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 like `Sleeping Beauty' and `Snow White' with it's tale of innocence pursued by evil, and true love conquering all. The animation is pretty dated compared to Tarzan or Atlantis. But that's hardly the matter. The beauty of the film is its radiance, not in its drawings and colors.
I'm very happy that this finally came out on disc and able to share this with my kids instead of constantly taking this out from the library. This is perhaps one of the top 10 animated films ever made, I find it has a much deeper heart than `Beauty and the Beast,' and although it signified the beginning of a brand new Disney Empire, I find that it also signified the end of it. A film like this can be imitated but it can never be duplicated. And animation has grown into a magnificence and technologically superior story telling medium. But what the `Little Mermaid' had, it's still to be re-captured, and that's a heart as big and as deep as the ocean.
`The Little Mermaid' is defiantly for the whole family and is a gem on its own right. It stands alone as one of Disney's most enchanting modern creations for a new generation. It bears repeated viewing remarkably well, and the musical score is both original and entertaining with many different styles throughout.