Everybody all knows about Hans Christian Andersen's story of "The Little Mermaid" which has given a great impact on cinema. One of the most prominent films with a mermaid is Disney's 1989 "The Little Mermaid." Though it has been claimed as one of the greatest mermaid films, I believe that another film that should be recognized for that title is Ron Howard's 1984 film, "Splash," starring Tom Hanks, Daryl Hannah, John Candy, and Eugene Levy.
Splash - Trailer YouTube
Even though I am a Disney fan, if someone asks me which I prefer, "The Little Mermaid" or "Splash," I would choose "Splash" all the way. Here are five reasons why.
1. The mermaid looks so realistic
Although Ariel is drawn on paper and in 2D animation which is impressive but I think what is more impressive is Daryl Hannah's character as Madison, is able to portray a mermaid realistically with a heavy mermaid tail in the film. It is not easy, especially she has to wear the heavy mermaid tail under water. However, throughout the film, she is able to swim perfectly through the roaring waters and shine through like a natural mermaid. There are no strings attached either. This has to be the most realistic mermaid that I have ever seen compared to other live-action mermaid films that we have today.
2. The protagonist is down to earth
Allen Bauer (portrayed by Tom Hanks) is not a prince like Prince Eric but he is a nice and hardworking boss of a food company. He also has a great relationship with his brother, Freddie Bauer (portrayed by John Candy), but his relationship with women doesn't last long though. This is a relatable character and a character that you should cheer for throughout the film. However, after meeting Madison, Allen changes and matures more. He then learns the real meaning of true love which means the acceptance of everything about the person he loves, even if she is a mermaid. He too also learns about sacrifices that Madison makes for him and what he should do for Madison. From this character, one can learn never to give up hope and that sacrifices are also important when loving somebody.
3. The villain has a heart
Unlike Ursula, the villain in "Splash," Walter Kornbluth (portrayed by Eugene Levy) turns good towards the end. Even though he has exposed Madison as a mermaid, but all he really wants is that everyone to see that he is not crazy and that there is a real mermaid. He did not want the money nor the fame. He even gets upset when he hears that Madison is going to be dissected for research by the lab scientists after her capture. Walter then argues with the scientists to consider the specimen's feelings. After being confronted by Allen, Walter apologizes and aids him and Freddie to save Madison. He even leads Allen and Madison to the sea, bids them good luck, and tries to stop the military that is going to catch them. He teaches me that there is a still a human heart and good side within everybody.
4. The underwater kiss is romantic
One of the most stunning scenes of the whole movie that has captured my heart is the underwater kiss. When Allen drowns in the water to try to help Madison from their captors, Madison quickly swims towards him and kisses him. With the kiss, this grants Allen the ability to swim and breathe underwater. This becomes one of my favorite scenes of the film. The directing of this scene has beautifully captured the kiss. Madison's blonde hair gleams nicely with the light and flows lovely underwater as Allen, whose eyes closed with passion, holds Madison tightly, who represents the love that he doesn't want to let go, especially it is the only one love that one can rarely get out of the whole sea.
Or another way to say, there is no other fish in the sea for Allen but Madison. The scene feels so pure to me and therefore, I have deemed this Underwater Kiss scene to be one of most memorable and beautiful kisses that I ever watch in cinema. This is also a scene that even Disney's "The Little Mermaid" does not have.
5. Allen and Madison's love for each other is #goals
Their love for each other did not happen during a few days like in Disney's "The Little Mermaid." Apparently, Allen and Madison actually saw each other when they are very small. Though it can be seen as love at first sight, Allen and Madison have been waiting to see each other for very a long time. Then, when they grow up and see other again, it becomes the most wonderful moment of the film. Oblivious to Allen, Madison knows deeply that they have reunited. They have greatly captured a nice, summer love story to watch. We even see that Madison has sacrificed her necklace that she has for a very long time to buy the fountain that Allen admires. Moreover, Madison, after a dispute with Allen, has a choice to go back to the sea but no, she chooses to stay with Allen on land because she loves him so much. When she gets exposed as a mermaid, she gets really upset when Allen does not want to go near her. However, Allen learns that it should not matter if she is a mermaid and what matters is that he loves her.
Towards the end, Madison confesses to Allen that she was the little girl that he has seen underwater when they are young, which makes Allen very happy after knowing that it wasn't a dream at all. In addition, Allen who is given the choice to go with Madison, chooses to stay on land and let Madison, who respects and understands his decision, escape back to the sea. Surprisingly, Allen who sees Madison, waving goodbye and the captors coming to her, he decides to go to her and save her. She even helps Allen get over his fear of water and he learns how to swim because of her kiss.
After defeating their captors and left, Allen lives happily ever after with Madison by swimming towards Madison's home, supposedly a castle where all the mer-people lives. With this scene to conclude this story, a heavenly song called, "Love Came For Me" by Rita Coolidge plays which captures the completeness of this special underwater love story. This is way different from Disney's "The Little Mermaid" which consists of Ariel to change as a human for Eric and lives with him on land. This makes me feel encouraged that love will come when I am ready and that there is someone out there for me. Also, this shows that girls do not need to change at all and be ourselves, which is shown when Madison who still stays as a mermaid and Allen loves her the way she is and goes with her unlike Disney's "The Little Mermaid."
After watching "Splash," this is indeed a real love that we girls should idolize instead, which is the boy should love a girl completely for who she is and show her that she doesn't need to change for him and that she just needs to be her true self just like Allen and Madison have demonstrated to us. To conclude, this is why I prefer "Splash" over Disney's "The Little Mermaid."