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Digital Review: “The Little Mermaid” (Walt Disney Signature Collection)

Digital Review: "The Little Mermaid" (Walt Disney Signature Collection)

The eighth entry within the Walt Disney Signature Assortment is The Little Mermaid, which splashes onto Blu-Ray and 4K on February 26th. However followers who’ve already moved away from bodily media can now add one of many biggest animated movies of all time to their Films Anyplace library with at present’s digital launch. With new bonus options, together with a digital unique, it’s a simple promote for anybody who already owns the earlier Diamond Version.

Ariel is a mermaid who goals of life out of the ocean. After falling in love with a human, she makes a cope with Ursula the ocean witch to commerce her lovely voice for human legs. However as soon as out of the water, she discovers that she’s now a pawn in a much bigger scheme to steal her father’s crown.

If any post-Walt animated movie belongs within the Walt Disney Signature Assortment, it’s The Little Mermaid. It single handedly reinvigorated the animated medium, opening the door for the Disney Decade and all the good movies that got here in its wake, together with Magnificence and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King. As well as, Walt Disney personally tried to develop the Hans Christian Andersen story.

The Academy Award profitable music by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman additionally reinvigorated curiosity in Disney music and introduced again the animated musical. “Part of Your World” is the last word “I Want” music, “Under the Sea” is insatiably catchy, “Poor Unfortunate Souls” ensured that Disney Villains would get their very own track for many years to return, and “Kiss the Girl” is unforgettable. Whereas Alan Menken would later produce music that’s extra acclaimed or revered, the rating from The Little Mermaid continues to be among the many best ever written.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary this yr, the Walt Disney Signature Assortment launch of The Little Mermaid provides new retrospective bonus options to over three hours of beforehand launched content material, all of which is included with this digital launch.

Viewing Modes

  • Sing-Alongside (1:22:18) – Watch the movie with stylized lyrics that mild up, the identical ones seen within the theatrical “Second Screen” expertise from 2013. That is the primary time they’ve been made out there on house video.
  • Audio Commentary (1:22:18) – Ron Clements, John Musker, and Alan Menken lead an insightful dialogue of the movie and reveal many behind-the-scenes secrets and techniques, together with some hidden easter eggs.

New Bonus Options

  • Digital Unique – “Part of Your World”: A Look Again (5:50) – Jodi Benson and Alan Menken sit collectively at a piano to debate Ariel’s memorable balad and carry out it collectively.
  • Alan Menken and the Main Women (15:45) – Alan Menken (Composer) and Jodi Benson (Ariel) sit down with Paige O’Hara (Belle – Magnificence and the Beast), Judy Kuhn (Pocahontas), Lilliias White (Calliope the Muse – Hercules), and Donna Murphy (Mom Gothel – Rapunzel) sit round a piano to sing and talk about their contributions to Disney Animation. It’s 15-minutes of pure pleasure and Alan Menken’s glee is infectious.
  • “What I Want From You Is… Your Voice” (5:47) – Actors from the movie report their dialogue in some not often seen VHS footage that features Jodi Benson, Buddy Hackett, Pat Carroll, and Samuel E. Wright.
  • Tales from Walt’s Workplace: Devices & Gizmos (6:01) – Walt Disney’s private assortment of miniatures are highlighted by archivists Becky Cline and Ed Ovalle in a tour of his restored workplace on the Walt Disney Studios, together with a miniature of the statue of the Little Mermaid that was gifted to him at Tivoli Gardens.
  • #TreasuresUntold (5:40) – Ruby Rose Turner and Olivia Sanabi from Disney Channel’s Coop & Cami Ask the World reveal some enjoyable information about The Little Mermaid.
  • Digital Unique – Visible Improvement Galleries – Backgrounds, Visible Improvement, and Character Mannequin Sheets galleries give followers a peak contained in the Animation Analysis Library.
  • DCapella “Part of Your World” Music Video (three:01) – Disney’s a capella group performs the long-lasting track from an aquarium.

Basic Bonus Options

  • Mer-Music
    • Music Choice – Leap on to seven songs from the movie.
    • Music Movies
      • “Part of Your World” by Carly Rae Jepsen (three:39) – The “Call Me Maybe” singer performs Ariel’s ballad whereas purchasing in a metropolis the place her reflection has a thoughts of its personal.
      • “Kiss the Girl” by Ashley Tisdale (three:25) – the Excessive Faculty Musical star pops up Sebastian’s love track at a highschool dance with an undersea theme.
  • Making Mermaid
    • Underneath the Scene: The Artwork of Stay-Motion Reference (13:13) – John Musker, Ron Clements, Katherine Beaumont, Josh Finkel, and Sherri Lynn Stoner speak concerning the historical past of live-action reference footage and the way it was revived for The Little Mermaid.
    • Howard’s Lecture (16:27) – Excerpts from one in every of Howard Ashman’s lectures to the animator’s is introduced with an dialogue by Jodi Benson, Ron Clements, and John Musker.
    • Storm Warning: The Little Mermaid Particular Results Unit (eight:43) – Results animators speak concerning the particular results within the movie and look again on the methods used.
    • The Little Mermaid: The Story Behind the Story (11:32) – The unique fairytale by Hans Christian Andersen and the writer himself are explored on this featurette.
    • “Under the Sea” Early Presentation Reel (2:38) – This proof of idea was used to promote the movie to Disney, together with a demo monitor by howard Ashman and idea artwork that doesn’t match the ultimate movie.
    • Deleted Character: Harold the Merman (2:05) – John Musker and Ron Clements introduce a storyboard sequence with a personality named Harold, a merman who’s tricked by Ursula.
    • Treasures Untold: The Making of The Little Mermaid (45:33) – A 5-part making-of documentary that sums up your complete expertise of creating the movie, together with the truth that the movie was produced in a parking zone in Glendale and the strain of creating it work to save lots of Disney Animation.
    • Deleted Scenes with Introductions – Seven deleted or alternate scenes are introduced in storyboard type.
      • “Fathoms Below” Alternate Model (2:31)
      • “Backstage with Sebastian” (1:46)
      • “Sebastian Lost in the Castle” (1:55)
      • “Advice from Sebastian” (1:33)
      • “Poor Unfortunate Souls” Alternate Model (eight:33)
      • “Fight with Ursula” Alternate Ending (6:55)
      • “Silence is Golden” Track Demo (three:00)
  • For the Little Mermaids
    • DisneyPedia: Life Beneath the Sea (eight:28) – An academic featurette that showcases the actual world sea creatures that impressed the characters within the movie.
  • Mer-Options
    • @DisneyAnimation (10:49) – Animators and artistic expertise at Walt Disney Animation Studios talk about how The Little Mermaid impressed them to do what they’re doing in the present day, together with a take a look at the animators from the movie that have been nonetheless with the corporate when this function was produced in 2013.
    • A part of Her World: Jodi Benson’s Voyage to New Fantasyland (four:51) – The voice of Ariel takes a visit to Walt Disney World to expertise “Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid” and the Little Mermaid impressed part of Disney’s Artwork of Animation Resort.
    • Unique Theatrical Trailer (2:18) – See how Disney promoted the movie on its unique 1989 theatrical launch.
    • Underneath the Sea Journey: A Digital Experience Impressed by Disney Imagineers
      • Experience the Attraction (four:19) – A digital recreation of a dark-ride idea that by no means obtained made (though a special tackle an identical idea opened in 2011)
      • Experience with Disney Imagineers (four:19) – The identical digital journey with commentary from the creators.
      • Behind “The Ride That Almost Was” (5:57) – Imagineers talk about why The Little Mermaid would lend itself to an attraction and why they spent years creating an attraction based mostly on it.

The switch used for this digital launch is equivalent to the Diamond Version Blu-Ray launch. It consists of the modifications made for the 3D version, together with the extra finish credit. Nevertheless, that is the corrected model that the later pressings had, it doesn’t repeat the swapped shot debacle from “Part of Your World.”

When it comes to high quality, the movie seems nice. Whereas grain has been eradicated from almost each shot, there isn’t a proof of DNR washing away particulars. Colours additionally really feel correct, with softer, subtler tones that don’t really feel ramped up in an effort to make the movie look extra trendy. In different phrases, it’s about as trustworthy as an animation restoration might be whereas nonetheless providing a contemporary HD presentation.

The digital launch by means of iTunes presents the movie with a 5.1 Dolby Digital combine. In comparison with the Diamond Version 7.1 combine, it sounds much more compressed. Nevertheless, the rating and sound results journey across the room, creating an immersive expertise that at the very least sounds higher than the DVD launch. Nevertheless, these compressed tracks are one space the place digital releases want a number of enchancment to match Blu-Ray high quality.

The Little Mermaid is considered one of my favourite movies and the primary one I keep in mind seeing in a theater as a child. Any excuse to revisit it’s all the time a deal with and this Walt Disney Signature Assortment anniversary version provides a number of insightful and nostalgic bonus options to a set of worthwhile behind-the-scenes content material. The digital version is out there now, with Blu-Ray and 4K approaching February 26th.


Alex has been running a blog about Disney movies since 2009 after a lifetime of fandom. He joined the Laughing Place staff in 2014 and covers movies throughout all of Disney’s manufacturers, together with Star Wars, Marvel, and Fox, along with books, music, toys, shopper merchandise, and meals. You possibly can hear his voice as a member of the Laughing Place Podcast and his face might be seen on Laughing Place’s YouTube channel the place he unboxes stuff.


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