A whole new perspective on ‘The Little Mermaid’

Lillian Coppelman, Editor in Chief

Some Disney fans say that older Disney Princes can be bland and lack personality. Princes such as the prince from “Snow White” or Prince Phillip from “Sleeping Beauty” are examples of this writing flaw.
However, Disney has produced a way to combat this issue. In a similar style to their “Twisted Tale” series, “Prince of Song and Sea” is the first book in a series of tales told from the perspective of the princes.
“Prince of Song and Sea,” written by Linsey Miller, is a fantastical retelling of “The Little Mermaid” with so much more depth and adventure than the original movie had. With more characters, conflicts and an entire world to explore, Miller does a fantastic job setting up all the pieces for this story.
The beginning of the story sets the stage for the beginning of the movie. It is nearing Prince Eric’s 18th birthday and he does not have a maiden in line to marry.
The twist, however, is that Eric is cursed. He will immediately die if he kisses anyone that is not his true love. He has two choices to make, find his true love with a pure heart and a voice to match or kill the witch that cursed him in the first place. However, he has made no progress in the search for either and he is running out of time, as conflict with a neighboring kingdom threatens his land and people.
“Prince of Song and Sea” gives more adventure to the tale of “The Little Mermaid” through the world building Miller created. Pirates, ghost ships and political affairs are all conflicts that Eric must face in between finding his true love, the witch that cursed him and figuring out the mystery behind the girl with no voice that washed up on shore.
With new adventures mixed in with old, this book mixes childhood nostalgia and unique storytelling that allows the reader to solve the mystery along with Eric. Each conflict is connected in some way and each obstacle relates to the last. It is like a puzzle to the reader, as the story goes on each piece gets put into place to create a beautiful picture. It is rewarding and exciting for the reader to watch the pieces fall into place as the story goes on.
Not only does the added world building create a more immersive read, but it adds more character to Eric. Now the prince is more than a handsome face for Ariel to fall in love with; he has his own personal journey to follow.
Eric’s curse recontextualizes beloved scenes from the original movie, having Eric believe that the “mystery girl” that saved him from the shipwreck is his true love that will break his curse while still falling for Ariel along the way. This creates an internal conflict throughout the book and leaves the reader to wonder how or when Eric lets go of “true love” and follow his heart.
“Prince of Song and Sea” is a phenomenal read, with great characters and a breathtaking story. It is easy to fall into the world in the words. This is a remarkable read for any Disney fan looking for a new perspective on a beloved film.