It was impossible for Ariel to be with Eric unless she became human, or for Belle to be with the Beast unless he became human, or for Aladdin to be with Jasmine unless he became a prince, or for Pocahontas to be with John Smith unless she left her people.
In the seminal Judith Butler pointed out how gender was in part performance-based, a fact that Disney has often depicted with cross-dressing and gender subversion.
The animations and music transform us into a land of magic where anything is possible if we just believe.
Disney movies wrapped us in the idea that good always triumphs evil, that happy ever after exists.
The company’s animators cite the drag performer Divine as the inspiration for Ursula in because “society saw [drag characters] as perverts so they decided to revel in their status,” so too Ursula is marked a pervert by introducing sex to a children’s animated film.
She encourages Ariel to use her body to lure the prince, and her magic not only gives the mermaid legs but also (presumably) a sexual organ, as Ariel emerges from the sea completely naked and must be covered up.
But the most remarkable thing about queer readings of the film may be how unremarkable they really are.
Through both its corporate practices and the content of its films, Disney for decades has implemented the so-called "gay agenda"—which is to say, helping make the world a more accepting place.
Ariel () reflects queer anxiety since he doesn’t know how to act like “a real boy,” and he thinks performing masculinity through smoking, cursing, and misbehaving will earn his father’s love.
Then there’s the fact that Disney protagonists often reject traditional marriage partners.