Myths and Legends Pop Culture

Aquamarine (2006)

Official Aquamarine Theatrical Poster. The film starred Sara Paxton as Aquamarine, Emma Roberts as Claire, and JoJo as Hailey.

Aquamarine is a fun, light-hearted, warm, romantic, spirited comedy for all ages. Aquamarine is based on the Young Adult best-selling novel written by Alice Hoffman.

The screenplay for Aquamarine was written by  John Quaintance and Jessica Bendinger. The film was was  directed by Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum (credited as Elizabeth Allen).

Aquamarine is about two pre-teens girls named Claire (Emma Roberts) and Hailey (JoJo) whose friendship is put to the test, when Hailey is making the final preparations for her move to Australia with her marine biologist mother. 

Claire (Emma Roberts), Aquamarine (Sara Paxton), and Hailey (JoJo) in the 20th Century Fox film Aquamarine

They have a slumber party and pray to the sea god that Hailey’s mom will change her mind about the move. Seconds later, a violent storm erupts and the girls think nothing of it. The next morning, the girls go to the beach club pool, where they see the destruction from the storm. Hailey, falls into the pool and sees a mysterious blue hair and silver tail in the water. They decide to explore later that night and astonished to discover a mermaid in the beach club pool.

The mermaid, introduces herself as Aquamarine (Sara Paxton) and she becomes fast friends with Hailey and Claire. Aquamarine conveys to the girls that she must prove to her father that love exists or she’ll be forced to marry a merman that she’s never met.Aquamarine seamlessly transforms into a human girl during the day and can remain that way, as long as she doesn’t get wet. At night, she reverts back to her mermaid form.

When Aquamarine meets Raymond (Jake McDorman), he rejects her advances. Hailey and Claire see how devastated Aquamarine is and makes it their mission for Raymond to fall in love with her. But their plans are thwarted by mean girl Cecilia (Arielle Kebbel), who also has a crush on Raymond and is constantly standing in the girl’s way.

At the street fair, Raymond spends some time with Aquamarine and asks her to go to The Last Splash party with him. Aquamarine is flattered, but leaves abruptly, not giving him an answer because it’s almost sunset and her legs will transform into a tail. Claire and Hailey find a water tower for Aquamarine to spend the night in, excited for Aquamarine’s date with Raymond the following night.

Aquamarine (Sara Paxton) and Raymond (Jake McDorman) in the film Aquamarine

But Cecilia has other plans. She goes to Raymond and tells him, that Aquamarine has a boyfriend in another town and invites Cecilia to the party instead. Hailey and Claire find Raymond and tell him that Cecilia is lying about Aquamarine, so he gets back together with Aquamarine.

Aquamarine and Raymond dance at the party and they become incredibly close. Unfortunately, Aquamarine can’t stay for long, since it’s almost sunset and she’ll transform back into a mermaid. She flees the party, leaving Raymond baffled about her abrupt departures.

Cecilia follows Aquamarine to the water tower and discovers that she’s a mermaid. Cecilia seeks out the press to expose Aquamarine and her secret to the world. Aquamarine, however, is one step ahead of her, the handyman Leonard helps Aquamarine and she grants him a wish.

Aquamarine (Sara Paxton) and Raymond (Jake McDorman) in Aquamarine

Cecilia is humiliated when she takes the press to the water tower and Aquamarine isn’t there. She swears that Aquamarine is a mermaid and will prove it.

The following day, Aquamarine asks Raymond if he loves her. He tells her that he likes her, but he doesn’t her. She’s devastated by his answer, and as luck would have it, Cecilia is nearby. She pushes Aquamarine into the sea and she turns into a mermaid. It doesn’t take long, for Aquamarine’s father to call her home with a great big storm. Hailey and Claire jump into the water, not wanting Aquamarine to leave. They find her on a  buoy, clearly defying her father’s orders to return home. Aquamarine tells Claire and Hailey that she had learned that love exists from their friendship and that she’s learned so much from them. This answer, is enough to prove to Aquamarine’s father, that love in fact exists.

As a form of gratitude, Aquamarine hands Hailey and Claire a starfish, so they could make a wish. Hailey changes her mind about using her wish to not move to Australia, knowing how hard her mother worked to get the new job. So instead, Claire, Hailey, and Aquamarine promise to always visit each other and to love one another forever. Aquamarine swims up to Raymond, in her mermaid form and he asks her when she’ll surface again. She tells him that she has to talk to her father about a few things and then she’ll return to him.

And finally, Aquamarine and Raymond share their happily ever after with a tender kiss.

Hans Christian Andersen Myths and Legends

The Myth of Ondine

Undine illustration by Arthur Rackham. The illustration is featured in Baro Friedrich De La Motte Fouque romance novella “Undine” that was published in 1811.

The myth of Ondine or Undine has been around for centuries, as far back as the Ancient Greece. Unda is Latin for “wave” or “water”.

The story of Ondine has been adapted and changed throughout the centuries, yet, astonishingly, key elements of the story has remained the same.

The story is of a young water nymph named Ondine who is beautiful and has an enchanting singing voice. Ondine is immortal, but doesn’t have a soul. The only way for Ondine to obtain one, is to marry a human, which would  then shorten her life, but she would gain a human soul.

Ondine falls in love with a human, and becomes human to be with him. If Ondine’s husband was to be unfaithful to her, he will die. She soon marries him, and bears him a mixed-breed child. Her child is born with a soul and has many aquatic attributes.

Ondine finds her husband with another woman and he soon dies.

This legendary story, would later inspire French author Baron Friedrich De La Motte Fouque and his novella of  Undine that was published in 1811. Years later, his version of the story,  would inspire the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen and his story, Den Lille Havfrue or The Little Mermaid and was published in 1837.

It’s truly incredible, that these mermaid myths and legends, never die. They adapt and change with the times. They are immortal and live on forever in our hearts and our minds.


Pop Culture

Splash (1984)

Official Splash movie poster, starring Tom Hanks as Allen Bauer and Daryl Hannah as Madison

 Splash was the first film produced by the Walt Disney Productions under Touchstone Pictures. Touchstone Pictures was created, so the Walt Disney Productions, could appeal to adult audiences, featuring more mature content and themes.

Splash was rated PG for brief scenes of nudity and profanity.

The film was written by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel and directed by Ron Howard. Splash starred Tom Hanks (Allen Bauer), Daryl Hannah (Madison), John Caddy (Freddie Bauer), and Eugene Levy (Dr.Walter Kornbluth).

Splash opens in 1964, eight year old Allen Bauer (David Creps) is aboard a tourist boat with his family in Cape Cod. He notices something shimmering in the water and dives in, even though he can’t swim. Young Allen is rescued by a mysterious, blonde haired little girl, who can breathe underwater. When Allen is pulled back up to the surface, he’s baffled about what he has seen and knows deep down, that he has a connection with whoever had saved him.

Flash forward to 1984. Allen (Tom Hanks) and his eldest brother Freddie (John Candy), own and run a wholesale vegetable fruit and vegetable warehouse. Allen is down on his luck with love. His girlfriend, breaks up with him over the phone and he is devastated and depressed. When Allen and Freddie attends a friend’s wedding, Freddie goes to Rio de Janeiro with two attractive women, while Allen gets drunk and returns to Cape Cod.

At Cape Cod, Allen boards a small boat with Dr. Walter Kornbluth (Eugene Levy), who is on the hunt for mermaids, unbeknownst to Allen and the other crew members. Allen falls into the water and is miraculously saved by an enthralling naked woman (Daryl Hannah) who takes him to shore. Allen pleads with the woman, to know more about her, but she runs off into the water without saying a word and transforms into a mermaid.

Official Promotional photo for Splash starring Daryl Hannah as Madison

The mermaid discovers Allen’s wallet in the water and goes through it to discover where he lives. New York. She winds up at the Statue of Liberty, naked and creates a lot of controversy at the historic landmark and is taken into custody.

It doesn’t take long, for Allen to get a call from NYPD regarding the girl and his wallet. The girl is released to Allen’s custody and the two share a passionate evening together.

The following morning, Allen leaves the girl for work and she entertains herself with T.V. and watches an advertisement for Bloomingdale’s. The girl leaves the apartment and asks the doorman to take her Bloomingdale’s, where she gets a new wardrobe, using Allen’s credit cards.

Allen’s mood at work, has transformed overnight. He’s happier and Freddie notices. Allen cannot wait to return to the apartment, to spend more time with the mysterious girl who had saved him. Upon returning home, he realizes that the girl is gone and the doorman informs him, that the girl went to Bloomingdale’s. He goes to the store, to discover that the girl can now talk and has a glamorous new wardrobe. He becomes curious, as to how she can suddenly talk and she explains she learned by watching the T.V.’s in the store’s electronic department. He asks her, what her name is, but she says it’s difficult to pronounce for most people.

As they walk home, Allen tries to think of a name to call the girl. They stop on Madison Avenue and she asks to be called Madison. He explains to her, that Madison isn’t a real name, but she insists that’s what she wants to be called and Allen complies. Madison, then explains to Allen, that she can only stay in New York for six days and that she can never come back to New York, even if she wanted too. So, Allen decides to take time off of work, to spend time with Madison. He buys her a small music box as a present, that fascinates her.

One day, when they’re alone together in the apartment, Madison decides to take a bath to spread her fins. Allen wakes up, not knowing where she went and soon discovers she’s in the bathroom. When he asks her to come in, she tells him, she’s fine. He insists she opens the door for him. Madison gets out of the bathtub with a loud thump and he becomes  even more concerned. Madison uses a towel and hair dryer to dry her tail, so it can quickly become a pair of legs. When Allen opens the door, he finds Madison with a towel wrapped her and she tells him once that she was ‘shy’. He is dumbstruck, uncertain of what had happened, since Madison wasn’t shy with all day. That evening, Allen and Madison, go for a walk and Allen stops, when he sees a mermaid foundation. He explains to Madison, that it reminds him of a memory that he had from childhood. He tells her, that they are removing the fountain to build condos and Madison is saddened by the news.  Madison purchases the fountain and surprises Allen with it. He’s shocked that it’s in his apartment.

The next day, Freddie tells Allen, that he somehow managed to get tickets to a formal dinner that the President of the United States will be attending. Freddie taunts Allen, telling him, that he’s in love with Madison, but Allen denies it, claiming that he has a strong connection with Madison and that is it.

Meanwhile, Dr.Kornbluth reads the paper and discovers that the mermaid that he saw is in New York. He tells his colleague Dr.York of his theory about the mermaid and when Dr.York isn’t so keen on the theory, Dr.Kornbluth is determined to prove him wrong and goes in search of the mermaid. He mistakes a couple, that appears like Madison and Allen twice and is beaten up by the couple for stalking them.

As time goes by, Allen becomes scared of losing Madison forever and proposes to her. She rejects his offer and is still very secretive about who she really is and where she comes from. Madison, runs away, only to return and accepts Allen’s proposal of marriage.

They attend the dinner and Madison turns to Allen, telling him that she is ready to tell him her secret, but she wants to tell him, away from the crowds. Allen gets eager and they go outside. Dr.Kornbuth sees Madison on the street with Allen and claims out in the open, that she’s a mermaid. He gets Madison soaked with a hose and she’s instantly transformed into a mermaid. Allen is confused, heartbroken, and betrayed, that the girl he loved all along was a mermaid. Madison tries to apologize, for not telling him sooner, that she’s a mermaid, but he is too distraught to listen to her.

Promotional Photo of Tom Hanks as Allen and Daryl Hannah as Madison in Splash

Allen and Madison are immediately taken to a top-secret facility for study. Allen is put in a tank and pressured to be a fish-man (merman).

After further research, they discover that Allen is just a normal human guy, but they keep Madison for study. Upon being released, Allen returns home, mobbed by the press. Allen confides in his brother, that he had found the girl of his dreams, but she ended up being half-fish…a mermaid. Freddie tells Allen that he was the happiest when he was with Madison and that he’s never felt that way about anyone before.

lDr. Kornbluth is back at the lab, explaining how he thinks Madison should be treated in her confined tank. Dr. Ross, whose in charge of Madison, tells Dr.Kornbluth that he plans on dissecting her for further study. Dr.Kornbluth is mortified and disgusted by the idea of harming the mermaid.

He has a chance meeting with Allen at the dentist and the two join forces and devise a plan to rescue Madison.

Freddie, Dr.Kornbluth, and Allen go to the Natural History Museum, where Madison is being held. The three men disguise themselves as Swedish scientists and rescue Madison from the lab. But it doesn’t take long, for them to be discovered. All four of them are chased by the police and the military, til they make it to Hudson River.

Madison and Allen find it difficult to say goodbye. She jumps into the water and Allen chases after her, still unable to swim. Madison grabs Allen by the hand and pulls him deep into the water with her.

Madison kisses Allen in the water and he is able to breathe underwater. Allen and Madison swim off to Madison’s magical kingdom and they both live happily ever after…under the sea.