In The Little Mermaid, Ursula wasn't evil at all. The contract was legal and fair...

What do you think?

  • Ariel was dumb. Ursula did nothing wrong.

    Votes: 146 19.3%
  • Ursula is pure evil. The contract wasn't legal.

    Votes: 185 24.4%
  • Ursula is pure evil, but the contract is legal.

    Votes: 426 56.3%

  • Total voters
    757

deimosmasque

Member
Apr 22, 2018
1,914
Tampa, Fl
Maybe I worded the title incorrectly. I should have said: "Ursula wasn't in the wrong".
Legally no (assuming that the Merpeople laws do allow this sort of contract.)

But if you want to debate the validity of a contract signed under duress, by a minor who is a public figure, which is also just a scheme to take over a Kingdom from an estranged sibling... We need a lot more information that isn't in the movie or supplemental source material.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,053
Yeah I was trying to see if that was actually possible or not and couldn't tell in the first minute or so so I gave up. On the other hand, I'm also not really seeing a justification for no cause of action existing against a party to a contract when a cause of action would lie against a third party doing the exact same actions.
I think it’s an element of tortious interference that the contract be between the plaintiff and a third party or parties. If it’s a party to the contract who is interfering, then the cause of action would likely require a contractual theory instead of a tort. Breach of an implied covenant, for example.
 

TheMango55

Member
Nov 1, 2017
4,159
The Contract does not contain a duty to act in good faith.

Ariel is dealing with a renown sea-witch. She cannot expect a sea-witch to act in good faith. Ursula, in her wiliness, might have said “Oh, of course!” when asked whether she would act in good faith, but Ariel certainly would not have said so.
So you're saying she's not evil because Ariel should know she is evil?

I'm not sure I follow.
 

Cas

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
3,718
The witch knew it was a bad deal, the contract was predatory and in bad faith! Would never hold up in mercourt, nope.
 

Osan912

Avenger
Sep 22, 2018
352
Bruh Ursula is more or less Lou Perlman taking advantage of signing a teenager to a contract when they aren’t fully aware of what they are signing away.
 

wads

Member
Oct 27, 2017
426
I’m sure it was legal, but should have been void as soon as she started intervening.
 

Brakke

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,402
I'm definitely not a lawyer, but over that last year I've been exposed to a lot of real case law through a few different events.

Don't claim to be right, but I know some questions that should be asked.
This is the healthiest non-lawyer attitude.

Don’t let yourself get fucked, but also don’t fuck yourself.
 

Oreiller

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,090
I don't think OP knows how contracts work. There is no way that shit would be legally enforced.
 

Mewshuji

Member
Nov 11, 2017
3,624
Do we know if Triton has laws against slavery? I'd GUESS so given he takes issues with humans eating fish. As such, uh, no, the contract isn't legal.

Even if it was, Ursula's still evil. Legal or lawful =/= inherently good or pure.
65 posts in and nobody avatar quoted the OP
...
OH I AM A FOOL--
 
Oct 26, 2017
1,866
The Hauge, The Netherlands

Umbrella Carp

Member
Jan 16, 2019
3,049
I'm pretty sure the underlying principle is that the trade is not equitable, QED Ursula is evil for offering a naive girl a shit deal.
 

SpaceCrystal

Member
Apr 1, 2019
1,521
Sounds like an argument made by a porn producer. She's a kid who got manipulated.
I think this thread explains why our capitalism fails. You cannot put legality of a predatory contract in front of the morality of Ursula’s practices which clearly show she just exploited a poor girl in an evil way. Legality does not make evil right.
Right! In what world does this justify that Ursula isn't evil & in which she can do whatever she wants?

Option 2 for me in the poll.
 

Cas

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
3,718
Lol now that I think about it... didn’t Triton try to destroy the contract but it was invincible because it was a legal magical contract? Ursula was all smug and hiding behind it. I remember! So much for the absolute monarch angle, it was already shown in the movie that Triton could not void it.

Edit: based on this new memory, I’m changing my vote to evil but lawful contract. Sure that bs contract would never fly in our world, but in merworld apparently it’s perfectly legal!
 
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nded

Member
Nov 14, 2017
4,863
A D&D rulebook somehow has a more nuanced take on the intersection between ethics and morality than OP.
 

fontguy

Avenger
Oct 8, 2018
2,480
Legality and morality have nothing to do with eachother. Send Ursula to the guillotine.
 

ZealousD

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,170
Lol now that I think about it... didn’t Triton try to destroy the contract but it was invincible because it was a legal magical contract? Ursula was all smug and hiding behind it. I remember! So much for the absolute monarch angle, it was already shown in the movie that Triton could not void it.

Edit: based on this new memory, I’m changing my vote to evil but lawful contract. Sure that bs contract would never fly in our world, but in merworld apparently it’s perfectly legal!
His trident couldn't break it, but that doesn't mean it was legal. It just means that Ursula's magic made it an unbreakable contract. Once she was killed, the effects of the magical contract wore off.
 
Oct 29, 2017
5,187
Ursula cheated. She was about to lose and then she had to cast a spell on the prince who had already fallen for Ariel. The prince didn't even have to fall in love with Ursula in disguise the dude couldn't even speak on his own at their wedding.

She's the textbook definition of villain in 80s movies, using some faux legal method to run some kind of fraud and then interfere every step of the way to make sure the hero get's trapped.

Plus she roofied a guy to make him walk the altar.
 
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pigeon

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,514
The undersea is explicitly a monarchy. Ursula's seizure of the trident and her being deposed by Eric are just normal civil wars of the type common to feudal monarchies. No law can bind sovereign powers or their conflicts. The entire concept of a contract being "legal and fair" represents a form of Lockean liberalism totally alien to the pre-Enlightenment understanding of sovereign rule.
 

pigeon

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,514
Lol now that I think about it... didn’t Triton try to destroy the contract but it was invincible because it was a legal magical contract? Ursula was all smug and hiding behind it. I remember! So much for the absolute monarch angle, it was already shown in the movie that Triton could not void it.

Edit: based on this new memory, I’m changing my vote to evil but lawful contract. Sure that bs contract would never fly in our world, but in merworld apparently it’s perfectly legal!
By the same token, killing Ursula undid the effects of the contract, so clearly that was also perfectly legal.
 

The Albatross

Member
Oct 25, 2017
10,697
Counter-point:

Ariel was under the age of consent so she's unable to consent to such a contract. Holding her to it unethical.

Even under spurious jurisdiction like maritime law, Ursula is an ages old sea-witch while Ariel is an impressionable teenager. Even if Ursula is following the letter of the law, she's breaking the spirit of the law.
 

Subpar Scrub

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,225
16 year olds can’t sign contracts.
Yes they can, though if it’s not for a necessity then they can repudiate them pretty easily. Try not to spread misinformation.


Also the contract itself has been analyzed by a commercial lawyer to show that it wasn't a legit contract that could be enforced

That’s not how this works. What you’ve shown above is evidence that the contract CAN be enforced. Submission 1 of that post means Ariel could repudiate at any time, so she’d probably be fine, but the rest are mere arguments, not established law.
 
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Xiaomi

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,955
It's a great lesson for kids: sometimes the law is evil and you need to steer the sharp part of your ship into an octopus woman.
 

Mivey

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,082
I agree, Ariel knew what she was getting into, and should have thought about the consequences more.
#UrsulalDidNothingWrong
 

TheCthultist

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,527
New York
Ursula was totally evil, but that contract was totally legal (especially the parts you can’t read) and binding and she was mad up front about it being that way. Ocean sorcery and whatnot. She was great.
 
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