On the day of their wedding anniversary, King Triton gave his wife, Queen Athena a music box, playing their love song with two golden figures of themselves appearing in the form of them dancing together whenever the box was opened and the song would play. However, on the same day as Triton, Athena, their daughters and several merpeople were on the surface enjoying a day in a lagoon, they were suddenly attacked by pirates. Although everyone managed to escape back into the ocean, Athena stayed behind to save her eldest daughter, Attina and later attempted to retrieve her music box. However, in her attempts to do so, Athena was killed as she was crushed by the pirate's ship. King Triton was left deeply heartbroken and devastated by the loss of his wife, causing him to throw the music box far away into the ocean and banning music from Atlantica, seeing it as a painful reminder of Athena's passing.
Ten years later, Triton and Athena's youngest daughter, Ariel discovered the music box after being lead to its location by Sebastian who found it years prior. Sebastian explains to Ariel the deep love Triton held for Athena, including how they each other's best friends and Triton's heart has never recovered since her death. Ariel decides to bring it back to him, hoping it will revive his happiness and finally restore music to Atlantica.