I still dislike how Ariel deliberately puts Melody’s hair in a ponytail. It’s not fancy for a party, let alone one in old times or as fancy as this or when you’re the guest of honor or if you’re the Princess. Let alone all these things at once.
But now I see that Ariel knows she’s nervous and is doing what she can to make her daughter comfortable. Melody feels more comfortable in a ponytail then with her hair down and Ariel knows this and is letting her daughter be herself.
Ironic considering the movie’s central conflict. It’s really sweet and so maternal and it shows how close they really are. As they spend most of the film fighting, its hard to see the love they have for each other.
It’s just a really nice detail.
And it makes it easier for the animators so win-win.