“The Little Mermaid”: A Psychological Thriller Synopsis

For my first Writing Assignment, I chose to complete a “TV Guide Remix” (http://assignments.ds106.us/assignments/tv-guide-remix/). The goal of the assignment is to approach an existing film or show by shifting the characterization of the story and plot as significantly as possible with a TV show/movie synopsis of one to two sentences. In generating my initial idea, I limited my potential movie options to animated films (as details and scenes could more easily be referenced online to remind myself of each plot). From this idea, I became interested in “The Little Mermaid”, a hugely popular film which was nonetheless critiqued throughout the years for having the lead character be too focused on her potential love-interest. This gave me the idea of changing the genre described in the synopsis from a romantic, family-friendly, and musical fantasy into a psychological thriller. Below is the film synopsis I created:

The Little Mermaid:

After falling in love with a wealthy stranger while he is vulnerable and unconscious, Ariel decides to leave her home and undergo significant cosmetic changes; after allowing her to room in a building he owns without Ariel saying anything about herself, Eric notices increasingly strange incidents start to occur.

This synopsis clearly contrasts with a two-sentence synopsis of comparable length displayed below.

Little Mermaid Summary

I found this assignment to be an enjoyable writing puzzle of sorts, with larger amounts of rewriting and sentence restructuring necessary to complete my goal than I had expected.  I’d recommend this assignment as an easy-to-intermediate experiment in creative writing. I found that I was able to inject thriller tropes into my synopsis to mislead the reader using actual facts from the movie effectively, after doing some story research again. It’s not immediately identifiable to me why I chose to darken the context of a lighthearted story instead of the reverse, but I found the finished product to be both creepy and amusing.