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Ursula

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Ursula
Background information
Feature films The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea
(portrait cameo and mentioned)
Mickey's House of Villains
Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse
Television programs The Little Mermaid
Hercules
(cameo)
House of Mouse
Once Upon a Time
Video games The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid 2: Pinball Frenzy

Kingdom Hearts
Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories
Kingdom Hearts II
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
Disney Princess
Disney Universe
Disney Princess Enchanting Storybooks
Disney Princess: My Fairytale Adventure
Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion
Park attractions Fantasmic!
Voyage of the Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure
Starlight Dreams
Walt Disney's Parade of Dreams
Mickey's Boo-to-You Halloween Parade
Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom
SpectroMagic
The Golden Mickeys
Disney Dreams

Disney Studios
Portrayed by
Portrayed by Lana Parilla (Once Upon a Time)
Lisa Fabio (Performance)
Animators Nik Ranieri
Ruben A. Aquino
Voice Pat Carroll
Jodi Benson (as Vanessa)
Yvette Nicole Brown (Once Upon a Time)
Performance model Queen Latifah (Disney Dream Portrait Series)
Designer
Inspiration The Sea Witch in the Fairy Tale by Hans Christian Anderson
Divine, an American drag performer
Norma Desmond from Sunset Boulevard
Madame Medusa
Honors and awards 6th Place in WatchMojo.com's Top 10 Animated Disney Villains
Character information
Full name
Other names Vanessa (her alter ego)
Arsulu (her mermaid alter ego)
Personality Power-hungry, manipulative, ambitious, dark, sinister, polite, persuasive, highly intelligent
Appearance Obese, octopus-like, light lavender skin, both red lips and fingernails, white hair, gray eyes, aqua eyelids, black mole on her right cheek, purple coral shell earrings, black cord with a gold nautilus shell
Birthday
Occupation Sea Witch
Alignment Bad
Affiliations
Goal To rule the oceans, To take over Atlantica, To return to the palace
Home Her lair in the corpse of a Leviathan called "the Serpentine"
Relatives Morgana (sister)
King Triton (brother (Stage Musical))
Pets Flotsam and Jetsam
Allies Flotsam and Jetsam, Jafar, Maleficent, Hades, Madame Medusa, Lady Tremaine, The Evil Queen, Morgana, The Octopids
Minions Flotsam and Jetsam, Heartless, The Octopids
Enemies Ariel, Queen Athena, King Triton, Sebastian, Flounder, Prince Eric, Urchin, Ariel's sisters, Zeus the Crab, Scuttle, Gabriella, Grimsby, Carlotta, Chef Louis, Snow White, Cinderella, Belle, Jasmine, Mulan, Pocahontas, Tiana
Likes Her darlings, power, destroying merpeople's happiness for her own gain, causing despair for others
Dislikes Starvation, anything to do with King Triton, people forgetting her birthday, being second-best
Powers and abilities Magic potions
Size alteration
Metamorphosis
Ability to turn merfolk into condemned polyps
Weapons Spells
Seaworm glowing stone
Ariel's treasures
King Triton's trident
Tentacles
Manipulation
Fate Gets brutally impaled by a shipwreck's bowsprit commandeered by Prince Eric while trying to destroy Ariel, electrocutes fatally, and explodes until her pieces sank to the ocean floor with the ship.
Quote "The child is in love with a human. And not just any human. A prince!"
"Triton's daughter will be mine, and then I'll make him writhe. I'll see him wriggle like a worm on a hook!"
"So much for true love!"
I admit that in the past I've been a nasty. They weren't kidding when the called me, well, a witch.
―Ursula

Ursula is the main villain of Disney's 1989 animated feature film The Little Mermaid and its 1992-94 spin-off television series.She is mean and fat. She is voiced by Pat Carroll in all of her appearances. Over the years, Ursula has become one of the most popular, and iconic of all the Disney villains and is one of the franchise's official members.

Ursula is based on the "sea witch" character in Hans Christian Andersen's story The Little Mermaid. In the original story, the sea witch is a neutral enabler, but for Disney's animated adaptation, the character was modified into a full-fledged antagonist and plays a larger role in the overall story. Ursula is a cecaelian sea witch who "helps" unfortunate merfolk to achieve her own goals.

Her appearance is of a plump light lavender-skinned, white-haired female human and from the waist down has black octopus-like tentacles. The character has been compared to Madame Medusa from the 1977 film The Rescuers, in terms of style, dramatics and choice of minions. 

Background

Development

During pre-production, Ursula was not originally designed as a Cecaelia; a legendary hybrid of human and octopus. It was thought that she would be another sea creature, such as a rockfish or lionfish. The production team then saw a documentary about octopi, and decided that their multiple arms and imposing appearance would be perfect for the character they were creating. Ursula is only drawn with six tentacles, due to the studio's budget and difficulty in coordinating eight tentacles (though she has eight limbs if you include her arms). Pat Carroll has stated that this makes her a squid, biologically she still resembles an octopus far more than any other sea-creature. Her basic look was based on the Drag performer Divine.

Pat Carroll, Ursula's voice actress, envisioned the character as "part Shakespearean actress, with all the flair, flamboyance and theatricality, and part used-car salesman with a touch of con artist". Carroll, who is a contralto, deliberately deepened her voice for the role.

Personality

Ursula is a very dark and sinister villain with a sense a humor. Ursula is very manipulative and has a talent of making great sense and making persuasive points when trying to strike a deal. Unlike many Disney Villains, most of whom care very little for their followers, Ursula puts her henchmen Flotsam and Jetsam before anything and everyone else. Ursula treats the eels like children and refer to them as "babies" or "poopsies". When the eels are killed accidentally by Ursula because of Ariel, she mourns and takes all of her anger and sadness out on Ariel and attempts to kill her once and for all. She is known to fill the heads of merpeople with deceptions; she feeds Ariel with the lie (or at best half-truth) that men on the surface like silence in women. In fact, Prince Eric loved Ariel's voice, and Ursula manipulated her into giving up precisely the thing that would have let him recognize the mysterious girl who had saved him from the sea. Despite using contracts to get her way, Ursula has little regard for following her end of the bargain. This is demonstrated when immediately after Triton signed away his freedom for Ariel's safety, Ursula claims she'd have no qualms killing Ariel, despite being implied to have promised to not harm Ariel as a condition of the contract, and gleefully tries to in the final battle. The latter instance is possibly due to Ariel being the cause of Flotsam and Jetsam's deaths. However for a villain she expects standards in her home, even telling Ariel "We mustn't lurk in doorways. It's rude."

Abilities

Ursula's magical abilities, even without the Trident, were very potent. She was able to concoct various potions to create various spells, including mass-transfer (implied during the song "Poor Unfortunate Souls") as well as physically altering people's bodies, as evidenced by her transforming Ariel into a human, as well as her own transformation into Vanessa and Arsulu (although in the case of Vanessa, it was implied to be the result of her nautilus). However, in both instances that she utilized it on herself, she was incapable of altering her reflection, which is eventually how her enemies got the drop on her. When it comes to physical powers, Ursula possesses Superhuman Strength, though not as strong as Triron, yet strong enough to throw a mermaid to a rock, as what she did to Ariel in the alternate ending of the movie.  She was also, capable of creating poisonous ink clouds which could absorb the energy of the Trident, and enhancing Ursula's power. Her most dangerous ability, however, was her ability to turn people into polyps should they fail to fulfill their end of the bargain via contracts, having done so multiple times under unspecified circumstances, nearly did so with Ariel, and successfully did so with Triton. It's also implied that she absorbs their souls while transforming them into polyps, making herself more powerful in the process. Likewise, once the contract is made, it is indestructible even to someone as powerful as Triton. Presumably, this arcane power is one-way, as she does not end up becoming a polyp for failing to fulfill her end of the contract. In fact, the only way to completely stop a contract short of fulfilling it is via her death, as evidenced by the aftermath of her death at the hands of Prince Eric.

Appearances

The Little Mermaid

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Ursula with Flotsam and Jetsam.
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When Ursula first appears in the film, she states through monologue that she once lived in the royal palace of King Triton, the king of the underwater city of Atlantica. She was banished from Atlantica and made her home in the remains of a leviathan where she waits the chance to get her revenge on Triton and become Queen of Atlantica.

The entrance to Ursula's leviathan home is lined with a garden of writhing polyps which were merfolk who had been previously gone to Ursula for help, but found themselves unable to fulfill their side of the bargain, leading Ursula to claim them as her own and added them to her collection. The garden of polyps are part of the original fairytale, but are simply guards of the way to the sea witch's home, and not condemned merfolk.

Ursula commands her minions, moray eels Flotsam and Jetsam, to watch Triton's youngest daughter Ariel, whom might be "the key to Triton's undoing". Opportunity arises when Ursula learns that Ariel has fallen in love with a human (a prince named Eric), against Triton's explicit rules. Flotsam and Jetsam lure Ariel to Ursula's lair, claiming that only Ursula can help her.

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Ursula manipulating Ariel.
Hey1234Added by Hey1234

Through the song "Poor Unfortunate Souls", Ursula proposes an agreement where she will transform Ariel into a human for three days, during which Ariel must receive the "kiss of true love" from Eric. If Ariel succeeds, her transformation into a human will be permanent, but if she fails, she will turn back into a mermaid and be bound to Ursula for eternity. The price for the transformation is Ariel's voice (which Ursula will keep no matter what happens). Ariel agrees and signs a contract that Ursula has conjured. As Ursula orders Ariel to sing, the sea witch summons magical hands to rip out Ariel's voice, which is then magically pulled into Ursula's Nautilus shell necklace. She then laughs gleefully as her plans begin to unfold: Ariel's tail is split into legs. In comparison, the original fairytale involves the sea witch taking the little mermaid's voice by cutting off her tongue, and her tail was transformed into legs by a magic potion which the mermaid was to drink on the beach surface.

During the time that Ariel is a human and must win a kiss from Eric in order to remain human permanently, Ursula takes every measure to prevent the kiss from occurring, such as when Flotsam and Jetsam tip over the boat in which Ariel and Eric are sitting on as the two are close to kissing. Fearing that Ariel may be better at performing the task than Ursula has thought and that Eric will be kissing Ariel by sunset for sure, Ursula decides to take matters into her own tentacles, determined to make Ariel hers for eternity and to make Triton writhe. She then takes the form of a beautiful human female with Ariel's voice in order to sabotage her relationship with Eric.

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Vanessa, Ursula's human disguise.
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After transforming herself into a human by the name of Vanessa, Ursula bewitches Eric to marry her, but the wedding is disrupted by interference from Scuttle and other sea animals he called to help. In the chaos, the Nautilus shell containing Ariel's voice is broken, breaking the enchantment and returning Ariel's voice back to its owner. However, the sun sets before Ariel and Eric can kiss and Ariel changes back into a mermaid. Ursula, restored to her normal form, grabs Ariel and jumps back into the sea, where she is confronted by King Triton. She reveals her true goal, and forces Triton to choose between his freedom and his daughter's. Triton agrees to take Ariel's place, and once Triton is transformed into a polyp, Ursula takes the crown and magical trident. Ariel is angry at Ursula for what the latter has done to the former's father and tries to fight. Ursula threatens to kill her with the trident, but is hit by Eric with a harpoon. Angry, she sends Flotsam and Jetsam to strangle him, but Sebastian and Flounder extricate him. Ursula then prepares to kill Eric with the trident, but Ariel pulls on her hair, which makes her shot miss Eric. Instead, the shot accidentally hits her eels and destroys them, making her upset.

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Ursula with the ship rammed into her.
Hey1234Added by Hey1234

Furious, Ursula grows into a giant and declares herself as the ruler of all the ocean with the ability to control the waves, the sea and all its spoils. She then creates a rainstorm to separate Eric from Ariel and a whirlpool to raise some shipwrecks. The sea witch then imprisons Ariel at the bottom of the whirlpool and decides to test her new powers by killing the princess. Using the trident, Ursula fires multiple destructive blasts at Ariel, who just barely manages to avoid them. Ursula laughs wickedly and prepares an unavoidable blast that would destroy Ariel forever as well as her true love dreams. She is concentrating hard on finishing the princess that she doesn't notice that one of the shipwrecks is heading toward her due to Eric having taken control of that ship. Just as Ursula about to fatally blast Ariel, Eric impales the sea witch by plunging the ship's splintered bow through her belly. As Ursula screams in pain, the bow catches lightning during the storm that electrocutes her and destroys her for good. After Ursula's death, all the merfolk that have had been under her power, including Triton, are released from their bonds as they transform back into their original forms.

In the 2006 Platinum Edition DVD release of the film, deleted scenes revealed early concept ideas where Ursula is Triton's sister, making her Ariel's aunt. This concept was not used in the final film, though it sometimes resurfaced in spinoff material, and is in the Broadway musical.

Extension

Other materials were released as part of Disney's The Little Mermaid franchise, including books and comics, though these materials are arguably part of the animated canon.

In the first two issues of the official "The Little Mermaid" comic, Ursula appears briefly to negotiate with a race of eel-men for the carcass of a Leviathan which she would convert into the home seen in the 1989 film. Ursula frequently appears in Ariel's comics in the Disney Princess magazines, often in a villainous role. In the Disney Press book "The Villain Files", it is implied that Ursula is Ariel's aunt, a concept that is based on the abandoned story concept of the 1989 film.

The Little Mermaid (TV series)

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Ursula in The Little Mermaid series.
Hey1234Added by Hey1234

Ursula appears as the primary and most recurring villain on the The Little Mermaid prequel television series. The episodes she appears in are "Against the Tide", "Tail of Two Crabs", "Heroes" and "Ariel's Treasures". In all of these episodes, she executes various plans to antagonize King Triton and take over Atlantica.

In "Against the Tide", Ursula has been experiencing failures in her most recent magic spells. She believes it to be the work of an odd sea creature that is said to cause bad luck whenever it's around. Ursula decides to destroy the creature, but Ariel rescues it, as she believes it to be harmless. Eventually, the creature's whereabouts have been located at Triton's palace, and Ursula invades the palace during King Triton's homecoming. She prepares to eliminate the beast by using the stolen magic of the trident, though Sebastian was clever enough to make a makeshift version of the creature, and trick Ursula into destroying it instead. With the beast supposedly gone, Ursula departs.

In "Tail of Two Crabs", Ursula takes advantage of Sebastian's jealously towards his rival Zeus the Crab, by transforming into Sebastian's "Fairy God Crab". She offers him a wish if he can recover a rare artifact holding great power. Sebastian delivers, and Ursula is able to turn King Triton, Flounder, and Ariel into sea worms. Luckily, Zeus is able to subdue Ursula and revert her curse.

In "Heroes", Apollo, a legendary hero who once saved Atlantica from Ursula and her army of octopuses, returns to Atlantica, just when Ursula decides to revive her old army in an attempt to dominate Atlantica once more. Like the previous battle however, Apollo prevails with the help of the fire-breathing Sea Dragon. It is also implied in this episode that the reason behind her exile was because she tried to create copies of the Trident, referred to as dark tridents, for the aforementioned army against Atlantica.

Lastly in "Ariel's Treasures", Ursula enchants the human items in Ariel's grotto, in an attempt to wreak havoc on Atlantica.

The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea

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Ursula's picture that Morgana hangs on her wall.
Hey1234Added by Hey1234

Ursula doesn't actually appear in this direct-to-video sequel, but she makes a cameo and is mentioned various times, mostly by her sister Morgana, also a Cecelia (who has eight tentacles instead of Ursula's six). She is seen as a picture in Morgana's lair. This picture sinks with Morgana when she is turned into a block of ice by King Triton at the end of the movie.

"Hercules and the Bacchanal"

Ursula (or at least a character based on her) appears in the Hercules: Animated series as she tries to sell perfume to Hercules and Hermes.

House of Mouse

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Ursula in Mickey's House of Villains.
DTierney30Added by DTierney30

Despite her death in the 1989 film, Ursula made numerous cameos in the series House of Mouse, often seen alone or with Ariel. In "Ask Von Drake", she was seen popping out of Ariel's giant shell during the Ludwig Von Drake Song. In "Pete's House of Villains", she replaced Daisy at her desk after Pete took over. In "Jiminy Cricket", Jiminy gives Ariel advice resulting into taking her voice back from Ursula. Her mode of transportation was seen as a wave vehicle. At the end of "Max's Embarrassing Date", Ursula is seen in an advertisement attempting to steal the voice of Max Goof's girlfriend Roxanne. In "Mickey and Minnie's Big Vacation", Ursula was one of the many guest to be annoyed when the Pink Elephants are briefly released.

Ursula was one of the lead villains in Mickey's House of Villains, and was also seen in Mickey's Magical Christmas telling Mickey that she wants his voice for Christmas.

Kingdom Keepers

Ursula is first mentioned in the saga in the third book when a cast member says Tigger was spying on her. In the fifth book, she appears at Typhoon Lagoon when King Triton is talking with Finn. She has power of the water and even creates a whirlpool where Finn almost drowns. She also appears on the cover of Kingdom Keepers V: Shell Game.

Once Upon a Time

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Lana Parilla as "Ursula" on Once Upon a Time.
AuburnAutumnAdded by AuburnAutumn
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The "real" Ursula on Once Upon a Time.
LemonFaustAdded by LemonFaust

In the fantasy drama series, Ursula is a mythical sea goddess who is considered a myth by merfolk as she hasn't been seen for a thousand years. This identity appears in the episode "Ariel", where in the episode, the eponymous Ariel prays to her for guidance so she can be able continue her life as a human and forever be with Prince Eric. Using this opportunity, the Evil Queen appears as Ursula to Ariel and gives her a magic bracelet that gives the wearer Ariel's tail in exchange for their legs. Ariel, in an act of gratitude for Snow White's earlier help, gives the bracelet to Snow so that she can live her life free from the Queen while Ariel gets to be with Eric. However, Snow White tries to tell Ariel that Ursula isn't real. Much to Ariel's shock, Regina shows up and admits this was a way to get Snow using Ariel. She then gives Ariel an ultimatum: leave Snow with Regina and live happily with Prince Eric, or perish along with Snow. Ariel appears to choose the first choice, but then stabs Regina with a fork and removes the bracelet from Snow, who then escapes with Ariel into the water. After delivering Snow safely onto land, Ariel returns to tell Eric how she feels, but when she attempts to speak, she discovers that her voice is missing. Regina, standing on the docks, reveals she had taken her voice so Ariel can never tell Prince Eric how she truly feels. Ariel becomes devastated, and Regina proceeds to tell Ariel to leave. When Regina returns to her castle, she looks into her mirror and discovers Ursula herself, proving that Ursula is indeed real. Ursula then grabs Regina with her tentacles through the mirror itself, threatening a fearful Regina to never pose as her again, or she will prove to Regina "just how real she is", before subsequently letting her go and disappearing.

Although Ursula's physical appearance is largely based on the Disney version, her personality is closer to that of the original Hans Christian Andersen tale, being largely a neutral entity, although will get vengeful when someone poses as her.

Video games

Kingdom Hearts series

UrsulaKH3D

Ursula is a recurring villain in four installments of the Kingdom Hearts series. Originally, she was a member of the legion of Disney villains led by Maleficent who sought to dominate the worlds via the power of darkness and control over fearsome creatures known as the Heartless.

In Kingdom Hearts, Ursula is able to manipulate Ariel into handing over the trident, wanting to use it take control of the ocean. However, due to the efforts of the game's protagonists Sora, Donald, and Goofy, Ursula is defeated and vanishes into the darkness, alongside other villains who were slain by Sora and co.

In Chain of Memories, Ursula makes an appearance in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories as a figment of Sora's memories, using Flounder to force Ariel into giving her the trident, claiming she'll have the guppy killed if she refuses. Ursula returns yet again in Kingdom Hearts II, where she revives from the dead and offers Ariel her dream to live up on the surface in exchange for her voice. The plot that follows mirrors the original film, and upon Ursula acquisition of the trident, she becomes a monstrous giant and tries to eliminate Ariel, as well as Sora and friends. However, with their new ally, Prince Eric, Ursula is defeated yet again.

An apparition of Ursula appears in Dream Drop Distance as the first boss in the game. She is, suddenly attacking Sora and Riku with her tentacles and magic as the heroes were on their way to the Mark of Mastery exam. When Ursula is defeated, her destruction causes a whirlpool to drag Sora and Riku underwater and towards the Keyhole to Destiny Islands and the entrance to the Sleeping Worlds, beginning their new journey. How Ursula came of be is unknown, though her motives were to simply have revenge on Sora.

Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion

Along with other toons, Urusla had her essence drained by Mizrabel and into wasteland. When Mickey found her and explained it was Mizrabel's fault for this second "banishment", Ursula demanded to know where the witch was to prove there was only room for her. As Mickey didn't know, she was directed to the fortress to scheme against Mizrabel. She asks for a couldren in exchange for not harming any of the other toons Mickey saved; she keeps her end of the bargain.

Disney Princess: My Fairytale Adventure

Ursula plays a small role in the game, being featured as a boss alongside Flotsam and Jetsam during The Little Mermaid stage.

Disney Parks

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Ursula in the Halloween parade at the Tokyo Disneyland.
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Ursula has been prominently featured in dozens of park shows, parades and merchandise. At the Magic Kingdom, she can be seen in SpectroMagic. In Disneyland Paris, she appears in Mickey and his Magic Halloween Night with other villains. A massive sculpture of Ursula is one of the features of the Little Mermaid area of Disney's Art of Animation Resort.

She has been used in several promos with other characters for the Disney Halloween events and Water Parks.

Fantasmic!

The Fantasmic! show debuted in 1992 in the California park, only a few years after The Little Mermaid debuted. Ursula appears in the finale, summoning the powers of the sea to destroy Mickey Mouse, though she herself is ultimately beaten. Originally, a twenty foot Audio-Animatronic Ursula float traveled around her segment in the show on the water, but the air constantly leaked from the blow-up tentacles, and the animatronic as a whole was a maintenance nightmare, so currently the character is only featured via animation projected onto water screens. Different theme parks feature variations from the original, such as in Hollywood Studios version, where Ursula has a much smaller role. In the Tokyo DisneySea version, Ursula's role is far more similar to California's.

Voyage of the Little Mermaid

Ursula appears as an audio animatronic living the same role as the film. After she strikes her deal with Ariel, the rest of her scenes are showcased on screen where it shows her transforming into Vanessa, becoming a giant and her death.

Happy Hallowishes

Ursula is a central character in the annual Halloween-themed fireworks show HalloWishes at the Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party "hard ticket" event along with Jafar, Oogie Boogie and Maleficent.

The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure

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Ursula in The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure.
FigmentJediAdded by FigmentJedi

Ursula plays the part she did in the original film, first appearing in the ride's Poor Unfortunate Souls scene, represented by an 8-foot tall, 12-foot wide animatronic, to turn Ariel into a human. Her defeat is one of the last scenes of the attraction.

Ursula's animatronic is one of the most detailed that the Disney Imagineers have ever created. It was designed to move more fluidity than the average AA and gradually apart of the one of the Disney Parks' greatest achievements of the year.

Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom

Ursula serves as one of the Fantasyland villains for the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom game, where Hades revives her from her death and recruits her to steal a piece of the Crystal of the Magic Kingdom. However, like Maleficent, she plots to double-cross him and take the piece for herself. Once the piece is in her possession, Ursula plots to flood Cinderella Castle and rest of the Magic Kingdom so that she may dominate the park along with the rest of the seas. Likewise, in a similar manner to her transforming into Vanessa, she also disguises herself as Ariel at one point in an attempt to deceive Merlin and the guests into aiding her in her goal.

Ursula returns during the final battle with Hades. In the end, the park guests to defeat Ursula and the other villains by trapping them in the Crystal of the Magic Kingdom.

Disney Dreams!

In Disneyland Paris, Ursula is briefly summoned by Captain Hook to eliminate the living shadow of Peter Pan. She begins to torture it and eventually leads it to the hands of Maleficent.

Stage musical

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Ursula in the Broadway musical adaptation.
Hey1234Added by Hey1234

A stage musical version of the 1989 film debuted in Denver for a pre-Broadway tryout, and in January 2008 opened on Broadway. Actress Sherie Rene Scott originated the live role. The role was later played by Heidi Blickenstaff and Faith Prince. the show closed on Broadway Aug.30, 2009.

In this version, Ursula is King Triton's sister. As revealed in the lyrics of Ursula's song "I Want the Good Times Back", when their father died, the pair were given equal share of the sea plus two magical items. Triton received the trident while Ursula received the magic Nautilus shell. Though the two were to rule the seas together, Ursula's greed and use of dark magic to usurp Triton led to her being banished. Her need for revenge is her motivation for the show.

Unlike the 1989 film, Ursula is depicted as being large but not obese, and the entire subplot where Ursula transforms into a human has been removed entirely. In the show's finale, Ursula is defeated by Ariel, not Eric, when the mermaid destroys Ursula's magical shell, since the climax in which Ursula becomes a gargantuous monster and then impaled by the bow of a ship is too expensive and impractical for a staged show.

Ursula sings new songs in addition to the film's "Poor Unfortunate Souls". These songs are "I Want the Good Times Back", in which Ursula reminisces over her luxurious past, "Her Voice", in which Ursula anticipates the sunset of the third day, and a reprise of "Poor Unfortunate Souls" in which Ursula 'negotiates' an agreement with Triton for Ariel's soul. Ursula also sings briefly at the end of a new sequence called "The Contest", in which Ariel's voice can be heard as the sun sets, but is then merged with Ursula's own voice. Ursual admits that she killed Ariel's mom. Ursual was turned into a potty mouth in the Broadway production.

An earlier demo workshop contained different songs written for Ursula that were eventually removed from the production. Ursula's introductory song is "Wasting Away", though it was later replaced by "I Want the Good Times Back". A different reprise of "Poor Unfortunate Souls" was written for Ursula just before she transforms into Vanessa, but since the Vanessa subplot was removed, so was the reprise. Another song, "All Good Things Must End" features Ursula gloating on her victory over Ariel, but the song was removed entirely. Emily Skinner performed as Ursula in this workshop.

Gallery

Wiki
The Disney Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Ursula.

Trivia

  • Ursula is one of the very rare characters (along with Scar, Clayton, and even Jafar) whose manner of death is shown graphically (she was impaled by a ship's bow, electrocuted by lightning, along with her tentacles grabbing the ship, finally sinking down to the ocean floor, exploding, and having her pieces sink to the ocean floor all on-screen). Usually, characters (heroes/minor characters and villains alike) are either killed off-screen by a fall (such as Ratigan and Gaston) or shown dead without a scratch (Mufasa and Megara).
  • As her death scene reveals, Ursula actually appears to have a skeleton, despite having an octopus (which, being mollusks, don't have bones) lower body. However, unlike Jafar, her skeleton only appeared for two split seconds, while Jafar's was shown throughout his entire death scene (and even less so in the Return of Jafar DVD, where his skeleton only starts appearing only right before he finally explodes, due to it being too frightening for young children, but still).
  • Ursula is the third Disney villain to be killed via electrocution (or at least partially, since she was also impaled), after Roscoe and Desoto, but before Jafar.
  • Ursula is a cecaelia (a half person, usually woman, half octopus) and she was the inspiration for Donald Duck's transformation "outfit" in Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II in the Atlantica World. In the TV Show, however, her species was referred to as Octopid.
  • "Ursula" is a Latin word meaning "Little Female Bear".
  • Despite being half-octopus, Ursula only has six tentacles. However, if you count her arms as limbs as well, then she actually does have eight limbs altogether.
  • The Nostalgia Critic listed Ursula as Number 6 on his "Top 11 Disney Villians" list with her song, "Poor Unfortunate Souls" was listed as Number 5 on his "Top 11 Villain Songs". His female counterpart, The Nostalgia Chick, listed Ursula as Number Four on her "Top 11 Nostalgic Villainesses" despite hating the movie she originated from.
  • Although Ursula is usually depicted with light lavender skin, her appearance as a child in both the family photo and the song "Gonna Get My Wish" indicated that her natural skin color was actually light green colored similar to Morgana and their mother.
  • Saleen, a villainess from the Aladdin TV series had her design based on Ursula's old film concept art.
  • Strangely, in Kingdom Hearts II, Ursula does not seem to recognize Sora, Donald, and Goofy, and Sora's group and Ariel make no mention of her death or revival, though during the "Ursula's Revenge" song, Ursula says that she is "back" and Sora shouts that she "got what [she] deserved". In fact, when Ariel makes the deal with Ursula, the former reacts as though she has seen the latter for the first time.
  • Ursula's blood's color is dark blue like cephelopods, as shown briefly when Eric's Harpoon scratches her arm, but appears black due to how dark it was.
  • The final battle with Ursula was intended to play out very differently than in the final film. First, Ariel initially succeeds in getting herself out of Ursula's grip, only for Flotsam and Jetsam to retrieve her. Also, she was to have accidentally killed Flotsam and Jetsam without any feelings of remorse or horror at what she had done, and her manner of death involved being impaled with the Trident by Eric before he passes out. The reason for the change was because Jeffrey Katzenberg had seen the Bruce Willis action thriller film Die Hard during the film's development, and advised that they "make the ending more like Die Hard." On a related note, Ariel's voice was to be released to her after she was killed.
    • Ursula's death scene in Kingdom Hearts II was actually the original storyboarded version for The Little Mermaid, but was changed to Eric ramming a wrecked ship's splintered bowsprit through Ursula's abdomen.
  • The animators created the character of Ursula for Bea Arthur, who declined as she was occupied with The Golden Girls. Jennifer Saunders then auditioned for the role of Ursula but was turned down. Then Nancy Marchand, Nancy Wilson, Roseanne, Charlotte Rae and Elaine Stritch were all then considered with the latter eventually being cast in the part. However, Stritch's style clashed with that of lyricist Howard Ashman so Pat Carroll got the part.
  • Ursula's physical appearance was actually based on that of the drag queen Divine's, who died while the film was still in production.
  • Ursula is the second of three Disney Villains to tempt a princess to obey her using an offer to make her dreams come true, the first being the Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and the third being Doctor Facilier from The Princess and the Frog; and yet, she is the last one who succeeded in decieving the princess in all versions of the story (Tiana never fell for the temptation in the film itself, but some books did).
  • As mentioned several times in this article, an original draft of the film was actually going to make Ursula King Triton's sister, which would have made her Ariel's aunt, as well as predate Scar as being the first Disney Villain to be related to the protagonist biologically had it been kept. Whether it was kept as canon in the main franchise is debatable, although both the TV series and Return to the Sea strongly imply otherwise, where they made an entire race based on Ursula's design and she had a sister and a mother who weren't merpeople, respectively.
  • In one of the Little Mermaid stories; Reflections of Arsulu, Ursula disguises herself as Arsulu (an anagram of her original name) a beautiful Blonde mermaid with a red tail and magenta shells. She does this in order to gain entry to Atlantica, where she causes a great deal of discord. Ariel found out about her whole plan and used a mirror and a flock of goldfish to foil Ursula's plan by showing her family Arsulu's real reflection.
  • Ursula is the last female villain with a female protagonist until Mother Gothel in 2010.
  • Ursula is the second Disney villain to disguise themselves in order to trick the protagonist of their respective movies'. The first being The Evil Queen, who disguised herself as an old hag to trick Snow White and the third being Jafar, who disguised himself as an old begger to trick Aladdin.
  • Ursula is the third Disney villain to undergo a size alteration in order to destroy her enemies. The first being Maleficent, the second being Madam Mim, the fourth being Jafar, and the fifth being King Candy. Unlike the other four, however, the only thing about her that actually changes is her size (Maleficent transforms into a dragon, Madam Mim transforms into various animals, including a dragon, Jafar transforms into a giant cobra and later a Genie, and King Candy merges with a cybug).
  • Ursula is the only female Disney Princess Villain who tries to become "romantically" involved with the main male protagonist. The first two male Disney Princess Villains (Gaston and Jafar) both tried to become "romantically" involved with the main female protagonist.
  • Ursula's body gestures are modeled after Nora Desmond from Sunset Boulevard.
  • Ursula is the first Disney villainess to sport a beauty mark, with the second being Helga Sinclair.
  • Ursula is the first Disney villainess to be directly killed by the male protagonist. Maleficent's death is debatable as Prince Philip had a great deal of help from Flora, Fauna and Merryweather.
  • Ursula is the first major antagonist in an animated Disney film to ever have her own villain song. Originally, villain songs were either sung by henchmen ("The World's Greatest Criminal Mind", "The Siamese Cat Song", etc.), comedic and/or incompetent villains ("(Hi-Diddle-Dee-Dee) An Actor's Life for Me", "Trust in Me", "The Magnificent Madam Mim", etc.), or by protagonists who opposed the villains ("Cruella de Vil", "Phony King of England", etc.), while more serious and less comedic major antagonists (the Evil Queen, Lady Tremaine, Maleficent, Cruella de Vil, Shere Khan, the Horned King etc.) never sang at all.
  • The Librarian from Monsters University has a similar appearance to Ursula.


The Little Mermaid
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Films: The Little Mermaid | The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea | The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning

Television: TV Series (Episode List) | House of Mouse | Once Upon a Time

Music: Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack | Musical

Video Games: NES game | Sega Genesis Game | Ariel's Story Studio | Kingdom Hearts | Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories | Kingdom Hearts II | The Little Mermaid 2: Pinball Frenzy

Books: Official Comic Adaptation | Marvel Comics

Attractions: Voyage of the Little Mermaid | Mickey's PhilharMagic | Mermaid Lagoon (Tokyo DisneySea) | The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure | King Triton's Carousel of the Sea | Fantasmic! | Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom | World of Color | Disney Dreams! | Celebrate the Magic

Original Film Characters: Ariel | Flounder | Sebastian | Scuttle | Prince Eric | King Triton | Ursula/Vanessa | Flotsam & Jetsam | Attina | Alana | Adella | Aquata | Arista | Andrina | Max | Grimsby | Carlotta | Chef Louis | Ursula's Garden | Glut | The Seahorse Herald | Harold | Merpeople | Washerwomen

Sequel Characters: Melody | Tip & Dash | Morgana | Cloak & Dagger | Undertow | Flounder's guppies | Baby Penguin |

Prequel Characters: Queen Athena | Marina Del Rey | Benjamin | Shelbow | Ink Spot | Cheeks | Ray-Ray | Stevie

TV Series Characters: Urchin | Gabriella | Ollie | Dudley | Pearl | The Evil Manta | Little Evil | Dr. Vile | Daniel | Moray | Simon | Lobster Mobster and Da Shrimp | The Sorceress | Glowfish | Ebb and Flo | Emperor Sharga | Octopid | Brain Sponge | Zeus | Spot the Killer Whale | Crab Scouts | Hans Christian Andersen | Stormy the Giant Seahorse

Objects: Prince Eric's statue | Trident | Ursula's Cauldron | Ursula's Necklace | Melody's locket | Queen Athena's music box | Dinglehopper

Locations: Atlantica | Ariel's Secret Grotto | Ursula's Lair | Prince Eric's Castle | The Wedding Ship | Morgana's Ice Cave

Film Songs: Fathoms Below | Daughters of King Triton | Part of Your World/(Reprise)/(Finale) | Under the Sea | Poor Unfortunate Souls | Les Poissons | Kiss the Girl | Vanessa's Song | Down to the Sea | For A Moment | Tip and Dash (song) | Here On The Land and Sea | Just One Mistake | I Remember

T.V. Series Songs: In Harmony | You Got to be You | Just Give Me a Chance | Daring to Dance | The Lobster Mobster's Mob | Sing a New Song | The Sound of Laughter | You Wouldn't Want to Mess With Me | Never Give Up | Evil Lullaby | Just a Little Love

Musical Songs: She's In Love | Human Stuff | Positoovity | I Want the Good Times Back | Her Voice | The World Above | The Contest | If Only (Quartet) | Beyond My Wildest Dreams | Sweet Child | One Step Closer

Other: Disney Sing Along Songs: Under the Sea | The Disney Afternoon



Kingdom Keepers
Kingdom Keepers I Disney After Dark
Books: Kingdom Keepers | Kingdom Keepers I: Disney After Dark | Kingdom Keepers II: Disney at Dawn | Kingdom Keepers III: Disney In Shadow | Kingdom Keepers IV: Power Play | Kingdom Keepers V: Shell Game | Kingdom Keepers VI: Dark Passage

Original Characters: Finn Whitman | Charlene Turner | Terrence Maybeck | Dell Philby | Isabella Angelo | Wayne Kresky | Amanda Lockhart | Jessica Lockhart | Mrs. Whitman | Wanda Alcott | Greg Luowski | Storey Ming | Bess Maybeck | Gladis Philby | Sally Ringwald | Dillard Cole | Hugo Montcliff | Mattie Weaver

Disney Characters: Mickey Mouse | Minnie Mouse | Pluto | Ariel | Mulan | King Triton | Megara | Goofy | Stitch | Lilo | Winnie the Pooh | Piglet | Tigger | Chip 'n' Dale

Overtakers: Maleficent | Chernabog | The Queen | Cruella De Vil | Claude Frollo | Ursula | Jafar | Shan Yu | Jack Sparrow | Tia Dalma | Gaston | Prince John | Horned King | Big Bad Wolf | J. Worthington Foulfellow | Gideon | Shenzi, Banzai and Ed | Diablo | Magic Brooms | Green Army Men | Blackbeard

Locations: Magic Kingdom | Epcot | Disney's Hollywood Studios | Disney's Animal Kingdom | Typhoon Lagoon | DisneyQuest | Cinderella Castle | Escher's Keep | It's a Small World | Splash Mountain | The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh | Big Thunder Mountain Railroad | Expedition Everest | Fantasmic! | Voyage of the Little Mermaid | Disney Dream | Walt Disney: One Man's Dream | Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge | Soarin' | Mission: SPACE | Test Track | Wonders of Life | Morocco Pavilion | China Pavilion | France Pavilion | Norway Pavilion | Mexico Pavilion | Disneyland | Jungle Cruise | Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye | Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters


 
Kingdom Hearts series
Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix 2 (Art)
Games: Kingdom Hearts + Final Mix | Chain of Memories | Re:Chain of Memories | Kingdom Hearts II + Final Mix | 358/2 Days | Birth by Sleep + Final Mix | coded | Re:coded | Dream Drop Distance | HD I.5 ReMIX | χ [chi] | HD II.5 ReMIX | Kingdom Hearts III

Incorporated Films and shorts: Alice in Wonderland | Aladdin/The Return of Jafar | Beauty and the Beast | Cinderella | Fantasia | Hercules | The Hunchback of Notre Dame | Lilo & Stitch | The Lion King | The Little Mermaid | Mickey, Donald and Goofy: The Three Musketeers | Mulan | The Nightmare Before Christmas | Peter Pan | Pinocchio | Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl | Sleeping Beauty | Steamboat Willie | Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs | Tarzan | Tron/Tron: Legacy | The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

Main Characters: Sora | Riku | Kairi | King Mickey | Donald Duck | Goofy | Roxas | Terra | Ventus | Aqua

Villains: Master Xehanort | Ansem | Xemnas | Maleficent/Dragon Maleficent | Pete | Organization XIII | Vanitas | Xigbar/Braig | Xaldin | Vexen | Lexaeus | Zexion | Saïx/Isa | Demyx | Luxord | Marluxia | Larxene | Terra-Xehanort | Young Xehanort | Xehanort's Guardian

Other Characters: Jiminy Cricket | Naminé | Ansem the Wise/DiZ | Yen Sid | Xion | Axel/Lea | Master Eraqus | Dilan | Even | Aeleus | Ienzo | Lingering Will | Data Sora | Data Riku | Data Naminé | Data Roxas | Hayner | Pence | Olette | Riku-Ansem | Kairi's Grandma | Riku Replica | Anti-Saïx | Anti-Sora | Anti-Riku | Sora-Heartless | Jiminy's Journal

Original Monsters: Heartless | Nobodies | Unversed | Dream Eater

Disney Characters and Villains: Queen Minnie | Daisy Duck | Pluto | Tarzan | Winnie the Pooh | Aladdin | Genie | Tron | Magic Brooms | Peter Pan | Quasimodo | | Merlin | Tigger | Eeyore | Rabbit | Ariel | Mulan | Mushu | Jack Sparrow | Chernabog | Simba | Timon | Pumbaa | Nala | King Triton | Jafar/Genie Jafar | Alice | Cheshire Cat | Jack Skellington | Esmeralda | Phoebus | Beagle Boys | Scrooge McDuck | Huey, Dewey and Louie | Master Control Program | Sark | CLU | Rinzler | Beast | Stitch | Hercules | Tick-Tock the Crocodile | Snow White | Wendy (More coming soon)

Square Enix Characters: Leon | Cloud | Neku Sakuraba | Shiki | Others

Plot Elements: Universe of Kingdom Hearts | Kingdom Hearts | Heart | Keyblade War | Dark Seeker Saga | More

Game Elements: Gameplay in Kingdom Hearts | Magic

Objects: Sea-salt ice cream | Wayfinder | Door to Darkness | Keyblade | X-blade | Mickey's Letters | Thalassa Shell | Kingdom Hearts Encoder | Keychain | Gummi Blocks | Bug Blox | Black coat| | Keyblade Armor

Locations: Land of Departure | Disney Castle | Disney Town | Timeless River | Datascape | Radiant Garden | Keyblade Graveyard | Destiny Islands | Traverse Town | Hollow Bastion | Dive to the Heart | End of the World | Realm of Darkness | Castle Oblivion | Twilight Town | The World That Never Was | Castle That Never Was | Halloween Town | Neverland | Wonderland

Organizations/Groups: Organization XIII | Princesses of Heart | Disney Villains Council

Music: Dearly Beloved | Simple and Clean | Sanctuary | Mickey Mouse Club March | Swim This Way | Part of Your World | Under the Sea | Ursula's Revenge | A New Day is Dawning | Destati | Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo | He's a Pirate | Beauty and the Beast | This is Halloween | It's a Small World | Night on Bald Mountain | Winnie the Pooh | The Sorcerer's Apprentice | The Pastoral Symphony

Soundtracks: Kingdom Hearts Original Soundtrack | Kingdom Hearts Final Mix - Additional Tracks | Kingdom Hearts II Original Soundtrack | Kingdom Hearts Original Soundtrack Complete | Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep & 358/2 Days Original Soundtrack | Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance Original Soundtrack


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