There are many reasons why I don’t buy the cynical interpretation that Ariel gives away her identity for a man.
One of them starts in the next paragraph. Another one can be read here.
This screencap comes from her introductory scene. She’s searching through a shipwreck for human artifacts–which is her passion–when suddenly she’s attacked by a shark.
While fleeing, she accidentally drops her bag full of artifacts right in the shark’s path. Without hesitating, she chooses her passion over her safety, risking her life for a dinglehopper.
The girl is an anthropologist who studies humans. That’s her passion, that’s how she spends her time…that’s her identity.
Sure, Eric is the catalyst that leads Ariel to changing her species and leaving her family–he certainly intensifies her feelings–but they’re feelings she already has, and they dictate most of her life.
If Ariel had the chance to become a human before she met Eric, everything that we know about her suggests that she probably would.
“This is called ‘Bumping the Lamp,’ a phrase coined by Disney during the production of Roger Rabbit to describe going above and beyond what was expected of the animators. […]
"It’s an incredible film by its own merit. The storytelling, the heart, and the humor–that’s where the true movie magic is–but it’s those technical subtleties and the dedication to the craft that really inspires new artists, and that’s something to be admired.
"So in your work, always take the chance to bump the lamp, because somebody out there will notice.”
Cartoon Saloon’s The Secret of Kells was first released on February 11, 2009.
Development on the film began in 1999 when director Tomm Moore and some of his friends first saw Richard Williams’s The Princess and the Cobbler (1993) and Disney’s Mulan (1998). The stylings of those two films - Persia for The Princess and the Cobbler (1993) and China for Mulan (1998) - inspired Moore to make a similarly styled film based on Irish art. (x)