For all that Ariel gets into adventures and mischief, she's got a pretty good head on her shoulders. This episode explores a different side as she gives in to her baser instincts and ends up doing something classically teenage-girly. I reckon this might also be the only episode in the series to hint that Ariel might be interested in boys.
Like every other typical teenhood situation in the movies/on tv, there is one alpha female on the block who decides on what's hot and what's not. In Atlantica, that happens to be Pearl (who first appeared in the episode Red), and whom Ariel admires for her effortless cool... which is kinda understandable, since Ariel is quite the outcast among her merfolk peers.
When Ariel hears her sister Alana is going to a party at Pearl's house, Ariel shyly asks if she can come along. Pearl says yes, Ariel is excited, Alana decides to give her sister a makeover, and Flounder is skeptical about the whole thing (being a boy and all). Ariel and Alana ask their father for permission to go to the party, and it's granted because King Triton feels that it's okay as long as Pearl's parents will be around to supervise the party.
Later when Pearl comes by the palace to pick the two princesses up, she pressures Ariel into secretly taking Triton's chariot to go to the party. Ariel and Alana are helpless to deny Pearl what she wants, and off they go. But then it turns out that there is no party at Pearl's house at all, and Pearl is in fact taking them to Eel-ectric City, the place so hoppin' that it's always boppin'. Flounder finds out about this and recruits Sebastian, and together they go after Ariel in the hopes of rescuing her, though when they arrive things don't quite work out in the way they planned.
It's a lighthearted and modern episode in the sense that it pays homage to the typical teen drama where the unpopular girl wants to be popular and learns that it isn't all that it's cracked up to be. I like that despite all of Ariel's willingness to rebel and push her father's rules, there are some things that make even her uncomfortable, because they're just not worth it. And one more thing, you'd think that this episode would end with Triton scolding his daughters, wouldn't you? Heh.
Ariel can't exactly tell Pearl no...
Barracuda and his Orange Roughies. (Ruffies?)
Sebastian really doesn't want to dance.
Eel-ectric City is an underwater city separate from Atlantica.
|Let me steer!
|Steer? My brand new chariot? You?
|Lucky for us, Pearl's parents say that everything's okay.
|I know. Isn't it great?
|Let 'er ripple!
|[Ariel and Alana] listen to me, don't they? Don't answer that.
|If I were you, I'd be very impressed with me.
Flounder gets some attention from the girl side, too.
The princesses have a bad feeling about this.
The parents wonder what their daughters are up to.
The gang's okay.
Pearl and her parents are okay, too.
Sebastian used to play in a band, and his stage name was Dizzy Crustacey.