Why is Ariel’s voice magic in The Little Mermaid? Mythologically, sailors believed mermaids were also sirens: ocean-dwelling seductresses who would use their voices to lure men to jump overboard to their deaths.
In The Little Mermaid, the mythos of mermaids and sirens plays more of a role in this live-action Disney remake than it did in the original animated movie. In this 2023 movie, mermaid voices and their ‘songs’ are shown to have magical qualities — this is what leads to Disney villain Ursula taking Ariel’s voice and honing its power in a seashell necklace. So, here’s what you need to know about Ariel’s powers and Ursula’s necklace in The Little Mermaid.
Why is Ariel’s voice magic?
As a mermaid, Ariel has several supernatural gifts, one of them being her siren song.
When she rescues Eric from drowning, she ends up singing to him, and inadvertently uses her siren song on him while he’s partly conscious. This leads to him being haunted by her voice, and is determined to track down the woman who rescued him (unaware that it’s Ariel).
Ursula’s necklace explained
The necklace Ursula and ‘Vanessa’ wear is the enchanted shell that Ursula uses to capture Ariel’s voice.
This means that, in the Disney movie, the necklace has supernatural qualities. As part of her deal with Ursula to get her legs, Ariel sings her siren song into the shell. This, in turn, means that the shell hones the same power as Ariel’s siren song, which is how Ursula is able to bewitch Eric as ‘Vanessa.’ By wearing the necklace and utilizing Ariel’s siren song, Eric is placed under a form of mind control.
So, that’s why Ariel’s voice is magic and why Ursula’s shell necklace is so important. For more on the underwater kingdom, check out our guides on The Little Mermaid live-action cast, The Little Mermaid soundtrack, The Little Mermaid 2 release date, and how to watch The Little Mermaid.
You can also check out what other new movies are coming this year or stick with the classics with our guide to the best movies of all time.