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The Little Mermaid (movie)

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

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Ariel is back where she belongs...

  • Oct 15, 2006
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 a human and marry Prince Eric (Christopher Daniel Barnes) marked the return of the classic Disney fairytale musical. It had been over 30 years since "Sleeping Beauty", and audiences completely ate it up. I can happily say that I was there when Ariel first burst onto movie screens during the original theatrical release (so this film, along with "Beauty and the Beast" and "Aladdin", holds a very special place in my childhood).

With a score by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken ("Little Shop of Horrors"), the musical numbers of THE LITTLE MERMAID include the Oscar-winning "Under the Sea", "Part of Your World", "Kiss the Girl" and "Poor Unfortunate Souls".

THE LITTLE MERMAID had previously been available as a limited-edition DVD way back when the DVD format was still in it's infancy (so a lot of people never got around to buying it). This brand-new double disc Platinum Edition is a must-own purchase for all fans of the film, with a wide array of bonus features:

* Disney Fastplay (allowing the movie and select bonus features to play automatically without the need for a remote control - great for little kids!)
* Audio commentary w/ the filmmakers
* Brand new 5.1 Disney Enhanced Home Theatre sound mix
* "Kiss the Girl" music video with Ashley Tisdale ("High School Musical")
* DisneyPedia segments
* "Treasures Untold" Making-Of documentary
* "The Little Match Girl" (brand new animated featurette, based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale with a music score adapted from Borodin themes; originally intended for "Fantasia 2000")
* "The Story Behind the Story" (compares the original Andersen fairytale with the Disney film, and the proposed 1940 animated Disney film w/ storyboard drawings by Kay Neilsen)
* "Storm Warning" (a look at the special animated effects team)
* Deleted scenes, storyboard-to-film comparisons
* "Under the Sea Adventure" (a virtual ride, recreating an attraction that was originally intended for Disneyland)
* "The Little Mermaid III" (sneak-peek at the upcoming straight-to-video sequel)

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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 . January 22, 2011
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 …
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 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 …
About the reviewer
Byron Kolln ()
Byron has been actively involved in theatre since the age of 12. He has had a great variety of roles (both on-stage and off). In addition he has hosted the long-running "Show Business" programme … more
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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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