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Open To Interpretation

In Hollywood lore, there are two dueling theories.

Disney animators claimed that they based Ariel, the Little Mermaid, on Alyssa Milano, then the child star of Who's The Boss? with Tony Danza.  Milano had said in interviews years ago that she was unaware of it at the time, and only found out after the fact.

The other theory is advanced by Sherrie Stoner.  Stoner is best known as one of Steven Spielberg's go-to writers for his animated series like Tiny Toon Adventures and Animaniacs.  She has not only maintained all this time that Ariel is modeled after her, but has had her picture taken with a life-sized Ariel standee.

Given the two, I would much rather Ariel be based on Milano.

And apparently, so would she.

Milano appeared on the Wendy Williams Show to plug her new TV show, Mistresses. And she related the story of Ariel, including how she didn't know for years.  Why is this coming up now?  Maybe because Mistresses is running on ABC, which is owned by Disney.  Maybe because of that two-part Charmed episode where she got turned into a mermaid (yes, I own that DVD.  Are you surprised?).  No matter what, Milano is going public.  She hosted a retrospective, and animator Glen Keane showed her the pictures of Milano he used.  For those wondering, Stoner was brought in to model Ariel's movements, not to model the character.

And somewhere, Stoner is grinding her teeth.

(P.S.  Ariel's hair in the underwater scenes was actually modeled on Sally Ride.  The animators watched the footage of her when she was in space and mimicked it.)

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