The Little Mermaid (1989) Ending Explained – Do Eric and Ariel end up together?

The Little Mermaid Plot Summary

Ariel is a little mermaid that lives underwater and she’s the youngest daughter of the Sea King – King Triton. Unlike his other mermaid daughters, Ariel loves the human world a lot more than she should. Along with her companions – Flounder the fish and Scuttle the seagull, Ariel often wonders about leaving.

When King Triton learns about Ariel’s affection for the human world, he tasks Sebastian the crab to keep an eye on her. Ariel ends up saving a human named Prince Eric from drowning after a storm attacks his boat, and Ariel immediately falls in love with him. At the same time, Eric falls in love with Ariel’s voice.

Determined to confess her feelings for the prince, Ariel strikes a deal with the sea witch, Ursula. Ursula bribes Ariel the ability to exchange her fin for real legs – but at the cost of her voice. Ariel signs the contract and leaves to meet Prince Eric, and since Eric had been looking for Ariel all along, he is excited to meet her but in shock that she cannot speak.

What happens to Ariel at Prince Eric’s palace?

At the Palace, Sebastian is the only one that accompanies Ariel to the human world. Ariel, who is now voiceless, tries to make Prince Eric fall in love with him. Over their romantic date on a boat, Ariel and Eric are close to having their first kiss but Ursula sends her minions to stop them.

Ursula then disguises herself as a pretty human girl named Vanessa and uses a locket that encompasses Ariel’s voice to get Eric’s attention. Ursula’s ploy works and Eric is tranced by her magic spell. He asks to marry Vanessa and the entire palace leaves to do so the following day.

What does Ariel do to stop Eric from marrying Ursula?

Since Ariel only had 3 days to make Prince Eric fall in love with her, Ariel is disheartened to see how a different woman has taken over the prince and now, she will lose him and her voice if she did not stop the wedding before sunset. Scuttle flies to the wedding boat and learns that Vanessa is Ursula in disguise and Ariel’s group decides they will have to stop the wedding.

Flounder helps Ariel swim to the boat while Scuttle and Sebastian try to stop the wedding by calling in an army of sea creatures on the boat. Ariel manages to make it in time on the boat, but just as Vanessa’s voice locket is broken off in the chase, Ariel gets her voice back. Prince Eric has also broken off his trance and Ursula becomes the sea witch again.

Does Prince Eric forget Ariel?

Just as Ariel and Prince Eric are about to kiss, Ursula reverses the spell and turns Ariel into a mermaid again. She takes Ariel to the sea in order to take her voice back but is met with King Triton, who’s waiting for his daughter to return. Ursula tells Triton that the contract between her and Ariel is legal in all terms and Ariel needs to lose her voice in order for the deal to be settled.

What does King Triton do when he learns about Ariel’s deal with Ursula?

King Triton signs a different contract with Ursula, giving up his Sea King title and throne to her in exchange for Ariel’s freedom. After the exchange, Triton is reduced to being a polyp. Ursula becomes the Sea Queen but Ariel tries to fight her.

Just then, Prince Eric shows up to find Ariel in his boat. Ursula spots the boat over the surface of the water and tries to attack. In order to stop Eric and Ariel, Ursula starts a huge sea storm that causes the drowned boats to resurface to sea level.

What does Prince Eric do to save Ariel?

During the storm, Eric manages to land himself on one of the broken boats and kills Ursula with it. The crown falls back to the bed of the water and King Triton returns to his original form. He assumes the title of King again and finally sees that Prince Eric is not like other humans, given he was courageously willing to sacrifice himself to save Ariel, and, subsequently, the rest of the underwater clan.

How does The Little Mermaid end?

Sebastian advises the King that he should let Ariel live her life with the man she dearly loves. Seeing how much Eric and Ariel love each other, King Triton exchanges Ariel’s fin for legs and allows her to marry Prince Eric on land. The movie ends with the mer-people bidding farewell to Ariel and Eric, while Triton finally comes to an understanding that not all humans are bad like he initially thought.

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