The Little Mermaid earned its right as a Disney classic when it all but saved animation from extinction upon its hit release in 1989. Nearly 30 years later, few would refute it as one of the most important films in the storied legacy of Walt Disney Animation Studios, and now it arrives to a new home video release with a treasure trove of bonuses fit for King Triton.
The prestigious Walt Disney Signature Collection will add The Little Mermaid to its ranks with a digital debut on February 12, followed by 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray on February 26.
The set’s cover art, above, touts it with three separate labels, technically making this release the “Walt Disney Signature Collection Multi-Screen Anniversary Edition.” Got all that, Scuttle?
With a movie as special as The Little Mermaid, Disney pulls out all the stops in the way of bonus material. From Disney’s press release, here is a list of the new extras exclusive to this set:
- Sing-Along Mode – Sing along to the movie in this sing-along version of the film.
- Alan Menken & the Leading Ladies Sing – From the voice of a mermaid to the tunes of a muse, the music of Alan Menken has scored the soundtrack for some of Disney’s most iconic leading ladies. Join Alan, Jodi Benson (Ariel), Paige O’Hara (Belle), Judy Kuhn (Pocahontas Singing Voice), Lillias White (Calliope) and Donna Murphy (Mother Gothel) as we celebrate the music of their films in honor of the one that started it all … The Little Mermaid. In this discussion, the ladies will share their memories of musically creating their characters with Alan, discuss what it means to be part of the Disney Princess/leading lady legacy and create new memories as they sing with Alan around a baby grand piano.
- “What I Want From You…Is YOUR VOICE” – Enter the recording studio and get an inside look at the cast of The Little Mermaid in their original recording sessions.
- Stories From Walt’s Office – Gadgets & Gizmos – Like Ariel, Walt Disney was a collector of many different things from miniatures to early mechanical characters that inspired the invention of audio-animatronics. We take a look at some the collections that Walt kept in his office in the third episode of this series.
- #TreasuresUntold – Join Ruby Rose Turner and Olivia Sanabia from the Disney Channel Original Series Coop and Cami Ask the World as they take a deep dive to explore some hidden treasures and fun facts about Disney’s The Little Mermaid.
- DCapella “Part of Your World” Music Video
- “Part of Your World” – A 30-Year Retrospective – Songwriter Alan Menken and Jodi Benson, the acting and singing voice of Ariel, sing the epitome of Disney “I Want” songs “Part of Your World” and discuss its impact since it was first heard 30 years ago.
Additionally, this isn’t The Little Mermaid‘s first time up to bat, and its entry into the Walt Disney Signature Collection carries over an abundance of bonuses from its previous home video releases, all of which were already hefty. These include an audio commentary, deleted scenes, a look into the live-action reference process, and a terrific peek into a lunchtime lecture by Howard Ashman that changed animation forever.
In the realm of DVDs that altered Disney history (of which I’d say the category is pretty slim), it’s fun to now look back in The Little Mermaid‘s 2006 Platinum Edition. That set highlighted a “never-built” ride based on the film intended for Disneyland that never saw the light of day. A version of that attraction now exists not only at Disneyland, but also at Walt Disney World. It’s not a huge inference to say unearthing the abandoned concept in preparation for that DVD may have sparked interest in pursuing the project again. That same retrospective (now wildly foreshadowing) is expected to be included on the Walt Disney Signature Collection, too.
Previous volumes in this series, which first began in 2016, include Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Beauty and the Beast, Pinocchio, Bambi, The Lion King, Lady and the Tramp, and Peter Pan. You can check out Rotoscopers’ reviews of those releases by clicking the respective titles.