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King Triton’s headstrong, love-sick girl would make a charming addition to my little garden…
―Ursula

Ursula's Garden is her collection of damned merpeople that hang around the entrance hall to her lair. Each was once a merperson who came to her for help in some matter, but couldn't afford her high demands, leaving them helpless before her power.

Background

Physical Description

Polyps are small plant-like animal hybrids that just sit on the ocean floor crying in agony, and occasionally being fed dead fish by Ursula. They will usually be just a head attached to a stalk with roots, but sometimes may just be a head in the ground. These polyps have mottled green skin and yellow eyes (that often vary in size), which can stretch when they are surprised.

Certain polyps may have extra appendages, such as tentacles that may be dangling and long, or short but bulgy. Usually the polyp will resemble the merfolk it once was, but in a more twisted way, such as the female polyps having female lips and noticeable eyelashes, and the males may have beards.

Personality

They are harmless individuals who spend their time screaming in agony in Ursula's lair. While their individual personalities can't be fully dissected, considering how Ursula often preys on those who are desperate, a good deal of them would be merfolk who let themselves get caught up in their desires, but couldn't find the inner strength to fulfil them themselves. Some of them may also be greedy individuals who believed they could take an easy way out of their troubles. In the end, they all just spend their time crying and screaming, hoping others could avoid their fate.

Appearances

The Little Mermaid

The polyps' first appearance in the film was when Ursula chuckled at the idea of Ariel becoming a "charming addition to my little garden".

Their second appearance was when Ariel went to Ursula's lair. Ariel was disgusted by the sight of them, but continued forwards anyway. One grabbed her wrist and tried to pull her away from Ursula's lair, but in a fit of fright, she managed to break free.

During the song, "Poor Unfortunate Souls", Ursula explained the backstory of how all her polyps were merfolk who came to her for help but were unable to pay her price, so she took them as compensation, and if Ariel was unable to complete her side of the deal, she would be transformed along with them. The film also implies that their souls were absorbed by Ursula in the process.

During the battle with Ursula, King Triton was transformed into a polyp when he decided to take Ariel's place in the deal, but shortly after the battle, (when Ursula was killed), he and the rest of the garden were transformed back into the merpeople they were before.

The Little Mermaid (TV series)

The polyps in Ursula's lair were never featured in the show itself, but a creature of similar appearance did appear in the episode, "Tale of Two Crabs". In this, Ursula steals a magical stone which she uses to transform the denizens of Triton's Palace into what she calls, "worms". When she successfully manages to transform King Triton, Ariel, and Flounder, it fell unto Sebastian's rival Zeus to save the day by destroying Ursula's stone.

House of Mouse

In the episode titled, "Pete's House of Villains" Pete hires Ursula to seat guests to their tables, only instead of seating them to tables, she transforms them into polyps. King Triton is the first one to be transformed and see on screen. His appearance being vastly different from his appearance in the movie; what with his eyes being white instead of golden, his crown shrinking with him, and still sporting his white beard.

Fast forward through the episode and Pete is firing Ursula because of this behavior. In annoyance Ursula briefly transforms him into a polyp. He bounces away angrily, saying he doesn't want to see her again. Though later in the episode he appears to have made a recovery. 

Video Game Appearances

Little Mermaid NES

In the NES games, the polyps are stationed in the far end of Ursula's lair, in a hallway just before your encounter with her. Because of Ursula's lair being designed as a maze, the polyps serve the purpose of telling the player that they have reached the correct destination and are on their way to fighting Ursula.

All they shall do is point vertically from the position they are in and bite at Ariel, most likely warning her to turn back. But they will hurt the player if touched.

Little Mermaid SEGA Genesis

In the SEGA genesis game Ursula has transformed the entire kingdom of Atlantica into polyps and have scattered them across the ocean. It's up to Ariel of King Triton to free them from the spell.

For the whole game the polyps serve as items to collect. Simply touching the polyps will free them from the curse and return them to their merfolk forms. Ariel's singing is also able to free them as well.

In the game, along with the random polyps Ariel or King Triton have been transformed into polyps and are being held hostage by Ursula in her fortress.

Ariel's Story Studio

In the game, the polyps can be found in Ursula's lair and during the final battle. If the player were to click on them, all that would happen is that they would moan and groan in agony. 

In the game, after the final battle takes place the polyps will transform back to normal, and Ursula will have been transformed into a polyp herself.

Little Mermaid 2 Pinball Frenzy

The polyps appear for three minigames. The first one they would appear in is a minigame called, Flotsam and Jetsam, where they are background objects watching you face Flotsam and Jetsam.

The second minigame where they're featured is the Ursula minigame, where you battle Ursula in her giant form. Once again they are background objects.

The third minigame is the King Triton minigame. In this minigame the you knock your pinball into the creatures, and after two hits they shall be transformed back to normal. The goal is to free every polyp on the board, so that you can free King Triton, who is the final polyp you must rescue.

The Little Mermaid II PSX

In the game, you control Ariel as she travels to Ursula's lair. Once inside you must get through her garden of polyps to reach the main hall of her lair. The polyps will swing back and forth to hit Ariel, and she must maneuver through the tight corridors to escape them.

They will also appear as background decorations during the final battle with Ursula.

Kingdom Hearts series

In Kingdom Hearts, the polyps can be seen in the front of Ursula's cavern in the Tidal Abyss. All they do in the game is watch Sora. They will follow him wherever he goes, but do nothing else. Strangely, after Ursula is defeated the polyps do not return to their original forms, probably due to complications with the hardware.

In Kingdom Hearts II, King Triton is briefly turned into a polyp and is about to be killed by Ursula, until Eric interrupts the act by throwing his spear at her.

In the first Kingdom Hearts manga, King Triton is transformed into a polyp when Ursula uses his Trident against him. The polyps in her garden were all described by Ursula as, "Liars whom came to me for help but couldn't pay the price". When Ursula is defeated, they all transform back into normal merfolk.

Disney Villains Challenge

Those belong to me dearie, go find your own!
― Ursula, when the player loses the game.

The polyps make an appearance in the Disney game, Disney Villain's Challenge, as the objective to a minigame calle "Point out the Polyps". In this game, the player has to find the polyps scattered across Ursula's lair and tap on them to set them free.

Printed Appearances

Kilala Princess

In the manga, Kilala Princess, the polyps make a short appearance shortly after Ursula has knocked Kilala into submission. After she declares herself to be queen of the ocean, Ursula turns to Kilala and tells her that she'll turn into a polyp during the celebration.

Trivia

  • Despite what many may think, the polyps weren't an original concept by Disney. They were taken from the original fairy tale. The only difference is in the original fairytale, they were guardians to the witch's lair instead of damned merfolk.
  • The SEGA genesis video game based off the movie was the first form of media to give Ariel a full poylp transformation, and was the first to give Ariel a non-human/mermaid transformation before the TV series episode that aired in 1993. 
  • The polyps share some similarities to the boys who were transformed into donkeys in Pinocchio, in that they were transformed by villains who took advantage of their desires. The only difference is that the polyps were freed from their curse in the end, while the boys were not.

Gallery


v - e - d
The Little Mermaid - 2013 Logo
Media
Films: The Little MermaidThe Little Mermaid II: Return to the SeaThe Little Mermaid: Ariel's BeginningThe Little Mermaid (live action film)Video

Television: Little Mermaid's IslandTV seriesHouse of MouseOnce Upon a TimeA Poem Is...
Video Games: NES gameSega Genesis GameAriel's Story StudioKingdom HeartsKingdom Hearts: Chain of MemoriesKingdom Hearts IIThe Little Mermaid 2: Pinball FrenzyDisney's The Little Mermaid: Magic in Two Kingdoms
Books: Poor Unfortunate Soul: A Tale of the Sea WitchOfficial Comic AdaptationDisney ComicsBig Golden BookClassic StorybookDisney's Wonderful World of ReadingGolden Sight 'n' Sound BookLittle Golden BookThe Little Mermaid's Treasure ChestDisney Princess Beginnings
Marvel Comics: Sink or SwimAll that GlittersThe DaredevilfishWhirlpool WorldMy Dinner with CrustaceaRoom at the PalaceThere Goes the NeighborhoodGone With the WavesThe Sea Horse TournamentThe Sorrowful Sea MonsterThe Wrong QueenOf Myths and MermaidsAriel and the Lobster's Loot
Music: Original Walt Disney Records SoundtrackThe Legacy CollectionThe Little Mermaid: Songs from the Sea

Disney Parks
Mermaid LagoonDisney's Art of Animation ResortAriel's GrottoAriel's PlaygroundArt of AnimationBlowfish Balloon RaceDisney Animation BuildingFairy Tale ForestFlounder's Flying Fish CoasterIt's a Small WorldJumpin' JellyfishKing Triton's Carousel of the SeaMermaid Lagoon TheaterMickey's PhilharMagicScuttle's ScootersSorcerers of the Magic KingdomStorybook Land Canal BoatsThe Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea AdventureThe WhirlpoolVoyage to the Crystal Grotto

Entertainment: AnimagiqueAnimazment - The MusicalDisney's Dreams: An Enchanted ClassicDisney's WishesDisney Classics: The Music & The MagicFantasmic!Feel the MagicGolden Fairytale FanfareKing Triton's ConcertMermaid Lagoon Theater "Under the Sea"Mickey's Magical CelebrationMickey and the Magical MapMickey and the Wondrous BookSummer BlastThe Golden MickeysVillains Tonight!Voyage of the Little Mermaid
Restaurants: Ariel's GrottoSebastian's Calypso Kitchen
Shops: Kiss de Girl FashionsMermaid MemoriesMermaid TreasuresPrince Eric's Village MarketScuttle's Shiny Things
Parade: Celebrate A Dream Come True ParadeDisney's Magical Moments ParadeDisney on ParadeFestival of Fantasy ParadeMickey's New Year's Eve ParadeMickey's Soundsational ParadePaint The Night ParadeSpectroMagicStitch's Summer Dance BashThe Wonderful World of Disney ParadeWalt Disney's Parade of Dreams
Firework: Celebrate the MagicDisney Dreams!Disney in the StarsDisneyland ForeverHappily Ever AfterIgnite the Dream: A Nighttime Spectacular of Magic and LightMagic, Music and MayhemWorld of Color
Halloween: Happy HallowishesRe-Villains! Halloween ParadeThe Villains WorldVillains Night Out! Chapter 2

Characters
Original: ArielFlounderSebastianScuttlePrince EricKing TritonUrsulaFlotsam and JetsamKing Triton's DaughtersMaxGrimsbyCarlottaChef LouisUrsula's GardenGlutThe Seahorse HeraldHaroldMerpeople

Sequel: MelodyTip and DashMorganaCloak and DaggerUndertowHammerhead SharkAlexFlounder's guppiesBaby PenguinUrsula and Morgana's mother
Prequel: Queen AthenaMarina Del ReyBenjaminThe Catfish Club BandStevieElectric Eels
Little Mermaid's Island SandyScales
TV Series: UrchinGabriellaOllieDudleyPearlPearl's motherMantaLittle EvilDr. VileDanielMoraySimonLobster Mobster and Da ShrimpThe SorceressGlowfishEbb and FloEmpreror Shargaand the SharkaniansOctopidBrain SpongeZeusSpot the Killer WhaleCrab ScoutsHans Christian AndersenMr. and Mrs. Clambakersfield and their babiesLuckyThorKid SquidAugustusStormy the Giant SeahorseSorcerer BlowfishPenny the CatThe Magical Wishing StarfishApolloArchimedesSeaclopsNeptune
Comic Book: ScallopaIndigoAunt CrustaceaSir FigmondFlooglefishMarlin the MagicianSnapperJasonCalibanKing ProteusAriadnePiraniaCeliaJennyScarface the SharkProfessor Thelonius PaxxShanaKing HaroldPrincess PenelopeCaptain CutlassAquariusAbaloney Kid

Episodes
Season One: "Whale of a Tale" • "The Great Sebastian" • "Stormy" • "Urchin" • "Double Bubble" • "Message in a Bottle" • "Charmed" • "Marriage of Inconvenience" • "The Evil Manta" • "Thingamajigger" • "Red" • "Beached" • "Trident True" • "Eel-Ectric City"

Season Two: "Resigned to It" • "Calliope Dreams" • "Save the Whale" • "Against the Tide" • "Giggles" • "Wish Upon a Starfish" • "Tail of Two Crabs" • "Metal Fish" • "T'ank You For Dat, Ariel"
Season Three: "Scuttle" • "King Crab" • "Island of Fear" • "Land of the Dinosaurs" • "Heroes" • "The Beast Within" • "Ariel's Treasures" • "A Little Evil"

Objects
Prince Eric's StatueTridentUrsula's CauldronUrsula's NecklaceMelody's locketQueen Athena's music boxDinglehopperRoyal Ship
Locations
AtlanticaAriel's Secret GrottoUrsula's LairPrince Eric's CastleThe Wedding ShipMorgana's Ice Cave
Songs
Film: Fathoms BelowDaughters of King TritonPart of Your WorldUnder the SeaPoor Unfortunate SoulsLes PoissonsKiss the GirlDown to the SeaFor a MomentTip and DashHere on the Land and SeaJust One MistakeJump in the Line (Shake Senora)I Remember

TV Series: Just a Little LoveYou Got to be YouThe Edge of the Edge of the SeaThe Lobster Mobster's MobThe Beddy Bye BluesSing a New SongIn HarmonyThis is the LifeYou Know I KnowNever Give UpYou Wouldn't Want to Mess with MeThe Sound of LaughterDaring to DanceJust Give Me a ChanceEvil Lullaby
Musical: She's in LoveHuman StuffPositoovityI Want the Good Times BackDaddy's Little AngelHer VoiceThe World AboveThe ContestIf OnlyBeyond My Wildest DreamsSweet ChildOne Step CloserAll Good Things Must End
Deleted: Silence is Golden

See Also
MusicalThe Disney AfternoonDisney Sing Along Songs: Under the Sea


v - e - d
Kingdom Hearts utilized logo
Games
Kingdom Hearts + Final MixChain of MemoriesRe:Chain of MemoriesKingdom Hearts II + Final Mix358/2 DaysBirth by Sleep + Final MixcodedRe:codedDream Drop DistanceHD I.5 ReMIXχ [chi]HD II.5 ReMIXHD II.8 Final Chapter PrologueHD I.5+II.5 ReMIXUnchained χ/Union χ [cross]Kingdom Hearts III
Incorporated Films and Shorts
Alice in WonderlandAladdin/The Return of JafarBeauty and the BeastBig Hero 6CinderellaFantasiaHerculesThe Hunchback of Notre DameLilo & StitchThe Lion KingThe Little MermaidMickey, Donald and Goofy: The Three MusketeersMulanThe Nightmare Before ChristmasPeter PanPinocchioPirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black PearlSleeping BeautySteamboat WillieSnow White and the Seven DwarfsTangledTarzanToy StoryTron/Tron: LegacyThe Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Characters
Main Characters: SoraRikuKairiKing MickeyDonald DuckGoofyRoxasAquaTerraVentus

Villains: Master XehanortAnsemXemnasMaleficentPeteOrganization XIIIVanitasXigbar/BraigXaldinVexenLexaeusZexionSaïx/IsaDemyxLuxordMarluxiaLarxeneTerra-XehanortYoung XehanortXehanort's Guardian
Other Characters: Jiminy CricketNaminéAnsem the Wise/DiZYen SidXionAxel/LeaMaster EraqusDilanEvenAeleusIenzoLingering WillData SoraData RikuData NaminéData RoxasHaynerPenceOletteRiku-AnsemKairi's GrandmaRiku ReplicaAnti-SaïxAnti-SoraAnti-RikuSora-HeartlessJiminy's JournalForetellersMaster of MastersLuxuEphemerSkuldChirithyBlaineStrelitziaLauriam
Original Monsters: HeartlessNobodiesUnversedDream Eater
Disney Characters and Villains: Queen MinnieDaisy DuckPlutoTarzanClaytonKerchakKalaJane PorterWinnie the PoohAladdinGenieJasmineJafarIagoTronMagic BroomsPeter PanTinker BellQuasimodoJudge Claude FrolloMerlinFlora, Fauna, and MerryweatherAuroraPrince PhillipTiggerEeyoreRabbitArielUrsulaPrince EricFlounderSebastianMulanMushuShan YuLi ShangJack SparrowHector BarbossaElizabeth SwannWill TurnerChernabogSimbaTimonPumbaaNalaRafikiScarKing TritonAliceCheshire CatQueen of HeartsJack SkellingtonOogie BoogieSallyEsmeraldaPhoebusBeagle BoysScrooge McDuckHuey, Dewey and LouieChip and DaleHorace HorsecollarMaster Control ProgramSarkKevin FlynnSam FlynnQuorraCLURinzlerCinderellaPrince CharmingFairy GodmotherJaqLady TremaineBelleBeastLumiereCogsworthMrs PottsPinocchioGeppettoMonstroStitchCaptain GantuJumbaHerculesMegaraHadesCaptain HookTick-Tock the CrocodileSnow WhiteEvil QueenThe PrinceWendyPongoPerditaDalmatian PuppiesAce "Chicken Little" CluckRapunzelBaymaxPhiloctetesAbu
Square Enix Characters: LeonCloudMoogleJoshuaOthers

Elements
Plot Elements: Kingdom HeartsHeartKeyblade WarDark Seeker SagaMore

Game Elements: Gameplay in Kingdom HeartsMagic

Objects
Sea-salt ice creamWayfinderDoor to DarknessKeybladeX-bladeMickey's LettersThalassa ShellKingdom Hearts EncoderKeychainBug BloxBlack coatKeyblade Armor
Locations
Land of DepartureDisney CastleDisney TownTimeless RiverDatascapeRadiant Garden/Hollow BastionKeyblade GraveyardDestiny IslandsTraverse TownDive to the HeartEnd of the WorldRealm of DarknessCastle OblivionTwilight TownThe World That Never WasCastle That Never Was • Deep Jungle • AgrabahOlympus Coliseum/UnderworldHalloween TownNeverlandWonderlandAtlanticaHundred Acre WoodBeast's CastlePort RoyalPride LandsThe GridKingdom of CoronaSan Fransokyo
Organizations/Groups
Organization XIIIPrincesses of HeartDisney Villains Council
Music
Dearly BelovedSimple and CleanSanctuaryMickey Mouse Club MarchSwim This WayPart of Your WorldUnder the SeaUrsula's RevengeA New Day is DawningDestatiBibbidi-Bobbidi-BooHe's a PirateBeauty and the BeastThis is HalloweenIt's a Small WorldNight on Bald MountainWinnie the PoohThe Sorcerer's ApprenticeThe Pastoral Symphony
Soundtracks
Kingdom Hearts Original SoundtrackKingdom Hearts Final Mix - Additional TracksKingdom Hearts II Original SoundtrackKingdom Hearts Original Soundtrack CompleteKingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep & 358/2 Days Original SoundtrackKingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance Original SoundtrackKingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX Original Soundtrack Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX Original Soundtrack


v - e - d
Kilala logo
Media
Kilala Princess
Characters
Kilala RenoReiTippeErica AngeSylphyKilala's ParentsValdouSnow WhiteDocGrumpyHappySneezyBashfulSleepyDopeyThe Evil QueenCinderellaLady TremaineAnastasia TremaineDrizella TremaineAuroraMaleficentArielFlounderSebastianUrsulaBelleBeastGastonJasmineAladdinJafarIagoFa MulanMeridaPocahontas
Locations
ParadisoThe Queen's CastleAtlantica
Objects
Magic TiaraMagic MirrorPoisoned AppleGlass SlipperTridentEnchanted RoseJafar's Snake Staff