Melody is a sassy, tomboyish, socially awkward but well-mannered princess, who has respect for her mother and others. She inherited her mother's natural curiosity as well as her father's determination. Throughout her childhood, her parents wanted her to enjoy an ordinary life and tried to suppress her Atlantican nature to keep her out of harm. But unfortunately this decision only led to Melody becoming lonely, insecure, disconnected from her human half while strengthening her mermaid half and sparked occasional arguments between her and Ariel.
As her Atlantican nature kept resurfacing in her, Melody kept feeling more and more drawn to the ocean without knowing why and compelled her to collect all sorts of items from the sea, a parallel to her mother at age sixteen only in reverse. 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. Believing she had no place in the world and upon discovering the existence of mermaids, Melody came to the conclusion that a life as a mermaid could make her happy.
However, after becoming a mermaid, Melody matured from that mindset as she slowly began to see that she was still the same person as she was before and that life in the ocean was not better, but simply different. She eventually realized that what she truly wanted was not to be a mermaid, but to feel like she belonged to both land and the sea. As such, she gained a better perception of herself and the world and found out that a life of honesty and self-acceptance was the only key to her happiness.
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 style bedroom.
Melody has straight black hair, most often tied back with a green hair tie in a ponytail, pink lips, and aqua blue eyes. She seems to have inherited a fairly even blend of traits from her parents. She inherited her mother's eyes, nose, and facial structure. She has inherited Ariel's beautiful singing voice, which is heard in "For A Moment", a duet between Melody and her mother. Eric also gave her his skin tone, smile, and thick eyebrows. Melody's hairstyle seems like a blend of both of her parents, as it is the same black color as her father's while being as long as Ariel's.
For most of the film, Melody is seen in her underclothes, which is a separate pair of white pantalettes and a white camisole; the pantalettes cover the bottom half of her stomach.
At the ball, she wore a pink ball gown with light pink bow on the back, and pink heels.
As a baby, she wore a white-and-pink christening gown and a bow with the same colors.
Her casual outfit, worn at the end of the film, is a munsell yellow dress with short puffy sleeves, a bronze bodice and a white contrast collar.
While in mermaid form, she retains her camisole, but her pantalettes and legs are replaced by a salmon pink tail; her navel is also visible. It is odd that the merteens she meets don't notice she does not wear a typical seashell bikini top like other mermaids. Since she found it, she wears her locket that has her name on it.
Powers and abilities
- Aquapathy: Due to her mermaid heritage, Melody is capable of speaking with aquatic fauna; as she can understand and communicate with aquatic/marine creatures. Like like her mother, she retains this power in her human form.
- Thermoendurance: Due to her mermaid heritage, Melody is resistant to cold. However, because she is only a half-mermaid, her resistance is considerably limited, as she was in mortal danger when being in the freezing waters of Antarctica in her human form. Unlike her mother, she retains this power in human form.
- Speed Swimming: When Melody was temporarily turned into a mermaid by Morgana via Ursula's last magic potion; she was able to get to Atlantica from the Arctic in less than a day. But because Melody chose to stay human in the end, she has lost this power forever.
- Skilled Swimmer: Due to her being half-mermaid; Melody has a natural affinity for water and inbuilt swimming skills.
- Dancing: As demonstrated in the film, Melody is an excellent dancer; a talent that she has inherited from both of her parents, Ariel and Eric respectively.
- Singing: As demonstrated in the film, Melody is an excellent singer; a talent she has inherited from her mother, Ariel.
- Oxygen: Melody cannot breathe underwater while in human form; if she remains underwater for too long, she will lose consciousness and eventually drown. Despite this, Melody can at least hold her breath for long periods of time.
- Socializing: Because Melody grew up in loneliness with few individuals to interact outside her own family, she became socially awkward and tends to be nervous while meeting new individuals, especially when interacting with attractive boys.
In the film's prologue, Ariel and Eric are celebrating the christening of their newborn daughter, Melody, and have taken 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 interrupted by Morgana, who has come to avenge her sister Ursula. Morgana kidnaps Melody and threatens to feed her to her shark, Undertow, if King Triton does not hand over his trident. Though King Triton almost does so, Ariel and Eric are able to thwart Morgana's plan and Triton blasts Undertow with his trident and turns him into an anchovy. She vanishes, but not before vowing revenge. Fearing that Morgana will use Melody's mermaid heritage to her advantage, Ariel decides she can not know anything about her roots or the existence of merpeople and must live an ordinary human life. Though disappointed, Triton reluctantly agrees to keep the merpeople away from the castle for Melody's sake, but has Sebastian keeping an eye on her. Ariel and Eric then have a large sea wall constructed around the castle to separate the two worlds. Meanwhile, Melody's locket is tossed into the sea.
Melody grows up banned from entering the sea but is ignorant of the reason why. Despite the ban, she is subconsciously drawn to the sea due to her mermaid half constantly resurfacing as well as her fascination with the ocean's mysteries and beauty. This causes a difficult relationship between her and her parents, who have told her that the ocean is extremely dangerous in hopes that she will stay away from it. On her twelfth birthday, while out swimming, she discovers the locket, but she is forced to get back to the castle as she has forgotten about her birthday party. Unknown to her, 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 her sister 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, but trouble soon arises when Sebastian accidentally ruins the dance and destroys the cake. She comes over to him to see if he's alright, but everyone starts to laugh at her for talking to a crab. Humiliated, she runs out of the ballroom in tears and goes back to her bedroom, believing herself to be nothing but a failure. Ariel comes in to try and comfort her but Melody becomes distracted when she learns that the locket she found earlier has her name written on it and opens it to reveal a picture of mermaids swimming in Atlantica, a place which Ariel had her believe was only a fairy tale. Ariel realizes she has been sneaking out into the sea and angrily forbids her from going anywhere near it again, prompting Melody to take the locket and run out of her room in frustration. Wanting to find answers about the locket and its meaning, she takes a rowboat and sets off on a mission to find Atlantica despite Sebastian's protests. Just as Melody heads out into the sea, Eric and Ariel discuss the issue with their daughter. Eric believes that Melody is old enough to deserve an explanation and that keeping her from the sea has only worsened the situation for the whole family, at which point Ariel realizes that she is making the same mistakes as Triton did with her during her teenage years and decides to tell her the truth. Before she can go further, however, Sebastian alerts her and Eric that Melody is gone.
Once Triton has been informed of Melody's departure, he, Ariel and Eric organize search parties to scour the ocean. As Ariel knows the ocean better than Eric, she requests to be temporarily turned back into a mermaid by her father in order to advance the search. Triton complies and Ariel dives into the ocean.
Meanwhile, Melody is lured to Morgana's lair by Undertow. Having spied on Melody long enough to know her dissatisfaction with human life, Morgana tells her that the locket has her name on it because it is a sign telling her that she would have a better life in the sea. Morgana uses a potion to turn Melody into a mermaid, which excites her. 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. She asks Melody to retrieve the trident. 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 she rides sneezes, forcing her off of it, and the map gets broken. Later on, she befriends a penguin named Tip, and a walrus named Dash, and they join her in her search. They manage to sneak into the palace and make off with the trident before Ariel, 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 arrives. Melody is shocked to see her mother as a mermaid and immediately realizes why she was drawn to the sea all her life, but is furious that Ariel kept this from her. Ariel tries to explain that she now knows it was a mistake to keep the truth from her but it only falls on deaf ears and Melody gives Morgana the trident.
Afterward, while revealing her true colors and the truth to Melody, Morgana traps her and Flounder in a cave by sealing the entrance with a thick layer of ice. She leaves them to die, takes Ariel as a hostage and makes an ice tower where she fights Sebastian, Eric, Triton, and the others. Soon afterward, Morgana's spell on Melody wears off, putting her in serious danger as the ice cold water engulfs her. Fortunately, Tip and Dash get Undertow to ram into the ice and help Flounder carry Melody to the surface.
While Morgana is using the trident to make Ariel, Flounder, Sebastian, Triton, Tip, and Dash bow down to her, Melody climbs up the ice tower, sneaks up behind Morgana and takes back the trident, freeing everyone from her spell. Morgana tries to take back the trident but Melody stabs one of her tentacles with it, giving her the opportunity to toss it back to Triton. As Morgana reacts, Melody is pushed off the tower where she falls to her doom. Thankfully Dash saves her at the last moment by using his belly to cushion her impact, though she passes out from the fall. 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 and sending her sinking into the ocean depths.
Much to Eric's relief, Melody regains consciousness while being carried in his arms. She apologizes to her parents for running away and stealing the trident, but Ariel comforts her and takes full responsibility for the incident for not telling her the truth sooner. Melody explains that she never meant for any of this to happen, but simply hoped she would be happier as a mermaid and escape from her failures as a human. Ariel disagrees with her, as she does not think of her as a failure but as the brave and good-natured girl she and Eric could not be more proud of and assures her that her species is not what defines her, but her heart. Triton and Melody then officially meet and Melody immediately hugs her grandfather, delighted to finally getting to know him. Triton feels that Melody has earned the right to decide which heritage she wants to embrace. As such, he gives her a choice; she can come with him to Atlantica as a mermaid to live with him and her aunts or return home to Ariel and Eric as an ordinary girl. Melody is noticeably conflicted, having been given the option to realize her dream of connecting to the ocean but is also uncertain about leaving her beloved mother and father. After giving the matter some thought, Melody politely refuses the offer and instead has the sea wall destroyed so that humans and merfolk can live in harmony. Now that Melody can embrace both her roots and interact with humans and merfolk as she pleases, she has finally found balance in her life.
- Melody is the first Disney character to be the child of a Disney Princess.
- Melody is the very first human-merperson hybrid in history. Making her birth a significant historic moment in both human and Atlantican history.
- It should be noted that Melody's bedroom is the same room as Ariel's guest room when she first took human form and was staying with Prince Eric.
- Although Melody inherited a lot of Ariel's traits in both personality and physical appearance, her mixture of black hair, thick eyebrows, and blue eyes makes her a perfect blend of both her parents.
- Despite popular belief, Melody has inherited more from her father's personality than her mother's. Unlike Ariel, Melody is not giddy, mischievous, bubbly and sensitive. She is rather unfeminine, well-behaved, headstrong and daring, just like her father. As it is not uncommon for girls to take more after their fathers than their mothers, this is not unexpected.
- Melody means "song" in Greek.
- Since it was Morgana using Ursula's magic potion that turned Melody into a mermaid, it is unknown if salmon pink would be her natural mermaid tail color.
- Although The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea received largely negative reviews for its plot and animation, Melody was generally considered the highlight of the film and earned praise for her character growth, likability and Tara Strong's performance.
- In a rather amusing coincidence, Tara Strong would later voice two of Ariel's sisters in the prequel The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning.
- Although Melody is a princess by birth, she isn't included as an official Disney Princess in the franchise due to being stared in a sequel.
- Melody is currently the only known grandchild of King Triton.
- Having taken over for her mother (from The Little Mermaid) Melody is the third child of a predecessor's main character to take over as the protagonist in a sequel, with the first being Nicky Ferris (taking over from Sharon McKendrick in The Parent Trap II) and the second being Kiara (taking over from Simba in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride).
- The first dress Melody is seen wearing is pink, which is the same color of the first dress her mother wore in the first film.
- Melody's dream was the opposite of her mother's; while Ariel was a mermaid who wanted to be a human, Melody is a human who wanted to be a mermaid.
- When Melody finds the musical locket she had gotten when she was a baby, and her mother finds the music box of her late mother; they recognized the melody.
- Melody makes the same back pose when she is transformed into a mermaid, just as her mother did in the first movie.
- Similar to Ariel's relationship with her father, King Triton, Melody (initially) had a strained relationship with her mother, due to Ariel not allowing her to enter the sea (unaware at the time that Ariel was trying to protect her from Morgana. This ignorance caused her to believe that her mother hated the ocean) despite this, they have a mutual love and adoration of each other as mother and daughter.
- Coincidentally, Tara Strong, Melody's voice actress, later voiced the Ariel parody character Princess Clara from Drawn Together.
- Melody's hairstyle for most of the film appears to be almost similar to child Ariel from the flashback sequence of the TV series' episode "The Evil Manta".
- Tara Strong, Melody's voice actress, has stated that Melody is one of her favorite roles.