The following is an article I found on Ariel in the first edition of Disney's "The Little Mermaid" comic book.
The youngest of seven daughters, Ariel is sixteen years old.
Of the seven, she is the quirky one. Her sisters conform to their roles as princesses and take themselves more seriously than Ariel. Ariel thinks for herself and is independent, impulsive and curious about everything (particularly things dealing with the surface). She does not think things through logically but is motivated by her feelings and emotions.
Ariel is a typical teenage girl with a sense of adventure and romance. She longs to be free of the restrictions set upon her by her environment and by Triton, her father.
She loves her father, and he loves her. He wants what is best for her but does not relate to how she feels. Ariel is Triton's biggest headache but also occupies the place closest to his heart. There is actually a lot of Triton in Ariel. They are both headstrong and act with deep conviction.
Ariel is not passive. She makes things happen. She goes 100 percent in whatever direction she decides. She is uninhibited.
Ariel's fiery side, red hair and all, is balanced by her sweetness. She is naive and innocent, making her vulnerable to the evil intentions of Ursula. She is open to being hurt deeply and is hurt by her father as he destroys her collection and by Ursula as she destroys Ariel's hope of true love and remaining human.
These qualities are all inner. On the outside, Ariel has a sweet beauty. Her face is pretty, leaning to the cute side rather to the glamorous side.
She is sexy in an innocent way, unaware of her natural beauty and appeal. Where she moves, there should be and inherent grace and vitality.
She is petite but not frail. Her spontaneous, impulsive personality comes through in her actions.