The Little Mermaid is the Walt Disney animation classic that kicked off the Disney Renaissance, creating thousands of childhood memories back in 1989, and still now! Yesterday Disney finally released the long-awaited Diamond Edition of this classic on Blu-ray and it looks phenomenal!
The Film ✮✮✮✮ 1/2
The Little Mermaid tells the story of a headstrong teenage mermaid named Ariel, who dreams of going on land. When her father, King Triton, forbids her to go up to the surface, Ariel visits Ursula, a sea witch who King Triton banned, to make her dreams come true. Even though she helps her get to land, what Ariel doesn’t know is that Ursula has plans to destroy her to get revenge on her father.
This movie is based on the original fairy tale by the Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen. The original story was a lot darker than the final Disney version and even though I love Andersen’s version, I think Disney made a perfect movie that’s fun to watch for all audiences; amazing animation, beautiful score, memorial songs, amazing voice actors and not to forgot a great cast of characters people from all ages will enjoy
The songs in The Little Mermaid are all memorable. Sometimes in a film, only 2 or 3 songs are good, but with Mermaid everyone loves songs like ‘Under the sea’ and ‘Part of your world’, and everyone can sing them! Thanks to composers Alan Menken and Howard Ashman who composed some of the scores for Disney’s most beloved classics like ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and ‘Aladdin ’.
I personally really love this movie. While it’s not my favorite Disney movie and also not my favorite from the Disney Renaissance, I still really love the songs, characters and story. I would have preferred to see more of Ursula under the sea, but the scenes on land without Ursula are some of my favorites so I don’t really care too much. I do think some of the songs are some of my favorite Disney songs like ‘Part of Your World’ and ‘Pour Unfortunate Souls’ and I think they did an amazing job on the music in this movie.
Disney also did agreat job on restoring the sound and the movie itself: it looked and sounded amazing! Unlike some recent Disney Blu-ray restorations (Cinderella, Sword in the Stone, I’m looking at you), the HD conversion stays true to the original look and feel. That being said, they did change three scenes from the original. While these are not dramatic enough to change the film, they still are offensive to Disney fans.
Like I said it’s not my favorite Disney movie and I feel something is missing in this movie, but I just can’t put my finger on it. For that reason, I’m giving it 4.5 stars.
The Features ✮✮✮✮
The design of the menus are simple, much like some of the other Disney classic Blu-rays. It’s a throwback to the original The Little Mermaid movie poster of Ariel sitting on a rock at night. You see only her shadow and her moving hair; it’s very simple but I’m already glad that they didn’t re-use the same design as the Blu-ray cover just like they did with The Hunchback of Notre Dame Blu-ray.
If you compare the special features of this Blu-ray and the other Disney classics on Blu-ray, you will discover this one had a lot more to offer. In addition to the classic DVD features, this Blu-ray includes a music video of ‘Part of Your World’ by Carly Rae Jepsen, a look inside Walt Disney Animation studios with a few interviews of current Disney animators, a little clip about a deleted character called Harold the Merman, an amazing featurette about Mermaid‘s live-action reference, a video-recording of Howard Ashman talking about the film, and a shameless self-promotion of the New Fantasyland with our tour guide Jodi Benson.
Here’s a list of the full bonus features:
- “Part of Your World” music video featuring Carly Rae Jepsen
- Deleted Character- Harold the Merman
- “Under the Scene: The Art of Live-Action Reference”
- “Howard’s Lecture”
- “Part of Her World: Jodi Benson’s Voyage to New Fantasyland”
- Crab-E-Oke Sing-a-Long
- Classic Deleted Scenes
- Classic Backstage Disney
- Classic Music & More
- Classic Audio Commentary
- Classic Disneypedia
- Classic “Behind the Ride that Almost Was”
- Classic “Under the Sea Adventure: A Virtual Ride”
The Crab-E-Oke was a disappointment. This Crab-E-Oke was part of the new Disney intermission feature that has become prominent on many newer Blu-ray releases; basically here’s how it works: you pause your remote and instead of having silence, it goes right into this intermission filled with music and sing-a-long songs. While you can pause the intermission, it’s a bit annoying to have to pause twice. Luckily, you can turn this feature off, so that pausing the movie does just that…it pauses the movie. While I really (surprisingly) enjoyed singing along to the various songs, the execution of the karaoke was a disaster. I felt Disney spent too much time trying to make the sequences modern and slick, but at times the lyrics flew across the screen so fast that I couldn’t really use them (not that I needed to, but still). It seemed the lyrics weren’t really there to be used, but rather were just there as a mere formality.
I really liked most of the features and I will watch more than once, I especially liked the @DisneyAnimation feature, so if you have this Blu-ray check that feature out!
I really loved this Blu-ray of The Little Mermaid, the movie looked amazing in HD and the sounds was amazing as well. The array of new and old bonus features were a real treat and I’m happy Disney didn’t neglect this release and added bonus features to this Blu-ray. Every Disney or animation fan should have this Blu-ray; it’s a movie that is fun to watch and never gets old, and it’s even better to view it in HD
The Little Mermaid Collection 3-Movie Box Set: Blu-ray