One big fan of The Little Mermaid just proved how important a bit of good legal advice can be— especially if you find yourself in a scary contract with an evil sea witch!
Graduate law student Shon Faye took it upon herself to analyze the legal situation that arises in The Little Mermaid after Ariel signs Ursula’s scary contract in which she trades her voice for a pair of legs.
Ariel does this in the hopes of winning Prince Eric’s heart, but of course, as fans of the film know, there are quite a few constituencies to the contract. The biggest kicker of all is that if Ariel fails to get Eric to fall in love with her, she’ll turn back into a mermaid and belong to Ursula forever.
Things turn out alright for Ariel in the end, but even if they hadn’t, Faye’s analysis of the legal situation — which was brought to our attention via Bustle — reveals that despite the fact that Ursula makes the contract sound completely binding, Ariel actually could have gotten out of the contract if things hadn’t worked out the way they did.
“One of the cutest/saddest things I ever did was write out the legal ways Ariel could have annulled her contract with Ursula The Sea Witch,” tweeted Faye on Nov. 2.
In the screenshots she uploaded to Twitter, Faye also outlined four ways in which the contract could have been void, capping off her analysis with the most important point of all:
“ALWAYS GET INDEPENDENT LEGAL ADVICE,” wrote Faye in all caps at the end.
Sounds like that’s very good advice for everyone, no matter if you get around by flipping your fins under the sea, or running and dancing on two legs!