4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
What is there left to say about the Little Mermaid that hasn't been said already? It is a great movie that still holds up today. So what's new with this 3D version? Well the 3D for one. Disney did an amazing job transferring the original film into 3D. I wasn't expecting much for a 2d hand drawn movie, but they really made the movie pop out. While this is a fun way to watch the movie, I wouldn't say that it is a reason to buy this version. It is a novelty at best, and after watching it once in 3D I probably wont do it again. Not because it was bad, but rather because watching it would reveal the frames more easily than in 2D. There is some ghosting of the images, and the underwater shimmer effect doesn't work well in 3D. But since most of this movie takes place above water it is not that bad. I would say that if you are a huge fan that really wants to see this movie in 3D and missed out when it came to theaters, pick this up. Otherwise get the 2D diamond edition and save some cash.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
THE LITTLE MERMAID  [Three-Disc Diamond Edition] [3D Blu-ray + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + Music] [US Import] The 28th Disney Classic That Gave Voice To A Whole Generation!
Experience Ariel’s magical, musical world for the first time ever in dazzling 3D Blu-ray and Digital Copy! ‘The Little Mermaid,’ is one of the most celebrated animated films of all time, is now spectacularly transformed with state-of-the art digitally restored picture and brilliant high definition sound!
Venture under the sea where Ariel, a free-spirited mermaid princess, longs to be part of the human world. After bravely striking a bargain with Ursula, a sneaky sea witch. Ariel embarks on the adventure of a lifetime. With Flounder and Sebastian at her side, Ariel will need all of her courage and determination to make things right in both her worlds.
Share the wonder with your family, as you dive into the beloved classic Walt Disney animation film – now even more amazing than ever on 3D Blu-ray!
FILM FACT: ‘The Little Mermaid’ won two Academy Awards® for Best Original Score as well as Best Song for Alan Menken and Howard Ashman's "Under the Sea," sung by Samuel E. Wright in a memorable scene. Another song from the film, "Kiss the Girl," was nominated but lost to "Under the Sea." The film also won two Golden Globes for Best Original Score as well Best Original Song for "Under the Sea." It was also nominated in two other categories, Best Motion Picture and another Best Original Song. Alan Menken and Howard Ashman also won a Grammy Award in 1991 for "Under the Sea."
Voice Cast: Jodi Benson, Christopher Daniel Barnes, Pat Carroll, Samuel E. Wright, Jason Marin, Kenneth Mars, Buddy Hackett, Ben Wright, Paddi Edwards, Edie McClurg, Kimmy Robertson, Will Ryan, Frank Welker and René Auberjonois
Directors: John Musker and Ron Clements
Producers: Howard Ashman and John Musker
Screenplay: John Musker, Ron Clements and Hans Christian Andersen (original story)
Composer: Alan Menken
Video Resolution: 1080p
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio: English: 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French: 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish: 5.1 Dolby Digital and Portuguese: 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese
Running Time: 83 minutes
Region: Blu-ray: All Regions and DVD: NTSC
Number of discs: 3
Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Andrew’s Blu-ray Review: After glimmers of a change at Disney Animation surfaced with the entertaining ‘Oliver and Company’ and ‘The Great Mouse Detective,’ the full flowering of Disney’s animation renaissance is indelibly showcased with 1989’s ‘The Little Mermaid.’ An exquisitely drawn animated musical, ‘The Little Mermaid’ returned enchantment and awe to the art of the animated feature, and Disney has never looked back. The film still plays like a dream with its toe-tapping music and an involving story of a wish fulfilled, and with it now available in 3D, some of the musical numbers are definitely enhanced though, for the most part, the adding of a third dimension doesn’t have quite the same dramatic effect on the storytelling that it did with Disney’s follow-up musical ‘Beauty and the Beast.’
Sixteen-year old Ariel [Jodi Benson] is the young mermaid daughter of King Triton [Kenneth Mars], ruler of the seas, but she’s more than a little curious about the human world floating right above her. During a particularly violent storm at sea, she rescues Prince Eric [Christopher Daniel Barnes] and falls instantly in love with him. But in order to become his wife, she must shed her tail and acquire legs. To do that, she visits sea witch Ursula [Pat Carroll] who tricks her into signing a document granting her legs in exchange for her voice with the proviso that she has only three days to make the prince fall in love and kiss her. If she fails, she becomes a desiccated member of Ursula’s prison lair. Without her voice to identify to Eric that it was she who rescued him, Ariel is dependent on her friends Sebastian [Samuel E. Wright], Flounder [Jason Marin], and Scuttle [Buddy Hackett] to help her achieve her heart’s desire and prevent Ursula from taking over the sea.
Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale has been given the magic Disney touch with the addition of Ariel’s singing sea buddies and the change of ending, but as with the best of Disney’s animated features, the protagonists go through daunting trials and tribulations against often frightening antagonists before the end arrives. Along the way is the absolutely first-rate musical score by composer Alan Menken and lyricist Howard Ashman which gives the film its greatest distinction. Though some of Disney’s previous fairy tales were full scale musicals, the score for ‘The Little Mermaid’ is of Broadway quality with intricate rhythms and lyrics so fresh, witty, and spot-on that the cumulative effect of the brilliant animation (some of the best and most colourful Disney had turned out in decades), the involving story, and the superb music is an overwhelming one. “Under the Sea” is the first of many eye-popping production numbers to come in the Disney animated musicals, its reggae-rhythm infectious to the point of lifting one out of his seat and onto his feet to dance around the room. Both Ariel and Ursula have their songs of yearning: Ariel’s lovely “Part of Your World” and Ursula’s snaky “Poor Unfortunate Souls.” Ship’s cook Louis [Rene Auberjonois] sings his menu plans in “Les Poissons” which suspiciously seems more like a dry run for “Be Our Guest” in the next Disney musical, but “Kiss the Girl” sets up a lovely calypso-style ballad animated against a hilarious array of comic sight gags. This song is a perfect encapsulation of the new Disney mantra for these musicals: beautiful and heartfelt but never sacrificing a sense of fun for mere sentimentality.
The voice casting is exquisite. Jodi Benson exudes the adolescent fervour of the youthful Ariel, and her handling of “Part of Your World” is boundlessly joyful and filled with the hopes and dreams of the young. Pat Carroll more than earns her place among the great Disney villainesses as the scheming, creepy (in more ways than one) Ursula. Samuel E. Wright as the crab Sebastian gets the film’s two most bracing numbers “Under the Sea” and “Kiss the Girl” and also offers a comic touch as Ariel’s (mostly ignored) voice of reason. Buddy Hackett as the scatter-brained seagull Scuttle wears a little thin by the end, but he’s a basically harmless distraction, and Jason Marin makes a sweet little companion for Ariel as Flounder. Kenneth Mars has great authority as King Triton while Paddi Edwards effectively voices the evil moray eels Flotsam and Jetsam who carry out their mistress Ursula’s bidding.
Blu-ray Video Quality – The film has been framed at 1.78:1 and is presented in a stunning 1080p encoded image. The image is pristine and features unparalleled sharpness and rich, deeply saturated colour. The clarity also allows the viewer to marvel at the special effects used to simulate the undulating water in the underwater sequences. There is no banding or any other distracting artefacts to mar the visual presentation.
While the 3D conversion has been carefully applied to the original 2D animation, the resultant effect isn’t an overwhelming one. Depth and creative use of object placement is most visible in the “Under the Sea” and “Kiss the Girl” production numbers and in the typhoon sequence early in the film. Ursula’s later rampage is curiously not as effective in three dimensions as one might have suspected it would be. While there are no forward projections, one notices constantly that had the film been originally animated with 3D in mind, a number of stunning uses of forward projection (including bubbles, King Triton’s trident, Ursula's tentacles, and certainly the climactic confrontation between Ursula and Eric) could have been affected. There is no crosstalk in the film proper, though I saw quite disturbing amounts of it in the main menu which certainly gave me pause before starting the film.
Blu-ray Audio Quality – The 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio sound mix uses the wide sound field to maximum advantage with this musical adventure. There are numerous instances of split sound effects which are placed in the fronts and rears and which occasionally pan through the soundstage with expressive use of the surround channel on several occasions. The wonderful orchestrations for Alan Menken’s tuneful score place varying instruments in their own part of the audio field for a terrific sense of immersion into the music. Dialogue has been masterfully recorded and has been placed in the centre channel.
Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:
The Little Mermaid: New 1080p Bonus Features:
@DisneyAnimation [180p] [11:00] A fantastic little Disney Animation feature that begins with Little Mermaid directors John Musker and Ron Clements, then visits with numerous other studio animators, veteran and rookie, to learn about their inspirations, motivations and early forays into animation. I only wish it were longer. This is the sort of behind-the-scenes extra that deserves an upgrade to feature-length documentary.
Under the Scene [1080p] [13:00] This "Art of Live-Action Reference" feature delves into the (resurrected) craft of drawing upon real world elements, actors and reference footage to overcome difficult animation challenges and unite the animators on complex shots.
Howard's Lecture [1080p] [16:00] Meet one of the unsung heroes of The Little Mermaid, the late Howard Ashman, a writer and lyricist who died in 1991 of complications from AIDS.
Deleted Character: Harold the Merman [1080p] [2:00] Musker and Clements introduce poor Harold the Merman, who not only earned Ursula's wrath, but didn't even make it into the finished film.
Part of Her World [1080p] [5:00] "Jodi Benson's Voyage to New Fantasyland" follows the Ariel voice actress to Disney's Animation Resort, where she attends festivities and takes her children to Walt Disney World and Ariel's Grotto in New Fantasyland.
Crab-E-Oke Sing Along [1080p] [16:00] Sing along with "Part of Your World," "Under the Sea," "Poor Unfortunate Souls," "Les Poissons" and "Kiss the Girl," with these dynamic karaoke shorts.
Music Video [1080p] [4:00] Carly Rae Jepsen performs "Part of Your World."
The Little Mermaid: Classic DVD Bonus Features:
Deleted Scenes [SD] [26:00] Seven lengthy but unfinished deleted scenes are available, with introductions by Musker and Clements: "Fathom's Below" (Alternate Version), "Backstage with Sebastian," "Poor Unfortunate Souls" (Alternate Version), "Sebastian Lost in the Castle," "Advice from Sebastian," "Fight with Ursula" (Alternate Ending) and "Silence is Golden" (Song Demo).
Backstage Disney [1080p/SD] Nine separate extras are grouped within the disc's "Backstage Disney" section:
The Little Match Girl [1080p] [7:00] A lovely animated short, with director's introduction.
The Making of The Little Mermaid [SD] [46:00] An excellent 6-part production documentary.
The Story Behind the Story [SD] [11:00] A look at Hans Christian Anderson and his original tale.
Storm Warning: Special Effects Unit [SD] [9:00] Focuses on the film's storm at sea.
Under the Sea Early Presentation Reel [SD] [3:00] Concept art set to music.
John and Ron Make Caricatures of Each Other [SD] [1:00] The directors draw one another.
Animators Comment on their Characters [SD] [2:00] Brief interview snippets.
The Little Mermaid Handshake [SD] [1:00] The directors demonstrate a secret handshake.
Original Theatrical Trailer [SD] [2:00]
Music & More [1080p/SD] [14:00] Navigate to "Music & More" to access four songs with on-screen lyrics [1080p] "Part of Your World," "Under the Sea," "Les Poissons" and "Kiss the Girl" as well as a "Kiss the Girl" [SD] music video with Ashley Tisdale.
Disneypedia: Life Under the Sea [1080p] [8:00] A child-friendly oceanic wildlife feature.
Behind the Ride that Almost Was [1080p] [6:00] Abandoned plans for a Little Mermaid attraction.
Under the Sea Adventure [SD] [4:00] A virtual theme park ride.
Finally, one potential drawback should be mentioned, one that has already generated a lot of internet chatter and even cries for a recall. There were a few very minor errors made in the main feature, apparently during the film’s restoration. I almost didn’t think it was necessary to mention this, because in my humble opinion they are by no means a deal breaker. I would never have caught these changes (the main ones being a slight change in the timing of the opening credits’ appearance onscreen and a minor editing change in “Part of Your World” that results in a few seconds of mis-matched lip sync while Ariel sings), but for those concerned, this video contains side-by-side comparisons of the 2006 DVD and the new 3D Blu-ray.
‘The Little Mermaid’ still ranks as one of the great Disney animated musicals. Coming to 3D Blu-ray after many of its contemporaries have already made an appearance fills a gaping hole in the Disney animated Blu-ray catalogue. The 3D conversion is pleasant but not a required upgrade for the film. Nevertheless, I am still pleased to add this to my ever expanding Walt Disney Blu-ray Collection. Highly Recommended!
Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2004
Disney's 1989 animated film THE LITTLE MERMAID is a very formidable movie, surpassing the combined visual and musical artistic talents of all concerned. Character development is one of the strong points of THE LITTLE MERMAID achieved through concise dialogue, music and simplistic yet effective images. However, most effective to the success of this film are the songs that advance the story line and define the characters. That was the brilliance of lyricist Howard Ashman's contribution to THE LITTLE MERMAID. He and composer Alan Menken developed songs that in several minutes clearly define Ariel's reckless but innocent curiosity about the humans above and her yearning to discover that world. Every song in THE LITTLE MERMAID bolsters the depth of the characters, advances the plot or enhances the significance of a scene in addition to being very melodic and well written. So in THE LITTLE MERMAID we are given a substantial amount of information and entertainment in a minimum amount of time. There is not a single frame of wasted footage in this film. The combined effort is one of a splendid and effortless looking perfect creation of a classical animated Disney tale.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2004
save your $ on ebay auctions and wait for the platinum series release. this version's sound is excellent (dolby 5.1), but the bland/dull colors is a big disappointment. poor visibility, below average clarity and very dark throughout the entire movie. i've seen better second generation VHS recordings. this being a classic Disney release, it deserves a new high definition transfer like Beauty and the Beast, and The Lion King (outstanding DVD's).
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.
on May 14, 2004
This is such a great film and it works on so many different levels.
On one level, it reminds me of the universal desire and need for transcendence, to look beyond the confines of our everyday surroundings. Ariel is a dweller of the underworld, symbolically represented by the sea. The sea is replete with marvelous treasures and bounteously provides Ariel with all of her material needs. Indeed, she would never be in want of material possessions because as a princess the whole sea belongs to her. Even so, she yearns for another world qualitatively different from her own, the world of humans above her. This need for transcendence is not prompted by any rational instinct, but the common passion to break through the mundane into a brave new world of the extraordinary. Ariel's aching for transformation and transcendence of the everyday world of the sea is the exact same longing that all people experience whether they aspire on the spiritual level to reach heaven or on a secular level, to revolutionize the world in hopes of achieving a utopia.
The transformation that allows Ariel to become a land dweller requires a sacrifice: she must forfeit her voice to the evil sea had, Ursula. This is excellent symbolism. Kierkegaard discusses how as finite beings, we can only communicate in finite languages. For instance, linguistically, our speech is limited by its form: a Frenchman only speaking Français can communicate no better to a German speaker than he could to a pelican. But on a deeper level, as humans we can only communicate in the language of logic and reason and yet these systems of communication are painfully limited. We long to speak a universal, transcendent, divine language, but we fall painfully short; if we could speak the language of the infinite and divine, we would no longer be human because as humans we by definition finite. If we as finite human beings were instantly transferred to a terrain of the infinite, like heaven, our limited, finite and human means of communication would render us unable to communicate. With words only, how would you communicate with a transcendent, immaterial being like an angel and how would an angel communicate with you? In other worlds, like Ariel, we too would be without the ability to communicate, without a voice. Remembering how our painfully limited and encumbering our means of communication would be if we ever had to communicate with angels helps to enhance our viewing experience by aiding us in imagining Ariel's plight as our own.
What really struck me about this film is that what can bridge the gap between worlds is not the linguistics of a certain spoken dialect, but the language of love and empathy. Even without a voice, Ariel is able to communicate with Eric the prince through her innate kindness and sympathy. This film is a marvelous testament to the power of human warmth against the alienation, fragmentation and silence of modern times.
on March 4, 2004
I was only 5 when I saw this film during its theatrical release. When my sister bought the tape 13 years ago, it instantly became our favorite Disney film ever. "The Little Mermaid" was four years in the making, with great talents working on the animation, the music, the characters and the story. Everything went perfectly and you see it in the final product. From the moment you see the seagulls flying in the sky, you are captivated by the stunningly beautiful animation and the haunting score. The film is filled with great songs, some of them sentimental ("Part Of Your World"), some of them slick and witty ("Under The Sea") and some are just playing silly ("Les Poissons"). The two storms at sea are my favorite parts in the film. They were handled very professionally and give a real sense of chaos and destruction. Ariel, the heroine, is my favorite Disney character (along with Belle) and Sebastian is arguably the most appealing supporting character in a Disney film. All these easily made "The Little Mermaid" the grand success it was and my favorite Disney film ever.
on March 1, 2004
Wow. This movie was so good! I think the universe knows the plot, so all I can simply add is this:
Ariel knew where her heart was. It belonged on the land. And she was determined not to let ANYthing prevent her from getting there! I truly love the relationship with Ariel and her father, it hits very close to home. (I'm a fanfic writer, look at my name to figure out who's daughter my fanfic's on!)
I also love Ariel's sisters, especially Alana. We see more of their personalities in the Little Mermaid series, but still. And I love the singing. I can sing like Alana, and once you realize you can sing like one of Triton's daughters, well, you're honoured!
In short, Ariel knew where her heart was, and how to get there! She loved her father, but he didn't understand her. While that ripped her heart in two, she did what she thought she had to. And who can forget how she saved Eric's life, when her father said "one less human to worry about?!"
I made up my fanfiction girl, Georgette, a year ago at this time. I finally finished writing her story of how she finds where her own heart belongs a few hours ago. I celebrated my 13th birthday last year with all my friends, wishing me well because I was going to move at the end of the month (March).
A year later, I cannot believe how far we've come. Ariel's heart belonged where it did, simple as that.
Hoped this gave you an interesting look at it! *Goes off to her Flying Fish swim-team meet.*
on February 13, 2004
Movie: What is left to be said about "The Little Mermaid?" This is the mvoie that saved the Disney animation department in 1989. After being in a slouch in the late 70's and early 80's the Disney studio got a blessing in disguise: Universal's "An American Tale" became the top grossing animated film of all time up to that point. Disney had competition. They decided to make a huge turn-around and created one of the greatest animated films of all time. "The Little Mermaid" was an immediate smash, and heralded the Disney animation rennaissance. Not since "Snow White" in 1937 had there been such a good animated film. "The Little Mermaid" has held up incredibly well over the past 15 years, and is still a great movie. It is my second favorite animated film ever behind "Beauty And The Beast." Ariel is one of the best heriones to come from Disney, ranking up there with Snow White, Princess Jasmine, and Belle. I'm not even going to bother with a plot recap, as everyone has seen this movie at least once. "The Little Mermaid" comes to DVD in a rather lackluster release, but its enough to hold fans over until the 2-Disc Platinum Edition is released. (5.5/5)
Video: The film is presented in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.66:1, and is non-anamorphic. The film has always been very grainy, so that should not be seen as a sign of inferior quality. The picture only looks okay. Not bad at all, but if it were a little less bland in the color department, that would have helped. Sharpness and detail are very good, however. (3.5/5)
Audio: There were apparently two versions of the this DVD released, or one was an extremely limited promotional copy, or something. The DVD available here on Amazon has the wonderful Dolby Digital 5.1 remix that was done for the film's 1997 theatrical rerelease. This is a fabulous mix. The surrounds are put to effective use throughout, but are subtle when neccessary. The front 3 channels are also used very well, and bass is deep and responsive. Excellent.
There also seems to be a much more limited copy floating around that also includes a Dolby 2.0 Surround track, as well as a DTS 5.1 Surround track. This is the copy I own. However good the Dolby Digital track is, the DTS is even better. There is better bass response, and the mix is a little louder. The 2.0 Surround track is how the film sounded back in 1989, and is good for purists who hate remixes. (5/5)
Extras: None, not even a trailer. (0/5)
Overall: "The Little Mermaid" is a fantastic movie that everyone should own. If you just can't wait for the Platinum Edition like I couldn't, then go ahead, buy this DVD. If you have DTS capability, try to find the version with the DTS track, which can probably be found on Ebay, where I purchased my copy. Whichever version you choose, expect a great film either way. But, with the Platinum Edition announced for an October 2005 release, the wait is nearly over! I can't wait for the Platinum Edition! Oh well, I still have the movie to tide me over.
on January 26, 2004
Everyone knows by now that "The Little Mermaid" is the movie that returned the Disney company to its former glory, in all senses.
Upon its release in late 1989 (in most markets it was released in 1990), the movie was hailed by critics all over the world as the best Disney film in years (decades, that is) and one of the best films the company has ever produced. More importantly perhaps, the audience loved it. The movie went on to gross almost $90 million domestically and $200 million worldwide. A huge phenomenon. The video release, which followed in May 1990, generated huge numbers in sales and sold over 23 million copies in the US as of 1998. And you mustn't forget the songs, which quickly became a driving force in the film's success. Alan Manken created an irresistible score for the movie, and together with lyricist Howard Ashman, composed some of the finest songs ever heard in a Disney film. They later took the Oscars for 'Best Song' (for "Under The Sea") and 'Best Score'. They also won in the exact same categories at the Golden Globe and the Grammy awards. The soundtrack eventually went triple platinum in the US.
The animation in the film, is, in one word, dazzling. The underwater scenes are impressive in particular. Bubbles, surface reflections and moving sea-creatures create an illusional undersea atmosphere to which the audience is easily drawn into.
To create all that, 80% of the animation process required special effects, and the effort shows.
"The Little Mermaid" is scheduled for an October 2005 release on DVD. In 2001, Disney launched a 'Platinum Edition' line which includes their 10 best-selling titles on video to go on DVD. Every one of these films, comes as a 2-disc set featuring 'making-of's and commentaries from the talents who worked on the movie. Needless to say it would also include a highly enhanced version of the film (and sometimes even newly added sequences, such as is the case with "Beauty and the Beast" & "The Lion King"). On the 1999 DVD release of "The Little Mermaid", Disney did only little in restoring the film's look; this time, there's much more to look forward to. Disney gives each one of the films a deluxe treatment, especially in the visual and sound departments.
'Til then, sit back and enjoy the film as it is: charming, innovative, and most of all - fun.