In Disney's beguiling animated romp, rebellious 16-year-old mermaid Ariel is fascinated with life on land. On one of her visits to the surface, which are forbidden by her controlling father, King Triton, she falls for a human prince. Determined to be with her new love, Ariel makes a dangerous deal with the sea witch Ursula to become human for three days. But when plans go awry for the star-crossed lovers, the king must make the ultimate sacrifice for his daughter. Written by
According to Entertainment Weekly, co-director Ron Clements brought the film's concept to Disney in 1985, but it was vetoed because it was considered too similar to a Splash (1984) sequel that was in development at Disney. In 1985, Clements, while finishing work on The Great Mouse Detective (1986), was browsing through a bookstore and chanced upon a copy of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales, and found "The Little Mermaid" most fascinating, cinematic, and intriguing of all. He subsequently presented a two-page story treatment of both the film and Treasure Planet (2002) to Disney CEO Michael Eisner and chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg at a 'gong show' idea suggestion meeting where everyone at Walt Disney Feature Animation is supposed to come up with at least five new ideas for animated features; an idea Katzenberg came up with when he was working at Paramount Pictures. Both of them passed on the idea; Katzenberg changed his mind the next day and gave it the greenlight along with Oliver & Company (1988), but not Treasure Planet (2002) due to the technology, at the time, not being sophisticated and advanced enough to capture the filmmakers' vision for the film. Early in production, Katzenberg warned Clements and John Musker that their film would be perceived as a "girl's film" and that it would make less money at the box office than Oliver & Company. As the film neared completion, Katzenberg was forced to backtrack and admit that he thought that the studio had a major hit in the making. See more »
When Ariel is eating with Grimsby and Eric, her fork changes back and forth from three prongs to four prongs. See more »
Isn't this great? The salty sea air, the wind blowing in your face. Aaah, the perfect day to be at sea!
[leaning over rail]
Oh, yes urp delightful.
See more »
It has been ten years since "The Little Mermaid" was released. Back when Disney originally released the film, I was both excited and apprehensive. Excited, because it is one of the best children's stories and one of my favorites. Apprehensive, because I knew Disney would change the ending and give it a happy ending, which is understandable but still unfortunate. When I first saw it, I liked it much more than I thought I would, and after each repeated viewing, I have liked it more and more. I am now convinced this is the second best American Animated film, after "Beauty and the Beast". The music, story, writing, and animation are superb as others have stated, but the villainess, Ursula, is also a major factor in the success of the film. She is the best written and performed of all Disney villains. She is purely evil but totally believable. Pat Carroll, who I have often noticed but never really considered, did a fabulous job with Ursula's characterization. The music and songs are consistantly very good. There is no deep thought to this one, but "The Little Mermaid" is artfully near-perfect entainment.
23 of 27 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?