Ursula is the main antagonist of Disney’s 1989 animated film The Little Mermaid. Also known as the Sea Witch, a Cecaelia, meaning she is a half-woman, half-octopus. Ursula is known for striking deals with merfolk with the promise to make their dreams come true, but there is always a catch and a price to pay. Now that we’ve covered exactly who she is, let’s see if Ursula is related to Ariel and King Triton.
Ursula is not related to Ariel and King Triton. Ursula did live in the royal palace at one point in her life, but she isn’t related to any of the royal family, and that is all we know about her time in the palace. She had family ties to King Triton and Ariel, but that was only in the pre-production draft of the story of the animated film.
In this article, we will discuss everything there is to know about Ursula. We will see who she is, and how she is connected to Ariel and her father, King Triton. Also, did you know that in the Broadway adaptation of The Little Mermaid some family relationships are very different?
Who is Ursula?
The Sea witch, Ursula wasn’t always the main antagonist of the film. In the first drafts, taking inspiration from the original fairytale, the writers wanted to set up humankind as the main antagonist. She is one of the most iconic villains of all time. She is known for her iconic look, she is half-woman, half-octopus. But, in the beginning, the illustrator sought inspiration from sea creatures like manta rays and scorpion fish, before they finally settled on an octopus. Did you know that Ursula only has six tentacles?
This is due to the studio’s budget and difficulty in coordinating eight tentacles (though she has eight limbs if you include her arms). Her skin is light lavender and short white hair. And her look is completed with striking makeup- aqua blue eye shadow, deep red lipstick, and red nails, and for jewelry, she wears purple shell earrings and a gold nautilus shell necklace. She has a human alter-ego in the animated film, Vanessa, who hypnotizes Eric and almost marries him. Vanessa is an example of an anti-Disney princess. She is beautiful and has long brown hair, but she is evil and mean.
After a long casting process, Pat Carroll is chosen to voice this wicked villain, and to quote her she envisioned the character as “part Shakespearean actress, with all the flair, flamboyance and theatricality, and part used-car salesman with a touch of a con artist.” So, what are her powers and abilities in the film? Ursula can brew various potions to create various spells, including mass transfer as well as physically altering people’s bodies, as evidenced by her transforming Ariel into a human, as well as her own transformation into Vanessa and Ursula.
The Sea Witch is capable of generating storms and may have electrokinetic abilities even prior to gaining the trident, since storm clouds were generated the very second the sunset on the third day, and she utilized lightning bolts from the storm clouds to transform back into her original form. Additionally, she has superhuman strength. But, her most dangerous ability is ability was her ability to turn people into polyps should they fail to fulfill their end of the. It’s also implied in the film that she can absorb their souls while transforming them into polyps, making herself more powerful in the process.
How is Ursula connected to Ariel and King Triton?
There is reasonable doubt when it comes to the family connections between Ursula, Ariel, and King Triton because at the begging of the production the creative team had very different ideas about these characters. Let’s refresh our memories, Ariel the youngest daughter of seven daughters of King Triton. King Triton rules over all merfolk who live in Atlantica.
He has superhuman strength, durability, and speed among other things. He has a very special weapon, the Trident, that has the power to turn merpeople into humans, and the power of lightning itself, but only in the hands of the current monarch of the royal bloodline of Atlantica. In the movie, he and Ursula meet at the end, when he trades his soul for Ariel. He is turned into a polyp and thus, loses his crown and trident, but after Ursula is defeated, he is restored to his true form and regains both his crown and his trident, as well as his regal status. Next, Ariel is one of the most beloved Disney princesses, she is known for her beautiful voice, red hair, and weird haircare routine.
She has a strained relationship with her father because he doesn’t approve of her admiring the human race. But, in the end, they resolve their differences and defeat Ursula together. Ariel’s relationship with Ursula is well-known. After Ariel wandered into Ursula’s lair, she made a bargain with her. In exchange for her voice, Ariel will become a human for three days, during which she must get a kiss of true love from Eric before the sun sets on the third day. If she succeeds, she will remain human permanently, but should she fail, she will turn back into a mermaid and will belong to Ursula forever.
By the end of the movie, Prince Eric helps Ariel finish off Ursula by plunging the splintered bow of one of the shipwrecks through her abdomen.
And let’s look at the theories regarding their family ties. In the earlier drafts of the script, Ursula was supposed to be Triton’s sister, making her Ariel’s aunt. This was confirmed by the creators of the animated film. Plus, this sibling relationship is still present in the Broadway adaptation of the animated film of the same name, for some reason they never changed it. In the musical adaptation Ursula says she has six sisters, and one brother, King Triton. But, King Triton and Ursula’s sibling relationship was removed from the movie and it was finally cut out when the TV series, sequel, and prequel appeared- so this is canon.
Also, there are a lot of people who say they remember them being siblings in the film, and they are saying this is another case of the Mandela effect. Even though King Triton and Ursula are not siblings, there is a very solid theory about what could have happened between them. Ursula could be King Triton’s older sister, and when the time of succession came, Ursula being older, wanted to assume the throne.
But, Triton as the only male heir, became king of Atlantica. Ursula maybe couldn’t accept the decision, maybe she even attempted a coup, so she was kicked out of the castle and the kingdom. Ever since she has been plotting her revenge and finding a way to steal King Triton’s crown and trident- perfectly fitting in with the story of The Little Mermaid.