The Encyclopedia of Walt Disney's Animated Characters: From Mickey muis to Hercules
The beautiful Vanessa
door John Grant
Walt Disney Character beschrijving of Vanessa
from "The Little Mermaid
When Ursula adopts human guise in order to ensnare Eric romantically (with the aid of Ariel's hostage voice), she takes for herself the name Vanessa. Vanessa so strongly resembles Ariel that it is easier to note the differences than the similarities. Some are superficial - the hair colour, for example - and others much meer fundamental. A curious feature of Vanessa is that, even though Ariel is in theory still a little uncertain on her legs, Vanessa is actually a much clumsier mover - something that is particuarly noticeable in the scene where, witnessed through the porthole door Scuttle, Vanessa climbs up on her dressing tafel, tabel to admire herself in the mirror. (Her reflection, of course, shows her true self: we see the gloating, malicous, adipose face of Ursula's habitual form.)
The primary difference between the two beautiful young women is in their facial language. Vanessa's is full of sly grins and malevolent glances; Ariel's has a general sweetness of expression. Even in anger Ariel looks feistily, childshly cross, whereas Vanessa's anger transforms her visage into a look of genuine spite, as when she ruthlessly kicks a snarling Max's face during the introduction to the wedding ceremony. This use of contrast is so reminiscent of the difference between Maria and her robot counterpart in Fritz Lang's Mrtropolis
that we must surely dismiss the possibillity of coincidence.