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The Little Mermaid (1989) — The Movie
In the Disney version of Andersen's grim children's story, Ariel has a much happier fate. But along the way, some of Andersen's original plot points stayed true: the mermaid still makes a deal with a wretched Sea Witch who gives her human legs in exchange for her intoxicatingly beautiful siren voice.
But other than that, Ariel leads a much more charmed life. Her sisters don't lure sailors to their death, and walking on dry land doesn't feel like she is walking on a knives. Oh, and she gets the prince in the end without turning into sea foam, because #truelove.
Frozen (2013) — The Movie
The princess spin immediately changes the entire premise of the original Snow Queen story, but, at times, Princess Elsa does conjure up a spiteful ice princess vibe similar to the wicked Snow Queen's.
Princess Anna also seems to represent Gerda for her childlike naiveté, and warm compassion for the one she loves — in Disney's case, her sister, and in Andersen's, her childhood friend and adult love interest.
The Little Mermaid (1989) & Frozen (2013) — The Theory
The wrecked ship is where the two stories overlap outside of their Danish fairy-tale roots. Andersen's stories had no mention of such a boat, but the connection has some geographical legitimacy if you think about it.
Here are the logistics: In Frozen, Princess Elsa and Princess Anna's parents leave to attend a wedding. Whose? That is unclear. Some people think it could be Rapunzel's since the movie Tangled came out three years prior to Frozen, and the parents leave the kingdom when Anna is 3 years old.
But say it was Rapunzel's. The Frozen kingdom is in Arendelle, a fictional town in Scandinavia, paying homage to the region where Andersen lived. If the parents left on the ship, and were traveling to the land of Tangled, which many believe is modern-day Germany, then a shipwreck in the middle of their route would place them right outside of Denmark. Coincidentally, that is where a statue dedicated to Andersen's little mermaid stands today. In a Reddit Ask Me Anything, one filmmaker threw a wrench in that theory, implying Frozen is related to Tarzan, not The Little Mermaid.
But either way, the true connection lies in Andersen's original, albeit twisted, fairy tales.