The Little Mermaid

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Post by Ben » March 7th, 2009, 5:40 pm

As I said in the review, Mermaid seems to be the one potential franchise that Disney's marketeers were never really able to get a handle on, from both the DTVs, television and the stage. I suggest reasons for that in the review too.

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Post by Josh » March 7th, 2009, 8:16 pm

Speaking of the stage, Ben, what did you think of the songs Menken and Slater wrote for the Little Mermaid Broadway musical? I'm curious and would love to read your thoughts about the soundtrack.

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Post by Dacey » March 7th, 2009, 10:53 pm

Ben wrote:Thanks WJ...you speaketh the truth! :)
Isn't that what I always do? ;)
Daniel wrote:BTW, I am cracking up at WJ's above post with his current avatar. I don't know why, but yeah. ;)
LOL! Now you've got me doing the same thing over it. ;)
"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift--that is why it's called the present."

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Post by Once Upon A Dream » March 9th, 2009, 10:23 am

The Little Mermaid II is horrible and the worst chepaquel ever... awful story,bad characters,bad animation and how dare they make Ariel a hag? :evil: maybe that's because you"re not Ariel/Little Mermaid fans so you don't see it like I do but I"m a Little Mermaid fan and that's why I hate it so much.
Daniel,you"re right that Ariel's Beginning had more potential but it has lots of good things in it,like they actually showed Athena,gave her a song and even explained what happened to her,it's like Prince Charming's mother in Cinderella III that they showed a picture of her or Jasmine's mother in Enchanted Tales that the Sultan just said how much Jasmine is similar to her.
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Post by starlioness » March 9th, 2009, 5:58 pm

well, I like Ariel's Beg better than RTS .. *shrug*.. though people think I'm crazy that TLK 1 1/2 is better than S.P 8) ..

that's an interesting deleted scene.. how come Morg and Ursula arent purple/greeny and flesh colored in the picture with Ma? hmm.. Lion King much? (yeah, I know Ursula and Triton are related in the original story and the musical) but.. :P

they showed Jas's mother in Ench tales? hmm. I'll have to look at it again.. only saw it once..

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Post by Daniel » March 9th, 2009, 7:47 pm

People think you're crazy for thinking The Lion King 1.5 is better than Simba's Pride? If it were reversed I would believe it, but the general opinion I often see is Lion King 1.5 is the better of the two. Weired. I myself am in that small minority who love Pride a little bit more.

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Post by Once Upon A Dream » March 10th, 2009, 9:24 am

People are wrong if they you"re crazy because you like Lion King 1.5 more then Lion King II,you"re right,I didn't get what you asked about Morgana and Ursula and what do you mean? in the original Little Mermaid fairy tale the witch and the king aren't related at all unless you mean the original version of the film,and in Little Mermaid II Morgana and Ursula have their own mother and aren't related to Triton.
About Jasmine's mother,no,they don't show her,they just explain that she had a horse named Sahara that was belong to her mother and only she could ride him and later Jasmine tries to ride him when he runs away and the Sultan keep saying who much he loves to see her riding and how much she was like Jasmine,they didn't showed anything beside that and espically not like Athena in Ariel's Beginning which I think a great point about Ariel's Beginning.
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Post by starlioness » March 10th, 2009, 6:34 pm

well, most complain that TLK 1 1/2 was just a Timon and Pumbaa movie.. and didn't really expand the TLK universe at all.. I mean sure it had plot holes just like S.P did.. es:how come Timon asks who the monkey is to Nala in TLK 1.. when he met Rafiki shortly before Simba's presentation?.. and then of course people complain about the fart jokes and that T and P were in the gorge during the stampede sequence.. but the movie was never meant to be taken seriously.. except to give Timon (and lesser extent Pumbaa more of a backstory) but oh well.. oh and even bigger than that was the complaint was it was supposed to be the LION King , not the Meerkat king.. :? but anywho..


getting back on topic.. what I meant was that Morganna was the weaker sister.. (like Scar).. and Ursula the stronger (like Mufasa)..


I'm sorry what I meant was that in the original script for the first movie was to have Triton and Ursula brother and sister.. they say this in the musical too.. ( therefore the vengeful sibling, ala Lion King is played out here)..

well, we don't know what Triton's mom looked like I don't think.. so who knows.. :wink:

oh and about Morganna and Ursula.. was that they had flesh-colored skin in the pic with mother.. and didn't look green and purple skinned.. ;)_

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Post by Josh » May 9th, 2009, 12:11 am

The Little Mermaid: Original Broadway Cast Recording is only $6.99 at iTunes. I'm not sure if that is the album's regular cost at iTunes, or if the album is on sale. Still, I thought the price was noteworthy enough that some folks here might be interested.

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The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning

Post by Dusterian » June 6th, 2009, 10:27 pm

I can't believe what Justin said about this film.

You wanted to know how this was all about money? Well it cashed in on Disney's reportedly most popular princess, after her Special Edition DVD sold well and the musical came out. Cross-promotion, corporate synergy.

But other than that, its just wasn't that great. It was poor, and things that are poor are made just for money.

True, it was made for people that love Ariel. But the idea is lots of people love Ariel, so lots of money.

But what's really wrong is you said it had a story to tell. No, it didn't.

First, the story was not what anyone wanted or needed told. People wanted to know about Ariel's mother, how Ariel got interested in humans, and Ursula and Triton's pasts. We found out a little about Ariel's mother. That was it. The only thing I think gave the film any worth.

The music club idea came from nowhere. This was not a story that the original still had to tell, it completely changed the characters. Flounder and Sebastian reversed with Ariel, defying the King, being adventurous, and leading Ariel instead of her being and doing all that.

Next, if this was a story that needed telling, it was already told in Footloose and The Sound of Music. In fact, in Footloose the girl who defies her father by listening to music is named Ariel!

It didn't have more complex issues than the original. Banning music in your entire kingdom because it reminds you of your wife is dumb. Maybe complexly dumb, then. I don't know why you think the film was saying a mother's bond is so powerful when none of the girls talked about their mom beyond "I remember her and oh she loved music". But the original's "girl fancies boy" story was complex about love. Ariel loved Eric possibly because she loved humans, and made a sacrifice for her love. She had to get the kiss of true love, after being with him for three days. Then there were questions of does Eric love her or her voice, can he love someone without a voice, can he love the girl he spends three days with over the girl who saved him?

Finally, this film definately ruins the original. First of all, it's terrible what happens to the characters. Ariel's childhood is miserable, musicless and loveless? She and Flounder and Sebastian play with all these other creatures in some silly music club? Flounder's that annoying and disliked? Triton bans music because of his wife's death and gives his daughters a loveless life? The characters are also completely changed from how they are in the original, not showing how they become who they are in the original. Flounder and Sebastian apparently were adventurous and defied the King in the prequel, but then they go to being afraid of that in the original because...why? The King is a hardass, who learns to soften and listen in the prequel, to being a hardass again in the original? He is furious when Ariel plays music secretly in the prequel, then is furious when she misses a concert in the original? And Ariel goes from learning a new love of music in the prequel to suddenly loving the human world, missing music concerts and giving up her singing voice to be human in the original? When you watch this prequel right before watching the original, it's messed up.

And as for quality, no the animation isn't good. Did you look at their faces? The film had some beauty in the colors or scenery, but not the actual animation. Yea, maybe it had some beautiful animation in very few spots. A few is not good enough. And even beautiful animation can't save the crappy action and story that's being animated!

They hired a choreographer to be the director! The used a pre-existing song that came out way, way after the time period this is supposed to be set!

Ben, I loved your review, I thought it was very good.
Ever wonder what happened to Ariel before Disney’s 1989 animated The Little Mermaid’s story began? Nope, and neither did John Musker, Ron Clements – who neglected to present such a convoluted history in their film – or even Hans Christian Andersen, to whom I’m sure the following would have given him more than a little shock! But, here it is anyway: some hogwash about how music changed the merpeople’s lives, and then didn’t, and then did again. Apparently.
Hilarious, and true. SPOT ON.

I did want to say some things, though.

I think the music box was made or enchanted by Triton's royal merperson/sea god power, perhaps by his trident.

I think that he opened the music box so it would spread it's magic glow over the city, to light it up and match his inner feelings. Not that it was the magic of music and love, though I suppose it could be the magic of music and love incarnate, in real magic. But I think he was just matching his inner feelings of love with the glow.

The CGI bubbles didn't need to be transparent. They were special, magic bubbles.

I think certain scenes of violence couldn't be shown to the kiddies, and that is why they were confusing, they couldn't show some things. I bet they could've done the scenes better, though.
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The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning

Post by Dusterian » June 19th, 2009, 7:05 pm

Daniel wrote:As for comparisons with LM:II (since you knew it was coming. ;)) obviously I thought it was MUCH better. When III ended, I didn't have the feeling of disappointment or anger that I felt with II. "Beginning" even had closure, something "Return to the Sea" was missing. Yes, I thought the ending was a cliffhanger of sorts; Melody uses the trident to disparate the wall, and humans and mer-people join together in song, then what? Does Melody choose to remain on land with her parents, or sea with her grandfather? We assume the former. Consider she meets that mer-boy at the end, it makes it even more of a thinker. Ugh.
Actually, Melody doesn't pick to be only on land or only in the sea. She says "I have a better idea" than either of those choices. She melts the wall so that she can have both. She joins the land to the sea again, so that she can see her parents and grandfather anytime she wants. She can visit all the merpeople, her aunts, her sea friends, and they can visit her and her land friends.

That is what you are supposed to think. True, she can't go deep down to the water unless her grandfather is around to give her a tail, but she can swim with the merpeeps if it's not too far down, and if she fell in love with that merboy, she would just ask him to be human or ask to be a mermaid or they would switch back and forth like when you stay at each others places or visit each other's families. Your mermaid for a week, I'm human for a week, etc.

And if Triton didn't let the switching happen, well, something tells me he would do anything after his daughter and grandaughter's stubborn wills and hate to see them sad, but I guess one of them would just make the sacrifice, and then Melody would visit her parents on the beach or in a tank or that merboy would visit his parents when they swim up to him on the beach.

But basically you were supposed to see everyone can be with each other with the wall down.
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Post by estefan » June 22nd, 2009, 1:17 pm

Sorry to bump an old thread, but this is the General Discussions board, so I assume it's alright if I continue the discussion. Anyway, last night I re-watched The Little Mermaid again and I was especially impressed by just how layered it was. On another forum I go to, I wrote up this little analysis:

At first glance, The Little Mermaid may seem like any typical Disney fairy tale princess film prior to the start of the Studio's Third Golden Age, but the truth of the matter is that the little nuances and the little perfections are what makes the film work so well. First of all, there's the main reason for the Little Mermaid's success and that's the title character of Ariel. While the previous princesses were rather vanilla and fell into the same trappings of wanting to simply marry a prince, Ariel has more on her mind as advanced by the excellent musical number "Part of the World." While the meeting of a Prince maybe one of her primary reasons for wanting to go to the surface, that song prior as well as her introductory scene show that her love for anything above the sea stems longer than simply meeting a prince. It's hard to believe that Jeffrey Katzenberg had asked directors Ron Clements and John Musker to cut that scene, but luckily, they prevailed and it was kept. Without it, Ariel would have seemed exactly the same as Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. Adding to that, there's also the combined acting talents of voice actor Jodi Benson, animator Glen Keane and live-action model Sherri Stoner (who would later become a writer for Tiny Toon Adventures and Animaniacs in addition to providing the voice for Slappy Squirrel). The little nuances in Ariel's character are all thanks to these three talented performers.

Another reason why The Little Mermaid charms after all of these years are the charming songs by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman (who had just arrived at Disney fresh off their hit stage musical Little Shop of Horrors). Menken and especially Ashman brought a theatrical upbringing to the production, which gave the film a very Broadway feeling giving the right sense of energy and rhythm that made Disney so famous so many years prior. While "Part of Your World" is definitely an important number when it comes to developing Ariel, but "Under the Sea" provides the best scene in the film. Sebasation was originally written as an upper-crust butler-type, but Howard Ashman had the brilliant idea to make him a Jamaican musician, thus leading to this wonderful, show-stopping number. It is such a spirited song that it's no wonder it earned Menken and Ashman their first Academy Awards for Best Original Song. Other terrific songs like "Poor Unfortunate Souls", "Le Poissons" and "Kiss the Girl" are also a major part of the fun inherent in The Little Mermaid and what was a wonderful start to a Renaissance of animated musical from the Disney Studios.

The Little Mermaid also has a wonderfully layered story that appeals more-so to the adults in the audience than the children who they think it's aimed towards. Ariel herself has to sacrifice so much throughout the film: the disapproval of her father, the separation of the family she loves, the selling of the voice that so attracted the prince to her, all so she can experience the thrill of being up on lands. King Triton also has to deal with so much as he wants to protect his daughter, but doesn't want her to dislike him. The evil sea witch Ursula's plan to take over the ocean is also a multi-step plan that shows how much of a complicated demon she is, especially when you think about how she has planning this for years. Overall, The Little Mermaid is a wonderful motion picture and definitely the template that Disney started to very successfully for the next couple of years.

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Post by Dusterian » July 23rd, 2009, 11:25 am

Well that was pretty good, but I just had to come say a few things.

First off, the princesses before Ariel all wanted better lives where they wouldn't be hard-working slaves or peasants anymore. Particularly Cinderella wanted a fancy, rich life, with beautiful dresses and parties. In fact, she doesn't mention liking the prince until after she meets him, and doesn't even know she danced with the Prince until later. Instead, she talks about how fun it would be to go to a ball in itself. But you didn't mention her, so maybe you just meant Snow White or Sleeping Beauty, who still wanted better lives. They were princesses who didn't belong in their lower environments. Also, Aurora was lonely, she wanted someone to talk to her age and her species, I think. Prince or not...though she did dream of a prince.

Next, I think Ursula has sucha complicated plan because they had to figure out a way to make the witch in the original story into a villain who had a reason for taking the little mermaid's voice. But, true, what they decided to do with her did take their imaginations to come up with something and it was very good.
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The Little Mermaid: 20th Anniversary

Post by droosan » November 17th, 2009, 4:10 am

:arrow: Twenty years ago today: November 17, 1989 .. The Little Mermaid premiered in U.S. theaters.

While the movie did represent a return to the 'fairy tale' genre for Disney, everything about TLM was delightfully fresh at the time .. particularly the songs; as packed with witticism as they were with heart. Ariel, too, was a fresh take on the Disney Princess: inquisitive, feisty, and even a wee bit irresponsible.

I was a sophomore college student back then, and practically lived at the local movie theater while TLM played there; I lost count of how many times I'd seen it well before it hit home video .. and, of course, I've seen it countless times since. :)

Happy 20th to Ariel and company!

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Post by EricJ » November 17th, 2009, 11:04 am

While the movie did represent a return to the 'fairy tale' genre for Disney, everything about TLM was delightfully fresh at the time .
I'm geezer enough to remember when 80's Disney movies still seemed to be stuck into dreary time-warps of the Ron Miller 70's:
Fox & the Hound was dated and pointless, and Black Cauldron earned its disasterhood, and the only surprise was that Great Mouse Detective and Oliver & Company were more retro-entertaining than they looked, even if they'd seemed to forget why they were still putting songs in them anymore....Most animation fans in '86-'88 were proclaiming Don Bluth as the future of animation, and hoping his next one would deliver something else as old-Disney style as "Secret of NIMH" or "Land Before Time", and as knockoffs went, even Spielberg wanted his own faux-Bluth to make "Balto" and "We're Back".

And even though Mermaid's trailers still looked like it was going to be the same Ron Miller retro-pratfalls, I remember the collective jawdrop when the "Fathoms Below" opening number burst onscreen--
This could not be a Disney movie...It was too GOOD. It looked like a normal movie, no, strike that, it looked like an adaptation of a real Broadway musical.
(Which is the exact same thing critics gushed to say about "Beauty & the Beast" two years later, but that may have just been residual fallout from the initial culture-shock of this one.)
Like when Al Jolson first spoke in "Jazz Singer"--You had to be there. :)

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