Daily Archives: 8 Oct 2006

France and "The Little Mermaid"

Watching the new DVD release of “The Little Mermaid” reminded me again that France is going to be one of the first places to burn at the end of the world.

Now, these two topics may not seem linked, but in my head, anything is possible, given enough Grasshopper cookies. Here’s the story:

“The Little Mermaid,” as I am sure everyone is aware, has a funny little song called “Les Poissons,” sung with a boisterous and somewhat overdone French accent. While I was in the shower singing it to myself (don’t ask) I remembered there is a controversial reference to God, i.e. His name is taken in vain. I also was thinking about the accent of the character and then I remembered the Merovingian from “The Matrix” sequels. I remember seeing an interview with Lambert Wilson, the actor, who is, indeed, French, and he said that he overdid the accent on purpose; he actually speaks English with a much softer accent.

Then I remembered when I saw “The Matrix Reloaded” at the cinema in 2003, and the string of cussing the Merovingian unleashes in French, and how big my eyes got when I heard it.

Which brings me to why France will burn: one of their common expletive phrases literally translates as “name of God.” Somehow I just don’t think God appreciates that kind of eye-winking fun-poking at the second commandment.

But I find it funny that the non-swearing French will employ a substitute phrase that literally translates as “name of a dog.” Those poor, poor Frenchies.

Back to “The Little Mermaid.” It was my favorite Disney movie as a kid, at least until “Aladdin” came out three years later. I still love it. It rekindled the Disney animation department and was followed with a string of greats throughout the 1990s, including “Beauty and the Beast,” the aforementioned “Aladdin,” “The Lion King,” “Mulan,” and “Tarzan.”

I love the music the most, I think, though my wife claims that I really just like the seashell bikini. I dated a girl just after high school who hated “The Little Mermaid.” I’m pretty sure that was one of the major factors in our break-up.