On DVD this week from directors John Musker, Ron Clements and Disney’s Diamond Collection comes the 1989 beloved animated musical wonder of THE LITTLE MERMAID.
This DVD tells the story of Ariel (voiced by Jodi Benson), a young mermaid living under the sea with her father King Triton (Kenneth Mars). But Ariel isn’t your ordinary mermaid; in fact she is an inquisitive princess who longs to be in the human world.
Urging her dream is when she sees Eric (Christopher Barnes) and falls in love. The only way to make this happen is by dealing with the evil Ursula (Pat Carroll), the sea witch. Making this deal has farther-reaching consequences than Ariel knows.
Not even her friends Sebastian (Samuel E. Wright) the lobster and Flounder (Jason Marin) the fish can save her for what is too much next.
Can love save them all?
FINAL WORD: Benson is a delightful Ariel. Her voice is so endearing and her laughter seems so genuine. That is important especially to little kids who might be experiencing THE LITTLE MERMAID for the first time. Musker and Clements knew exactly what they were doing when casting Benson. Her singing voice is amazing!
Mars as Triton I can relate to having a red headed mischievous inquisitive daughter myself. What I didn’t know, and was thrilled to discover, is that Mars was also in YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN as Inspector Kemp and was the voice of Tarkeninni in the animated series DARK WING DUCK!
Carroll as Ursula was one of the first animated bad gals that can make an evil song sound good. Carroll isn’t new to animation returning to THE LITTLE MERMAID 2 and MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO. Barnes as Eric is equally splendid with his singing voice that lends to the storyline.
The show stealer here is Samuel E. Wright as Sebastian. I couldn’t even THINK of eating a lobster after this performance. Making this an iconic role, Wright returns in 1991 for SEBASTIAN’S CARIBBEAN JAMBOREE and in 1992 for RAW TOONAGE. Fans would see Sebastian again in 1993 in MARSUPILAMI and in the television series THE LITTLE MERMAID. He would continue to recreate this sea crustation role in several more series and video games!
Other cast include: Rene Auberjonois as Louis, Paddi Edwards as Flotsam & Jetsam, Buddy Hackett as Scuttle, Edie McClurg as Carlotta and Ben Wright as Grimsby.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give THE LITTLE MERMAID four tubs of popcorn out of five. How could anyone not have a good time watching this film? In the new digital restoration the colors are amazing, vivid and the songs memorable with a story that is ageless.
The DVD includes blu-ray, digital copy and three hours of bonus material. The music video “Park of Your World” by Carly Rae Jepsen, Crab-e-oke sing-a-long, never before seen deleted character, behind the scenes of Disney animators, under the scene and so much more!
This is the film, as are all Disney films, a library worth having for families. Just like when Sunday nights were Disney nights in my family with the television program THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF DISNEY, having this DVD and all Disney DVD’s families can make their own wonderful world on Sundays!
In the end – love has no boundaries.
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