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In Shrek 2, Dama Fortuna (the Fairy Godmother) gets out fairy tales with happy endings without ogres. But one of them is The Little Mermaid. Is she aware that it has a sad ending of the Prince marrying another Princess and NOT the Mermaid? What gives?

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    You are aware that The Little Mermaid ends with Ariel and Eric marrying right? – TheLethalCarrot Jul 11 '18 at 9:03
  • Perhaps she thinks that an ending without a mermaid is a happy ending by definition. Doesn't explain what this has to do with ogres though. (Unless she thinks of mermaids as sea ogres or something.) – Cadence Jul 11 '18 at 9:15
  • It's not ogres and mermaid, it's about ogres and fairy tales in general. The point of Fairy Godmother is that ogres don't belong in fairy tales or at least are represented as the "bad guys". – Goufalite Jul 11 '18 at 11:00
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    @TheLethalCarrot: It depends on whether you're looking at the original story or one of the adaptations. In Hans Christian Anderson's original story, she is indeed jilted and kills herself to become sea foam. – FuzzyBoots Jul 11 '18 at 14:30
  • @FuzzyBoots Aye had forgotten that until the answer was posted... – TheLethalCarrot Jul 11 '18 at 14:34
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The Fairy Godmother is Prince Charming's mother. She firmly believes her prince should marry Princess Fiona.

As you say, in the original Hans Christian Andersen version of "The Little Mermaid", the mermaid fails to marry the prince. If she’d gained the love of the prince, she’d also have gained a soul and avoided becoming foam on the waves. Instead, she’s released from her broken heart as she dies, such is her happy ending. The prince, however, marries a princess.

In the Disney version, Ariel is clearly a princess, being one of the daughters of Triton. In the end, she marries a prince.

If anything, I think this particular example of a happy ending is left deliberately ambiguous, maybe for humour. Those who are thinking Disney look no further than mermaid princess marrying prince for their happy ending. Those who think Anderson can see that the Fairy Godmother is ruthless enough to dispose of Shrek (the non-human fairytale character) so that her prince can marry the princess, as is proper in fairytales(!).

  • I like this interpretation that the meaning is left ambiguous. Explaining it the war you have done has shown, me at least, that the example works in both cases +1 – TheLethalCarrot Jul 11 '18 at 9:52
  • Thanks @TheLethalCarrot! – Pam Jul 11 '18 at 10:09
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    It’s been a very long time since I read Han Christian Andersen’s version (or saw the Disney version, for that matter), but “avoids becoming foam on the waves when she dies”? Isn’t foam exactly what she does become? – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jul 11 '18 at 20:04
  • Thanks @JanusBahsJacquet, I’ve edited to correct. I must have misremembered a somewhat happier ending. – Pam Jul 11 '18 at 21:13
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    (And I just realised I placed the poor author of the story in a galaxy far, far away in my previous comment… oops!) – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jul 11 '18 at 21:36
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The Shrek franchise is a big parody of general fairy tales but especially Disney movies. For example, when Donkey flies due to pixie dust, everybody in the crowd says "he can fly!", as the song in Peter Pan.

In the "real" story of The Little Mermaid, Ariel vanishes into the sea, but in Disney's version, Ariel and Eric defeat Ursula and live happily ever after. They even end up getting married:

  • Added a YouTube clip of the ending to back up your point. – TheLethalCarrot Jul 11 '18 at 9:16
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    And, apparently, walking around on legs - on human legs! - doesn't feel like "walking on knives" in the Disney movie. – RDFozz Jul 11 '18 at 17:22

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