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.


Disney's The Little Mermaid Hans Christian Andersen Pop Culture

The Little Mermaid Statue in Copenhagen, Denmark


The Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen, Denmark by Edvard Erichsen

The Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen, Denmark, pays homage to the story that put Copenhagen on the map. All thanks to fairy tale writer Hans Christian Andersen.

The Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen, Denmark by Edvard Erichsen

The idea for the statue, began in 1909, when Carl Jacobsen attended a a ballet performance of  The Little Mermaid with prima ballerina, Ellen Prince in the title role. He was instantly inspired to sculpt a statue, using Ellen Prince as the model. So, he hired a little known sculptor, by the name Edvard Erichsen to do the job for him.

Ballerina, Ellen Price modeled the head of the statue, while Edvard Erichsen’s wife, modeled the nude body of the little mermaid.

The sculpture, Edvard Erichsen decided to depict the little mermaid with legs and a fish tail, overlooking the sea, as a way for the mermaid to recall that she was a mermaid from the sea.

The Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen, Denmark by Edvard Erichsen

The Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen is the cities biggest tourist attraction and attracts more then a million visitors per year. The statue is a little over 4-feet high and weighs 386 pounds. It is Copenhagen’s smallest attraction, yet the most popular. It’s made of bronze and had resided along the Langelinie Pier since August 23, 1913.

Every year, on August 23rd in Copenhagen, the city holds a huge celebration in honor of the statue at Langelinie Pier. People dress up in mermaid costumes and swim near the statue.

Screenshot from Disney’s The Little Mermaid beside The Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen, Denmark

The Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen, also served as inspiration for Disney in the 1989 film of  The Little Mermaid.  In one of the final scenes of the film, after the final battle against Ursula, Ariel is sits on a rock, gazing the shore. This was the animators homage to the statue in Copenhagen and Hans Christian Andersen.

For over a century, this remarkable statue in Copenhagen has stood proudly on Langelinie Pier.

It is a must-see for any fan of The Little Mermaid!

Hans Christian Andersen Myths and Legends

Tiffany Turrill

Mermaid illustration by Tiffany Turrill

Tiffany Turrill is an extremely talented illustrator, comic book cover artist, and concept artist. Her illustrations of mermaid’s are creepy, yet alluring. She captures the inner darkness of mermaid’s of the past.

Tiffany’s illustrations are unique, beautiful, and hauntingly sad. There’s no doubt, that Tiffany has excelled at depicting a darker, more vulnerable mermaid.

“The Witch’s Knife” by Tiffany Turrill

‘The Witch’s Knife’ is an illustration, that’s clearly inspired by Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid. The scene which the little mermaid’s sister’s sell their hair to the witch, in exchange for a knife, so the little mermaid can kill the prince and become a mermaid again.

Tiffany’s illustration of this poignant scene captures a range of mixed emotions from sadness, despair, desperation, hope, and unrequited love.

“Amphitrite” by Tiffany Turrill

The movement and coloring in Tiffany’s waves, pulls you into her illustrations. Her attention to detail is exquisite.

Tiffany is a very talented artist. Definitely one that everyone should follow.

Myths and Legends

What is a Selkie?

Statue of the Selkie or the Seal Wife in Kalsoy, Faroe Island

In Ireland, Scotland, and England, there are mythical creatures called the Selkies. The Selkies or Seal Wives would have a seal-like skin in the water and would shed their seal-skin, whenever they surface on land. The word Selch in Scottish means seal.

The Selkies, like mermaids, had the ability to breathe underwater. For a Selkie, the sea was their one true home.

According to Welch legend, a Selkie was born on land, but chose to live in the sea. A female Selkie was revered for her stunning voice and alluring beauty.

A Selkie could only stay on land, for a short duration of time. They could only have a relationship with one human at a time and if they were to marry a human, they would have to keep their Selkie identity a secret. The reason, why they would have to keep their Selkie identity a secret, would be the fear that their magic pelts would be stolen from them and could no longer return to the sea.

Statue of the Selkie or the Seal Wife in Kalsoy, Faroe Island

Unlike some cultures, that believed that the mermaid was a sign of bad luck; the Welch, Irish, and Scottish, believed a Selkie was a sign of good luck. For fishermen, a Selkie was said to have brought them a bountiful catch.

A Scottish clan, named the Macdorum is believed to be descendants of the Selkies. The family has been said to be seals during the day and shape-shift into humans in the evening.

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.

Disney's The Little Mermaid Pop Culture

Disney Legend and Icon: Jodi Benson

Disney Legend Jodi Benson at Walt Disney Studio’s in Burbank, California

This particular article is dedicated to Disney Legend: Jodi Benson, whose changed and inspired the lives of many.

Jodi is best-known for providing the talking and singing voice of Ariel in Disney’s 1989 film, The Little Mermaid.

For many of us, growing up in the 90’s, Ariel was a part of our childhood’s and memories. We danced to the unforgettable soundtrack on a cassette tape, pretended to be mermaid’s in the pool, and begged our parent’s to take us to Disney Parks,  just to catch a glimpse of Ariel or if we were lucky enough, to meet her.

Ariel was one of our earliest role models, before many of us knew, what a role model was. We desired Ariel’s life, the same way, Ariel desired to explore the human world and to be on land.  Jodi’s influence has transcended for a lot of fans, beyond childhood. We see Jodi Benson as an icon, inspiration, friend, and mentor. She’s helped shape the lives of many, by being as vocal, strong, and determined as Ariel. We are forever blessed to have Jodi be a part of our world. There are many of us, who are eternally grateful to Jodi, in ways, that mere words cannot describe.

If it wasn’t for Jodi Benson voicing Ariel, this blog, wouldn’t exist. It’s because of Ariel, that I became interested in mermaid’s.  Ariel was and forever will be, my favorite Disney Princess and will continue to inspire me in all aspects of my life. For me, no trip to any Disney Park is complete without visiting Ariel. And there are many other fans, who would say the exact same thing.

So, how did Jodi land the iconic role of Ariel?

Howard Ashman and Jodi Benson
Howard Ashman and Jodi Benson

Short answer. Howard Ashman.

Back in 1986, Jodi Benson starred in the ill-fated musical Smile at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, that only ran for 48 performances and closed January 1987. The lyrics and book for Smile were written by Howard Ashman.

After the show closed, Howard offered an audition to Jodi and the other girl’s in Smile for another project he was working on with Alan Menken. That film was Disney’s The Little Mermaid. He gave Jodi a snippet of the script and a cassette recording of him singing Part of Your World.

A year later, Jodi would get a phone call that would change her life forever. She got the part of Ariel.

The Little Mermaid would be Disney’s first fairy tale film in 30 years. The film is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s, The Little Mermaid that was published in 1837. Many fans, would consider Disney’s version of The Little Mermaid as their introduction to the classic fairy tale and to mermaids.

As we grew up, so did Disney’s The Little Mermaid franchise. Jodi voiced Ariel in video games, TV Shows, sequels and prequels, and so much more. The franchise itself, would be nothing without her.

Thanks Jodi for being Part of Our World! We love you!

Disney's The Little Mermaid Myths and Legends

Dimitris Karakousis

Dimitris Karakousis is a very talented digital artist and illustrator, from Greece. His illustrations of mermaid’s are vibrant, hypnotizing, and beautiful.  

“Part of Your World” by Dimitris Karakousis

Dimitris would describe his illustrations as magical realism. And it is! 

His use of light and dark, bring his illustrations to life. 

Dimitris has gained a large following of devoted fans on social media, primarily Instagram. On Instagram, Dimitris is known as DimDraws, where he posts his original sketches and completed illustrations. 

"The World Above" by Dimitris Karakousis
“The World Above” by Dimitris Karakousis

"Halle Bailey as Ariel" by Dimitris Karakousis
“Halle Bailey as Ariel” by Dimitris Karakousis

"King Triton" by Dimitris Karakousis
“King Triton” by Dimitris Karakousis

"Purple Mermaid" by Dimitris Karakousis
“Purple Mermaid” by Dimitris Karakousis

"Pink Mermaid" by Dimitris Karakousis
“Pink Mermaid” by Dimitris Karakousis


His illustrations in mermaid’s vary from “Disney’s The Little Mermaid” to that of his own creation. It’s apparent, that Dimitris is passionate about mermaid’s and will continue to draw them, for many years to come. 

Disney's The Little Mermaid Pop Culture

Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live (Promo)

Promo Photo for The Little Mermaid Live

Disney celebrated it’s 30th anniversary for it’s beloved film “The Little Mermaid” with a special live-action/animation hybrid event with “The Little Mermaid Live”.

“The Little Mermaid Live” starred Auli’i Cravalho as Ariel, Graham Phillips as Prince Eric, Queen Latifah as Ursula, Shaggy as Sebastion, and John Stamos as Chef Louis.

The highly-anticipated trailer, featured the cast in their rehearsal costumes with Auli’i singing in the background. It may only be 30 seconds in length,  but it’s full of exceptional detail, depicting iconic places and scenes in the original 1989 film of “The Little Mermaid”.

Auli'i Cravalho as Ariel in The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live
Auli’i Cravalho as Ariel in The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live
Graham Phillips as Prince Eric in The Wonderful World of Disney The Little Mermaid Live
Graham Phillips as Prince Eric in The Wonderful World of Disney The Little Mermaid Live
Shaggy as Sebastion in The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live
Shaggy as Sebastion in The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live
Queen Latifah as Ursula in The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live
Queen Latifah as Ursula in The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live
John Stamos as Chef Louis in The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live
John Stamos as Chef Louis in The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live
Disney's The Little Mermaid Pop Culture

Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live (Cast)

Disney’s The Little Mermaid 30th Anniversary Logo

2019 marked a big milestone for Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.” The film had celebrated it’s 30th anniversary and in honor of that anniversary, Disney had decided to host a live-hybrid event titled: “The Little Mermaid Live”.  Disney had announced that they would be using puppets, Disney magic, and star-studded cast to bring this Disney Classic back to life. 

Disney was wise in it’s casting for this event, by selecting Auli’i Cravalho as Ariel, Graham Phillips as Prince Eric, Queen Latifah as Ursula, Shaggy as Sebastion, and John Stamos as Chef Louis.  

“The Little Mermaid Live” is Auli’i Cravalho’s second project with Disney. She originated the singing and acting voice for the Disney-Pixar film “Moana” in 2016. Her voice is soft, yet powerful, which is why she was perfectly cast for the role of Ariel. 

Auli'i Cravalho (Photo by JSquared Photography/Contour by Getty Images)
Auli’i Cravalho (Photo by JSquared Photography/Contour by Getty Images)
Graham Phillips (Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images)
Graham Phillips (Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images)
Queen Latifah (Photo by Jim Spellman/FilmMagic)
Queen Latifah (Photo by Jim Spellman/FilmMagic)
Shaggy (Photo by JSquared Photography/Contour by Getty Images)
Shaggy (Photo by JSquared Photography/Contour by Getty Images)
John Stamos (Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images)
John Stamos (Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images)


There was no doubt, to many fans however, that Queen Latifah would steal the show as the sassy and villainess, Ursula. Queen Latifah, is a female rapper, actress, and entrepreneur. 

A few changes that Disney made in the hybrid production would be to include a few songs from Disney’s Broadway Production of “The Little Mermaid” such as ‘Her Voice’ and ‘If Only’. Giving fans, who had never seen or heard the Broadway soundtrack, the chance to discover it for the very first time. 

For all fans of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid”, it is a must to watch “The Little Mermaid Live” to experience film and live theater merge together for a unique experience. 

Hans Christian Andersen Pop Culture

Ashly Lovett

“Rescue” by Ashly Lovett

Ashly Lovett is an American artist, whose primary medium is chalk pastel. Her drawings are raw, dark, yet innocent.

In 2019, she launched a Kickstarter campaign, to produce her own version of Andersen’s classic tale of The Little Mermaid. Ashly’s twist on the project, was using her own sketches to depict the powerful and poignant scenes of the classic children’s fairy tale.

“New Legs” by Ashly Lovett

Ashly’s Kickstarter campaign was so well-received by the public, that it surpassed it’s goal, and earned $25k to fund her book.

"Ambition" by Ashly Lovett
“Ambition” by Ashly Lovett

Ashly released her book on her website and garnered immense success! Her book is definitely worth adding to your mermaid collection!

Myths and Legends

The Legend of Tiamat

Tiamat the Babylonian goddess of salt water and chaos

Babylon. Better known, as the cradle of civilization by historians, is also one of the early birthplaces of  mermaid’s.

Map of Ancient Mesopotamia

For the ancient Babylonians, Tiamat was the salt-water goddess of water and the personification of chaos. 

According to legend, Tiamat (salt-water goddess) and Aspu (freshwater god) had a sacred union, that  produced many other gods and goddess. 

During this time, the world was nothingness and dark. As Aspu and Tiamat slept, the other gods and goddesses, were busy creating the universe. Aspu awoke to the commotion and became enraged. The other gods, murdered Aspu, in an intense battle. 

When Tiamat woke up and was enraged, that the other gods and goddess, had killed her beloved husband. Out of anger, she spawned many monsters and dragons. 

One of the dragons, Marduk went to battle against Tiamat. He cut her in half, and the two rivers, flowed from her eyes, creating the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.  


Disney's The Little Mermaid Pop Culture


Whatdoyousuppse profile picture on Instagram

One of my favorite accounts on Instagram, is Whatdoyousuppose, founded by Logan in 2018.

Logan’s fans connected with him, for his raw honesty, love for all things Disney, and Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Logan has openly shared on Instagram, that his obsession with Disney’s The Little Mermaid and Ariel, started as a child.

Logan at the Walt Disney Studio’s, where he took a picture with Ariel’s handprints (Jodi Benson) on the Disney Legends wall.

Logan’s dream is to one day meet Jodi Benson (Original voice of Ariel).

Logan with animated Ariel at D23 in 2019 at the H2O Photo Booth
Logan with animated Ariel at D23 in 2019 at the H2O Photo Booth

Whatdoyousuppose is truly a unique, fun-loving fan account for Disney’s The Little Mermaid,  that I encourage all fans to follow.  You’ll have a fintastic time following Logan and his enthralling adventures of all things Ariel!