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on 2 December 2016
‘The Little Mermaid’ is not the best Disney film ever (that might be ‘Bambi’ or ‘The Jungle Book’ from the days when Walt Disney himself ran the company) and some parts are more interesting than others, however, it is good, including for adults. It has some of the best songs of any Disney film, for music, words and performance e.g. the calypso-style ‘Under the Sea’.

Most of the plot is based quite closely on a Hans Christian Anderson story of the same name except that the ending is ‘Disneyfied’, which is not necessarily a bad thing. A mermaid called Ariel, daughter of the Sea King, loves a land-based human prince, but it is hard for them to be together as neither can naturally live in the other’s element.

When ‘The Little Mermaid’ was made in 1989, Disney animation was going through a difficult period financially and corners had to be cut e.g. the villainous undersea witch Ursula, meant to be octopus-like, has only 6 tentacles rather than 8, because it was cheaper to draw her that way.

Fortunately, the success of ‘The Little Mermaid’ followed in the next few years by ’Beauty and the Beast’ (and ‘Aladdin’, which I am less sure about) possibly even saved the existence of Disney animation, which had been in gradual decline after Walt Disney’s death. Part of the credit for this is due to the writers of the music and lyrics of all these films, Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, who had also written, more for adults, the brilliant musical (stage show and, especially, film) ‘Little Shop of Horrors’.

‘The Little Mermaid’ is from the last period in which Disney films were still drawn by hand, which gives them a different look from more recent ones produced through digital technology.

Some of the ‘Special Features’ included are aimed at young children, but there are also interesting documentary features that may mean more to adults.
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on 20 February 2018
By the time ‘The Little Mermaid’ was made (in 1989), the days of beautifully hand-drawn cels had gone, and a bland, computerized look crept into Disney’s animation. And so, for me, this film started very unpromisingly - with average-looking line work and backgrounds. Fortunately (and surprisingly) the visuals do improve and, with the appearance of the sea witch Ursula (a half-octopus half-battleaxe character), the story hots up too. I ended up enjoying the film, after all.
As for the music - which I find to be a major asset in early Disney films, and a major drawback in the later ones - well, it could have been worse. I usually can’t bear to hear anything by Alan Menken, but this film does contain two or three rather amiable tunes: the calypso-flavoured ‘Under the Sea’ and ‘Kiss the Girl’, plus the French chef’s amusing song. (However, when Ariel sings the sickly Broadway-style ’Part of our World’ I have to reach for the mute button.)

For a so-called ‘Diamond Edition’, there wasn’t much in the way of DVD extras. There’s an alternative ending, and a short four minute film with Jodi Benson reminiscing about her role as Ariel. Still, it’s a decent disc, and boasts a lovely widescreen picture.
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on 10 July 2016
I am a huge fan of disney's animated film as this has to be one of the best classical films in my collection. I still remember the film when I was young and the only difference is that this one being digitally restored and remastered happens to have much brighter colours and very sharp sound. The music as in all classical disney films created especially for children is alway very catchy and so easy to remember. This one is a diamond edition which means that as well as the film itself, there are a few extra features such as how the story was developed by disney, deleted scenes and alternative ending that could be of interest to fans of disney animation. There is 1 disc that contains them all but if you want a little more, including interactive games, it is best that you buy the special platinium 2-disc edition, that is available is buy new on Amazon. This one I got works well and the few bonus features are interesting and I enjoyed watching this film very much.
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on 15 March 2016
Watching "The Little Mermaid," I began to feel that the magic of animation had been restored to us. After the early years of Walt Disney's pathfinding feature-length cartoons, we entered into a long, dark age in which frame-by-frame animation was too expensive, and even the great Disney animation team began using shortcuts. Now computers have taken the busywork out of the high-priced hands of humans, who are free to realize even the most elaborate flights of imagination. And that's certainly what they do in this film.

The movie opens far beneath the sea, where the god Triton rules over his underwater kingdom. All obey his commands - except for his daughter, Ariel, a mermaid who dreams of far-off lands. One day Ariel makes a forbidden visit to the surface of the sea, and there for the first time she sees a human: a handsome, young prince. He hears her singing, and falls in love with her voice. Triton is angry at Ariel's disobedi ence, but she can think of nothing but the prince, and eventually she strikes an unwise bargain with the evil Ursula, an octopus who can disguise herself in many different forms. Ursula will take away Ariel's tail and give her human legs so she can follow the prince on to the land, but if the prince doesn't kiss her within two days, she will have to give her haunting singing voice to the octopus.

Two key elements in the storytelling make "The Little Mermaid" stand apart from lesser recent animated work.

One is that Ariel is a fully realized female character who thinks and acts independently, even rebelliously, instead of hanging around passively while the fates decide her destiny. Because she's smart and thinks for herself, we have sympathy for her scheming.

The second element involves the plot itself: It's tricky and clever, and involves some suspense as Ariel loses her voice and very nearly loses her prince to the diabolical Ursula (who assumes the form of a femme fatale and hijacks Ariel's beautiful voice).

As the plot thickens and the melodrama unwinds, the animators introduce a gallery of new characters who are instantly engaging. Ariel is accompanied most places, for example, by Sebastian, a crab with extraordinary wisdom, and by Flounder, a fish who cannot always be counted upon. They provide comic relief, especially in a sequence that mixes comedy and danger in the best Disney tradition, as Sebastian finds himself captured by a French chef who attempts to cook and serve the little blighter.

What's best about "The Little Mermaid" is the visual invention with which the adventures are drawn. There is a lightness and a freedom about the settings - from Triton's underwater throne room to storms at sea to Ursula's garden of captured souls (they look a little like the tourists buried in Farmer Vincent's back yard in "Motel Hell"). The colors are bright, the water sparkles with reflected light, and there is the sense that not a single frame has been compromised because of the cost of animation.

The songs are good, too. "The Little Mermaid" contains some of the best Disney music since the glory days. My favorite song is a laid-back reggae number named "Under the Sea," sung by Samuel E. Wright in such a splendid blend of animation and music.
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on 15 December 2013
The Little Mermaid was my favourite Disney film as a child, and I still have the old VHS tape from that time. Sadly, no video recorder to play it on. So, I have patiently waited for Disney to release the film again on DVD and they finally have. I was worried I might not find it as good, watching it again as an adult, but it's still great. The story seems a little more simplistic to me now, but the quality animation, strong characters and brilliant songs mean that isn't important. I just enjoyed going for the ride. The new DVD version seems exactly the same as the VHS copy I used to watch, so nothing edited out (which does happen with some re-issues). And, there are DVD extras an adult fan might enjoy (but I don't think a child would get much out of them, it's serious 'making of' type stuff). Definitely worth getting.
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on 5 March 2017
Daughter loved it, especially when Ariel sings. She was very upset to discover girls leave their families (their dads) when they get married (appreciate that it not always the case but here the story goes like that). Ariels' main passion seems to quickly become getting married.
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on 11 September 2013
I've been waiting a long time for the blu-ray release of The Little Mermaid, and this did not disappoint.
It must be ten years or more since I last saw the film and I'm pleased to say that it's still as charming and as much fun as ever.
The blu-ray transfer is lovely, with the picture cleaned up well and brilliant crisp sound - perfect for enjoying the classic songs like Part of Your World, Kiss the Girl, and Under the Sea.
There are plenty of special features on this Diamond Edition, too, which should keep fans entertained for a good while after watching the film.

All in all, a great quality blu-ray release of one of the classic Disney Princess films. I highly recommend it!
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on 30 May 2013
Let me tell you how hard I've tried looking for a brand new copy of this film for the last 3-4 years and I cannot find it ANYWHERE, so in the end, I came on Amazon to see if I could find a copy for a reasonable price and lo-behold, I found it. At first I was a little dubious, when it comes to Disney films, sometimes you may not always get such a good product cos they're very well sought after.
But this one was of excellent quality-well, for the most part.
The DVD case is decent and bright and inside you have 2 discs and even a little quiz/colouring card for the children-just like they used too years ago! It was a nice touch and gave me some nostalgia of my childhood :)
The quality of the film is pretty darn good and with all the little extra features made this a fine viewing experience.
The only downside that I could find, was the DVD did jump every now and then, but that was for only a few seconds at a time and didn't even last at all long, it just happened occasionally, so always check for any scratches on the disc beforehand just in case.
I recommend this to anyone who loves or even has a special spot for the Disney classics. Like this film, I used to watch Disney films a lot whilst growing up and I'm not joking, but I have so many fond memories of each film. Every time I watch a different Disney film, not only am I experiencing something enjoyable, but it's also taking me back to the days when I was a child and thought everything was magical and wonderful.
Disney films-like this one, can be viewed by anyone, so if you love the characters, the songs or even the animation, I highly suggest to buy this if you haven't done so already, it would also be worthwhile to buy 'The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning' to watch AFTER this film, trust me, you'll fully understand why the characters act the way they do if you do watch it :)
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on 8 March 2018
This was meant to be a gift for someone else but going by the sleeve which has had cellotape ripped off at some point ruining it and the DVD itself not sealed i won't be able to give it to them.
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on 6 July 2015
This is a presumed rating. I bought this for my daughter, but unfortunately she wont watch it yet. She knows there is a "Sea-Monster" in it, and since Cedric the Sorcerer in Sophia turned into a sea-monster, she tends to avoid anything containing a sea-monster.

I'm gutted as I really want to see it, so think it may be a case of get her to bed and put it on
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