I like the Hans Christian Anderson version of "The Little Mermaid" far more than the Disney version of "The Little Mermaid". I prefer the earlier version because I feel that it has a better storyline. It's not about living happily ever after; it's far from that. In the Hans Christian Anderson version The Little Mermaid dies on her quest to find true love, but in the end she experiences the greatest gift of all. Her sisters give her the gift of unconditional love in an attempt to save The Little Mermaid, and The Little Mermaid returns the gift of unconditional love for her prince by sacrificing herself rather than killing her beloved in order to save herself, and thus by doing so The Little Mermaid is given a soul and the ability to exist as air so she is not really dead. Thus, not a happily ever after ending, but a happy ending none the less.