|“||You wanna know something? Sometimes I even pretend...*whispers* I have FINS!'||„|
Princess Melody (simply known as Melody) is the main protagonist of The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea. She is Queen Ariel and King Eric's 12-year-old daughter, the granddaughter of King Triton and Queen Athena and the niece of Ariel's sisters. Melody is similar to her mother, and different. As her mother, then a mermaid had dreamed of life on land, Melody, a human with legs, dreams of life in the sea. Although she's a princess, she isn't an Official Disney Princess, unlike Ariel. She is friends with Tip and Dash and Ariel's old friends Scuttle, Sebastian, and Flounder.
Melody first appears as an infant at the beginning of the film. She is about 8 months old at the beginning, she can crawl and hold up her head for herself. Her parents, Ariel and Eric take her out on a ship to meet with Ariel's father King Triton and six older sisters Aquata, Andrina, Attina, and Adella. Triton presents Melody with a locket which bears her name, meant to remind his granddaughter of her mermaid heritage. However, the celebration is suddenly interrupted by Morgana who in an attempt to avenge her sister Ursula (who died fighting Ariel and Eric), kidnaps Melody and threatens to feed her to her shark, Undertow if Triton does not hand over his trident.
Triton almost does so and blasts Undertow with his trident by turning the shark into an anchovy. Fortunately, Ariel and Eric are able to thwart Morgana's plan and get Melody to safety. Morgana vanishes, but not before vowing revenge. With Morgana still at large, Ariel decides that until she is found, Melody can't know anything about the sea, including her mermaid heritage, Atlantica and her grandfather King Triton (which turns out to be a bad idea). She bans the merpeople from seeing Melody and later has a large sea wall built to separate their castle from the sea. Meanwhile, Melody's locket is tossed into the sea.
12 years later, Melody grows up banned from entering the sea but is ignorant of the reason why. Despite the ban, she loves the sea and regularly sneaks out to swim. This causes a difficult relationship between her and her mother. On her birthday, while out swimming, Melody discovers the locket, but she is forced to get back to the castle as she has forgotten about her birthday party. Unknown to Melody, she is being watched in a crystal ball by Morgana and Undertow. Morgana takes this as the perfect opportunity to succeed at the one thing Ursula never could. Later, while Ariel is helping Melody prepare for the party, Melody tries to tell her mother her true feelings about the sea, but are interrupted by Eric, who leads Ariel and Melody to the ballroom. During the party, Melody dances with a young prince named Prince Stan, but trouble soon arises when Sebastian accidentally ruins the dance and destroys Melody's birthday cake. Melody comes over to Sebastian to see if he's alright, but everyone starts to laugh at her for talking to crab. Humiliated, Melody runs out of the ballroom in tears and goes back to her bedroom where she again looks at the locket she found earlier. Ariel comes in to try and comfort Melody but becomes distracted when she learns that the locket has her name written on it and opens the locket to reveal a picture of mermaids swimming in Atlantica. She confronts her mother about it, noting that Ariel has told her that Atlantica was only a fairy tale. Ariel takes the locket away and is shocked to learn that Melody has been sneaking out into the sea. Enraged, Ariel forbids Melody from ever the entering the sea again. Hurt that Ariel refuses to give any answers, Melody takes back the locket and runs out of her room. Wanting to find answers about the locket and its meaning, Melody takes a rowboat and runs away from home despite Sebastian's protests.
Melody is lured to Morgana's lair by Undertow. Morgana uses a potion to turn Melody into a mermaid, which excites Melody. However, the spell will only last a few days. Morgana explains that she can make the transformation permanent if she has the trident, which she claims Triton stole from her. Morgana asks Melody to retrieve the trident. Unknown to Melody, Morgana is lying and only wants the trident for her own selfish purposes. However, only a descendant of Triton can remove it from its resting place, and Melody is ignorant of Triton's connection to her.
While searching for the trident, Melody tries to use the map Morgana gave her, and due to the ticklish sea kelp, the whale sneezes, forcing Melody off of it, and her map gets broken. Later on, she befriends a penguin named Tip, and a walrus named Dash, and they join her in her search. The trio manages to sneak into the Atlantican royal palace and make off with the trident before Ariel (who turned back into a mermaid to look for Melody), Flounder, Sebastian, and Triton arrive. On the way to Morgana's lair, Ariel and Flounder remind Scuttle to get to Triton and Sebastian.
Melody returns to Morgana at the same time that her mother Ariel arrives. Ariel attempts to explain the situation, but Melody angered at Ariel's decision to hide Melody's mermaid heritage, gives Morgana the trident. Afterward, while revealing her true colors and the truth to Melody, Morgana takes Melody hostage and traps her and Flounder in a cave by sealing the entrance with a thick layer of ice. She leaves them to die and makes an ice tower where she fights Sebastian, Eric, Triton and the others. Soon afterward, Morgana's spell on Melody wears off. She reverts her human form, starts to drown and falls unconscious, but Tip and Dash get Undertow, Morgana's shark minion, to ram into the ice, and help Flounder carry Melody to the surface. There, she awakes. While Morgana is using the trident to make Ariel, Flounder, Sebastian, Triton, Tip and Dash to bow down to her, Melody realizes that now she can climb on Morgana's ice tower because she is now human and has legs. She secretly sneaks up behind Morgana and takes back the trident, causing the others to be freed from Morgana's spell. Melody tells Morgana to stay back but turns the wrong side of the trident to the Sea Witch. Morgana grabs her leg and pulls Melody to her in order to take the trident back, but Melody stabs her in the tentacle with it. Melody then manages to toss the trident back to Triton but gets pushed off the ice cliff by Morgana. She screams, falling to her doom, but Dash saves her in the last moment; she falls onto his soft stomach and lands safely. While catching his trident, Triton angrily confronts Morgana and tells her that never again will she nor any of hers threaten his family before imprisoning her in a block of ice. Later, Melody has regained consciousness and reunites with Ariel and Eric.
Melody apologizes to her mother about what happened, but Ariel replies that she and Eric are the ones who are truly sorry, as they realize they should've been honest with her about her mermaid heritage instead of keeping her in the dark about it. Melody explains that she never meant to hurt anyone, but thought she would be better at being a mermaid than a girl. Ariel, however, explains to Melody that it doesn't matter whether she has fins or feet - she and Eric love her the way she is (their very brave little girl), and express how proud they are of her. Triton and Melody then officially meet other, and Triton offers to allow Melody to become a mermaid permanently or to stay with her parents and let things return to normal. Melody refuses the offer, instead choosing to destroy the sea wall, so that everyone—both Human and Merfolk, could be together in perfect harmony. Melody and her family and everyone then dives and celebrates the party in the sea.
Melody is a sassy but well-mannered young girl and has respect for her mother Ariel and others. Melody's curious nature leads her to collect all sorts of items from the sea, a parallel to her mother at age sixteen only in reverse. Melody's swimming proficiency and ability to hold her breath for long periods comes from her merfolk parentage. Largely because of her being half-mermaid, she was also seen as somewhat of an outcast, as evidenced by the guests at her twelfth birthday celebration shunning her. She is also shy around boys, becoming quite flustered when a merboy she found attractive tried befriending her in Atlantica. She later met him again after the wall was disintegrated, with both recognizing each other. Despite being tomboyish, she has a princess canopy bed and a girlish styled bedroom.
- In The Little Mermaid TV series, there is a girl at a bar, who looks like an older version of Melody.
- Despite the movie's unpopularity, Melody became one of the most notable memorable Disney characters.
- In a rather amusing coincidence, Tara Strong would later voice one of Ariel's sisters in the prequel Ariel's Beginning.
- Melody shares similarities to Kiara as both are the protagonist of sequels, both are princesses and both are the daughter of the first film's protagonist and deuteragonist (Ariel and Eric and Simba and Nala). Both have a strained relationship with one of their parents (Ariel and Simba). Both have a love interest (Alex and Kovu). Both run away from home after an argument with said parent (Melody fleed home after arguing with Ariel over banning her from going near the sea whilst Kiara fleed home after arguing with Simba over him banishing Kovu and banning her from leaving Pride Rock alone). Both reconcile with the parent they had a strained relationship with.
- Melody is also similar to Scamp as both are the protagonist of sequels. Both are the child of the first film's protagonist and deuteragonist (Ariel and Eric and Lady and Tramp). Both have an ambition (Melody wanted to be a mermaid whilst Scamp wanted to be a wild dog). Both originally have a strained relationship with one of their parents (Ariel and Tramp) who do not support their wish. Both run away from home following an argument with said parent (Melody fleed home after arguing with Ariel over being banned from going near the sea whilst Scamp fleed home after arguing with Tramp over wanting to be a wild dog). Both are manipulated by their film's antagonist into believing that they care about them and would give them their wish, but are really using them as a pawn (Morgana tricked Melody into stealing Triton's trident by claiming that in return, she would make her a mermaid permanently whilst Buster tricked Scamp into thinking that he would make him a Junkyard dog by doing certain tasks). Both at one point in the film find themselves having to choose between listening to the parent and the antagonist before siding with the antagonist, only to later regret it after the antagonist betrays them (Melody choose to give the trident to Morgana over Ariel, only for Morgana to reveal her true nature and imprisoned her whilst Scamp choose to continue living with the Junkyard dogs over returning home with Tramp, only for Buster to later live Scamp to be caught by the dogcatcher). Both reconcile with the parent at the end of the film.