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Headscratchers / The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea

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  • Why exactly does neither Tip nor Dash recognize King Triton as the King of the sea? He is literally the king of 70% of the earth. It makes a sense a human who has been deliberately locked away from the sea has never heard of him, but they are surrounded by fish and merpeople all the time. How can they not possibly know who lives in the giant sea palace?
    • They aren't surrounded by fish and merpeople all the time. They live in the Arctic or Antarctic waters, and the only other sea creatures we see them interact with before meeting Melody are a bunch of other penguins and a shark. Atlantica is located much further to the south/north.
  • With regards to the ridiculous rule about banning the ocean, if Ariel knew she was going to miss Triton so much, why didn't he just appoint Attina (his oldest daughter) the new ruler of Atlantis, transform himself into a human and live with Ariel, Eric, and Melody?
    • Just because Triton will miss his daughter doesn't mean he's going to give up his responsibility as the king. He knows he has an important job. And he may not be sure of Attina's leading ability.
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    • That idea is just too stupid. The best he could do to is to stay in contact with his daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter by using his magic to create a communication sound in a shell. That way, once they've captured/killed Morgana, they will be informed ASAP and Melody will be able to safely visit her grandfather whenever she wants. Unless it's possible for Ursula to return one of these days, but not as herself...
    • Plus, even though he's accepted humans, that doesn't mean he wants to become human himself.
    • This question also presumes that Triton would miss Ariel more than he would the six daughters he leaves behind to go and live with her. It’s not very easy for a parent to make a decision like that.
  • Why didn't Ariel and Eric just tell Melody why she couldn't go into the sea? Not only would Melody know why they have a giant wall, but then she'd know that there is a threat out there, and wouldn't be putting herself in danger everyday by going into the sea, and not knowing. If they kept the locket at the beginning (or told Melody when she found it), she'd believe them. Is it because they don't trust her with the truth? They seem to trust everyone else in the kingdom to keep a secret, so they should with their own daughter, especially since this whole thing concerns her.
    • Would you be comfortable telling a child that someone powerful and dangerous wants to kill them? Maybe they hoped Triton would find Morgana before they had to give Melody the news.
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    • Ariel didn't even know that Melody wanted to go into the sea so badly until she found her with the locket. Then, right after the argument they have about it, Ariel immediately regrets it and decides that she'll tell Melody everything at the next opportunity, because "it's time I trusted her." The problem is that Melody shipped off to Morgana's just before Ariel could find her and explain it.
  • When Morgana had the trident in her hands,why didn't she use its power to achieve One-Winged Angel and grow into a giant enemy monster version of herself like her sister did before???
    • Maybe because it’d be idiotic and stupid to try that when she already knows how it worked for Ursula??? Growing herself to a gigantic size also makes her a gigantic target — any other benefits are ones the trident can compensate for on its own. Plus, the film establishes that, with the exception of Eric and Melody, all of her enemies are confined to the water. She builds herself a huge ice fortress so she can attack them from the high ground where they can’t reach her.
      • Well, that and she hates her sister. She would never do something that Ursula did.
  • Another one. Sure,Morgana's ultimate punishment was a Fate Worse than Death combined with And I Must Scream, but, wouldn't it have been better to blow her up to tiny squid bits to get rid of her once for all?.What if some random idiot (or worse,another villain) finds her and releases her from her icy prison?
    • How is anyone going to release her, though? She sank to the bottom of the ocean right off the coast of Antarctica, while frozen inside a block of ice. Even if someone manages to swim down there and find that needle in a haystack, I’d love to see them thaw her out without the trident. Don’t you know how cold it gets down there?
    • And even if someone could thaw her out, for what reason would they want to? She doesn’t have anything to offer them. Her only magic is apparently what she got from her sister, and she had to rely on a tiny fish, two stingrays, and a naive 12-year-old to do everything for her when she was alive. If someone desires her extremely minimal resources, then it’s better to leave her where she is and take them from her unguarded lair, assuming Triton didn’t destroy it at the end of the movie.
  • Similar to one of the above questions, how did Ariel conclude keeping Melody ignorant of her heritage was best? Not allowing her into the sea is one thing, but where was the harm in telling her about Ariel's origins?
    • She probably thought knowing mermaids existed would make her want to go in the ocean more, since it'd effectively be telling her there's an entire country full of sentient beings who love swimming as much as she does. Or she might be worried Melody will notice the Generation Xerox and think she's a hypocrite. There's also the possibility the knowledge there are other beings down there will make her view the ocean as safer than she should (e.g. "I'll be fine; the mermaids will protect me").
    • Especially since Melody is only turning 12 when the main plot of the film takes place. It's implied that Ariel may have told her some stories about Atlantica when she was younger (Melody mentions she always regarded them as "just an old fish tale"), but she may have feared telling her anymore than that because 1.) putting that much strain on a young child isn't exactly the best thing to do, and 2.) many young children can be quite difficult to reason with, and Melody was already pretty headstrong as a preteen. It's probably that, if Morgana continued to elude capture, Ariel and Eric had plans to tell Melody the truth when she was old enough to understand and take it in. (Eric even says before Melody runs away that he and Ariel had known that this day would come, meaning they clearly did anticipate having to tell her and were just waiting for the right time to do it.)
    • They also may've become worried at some point that if they told Melody she was descended from actual mer-people, she straight-up wouldn't believe them. They probably didn't expect her to become so enamored with the sea when she was just a baby, and by the time she had developed a thorough interest in it, she could've written off the "mermaid" explanation as them making something up to keep her out of the water.
    • Let's not forget that Melody had spent years in the dark not knowing about her heritage. If they had said something, she might have blown up big and gotten real angry with her parents for keeping her in the dark for so long, and ran off out of spite. That would have left her even more easy to manipulate, and Ariel knows a bit about that all too well...
  • Melody's argument with her mother and Morgana over the trident seems quite odd to me...I can understand why she's upset with Ariel on a personal level, but as far as Melody knows, Ariel had no role to play in the "theft" of the trident from Morgana, so Melody really shouldn't have been using it as a means of payback for lying to her. To add to that, Ariel never once tries to explain why the trident really is personal to her, instead opting to merely shout about how Morgana is lying without ever explaining the underlying reason for this.
    • The Trident is, metaphorically, the ultimate way of sticking it to Ariel because it's going to get Melody what she wants, and what she knows Ariel has been keeping her from: The sea. Giving it to Ariel means going back to her normal life, no matter if the trident is stolen or not. It is a valid means of payback because this anger at Ariel would have never been if Ariel had told the truth from the beginning. As Melody says, "it's too late" for apologizing and revealing the truth now that it's already been exposed. It is a personal issue for Melody regardless of whether the Trident truly is Morgana's because in her head, whoever she hands it to will determine the future of her life. On one hand, the woman who has lied to her her whole life, or a woman who has given her everything she wanted.
    • It's still incredibly foolish for both of them in that A.) as far as Melody knows, Ariel has no connection to the trident, so it should occur to her to ask why she wants it so badly, and B.) Ariel never simply tells Melody that Triton is her grandfather and that she was trying to keep her safe from Morgana all those years. Also, parents keep things from their kids all the time - it's just an incredibly stupid move for Melody to trust a complete stranger over her own mother.
    • Melody thought that Ariel wanted the trident because it was the only way that Melody would be able to remain a mermaid forever, and she gave it to Morgana because she thought she would hold out her end of the bargain. She trusted Morgana because she'd led her to believe that she was helping Melody just out of the goodness of her heart, turned Melody into a mermaid without asking for anything in return, and only wanted the trident because it was rightfully hers and the only way she could make the spell permanent. (And she was stoking Melody's anger at her mother besides, telling her how upset she should be over being lied to.) As for Ariel, she was probably about to tell her that Morgana was the problem, but her explanation was cut short because Melody refused to listen and just handed the trident to Morgana.
    • Don't forget that Ariel swims into the scene, and this is the first time Melody has seen her as a mermaid. So in addition to the other lies, she's found out that her mother was a mermaid herself too. So having been presented with another lie her mother gave her, she opts to believe Morgana, who has appeared to be more trustworthy. Don't forget that Melody is only twelve, and has just found out that her entire life is a lie. For all she knew, Ariel could have had the power to make her a mermaid too and refused to do so.
  • The beginning of the movie shows that Melody can hold her breath for extremely lengthy amounts of time underwater, and even talk - why is there even an issue when she transforms back into a human later on?
    • There's a BIG difference between "holding your breath for a long time" and "holding your breath indefinitely". The former just means you'll take longer to die.
    • True, but she was only underwater for a few minutes in the end before Tip and Dash rammed through the ice and saved her.
    • Assuming Melody is an average human, she could only hold her breath for about a minute. Tip and Dash took FIVE minutes to return to Morgana's lair. Melody died.
    • It may have been a few minutes in film time, but in-universe time it was likely longer, hence why she fell unconscious.
    • And in the beginning, she's only swimming recreationally. When she turns back into a human, she's very aware that she's not going to be able to surface and that she's made a balls of the situation. A panicked twelve-year-old might not be able to hold their breath very long in such a situation.
    • Also, Melody was never shown to speak under water prior to becoming a mermaid?
    • Near the beginning of the movie, she's swimming around on the surface as she asks Sebastian why her mother doesn't like the ocean.
  • Why does Triton tell Sebastian to watch over Melody? I thought Sebastian was supposed to be a court composer; why would he be appointed what amounts to a babysitter for 12 years? Also, in the last film, he didn't even come to Triton about what Ariel had done until it was obvious that Ursula was working to rig the deal, so why would Triton want to put him in charge of similar circumstances again?
    • Sebastian was only made court composer shortly before the events of the first film (remember, music had been outlawed in Atlantica for years). Up until that point, Sebastian was the "Chief of staff" while Marina Del Ray was the glorified babysitter of Trident's daughters. When she was imprisoned, it seems Sebastian took over all three roles. Babysitter, Chief of Staff, and Composer. As for why Triton trusts him, Sebastian DID come to him when they found out Ursula wasn't playing fair by attempting to marry Eric. Sebastian put heart over duty by allowing Ariel to chase her dreams as opposed to living in misery, but when things got out of hand, he contacted Triton immediately, so Triton trusts him to do what is right for Melody regardless of what Ariel or himself thinks.
    • I don't think Sebastian would have been in the mood to go right back into babysitting a rebellious teen, especially as he spent many years watching over one already. Every crab has his limits.
  • When Melody transforms into a mermaid only the top of her outfit is there and it is shorter exposing her belly button but when she returns to normal her bloomers appear and her shirt is now the same length as they were before and are combined now.
    • Perhaps Morgana is simply better at transforming spells than Ursula was. She can do flesh and fabric.
    • Melody's top doesn't actually change at all - the ruffle trim is actually the waistline on her pants, explaining why it disappears when she's a mermaid. If you pay attention during the climax, there's a shot during the struggle with Morgana where Melody's midriff is exposed, showing that her pants just have a really high waistline.
  • This isn't something that stuck out to me until I'd rewatched the scene as an adult, but why does Morgana hold Ariel captive in her tentacles after getting the trident from Melody? She doesn't really hold any bad blood with her. It's not as if Ariel knows some secret to defeating Morgana that she has to keep her from revealing. And she's never used as a hostage to make Eric or King Triton back off. (Which would be pointless anyway, since Morgana has the trident and can make them back off.) I think the only relevance this has is that it allows Ariel to be there to save Eric when he gets pulled underwater, which they could have had her do as she was escaping the ice cave if she'd been left with Melody. What was the point to having her get captured?
  • Another thing I don't understand: Ariel told Melody stories about Atlantica as she was growing up, but didn't mention anything about King Triton or his magic, not-stolen trident?
    • Melody says Ariel claimed they were only "old fish tales". Ariel likely didn't tell her anything true and just embellished the stories to entertain her daughter.
  • Why didn't Sebastian go after Melody when she took the rowboat and ran away? He stays behind only to tell Ariel and Eric that she's out on the open sea, when they probably would've put the pieces together themselves before long. If he'd stuck with Melody, he could've talked her into going home or at least warned her about trusting Morgana. And even if he'd wanted to alert her parents, he could've just sent some other sea creature to tell them in his place.

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