Friday, October 11, 2013

The Little Mermaid...

by Al Kessel

"Undah the sea...undah the sea...darlin' it's better down where it's wetta take it from MEEEE!" Oh man...that Sebastian REALLY can sing! 

What do you get when you cross a stubborn willed, disobedient teen aged girl who wants what she wants, no matter the cost, and a mythical sea dwelling race? Well, Disney's The Little Mermaid of course! Back in 1989, Disney brought to life the adventures of strong willed and free-spirited teen-aged mermaid called Ariel, who sets off on the adventure of a lifetime with her best friend Flounder (yep, a fish) and the above super-star singing crab Sebastian to find true love. 

Ariel and Flounder
Now, I remember way back when Disney released The Little Mermaid and thinking how silly this was going to be. BUT...little did I know how awesome this movie was going to be! Yes, I'll admit, I went in skeptical, but came out singing Poor Unfortunate Soul, and Part Of Your World. This film was more than just a silly cartoon, it was an animated masterpiece. Everything was just spot on - the story, the acting, the comedy and the desperate situations our heroes found themselves in. Now, I'm not a fan of musicals, especially animated musicals, but Disney knows how to do them right. 

Flash forward 24 years. October 1, 2013 to be exact. Disney Animation released The Little Mermaid for the first time ever on Blu-Ray and 3D Blu-Ray. And you know what? I loved it even more! Even knowing what to expect, I still found myself jumping when the Evil Ursula (voiced expertly by Pat Carroll) makes the scene! 
Ursula The Sea Witch!

By now, (hopefully) most of you have seen Disney's The Little Mermaid. But yes, there are, I'm sure, some who have yet to experience this awesome classic story told in a way only Disney could tell it. I won't go in to too much detail about the story, remember, we're all about saving the spoilers here, but I will talk about some of the major plot points. So, if you're one who wants to be surprised, fair warning!

Ariel (voiced by Jodi Benson), is the youngest daughter of King Triton (voiced by Kenneth Mars). All Ariel wants to do is be her own person...err, mermaid and do what SHE wants to do. She's gathered quite the collection of human treasures, like gadgets and gizmos aplenty! And, she's become very dissatisfied with life under the sea, and longs for LEGS so she can live ABOVE the sea, with the humans. Accompanied by her best friend Flounder (voiced by Jason Marin) and her King/Father appointed guardian Sebastian (voiced by Samuel E. Wright), Ariel sets out on an adventure that is bound to
The Crooning Crab Sebastian 
'land' her in trouble (ha-ha...get it? LAND???). Of course, what great Disney story would be complete without a GREAT villain? This time around, the nasty villain comes in the form of an octopus sea witch named Ursula, who convinces Ariel she can make all her dreams come true...but, we know, Ursula has plans of her own!! (cue evil laughter here).

Ursula Offers Ariel a Deal

With a terrific musical score by Disney Legend Alan Menken, The Little Mermaid is full of great songs that you'll find yourself singing YEARS after you see the movie!

The newly released The Little Mermaid: Diamond Edition brings this classic back to it's original splendor. The Blu-Ray version cleans up the print quite a bit, once again showing fans just how beautiful this movie really is. And although the animation is quite old, it's just as spell binding as it was in 1989. We did not review the 3-D version, but from what we've been told, it's spectacular. The 3-D brings out elements of the movie that just blow one's mind. 
Ariel's Father King Triton

The Little Mermaid: Diamond Edition comes with a few bonus features as well:

  • An All New "Part Of Your World" Music Video by Carly Rae Jepson (Call Me Maybe)
  • The Real Little Mermaid: Live Action Reference Model
  • Part of Her World: Jodi Benson's Voyage To New Fantasyland
  • "Howard The Merman" A Never Before Seen Deleted Character
  • Disney Intermission - Press Pause and See What Happens!
  • @DisneyAnimation - Behind The Scenes with Today's Top Disney Animators
The deleted character bonus was kind of interesting. Not actual animation (presented in storyboard format with animator character narration), Howard was a character from earlier on in the movie that was cut for time. This scene told of the unlucky merman Howard and his dealing with Ursula. So, we would have gotten a foreshadowing of what could happen to Ariel. 
Ariel In Trouble...Again!

The Disney Intermission function/bonus is really pretty neat. When you pause the movie, instead of a regular still image, you get a crab-e-okie sing along to help pass the time! Pretty cool...

But, what was NOT pretty cool (in my opinion of course) was the all new music video by Carly Rae "Call Me Maybe" Jepson. Not sure why Disney chose to add this rendition of a VERY classic and VERY well done "Part Of Your World" but they did. And I'm very sorry they did. No offense to Ms. Jepson, but this video makes no sense in the context of The Little Mermaid, and the way in which she sings the song, well, it's just not in line with the 'heart' of the song at all. She sings it rather lazily and honestly, she sounds to me like she's whining. The video takes place in the city, which looks kind of dirty and grimy...a little to urban for The Little Mermaid. For me, this was really the only bad thing about the Diamond Edition, and honestly, Disney should have left it out. 

The Little Mermaid: The Diamond Edition is now available for purchase on:
  • 3-Disc Blu-Ray Combo Pack (Blu-Ray 3D+ Blu-Ray+DVD+Digital Copy+Music Download). SRP $49.99
  • 2-Disc Blu-Ray Combo Pack (Blu-Ray+DVD+Digital Download). SRP $44.99
  • 2-Disc Blu-Ray Combo Pack (Blu-Ray+DVD). SRP $39.99
Feature Running time approximately 88 minutes, bonus features are over 3 hours. 

All in all, The Little Mermaid: Diamond Edition brings back all of those great Disney memories from years ago. If you're an old timer like me, it's great to relive the adventures of Ariel. If you're brand new to the story, well, you're in for a terrific treat! The Little Mermaid: Diamond Edition is a MUST have for anyone's movie collection, regardless of your age! 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment! Make It A Mickey Day, and check out the podcast at!!