ByAllanah Faherty, writer at
Senior staff writer | Twitter: @allanahfaherty | Email: [email protected]
Allanah Faherty

We've all heard the theories about the Disney universe being connected, but today to celebrate the 55th birthday of Ariel herself (a.k.a her voice actress, Jodi Benson) we have one to blow all others out of the water. Literally.

Are you ready? One of the mermaids in Peter Pan was Ariel's mother.

Bare with me on this one guys, I know it sounds farfetched, but Reddit user ghtw3 suggested it and I have to say, the evidence is all there. Let's dive inside this sucker.

They look very similar

Left: mermaid from Peter Pan, Right: Ariel [Disney]
Left: mermaid from Peter Pan, Right: Ariel [Disney]

Visually, the mermaid from Peter Pan looks very similar to Ariel, especially her long red hair. In the 2008 film The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning we saw Ariel's mother, Athena, at the very beginning, shortly before she died. This is what she looked like:

Ariel's mom, Athena [Disney]
Ariel's mom, Athena [Disney]

Pretty similar right? The same red hair and her tail is even blue like the mermaid in Peter Pan. She has a necklace and a crown in Ariel's Beginning, but this could be explained by her marriage to King Triton, becoming royalty, and having access to more jewels.

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The dates add up

The mermaids in Peter Pan [Disney]
The mermaids in Peter Pan [Disney]

Or at least the dates the movies were released. The Little Mermaid was released in 1989, when Ariel was 16 years old, placing her birth year around 1973. Peter Pan was released in 1953, and the red headed mermaid might be about aged around 16 herself, making her 36 in 1973, the year Ariel was born.

We never learned the name of the mermaid in Peter Pan

Ariel and her six sisters [Disney]
Ariel and her six sisters [Disney]

The mermaids in Mermaid Lagoon were never specifically named, so the red head may well be called Athena, which we know was the name of Ariel's mother. One Reddit user also pointed out that considering Ariel is the youngest of all seven children, it's possible that Athena could have lived a double life; giving birth to all Ariel's sisters and traveling back and forth between Atlantica and Mermaid Lagoon to hang out with Peter Pan, all the while still raising her children.

Athena's death is very concidental

The boat that killed Athena [Disney]
The boat that killed Athena [Disney]

In The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning we met Ariel's mother, Athena, however, she was sadly killed by pirates invading the cove where she and her family (including Ariel) were relaxing. Given that the only real trouble for the mermaids in Peter Pan is the threat of Captain Hook. Could Athena's crushing by pirate ship be linked to Captain Hook?

But the mermaid from Peter Pan hated mortals, and Ariel fell in love with one?

This is the most interesting part of the whole theory. If Ariel's mother was the mermaid from Peter Pan, why is Ariel so intrigued by humans?

In Peter Pan, the mermaids actively try to get Wendy, who they know cannot swim, into the water so they can drown her. The mermaids were known to dislike mortals near their turf and were jealous of any other girl seen with Peter. On the other hand, Ariel wished that she could be "part of that world." Considering her mother was killed by mortals, this would seem a little weird except for one thing - her age. Ariel's love for the human world was largely driven by in her teenage rebellion against what her parents told her. We've all been teenagers and we've all ignored what our parents told us, why would a 16-year-old mermaid be any different?


Do you think this theory has legs?

Source: Reddit


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