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YMMV / The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea

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  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • For what faults it has, the movie does rectify one of the complaints levied at the original film, that being Ariel's decision to leave her home and family behind to marry a man she just met three days ago, and that this was treated as an acceptable thing to do. While Melody does demolish the wall that kept her family divided for so long, when presented with the same choice her mother was, her decision is to remain on land as a human, where her life, her parents, and her responsibilities ultimately are. The movie also shows that Ariel and her family kept in contact, and that it was fully possible for Ariel to turn back into a mermaid if she wanted to go home.
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    • Though it's a result of awfully convenient circumstances, Melody doesn't know about Morgana's less-than-savory reputation when she meets her like Ariel did Ursula's. Morgana reaches out to her when she's completely alone and plays upon her insecurities like a real manipulator would, making Melody look less foolish for choosing to trust her.
  • Awesome Music: "For A Moment", a Distant Duet between Ariel and Melody. Ariel's wish that she had shared her heritage with her daughter blends with Melody's sheer joy at being a mermaid. Both Jodie Benson and Tara Strong sing it beautifully.
  • Broken Base: Fan reaction to the film varies, with some considering it among the worst of the DTV Disney sequels, and others who feel that, while not holding a candle to the original, it is at least a decent film on its own.
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  • Contested Sequel: One of the most divisive Direct-to-Video sequels of Disney Animated Canon. People either enjoy it for being a fun movie, or detest it for being a watered down version of the original.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Undertow. It helps that he is voiced by Clancy Brown.
  • Fanfic Fuel: Some fans just love to write fan fiction to justify Morgana's Remember the New Guy? status.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Tara Strong's performance is the main attraction, due to her wonderful charm and enthusiasm bringing Melody to life. Melody is seen as one of the better sequel children that showed up in these movies, primarily because of Tara's performance.
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  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: While not to the degree of her mother, Melody is no slouch in the Toy Ships department. She mostly gets shipped with Jane from Return to Neverland, Peter Pan, Alice from Alice in Wonderland, or Jim from Treasure Planet.
  • Memetic Mutation: "Ursula's crazy sister!"
  • Moe: Melody, undoubtedly. Sounding like a younger Twilight Sparkle certainly helps.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Morgana either crossed it when she held a baby Melody over Undertow with the intention of letting him devour her or when she gloatingly left a teenage Melody to drown in an underwater cave, mockingly telling her that "her time as a mermaid has just about expired". In both cases, it shows that she's not above killing children. There's a reason she's known as Ursula's crazy sister.
  • Narm: Within the first couple minutes, Morgana crashes the heroes' party and abducts Melody. Sebastian's reaction is simply to shout "Ursula's crazy sister!" Not only does this forced exposition kill the drama a little bit, what with the Inherently Funny Words coming out of his mouth, but it more or less feels like the writers were outright admitting that Morgana's more or less a discount version of her sister. It's narm because this is meant to be a dramatic scene, what with Morgana, you know, kidnapping a baby and almost feeding it to a shark.
  • Never Live It Down: Ariel and Eric get a lot of flak for keeping Melody's mermaid heritage hidden from her and keeping her walled off from the sea, Ariel especially after her own experiences with an overprotective parent. Ignoring the differences between Ariel's situation and Triton's, Melody is only turning twelve when the film starts and is already shown to be at odds with obeying her parents' rules. Ariel and Eric admit that they planned on telling her eventually and were simply waiting until they thought she was mature enough to handle it. Plus, there was the matter of Morgana bargaining with Melody's life when she was a baby and trying to hunt her down for 12 years, so they do have every right to be overprotective.
  • Replacement Scrappy: For some fans Morgana for being a very blatant Suspiciously Similar Substitute of Ursula and her Remember the New Guy?'s status in the movie. In fact, others believe that the only reason Morgana was created is that Pat Carroll wanted to return for the sequel despite Ursula being long dead. The hate's recently died down due to Morgana's own threat factor, as well as the fact that there's a strong implication of Parental Favoritism in regards to her family life, giving her a bit more to her than someone like Sarousch.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
  • Sequelitis: Although reception of the film has warmed somewhat in recent years, general consensus is that it can’t quite measure up to the first one.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: While the film's quality is up for debate, Tara Strong puts so much effort in that she's near-universally loved in the part of Melody — even by people who dislike the rest of the movie.
  • Vindicated by History: Poorly received by fans and critics at first, but is now getting a following of its own by the middle of The New '10s. Still a Broken Base, but the love is getting stronger.
  • The Woobie:
    • Melody. Her parents (especially her mother) forbade her from going into the sea without an exact reason. And because of her mermaid heritage which allows to do thing like speak to marine life, many of her peers thinks she weird and this leads to her being publicly humiliated at her 12th birthday party, leaving in tears. Gets into an argument with her mother about the locket and why she can't go out to sea and then runs away. She's tricked by Morgana into stealing from her own grandfather and is trapped in a block of ice until the spell keeping her as a mermaid wears off, which nearly drowned her. This girl needs a hug.
    • Ariel also counts due to having to keep her daughter away from the sea because of a madwoman who tried to use her as a bargaining chip. She had to keep her hidden for twelve years, and Morgana still found a way to get to her. She was essentially put into the same position Triton was all that time ago, not long after Melody's birth.

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