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Opened in Theaters: Friday, November 17th, 1989

Directed by Ron Clements
Genre: Family
Running Time: 1:42

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The Little Mermaid
Academy Award® Winner
Mermaid Ariel dreams of a life with humans, much to the displeasure of her father, King Triton. When she meets human Prince Eric, she makes a deal with a witch to become human in order to be with...  View more >

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Starring Rene Auberjonois, Jodi Benson, Christopher Daniel Barnes...  View more >

Reviews Summary

Rating # %  
See Now!  1 17 See Now! Percent
Good  3 50 Good Percent
Wait for Rental  2 33 Wait Percent
Stay Away!  0 0 Stay Away! Percent
6 Total Reviews

Please Note: Reader Reviews are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions regarding this movie, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.

[--- Wait for Rental ---]by   Jan 25, 2000
Ah, Disney. The king of bad advertising, a company that relies on critics to sell their film. For the past ten years or so, this has been the only way the Disney company has sold their movies and videos, by plastering millions into noisy previews, massive newspaper ads, and enormous clamshell casing for their videos. (who invented those things, anyway? The few clamshell videos I have can't even fit on my shelves!) I can see Michael Eisner, chairman of Disney, right now sleeping on his pile of money, thinking: "What can I overblow to getsome extra cash for the weekend?"

"Only Disney. Only in theaters through November 30th" the ads say for the 1989 animated film "The Little Mermaid", one of these Disney ad fests that are actually quite good. The only problem is that this re-release is about 17 years too early. "They" should have waited until 2014 or 2039 when the film reaches its 25th or 50th anniversary, respectively. If a classic like "Pink Flamingos" can wait 25, then the Disney company should as well.

But this is the problem. You can blame the stupidity of kids today on the company because instead of kids 4-10 being educated under the school board, they are still being taught, but with Lion King shirts, Hunchback back packs, Pocahontas lunch bags, and the like. They drag their parents to a noisy theater (which will probably cost up to $50 bucks after paying for tickets and popcorn), and scream at the screen when a certain character appears. Disney is at blame for this, a company that has destroyed movie theaters (in my home town, they actually closed the best film of the year, Boogie Nights, so Little Mermaid could run on two screens), but has kept the toy stores alive with their billions and billions of dollars of "merchandise". And you think the kidnappers in "Fargo" were bad?

But if you think that I am off topic, you are wrong. The last thing kids think about now is the "movie", not all the hundreds of dollars of crap they force their parents to spend on them.

"The Little Mermaid", however, is one of the best recent Disney features in memory, for it keeps imagination running with it. The music pieces are well kept here, when they are out of place in the other Disney works. The story is pure and simple: under the sea, we see Ariel, a mermaid, fall in love with a human man when she sees him on a boat. After saving his life, she wants to be human just like him so they can fall in love. Enter Ursula, an octopus witch who offers Ariel legs in exchange for her beautiful voice.

There are the usual Disney sidekicks that travel with Ariel. They are Sebastian, the crab with a heart of gold, and Flounder, a chubby fish. Almost all the following Disney animations copied that, resulting in a cliched stereotype where the main character had to have counterparts.

Not "Toy Story," a Disney film (made by Pixar) that blew every other Disney and every animated film out of the water, with its brilliant story and characters and beautiful world. Now that is a film I would happily see in 8 or ten years. Not "The Little Mermaid", a movie that any one over the age of 13 could have seen in its original release, and remembered it. I really love "The Little Mermaid", but not when it is re-released for no reason. It's 8th anniversary? I heard that it was Disney's strategy, a seven or eight year theatrical/video alternation. Which the company is really saying: "Hey, we're just stealing more money from you paying adults because we have already warped your kids' minds. YOU'RE NEXT!!"

Grade: C-

Tech Review:

Picture: 4 Disney's colors are very good, but the blacks seem very bluish. Lots of blur, but otherwise a fine picture.

Sound: 3 Remixed in all three formats, the sound retains the harsh, mono soundstage the original did. There are some supple surrounds in some areas, but the new digital transfers don't do it any justice.

Photography: 2 This would mean: how does the animation compare to the widescreen? Well, the matted to 1.77:1 ratio doesn't really kick in for the film, it should be in Panavision.

Length: 83 minutes (minus the ten minutes of Disney previews). Rated G, some material may be a little intense for smaller children. Any questions or comments may be sent to jwhyte2@ibm.net

[--- Good ---]by   Jan 25, 2000
The Little Mermaid was my favorite movie when I was a kid. I still laugh at the jokes today. I would definatley suggest seeing it. It's a Disney classic and you shouldn't miss the wonderful story of the lovesick mermaid, Ariel.

[--- Good ---]by   Jan 25, 2000
As is the case with lots of other people, I guess, my stomach tends to churn with each new Disney mega-marketing assault -- and thus, my attitude towards Disney movies is typically negatively warped. However, no amount of personal bias could prevent me from enjoying this particular movie.

And what's NOT to enjoy about this film? The musical sequences are a riot! It may be a "kiddie" movie, but it has SO MANY visual gags that only adults can appreciate, it has to be the most adult-targeted animated Disney movie to date. I'd compare its humor to animated shows like "The Animaniacs" or "Pinky and The Brain" -- "kiddie" shows that are sophisticated and creative enough to get adults rolling around in laughter. All in all, I would have to say "Little Mermaid" is Disney's best all-around effort, as well as the most creative "kiddie" movie ever made.

[--- Wait for Rental ---]by   Jan 25, 2000
It is a fiction story. Our favorite part was when Ariel finds lots of treasures.

When Flounder spit at the shark and the shark tried to bite Flounder was funny.

When Ariel gets chased by the eels was good, too.

by ED, RG, JM

P.S. I think that you should see it now. (JM)

[--- Good ---]by VIP Member Jul 21, 2003
[--- See Now! ---]by VIP Member Sep 14, 2003
"The Little Mermaid" is a movie which is a turning point for Disney. This film may have enter a new amination era for Disney. The film has memorable songs, memorable characters and yes, a credible villain. This film has everything. My favorite song is "Under the Sea."

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