Why DreamWorks’ Disdain for ‘The Little Mermaid’

Disney vrs DreamWorks

“Why Ariel from ‘The Little Mermaid’ Has Unlikely Critics: DreamWorks Animation”

Ariel, the iconic Disney Princess from “The Little Mermaid,” is beloved by fans worldwide for her bravery, kindness, and captivating personality. Generations of children have looked up to this spirited red-headed princess, and with the release of a new live-action adaptation on May 26, her popularity is set to grow even more. However, amid the widespread adoration for Ariel, there’s an unlikely source of criticism, and it comes from none other than DreamWorks Animation.

This peculiar critique of Ariel is rooted in a long-standing rivalry between Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” and DreamWorks Animation. The feud dates back to the 1980s when production of “The Little Mermaid” was in its early stages. At that time, Jeffrey Katzenberg, a highly regarded film producer, was working for Walt Disney Studios. Katzenberg was known for his talents but was openly critical of Disney’s plans for the film. He voiced concerns about an oversaturation of mermaid-themed movies in production and even took issue with Ariel’s distinctive red hair.

Much to Katzenberg’s chagrin, “The Little Mermaid” went on to become a monumental success. Nevertheless, his initial reservations about the red-headed mermaid remained a part of his legacy throughout his career. Eventually, Katzenberg left Walt Disney Studios to join DreamWorks Animation, a studio enjoying immense success with the “Shrek” franchise.

Ursula The Little Mermaid

In a clever move that added a playful twist to their rivalry, Katzenberg made a subtle jab at his former employer in “Shrek 2.” In one memorable scene from the film, Princess Fiona tosses a character who bears a striking resemblance to Ariel into the ocean. Fans of both studios quickly noticed the reference, turning it into an iconic moment in the film.

Now, it appears that DreamWorks Animation has taken another light-hearted swipe at Ariel with the release of their trailer for “Ruby Gillman: Teenage Kraken.” In this trailer, the film’s antagonist shares some noticeable similarities with Disney’s beloved mermaid princess. Notably, DreamWorks Animation released the “Teenage Kraken” trailer around the same time as Disney’s live-action “The Little Mermaid” trailer, fueling speculation that this amusing rivalry may never truly end.

fiona the little mermaid

The ongoing back-and-forth between the two animation studios adds a humorous and entertaining layer to their relationship, offering fans something to smile about in the world of animation. While Ariel continues to be cherished by audiences globally, it’s clear that even a beloved princess can’t escape a little friendly teasing from time to time.

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