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  • Disney animated films had become somewhat second-rate by 1989 and it appeared that one of the great genres in the cinema was on life-support. But that all changed with "The Little Mermaid". The film is a cinematic classic that tells the story of a young mermaid princess who just wants to be human so she makes a deal with an evil sea witch to get her wish, but she loses her beautiful voice in the process and she must be kissed by her true love to get it back. A really great motion picture that has some really memorable songs in it. 5 stars out of 5.
  • I probably never would have seen this movie if my mother hadn't persuaded me to take my little brother to see it. I enjoyed it a lot the first time, but it was only when I saw it again a couple of years later on video I realised just how superb a movie it is. It's not a clever or complex movie, it's not the kind of film which works on an adult level as well as on a children's one. However, three aspects of it make it truly great:

    1: The music. 'Under The Sea' richly deserved its Oscar, but 'Part Of Your World' deserved it even more.

    2. The animation. Quite simply, it's absolutely gorgeous. The underwater scenes in particular take your breath away.

    3. The Story. How can you resist a love story that touching?

    I urge anyone with even a touch of sentimentality about them to set their predjudices aside and see this movie.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    ''The Little Princess'' is a great movie from Disney and also one of my favorites from it. Ariel, a 16 years old mermaid,is one of the princesses of the sea with her older sisters and her dad, king Triton. The only problem is that she is unhappy with her ''under sea life'', since she always dreamed to live in the human's world and to have legs to walk.Things only get worst when Ariel starts to fall in love with Eric, a beautiful brunet prince that she rescues one day. Decided to become a human, she makes a pact with the evil Ursula and sells her voice as a payment to be with Eric: If after some days, Eric kisses her with true love, she can be a human for eternity. But if the opposite happens, she will be Ursula's slave. The only ones who knows her secret besides Ursula is Sebastian and Flounder.

    I think this movie is very worthwhile. The only thing to mention, is that is loosely based upon the story by Hans Christian Andersen.
  • Yeah, yeah... It's the little mermaid, the same cute barbie-like character little girls love so much... But the movie is great. If you just free yourself from the sissy pink image of the movie you're in for a treat.

    The songs are great, by the same team who gave us Little Shop Of Horrors: Alan Menken and Howard Ashman who teamed up in Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin as well. Aladdin was their last project together with Ashman's untimely death from AIDS in 1991.

    The story is funny and romantic, so who cares if it's not following the original tale? A perfect movie for everyone, not just little girls.
  • The Little Mermaid is one of the best Disney films of the 80's! It's such a wonderful film and is such a tear jerker, lol. The songs, the story, the animation, the voices, were just so wonderful and perfect. This is the film that I'm sure will go on for generations to come, I just showed it to my cousin recently, he's 6, and he just loves it as well. I remember watching this movie when I was a little girl and I just wanted a friend like Sebastian, he was so much fun, even though he's somewhat of a buzz kill, he can really get the party going. Just the whole story is a blast to watch and is so beautiful.

    Ariel is one of the many princesses of King Triton's mighty kingdom under the sea, but she has a different dream. She goes up constantly to the shore to collect human items and wonders what it would be like to be a human instead of a mermaid. One day when she gets into a nasty fight with her father, Ursella, an evil octopus woman who wants to take over King Triton's kingdom, grants Ariel's wish, but she can only stay human if she can get her crush, Eric, to say her name, sounds easy, right? Well, Ursella takes her voice away, but her intentions are for Ariel to fail and make sure that she takes over the kingdom.

    The Little Mermaid is such a fun Disney film and is a great treasure of our time. I just love the song "Under the sea", it's so much fun to sing and dance too, I admit it, I'm a dork, I still sing and dance to it when I see it. I highly recommend this movie for anyone, it's a true Disney classic that is so much fun, I guarantee you that you might shed a tear when Ariel says "Daddy", you'll see what I mean when you watch it.

  • I was definitely no kid when I saw "The Little Mermaid"; in fact, I was 20. I was thoroughly captivated by this movie - one of the last real delights from Disney's regular animation crews (before they had to get help from Pixar and Tim Burton) - and the Mouse couldn't have wished for a better movie to get them back on the proper road, animation-wise. (Of course, after this, "Aladdin" and "Beauty and the Beast" they've slipped a bit - though they're still better than DreamWorks.)

    Though not exactly loyal to the original story - Hans Christian Andersen was much more keen on unhappy endings - it's doubtful it would have worked as well if it had. The movie has just about everything going for it... lush animation, spirited musical numbers (this started Alan Menken's run of success for Disney, and he's surely had enough time to refresh himself by now, and for us all to forget "Pocahontas"), wonderfully evil villain, likeable supporting players, and my all-time favourite Disney heroine, the endearing and lovely Ariel (remember the episode of "Cheers" when Norm said he fancied her? She got a lot of real life guys' hearts - beat that, Princess Fiona from "Shrek").

    And as a plus, the subsequent TV series (set before the movie) even managed to capture some of the spirit of the movie. But go for the original... a classic.
  • It has been ten years since "The Little Mermaid" was released. Back when Disney originally released the film, I was both excited and apprehensive. Excited, because it is one of the best children's stories and one of my favorites. Apprehensive, because I knew Disney would change the ending and give it a happy ending, which is understandable but still unfortunate. When I first saw it, I liked it much more than I thought I would, and after each repeated viewing, I have liked it more and more. I am now convinced this is the second best American Animated film, after "Beauty and the Beast". The music, story, writing, and animation are superb as others have stated, but the villainess, Ursula, is also a major factor in the success of the film. She is the best written and performed of all Disney villains. She is purely evil but totally believable. Pat Carroll, who I have often noticed but never really considered, did a fabulous job with Ursula's characterization. The music and songs are consistantly very good. There is no deep thought to this one, but "The Little Mermaid" is artfully near-perfect entainment.
  • The Little Mermaid is one of Disney's best animated motion pictures. It tells the classic Hans Christian Anderson story of a mermaid who wishes she could be human in order to capture the love of a human prince. The animation is beautiful, in fact I think this is one of Disney's most flawless films. It features lovable characters: Ariel the little mermaid is one of my favorite 'Disney girls', Sebastian the crab, Scuttle the wacky seagull, Flounder the... flounder, Triton Ariel's father the Sea King and of course prince charming- Eric. And don't think I forgot the most despised octopus of the oceans- Ursula and her two eels Flotsam and Jetsum. Great beginning and great ending... and of course a lovable story. The music is beautiful (and rightfully won the Oscar for best score and best song). The score is by Alan Menken (who also provided us with the scores of Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast). Some of the most beautiful Disney songs are in The Little Mermaid- Part of Your World, Kiss the Girl and for a little bit of dancin' Under the Sea. A movie for all ages, you will be enchanted by Ariel's world under the sea, by the wacky characters, the cruel but in a strange way lovable Ursula, the score, the songs, the story and the animation. I hope everybody has The Little Mermaid in their video collection to one day show their children and grandchildren or any youngster (or adult for that matter). You will be captured by Ariel and want to be part of her (most intriguing) world.
  • The mermaid herself is charming. She is animated with real passion - and voiced with real passion too, by Jodi Benson, who provides a powerful argument that whoever provides the speaking voice should also provide the singing voice. She is an innocent heroine but by no means a colourless one. That the prince should fall in love with her, on just seeing her and hearing her voice, is entirely credible.

    The same could not be said for Andersen's original mermaid, who is a very cold fish indeed, solely concerned with grabbing immortality, considering the prince as no more than a handy means to it. It's this (and the high value placed on Christianity at the expense of decency) that makes Andersen's ending so insufferable. Obviously, another ending had to be found; and while it must be said that the big ending Musker and Clements came up with is a weak one, it must also be said that it's an improvement.

    Musker and Clements still have a problem with their finales (witness `Aladdin' and `Hercules'), but they have countervailing strengths, and those strengths are most apparent here. The songs are all exceptionally staged (the well-known `Under the Sea' actually being the least effective), the comedy is sharp and well-timed, and - more obviously here than anywhere else - they really believe in what they're doing. They give credit to Howard Ashman for this and they could be right; whatever the reason, an air of innocence and sincerity pervades `The Little Mermaid' which makes it - and her - utterly irresistible.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    What can I say about this movie. I grew up watching this and I don't care if I am a little girl or not I love this movie. I think it is really well done and it maybe the last of the classic Disney films. For me the best part is the songs. I love all of them and I think they are all really well done and fit into the story well. Having Sebastian being a conductor made it a little easier. I must say I still get a bit of a wave of emotion when I see King Tritan give up his daughter so she can be happy. One of my favorite scenes which amazes me every time I see it is when Sebastian decides to help Ariel. The look on Ariel's face and Sebastian's body language are amazing. I think they really were able to create a whole slew of characters with very unique characteristics and movements. I also have to say I thought the use of the accents and how none of them seemed to come from anywhere made me smile because it was silly and just cliché. This will be one of the movies that my kids will watch and will in my mind always be a classic
  • Monika-517 February 2000
    Ariel is a fiery, independent teenage mermaid who falls in love with a prince. She literally makes a deal with the devil to get her man. I love how sweet Ariel is with Eric, especially when she can't talk! Sebastian, Scuttle, and Flounder are all very funny, the animation, voice-overs and music are incredible! Who can resist the urge to sing and dance to "Under The Sea"? A fun, enjoyable movie that the whole family will love and treasure.
  • I saw this movie when I was very young and I loved it. It had a perfect fairy-tale ending and totally followed the formula for Disney movies in a great way. It really got it's message across with catchy tunes and fun characters.

    On the down side, while it had a great message, it didn't stay true to what Hans Christian Andersen wrote. I hadn't read Andersen's version until very recently, but I loved it. I thought it had a much better and far more realistic message than the Disney movie. Andersen said that if you're a good person, while you may not get your reward in life, being good is it's own reward. Disney, on the other hand, said that if you risk everything for the one you love, things will work out in the end. While that's a nice message for little kids that is very unrealistic. Good people are hurt all the time.

    I've heard people say that if girls grow up watching this, they will learn that big breasts, a small waist, and having a man by your side are what's important in life. This movie was made the year I was born, so naturally, I grew up on it. I don't hold myself to unrealistic standards or feel like I must have a man to go on. So, while I don't know about all the other little girls out there, but Disney didn't corrupt me.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The Little Mermaid is a solid animated feature in the Disney canon.

    The characters are great, the music is stellar, the animation is stunning, the voice cast consisting of Jodi Benson is good, the songs are nice, "Part of Your World" is the best song in the movie, in my opinion. The only negative aspect with this movie is the running time. This movie feels too short to me. The boat in the sea sort of made the opening way too fast paced. If the opening with Ariel's backstory was used, with characters like Sebastian or Scuttle narrating the opening, it could have been better. However, the introduction with Scuttle greeting the guests on the dark ride "The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure" at Disney California Adventure, surpassed the opening in the movie.

    Despite the fact that I am male, Ariel is also one of my favourite Disney heroines, because we are very different from the rest of our families and we are treated differently, we are both the youngest member in our respective families, we are both curious, and I think Ariel is an interesting, likable and adventurous character, all in all. I also think Ariel is a good role model to people of both genders, because she is resilient, courageous and independent. I also consider Ariel to be one of the best Disney heroines ever created. Thank you, Glen Keane and Mark Henn for animating this character. The other characters, Flounder, the cowardly sidekick of Ariel, Sebastian, King Triton's crustacean stooge, Scuttle, a know-it- all seagull, King Triton, Ariel's xenophobic father, Eric, Ariel's love interest and Ursula, the main antagonist, were good characters also.

    In conclusion, The Little Mermaid is a solid animated feature that both boys and girls will enjoy. I recommend this movie highly.
  • The Little Mermaid is one of those films I grew up with when I was a kid - something that the whole family can watch and never really get sick of. The imagination brought into this fairy tale (despite the fact that the ending is vastly changed from the original to please the kids) is simply superb. Songs, music, characters are all terrific.

    While I think Beauty and the Beast stands as Disney's best animated film, The Little Mermaid is still one of the top ones to check out. A story about Aeriel - the young mermaid curious about the human world who ends up falling for Prince Eric of the human race.

    And all the other cute characters such as Sebastian, Flounder, not to mention a very sinister villain with the Sea Witch. It all makes for a great time and has a good deal of emotion in it too.

    I really miss Disney films made in this era - they were done so well and I will always be a huge fan of them. The ones nowadays - while they aren't horrible, just seem to be a bit too modern and hence don't have that magic as the old ones - probably because they focus more on doing references to other things rather than coming up with original ideas that felt fresh.
  • This animated film brought the Disney company out of its long slump and you can see why it spurred a comeback: there is a lot to like in this movie.

    It features outstanding animation: brilliant colors and beautiful scenes, along with interesting characters and pretty good songs. Frankly, I didn't care that much for the lead character, the young girl, but the little crab was the show- stealer, at least for me. He spoke with a West Indies accent and did a couple of cool musical numbers....and was easily the funniest and most-entertaining of all the characters.

    I have only one major complaint about this story. The message that "parents should let the kids go," inferring they know best, that if you let them decide what is best, they'll live happily ever irresponsible and just plain wrong. Hollywood loves to show little kids are smarter than their parents, which might sound nice to the young audience but it is a very dangerous message. Too bad, because than that this would have been a super film for all ages. It's still pretty darn good.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "The Little Mermaid" takes us on an animated journey into the life of ginger mermaid Ariel and her dream of becoming human. It's sensory overload for Ariel and for the viewer from start to finish, but in the most positive way. It's a bit sad that some of the voice actors here (Flotsam & Jetsam, Triton, Scuttle) are dead now, but as it's almost 25 years since this film was made just shows what a timeless classic it has become. My favorite moment was Ariel singing in the film early "Part of Your World" and swimming up to the moonlight. Such a beautifully mesmerizing song and scene. While it was IMHO the best song of the movie and I'm pretty surprised it did not get the Oscar nomination, all the other songs are really good as well. "Under the Sea", maybe my least favorite won the Oscar. I see it more as a "Hakuna Matata", a great fun song with little depth,, so it's a bit surprising it was chosen as the best song at the Golden Globes and Academy Awards. "Kiss the Girl" is an amazing love song about taking the initiative and is very much worth listening to, just like "Poor Unfortunate Souls", one of Disney's best villain songs ever. The latter is sung by Ursula, the main antagonist here and, long before she becomes a giant monster, already an epic villain here that may have changed the way we perceive octopuses forever to the negative.

    Ariel's best friend is a yellow-blue fish with the voice of a child, who rarely speaks, but is always loyal to her, even if he's scared quickly and it certainly doesn't help that there's always sharks around under the sea. Another friend is a bird who teaches Ariel about the human world and always knows what it is used for when Ariel shows him another item from the human world. Sadly, these descriptions are never accurate, which Ariel doesn't know of course, so she uses a fork for combing her hair at some point for example. Story-wise Ariel happens to rescue a Prince from drowning. Her father, however, doesn't want her to have any contact with humans, so he destroys her cavern which includes a giant collection of human things. Desperate and disappointed Ariel goes to see the sea witch Ursula and makes a deal with her. When she seems to be winning the deal, Ursula appears and tricks the prince into thinking she's the real Ariel. But of course, there's a happy ending as in pretty much every Disney film.

    One character I haven't mentioned so far, is Sebastian, who, in my opinion is a definite contender for best supporting character in a Disney movie. He really leaves nothing to be desired. Initially loyal to Triton and instructed to look after Ariel, he's quickly captivated by her charm more and more as the film progresses and the very moment he realizes how Ariel will be unhappy for the rest of her life if she stays under the sea is just so much filled with excellence. Oh did I mention, he's also the royal court composer and a crab? Besides that, he's probably also the character who will provide the most comic relief and be the children's favorite. His chase scenes with the cook are simply hilarious. And when he assembles the orchestra, it's a win-win for everybody as we see ducks playing drums on turtle's bellies and the wildest ways music and performances can take by all the sea creatures involved.

    This animated version of Hans Christian Andersen's tale is simply a thing of beauty. It certainly is my new favorite film from 1989. The underwater world they created is pure movie magic, a feast for eyes and ears. Watch it with the one you love and you'll have a great time. It's also a great watch for fathers with their daughters thanks to the Triton-Ariel storyline. Most animated films these days are funny and stunning to look at, but hardly any reach the level of "The Little Mermaid" especially in terms of emotional impact: the longing for love, the longing for freedom, even if you have to make sacrifices for it, or just the way all kinds of human relationships are displayed metaphorically with the help of mermaids, fish and all kinds of other sea animals. Very much recommended.
  • A mermaid princess named Ariel makes a Faustian bargain with an unscrupulous seahag named Ursula in order to meet a human prince named Eric on land.

    This is the film that really launched Disney's golden age (or what some people call the Renaissance era). Memorable songs, a fun story and characters... the last good Disney animated feature was "Robin Hood" in 1973, and even that is a stretch.

    For those of us who grew up in the 1980s, we were rather blessed -- for the next few years the Disney films were amazing, starting with this gem. Ignore the sequel and you will appreciate this one incredibly.
  • "The Little Mermaid" revitalized Disney's animation department and would make it a force to be reckoned with over the next several years, before Pixar came along and picked up the mantle.

    "Mermaid" isn't one of my favorites (I prefer "Beauty and the Beast," "Aladdin" and "The Lion King" over it), but it is a beautiful and now nostalgic throw back to hand-drawn animation, and it does boast one of the best scores written for a Disney film. It kicked off the trend of show-stopping production numbers that every Disney musical must have; in this one it's "Under the Sea."

    Grade: A-
  • I love "The Little Mermaid" and it's a brilliantly made film. It also represents the rebirth of Disney Studio--a film that firmly announced that they were once again a great producer of family full-length cartoons. This being said, I have one very minor quibble about the movie--very minor. The meta-message seems to be that parents are a bit stupid and kids should be encouraged to make their own choices. While this is sometimes true, it's a message too often found in films of the 1980s. Now I am NOT attacking Disney for this--too often Steven Spielberg and others promoted this message during this time, so why shouldn't the studio hop on the bandwagon? This is the sole reason the film only gets a 9 from me, not a 10. And, this is why I adored their followup film, "Beauty and the Beast", as it had a marvelous message from start to finish. Still, "Little Mermaid" has GREAT music, a fun story and some wonderful animation--and only a real curmudgeon could hate it.
  • No other Disney movie is a good as THE LITTLE MERMAID. It is one of my favorite Disney films of all time. It is truly a classic film that will forever live in film history. While I didn't really enjoy the songs, I still love the remainder of the movie. I like the ending most of all. It is one of the darkest endings ever seen in a Disney film. I really don't have much to say on this film at the moment, but if anything is going to be said about this movie, let me say this: If you haven't yet seen this wonderful movie, see it now! Having not seen it is a crime! This one gets 5/5.
  • This is one of the greater full length animated feature films that was made after Walt Disney. A story about Ariel the Little Mermaid, who yearns to be part of the human world and who fell in love with human Prince Eric in the process. She makes a deal with Ursula the Sea Witch and traded her voice for legs so she could rise to the surface of the waters. What follows is a romantic story in how Ariel tries to win Eric's heart without her voice and an exciting race against time to ensure Ariel remains human, otherwise, returning back to the ocean and into the evil Ursula's custody.

    Ron Clements and John Musker did an outstanding job in directing this movie, grasping the audience's attention at the start of the film with a musical sequence on the Prince's ship, and then a spectacular entry under the sea when we are introduced to the mermaids, helped by a powerful music score. The solid plot quickly identifies the story's main issue, Ariel, who is tired of being treated like a child by her father King Triton. The issue is then expanded as Ariel struggles to win Eric's heart when she goes to the human world while, at the same time, not knowing that Ursula has devious plans of her own to control the sea. All these plot elements and twists make this a very exciting Disney movie from start to finish.

    The characters are very lovable and memorable, especially Flounder, Sebastian (my favorite) and Scuttles. They added humor and spirit in the movie as they help Ariel with her issues. The music score and songs are some of cinema's best work - Alan Menken and Howard Ashman did a marvelous job. "Under the Sea" is a very lively and dynamic Calyso-type song and "Part of your World" is a moving and commanding song; Jodi Benson had the perfect voice for Ariel - very soothing and serene. And, the artwork and graphics are some of the best I have seen in an animated film.

    Overall, one of the best movies from Disney and remains a timeless fairytale for all ages.

    Grade A
  • The Little Mermaid is a great family movie that the younger children will get a kick out of -- even mom and dad might enjoy it too. The musical numbers in this movie are very good, including my favorite song "Under the Sea." Even the villainess has a good number to sing and perform. Romantics will get a kick out of the movie as well. The colorful underwater scenes are fabulous to watch, a real treat for the eye. The little mermaid herself has a stunning voice. The underwater creatures are adorable to watch and each presents unique personalities. My son had me read him the story several times until he was about 6 years old. So go ahead and pop some popcorn and get everyone a soda or a glass of milk for some good old fashioned musical and family entertainment.
  • aesgaard415 September 2001
    I'm a big mythology buff, and there is enough to hold my interest in this movie.I have to also leave it Disney to make a movie that both child and adult. Ariel has the cartoonish qualities that makes little girls want to be her, and a bit of Marilyn Monroe-like sexual innocence that attracts male fans. For mythology buffs, the figure of Triton, son of Poseidon, has been inserted along with several outlandishly named daughters from the sea-god's numerous wives. Even Ursula from a long line of successful Disney villains seems to fit in. While Scylla or Thetis might have fit it, Ursula could have easily come from the pantheon of Russian sea witches. At times in the movie though, it almost forgets it's underwater as these figures talk and move with little or no distubance, but the weightless look of the figures from odd angles augments the look at other times. I also love the repeated images that give homage to Denmark's Little Mermaid statue. The voice to role comparison also is excellant and Jodi Benson excells in her songs. This movie produced a great soundtrack and a great retelling of the Hans Christian Andersen tale by simultaneosly updating the myths of the Greeks.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    *SPOILERS* This was the one that got me hooked to the disney bunch!It is my favourite of all the disneys with it's gorgeous animation{especially the storm scenes and titles},music{Under the Sea,Part of Your World and Kiss the Girl}and it's lovable and memorable characters.Ariel is one of my favourite animated females and Sebastian,Flounder and Scuttle bring humour to the screen without making you cringe at how obvious they are. King Triton is a sweet dad often overlooked and I think Ursula is the best female villain since Cruella
  • Rainey Dawn25 October 2014
    A good family film with a cute version the story. As it is written so it is said, Disney's movie is *loosely* based on Hans Christian Andersen's story - so you cannot compare Andersen's story with Disney's film. Disney's film is a colorful tale with quite a few comical characters.

    I enjoyed this film quite a bit but I would have liked to have seen this movie a bit "darker" in tone (animation and story). Under ocean is a mysterious place - so I would have preferred this movie with more of a "gloomy" atmosphere and story instead of being mainly a bright place to live. Of course it's just a matter of personal preference.

    Yes The Little Mermaid is a wonderful film. You could make this a double feature with movies like: "Sleeping Beauty" or "Beauty and the Beast".

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