A mother in San Jose is claiming to have discovered what is commonly referred to in the gaming/DVD world as an 'easter egg' in a Princess Shimmering Lights Ariel doll from Disney/Mattel. The doll's voice track is supposed to spout banal, Disney-approved pap like "you're a wonderful friend" and "sparkles are so beautiful," but 40-year old Stephanie Herrera claims that pushing Ariel's voice button three times quickly with a specific rhythm causes the doll to blurt out something that sounds exactly like "You're a slu-ut." According to insidebayarea.com, the claim has been verified by at least one other person. Stephanie Oppenheim, publisher of a toy guide called the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio, tried out the doll and claims she heard the same remark after listening closely. According to the story, a Mattel brand coordinator named Visali Scandalis called Herrera after receiving an e-mail complaint about the slur and ended up admitting also hearing the phrase, but only because of the "power of suggestion."

A Mattel spokeswoman named Sara Rosales has also gone on record stating the opposite -- that no such phrase is audible. Normally, the suspicion in a case like this would fall on the claimant, but we all know that anything having to do with the Disney animation department is suspect. The Little Mermaid, in particular, is known to be woven through and through with layers of second-level stuff, from its simple samplings of Tchaikovsky to its inclusion of a rendering of Georges la Tour's The Penitent Magdalen, which has significance to Grail hunters, to bits of sexual innuendo. In the 2006 Platinum Edition DVD, the film's wedding scene was finally altered because of continuous complaints that the priest in the scene was obviously sporting an erection.