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The Little Mermaid (movie)

Walt Disney Pictures' 1989 animated film based on the classic story.

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The Little Mermaid

  • Jan 22, 2011
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Like Beauty and the Beast, I don't think this movie is quite as good as everyone says it is. Don't get me wrong, it's still fantastic and I have great respect for what it did for Disney, I just don't really adore any Disney princess films that aren't Aladdin. For those of you who don't know, Disney wasn't doing so well for around a 20-year period. They were making movies, but they weren't doing so well. This would also be a great time to point out that Don Bluth was doing so well because Disney was doing poorly and it's The Little Mermaid that made his weird movies start. However, Don Bluth is not the subject of this review, so let's get on to the Mermaid.

The animation is lovely and it set the standard for great ones like Aladdin and Mulan. It was bright, warm and colourful and it matched the visuals wonderfully. When the film wanted to be happy and cheerful, it looked happy and cheerful. When it wanted to be dark and intense, it could be dark and intense. The characters are wonderful, memorable, and animated beautifully of course, and The Little Mermaid still remains one of Disney's best animated films to date.

Another thing I liked about this was that it had a really cool villain. Ursula still remains one of the best disney villains ever and for good reason. However, the one thing I didn't like was that she was always complaining about how she looked and yet we clearly saw her turn herself into a beautiful woman. She's so hot that even the priest is getting a boner (seriously, take a close look, he does). But despite her faults, she is a decent villain with a cool design, a perpetually twisted look in her eye, and a great villain song. She also has great sidekicks, namely Flotsam and Jetsam.

The voice work is decent, but what is truly superior to everything was the songs. These are some of the best catchiest songs in Disney history and every child who grew up with Disney knows them. My personal favourite is "Poor Unfortunate Souls", seeing as I love villain songs, but I love the classics like Under the Sea and Part of your World. The songs were of the utmost quality and set the tone for the classic songs of Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin.

That brings me to the point I want to make now. Even though I was never really attached to TLM or Beauty and the Beast, TLM did set the tone for the major success of Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast. It put in place that disney formula of catchy musicals and sweeping snarky coming-of-age romances that was so popular in the nineties and early 2000's. The story of the movie is pretty well told, and I will assume most of you have at least heard of the Hans Christian Anderson fairytale, so I feel no need to explain the plot. There really isn't that much to say about the movie further, but it was good.

If you haven't seen TLM, I would recommend it to anybody male or female. I was one of those kids of the nineties who grew up with Disney and I saw this movie at least once in my childhood. I remember it fondly, even if I wasn't terribly attached to it in my childhood. All in all, a great movie that set the tone for all the great Disney Renaissance films.

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More The Little Mermaid reviews
review by . December 09, 2013
posted in Movie Hype
Okay, here are things that everyone knows: Disney has the world's strongest animation canon. One day, they might end up relinquishing it to Pixar, but Disney comes packed with so much history and longevity that that day is still a little ways off. For seeming eons, Disney animated films were just about the only game in town. Well, around the 70's and 80's, they got a bit too cocky and began producing a lot of celluloid trash. Finally, with them losing ground in the 80's to the onetime animation …
review by . December 10, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Great Disney animation     Cons: none     Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. The Little Mermaid is a great animated movie, as is almost every other movie Disney has done. The story is one many can relate to in some ways. Who has not at one time or another wanted to be someone or something else, in this case a mermaid wants to be a human and live on land. She runs into trouble when she makes a deal with the evil …
review by . October 15, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
THE LITTLE MERMAID signalled a new renaissance for the Disney animation department. Following the lean years of "The Black Cauldron" and "The Great Mouse Detective", the animation department was within a heartbeat of ringing it's death-knell, when in 1989 a little mermaid swam into cinemas and into the hearts of a generation of moviegoers.    Based on the bittersweet Hans Christian Andersen fairytale, the story of mermaid Ariel (voiced by Jodi Benson) and her quest to become …
review by . October 14, 2006
Until recently, I hadn't seen The Little Mermaid. My family and I went to Disneyworld for the first time in August 2006, and seeing the live Little Mermaid show--as well as the preliminary sketches for Ursula at the Disney Animation Studio--piqued our interest in this classic Disney tale.    My son became smitten with Ariel and as soon as the Platinum edition came out, we bought it!    The re-colored version is FANTASTIC: they show the before and after pictures …
review by . October 10, 2006
Unless you've been under a rock for the past twenty years, you're probably familiar with the story of Disney's "The Little Mermaid." Briefly, it's a tale of forbidden love. A young mermaid (Ariel) longs to live topside with a young man called Eric. Alas, her father doesn't want her going above the water because he worries about what might happen to her. Throw in a bad deal made with a sea witch (the diabolically funny Ursula), a singing hermit crab, a friendly fish and a whacked-out seagull, and …
review by . October 06, 2006
This, in my opinion, is the movie that saved Disney from fading out of existence, as we know it. Before the `Little Mermaid' there had not been a blockbuster Disney animated feature for years (specifically not since the `Great Mouse Detective') while `Oliver and Company' was released the year prior to this it was following the old formula and was not, to my knowledge, particularly successful.    'The Little Mermaid' revived the breathtaking beauty of the classic Disney films …
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From the moment that Prince Eric's ship emerged from the fog in the opening credits it was apparent that Disney had somehow, suddenly recaptured that "magic" that had been dormant for thirty years. In the tale of a headstrong young mermaid who yearns to "spend a day, warm on the sand," Ariel trades her voice to Ursula, the Sea Witch (classically voiced by Pat Carroll), for a pair of legs. Ariel can only succeed if she receives true love's kiss in a few day's time and she needs all the help she can from a singing crab named Sebastian, a loudmouth seagull, and a flounder. The lyrics and music by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken are top form: witty and relevant, and they advance the story (go on, hum a few bars of "Under the Sea"). Mermaid put animation back on the studio's "to do" list and was responsible for ushering Beauty and the Beast to theaters. A modern Disney classic.--Keith Simanton
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