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The little Mermaid is an animated tale of a beautiful young mermaid, Ariel, who is fascinated by the human world, to the dismay of her father, King Triton. She spies Prince Eric and falls hopelessly in love. Sebastian the crab is sent by the king to keep an eye on Ariel, though he cannot stop her from rescuing the prince during a storm. Ursula the sea witch plots to grant Ariel's wish to be human, in exchange for her beautiful voice, and as part of a larger scheme to gain control of Triton's realm. Eric finds himself falling for the now-human mermaid, but Ursula tricks him and Ariel, now mute, cannot warn him. Finally, Ariel and Eric together foil Ursula's evil plans, save the undersea kingdom, and receive Triton's blessing.
The first Disney animated feature in three decades based on a classic fairy tale. Directed by John Musker and Ron Clements.
Starring: the voices of Jodi Benson (Ariel), Pat Carroll (Ursula), Christopher Daniel Barnes (Eric), Buddy Hackett (Scuttle), Kenneth Mars (Triton), Samuel E. Wright (Sebastian), Ben Wright (Grimsby), and René Auberjonois (Louis).
Songs by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken.
For this film, the artists received inspiration from the Nielsen story sketches that were brought out of the Archives for them to study, and they gave Kay Nielsen a "visual development" credit on the film. Actress Sherri Stoner was the live-action model for Ariel. Great family movie with not one boaring moment, as it pop its clutch and take off with excitement it will keep you nailed to the screen. I love it.
The Little Mermaid is Disney's animated version of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale about a mermaid who falls in love with a handsome prince whom she rescues from drowning. Disobeying her father, lord of a great sea kingdom, the mermaid makes a deal with an evil enchantress. In exchange for a pair of legs, the mermaid must sacrifice her exquisite voice to the witch, who, unbeknownst to the mermaid, uses it to beguile the prince into marrying her. You will not be sorry to have bought the Platinum Edition DVD for The Little Mermaid before it goes back in the vault for several years. It is an excellent value!
I can remember fondly being dragged to see The Little Mermaid by my wife (then girlfriend at the time). She had been a fan of Disney works for years while I myself only had a passing, private fancy for them.
I am pleased to say that this film changed it all.
The Little Mermaid represents a new era for Disney. In 1989, this wonderful piece of film heralded the beginning of a decade long sucess with their animated features (with only one or two black marks during those ten years). The film is based upon the simple story first spun by Hans Christian Anderson and given a happier ending by the folks at Disney. The tale centers around a young mermaid named Ariel, who has what her stern, but caring father thinks is an unhealthy fascination with the surface world. She is fond of scouring shipwrecks for surface world items and visiting the surface of the ocean from time to time. It is during one of these visits that she saves a young prince named Eric from a terrible shipwreck and becomes fascinated by him. At the urging of the film's villain, Ursula the Sea Witch, Ariel gives up her fins for legs as she ventures to the surface world in search of Prince Eric. Joining her for her adventure are a goofy seagul named Scuttle (voiced brilliantly by the late Buddy Hackett) and a crab named Sebastian, who tries to act as the voice of reason.
The voice acting is top notch, but it is the music that really sets this animated film apart from others of its time. It is hard to find someone who cannot hum, whistle or even sing at least one of the seven original songs by composer Alan Menken and lyricist Howard Ashman. The animation is good by today standards, but it is the story and sound that make this film really shine.
Children will enjoy the humor and performances by the characters in the film, but some may find the sea witch Ursula and the movies climatic battle a bit scary. This film is a genuine classic that should be on every family's movie shelf.
This delightful children's film is a timeless Walt Disney classic and is based on the fairytale by Hans Christian Anderson. It focuses on life under the sea, in particular Ariel, a mermaid princess who falls in love with a human prince named Eric. She rescues him from the sea when his ship is struck by lightening and sunk. On her quest to win his heart she meets the sea witch Ursula, who's ultimate desire is to rule the ocean, and transforms her from a mermaid into a human but at a price, Ariel's voice. She has 3 days to win Eric's heart but if she fails she will become mermaid once more and be Ursula's forever..........
The Little Mermaid is typical of its genre; it has a certain charm which draws the children (and parents) into watching it. The film includes an array of fun characters including Sebastian, the reggae singing crab, and flounder, Ariel's faithful companion. Sebastian brings a real humour to the film and after a vague start it can be assured that by the end of the film everyone will warm to him. Another amusing character is Scuttle the Seagull who claims to be the expert on all things human. So when presented with a fork from one of Ariel's ship exploration's, declares ' now this is a dinglehopper which humans use to comb their hair with'. The colourful animation keeps children riveted and the Oscar winning sing-along tunes involve the family with the film. Another element which keeps the children engaged is the fact that the film is only 79 minutes long, which as any parent knows the shorter the film, the better, otherwise the small children get agitated and bored. A good storyline is always vital and this Hans Christian Anderson fairytale is the perfect, enchanting tale. It contains key characters such as the dashing prince (Eric), evil witch (sea witch, Ursula), sidekick (Sebastian), protective father (King Triton) and, of course, the damsel (Ariel). As with all successful children's films the story has a happy ending and leaves the viewer feeling uplifted and joyful. Definitely a must see film for all the family.
While inspiring from a development standpoint "The Little Mermaid", in my mind, becomes a timeless classic because of its music. I has everything you could ever want in a movie ... romance, action, mystery, magic, good vs evil, and SO much more.
It really is a testament to the fantastic songs when you can start singing a song and everyone not only knows the movie ... but the rest of the words to the song!
If you can finish the sentence below you either already have this movie in your collection or you need to get it ASAP!
"There you see here, sitting there across the way ..."
Additional Information -
The first Disney animated feature in three decades based on a classic fairy
tale (since "Sleeping Beauty"), this film turned to the famous story by Hans Christian Andersen.
Disney artists had considered an animated film of "The Little Mermaid" in the late 1930s, and illustrator Kay Nielsen prepared a number of striking story sketches in pastels and watercolors. For this film, the artists received inspiration from the Nielsen story sketches that were brought out of the Archives for them to study, and they gave Kay Nielsen a "visual development" credit on the film. Actress Sherri Stoner was the live-action model for Ariel.
The film probably had more effects than any animated film since "Fantasia;" nearly 80% of the film required some kind of effects work -- storms at sea, billowing sails, schools of fish, shadows, raging fire, explosions, magic pixie dust, surface reflections, underwater distortions, ripples, and bubbles. Academy Award® winner for Best Song ("Under the Sea") and Best Original Score. Released on video in 1990.