington Post reached out to former Disney animator Tom Sito, whose credits include "Beauty and the Beast," "Aladdin," "The Lion King" and "The Little Mermaid," for comment. Here's what he had to say:

"I don't know who Mary from Washington is, but I do recall soon after the film came out and was a big hit, I was with a delegation of Disney animators doing a presentation about the film to some school children. When it came time for questions, one ten year old tyke with blonde curls asked, "If Ariel couldn't speak to tell the Prince who she was, why didn't she write him a letter?" The animators smiled to each other and one said, " ... Next question."


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