The Little Mermaid (1989, Disney Fantasy Romance) – 8/10 movie review

Cast / crew
Rene Auberjonois: Louis
Christopher Daniel Barnes: Eric
Jodi Benson: Ariel / Vanessa
Pat Carroll: Ursula
Paddi Edwards: Flotsam & Jetsam
Buddy Hackett: Scuttle
Jason Marin: Flounder
Kenneth Mars: Triton
Ben Wright: Grimsby
Samuel E. Wright: Sebastian
Composer (Songs): Howard Ashman
Composer (Songs): Alan Menken
Composer (Score): Alan Menken
Producer: Howard Ashman
Producer: John Musker
Writer: John Musker
Writer: Ron Clements
Director: John Musker
Director: Ron Clements
Directing Animator: Mark Henn
Directing Animator: Glen Keane
Directing Animator: Duncan Marjoribanks
Directing Animator: Ruben A. Aquino
Directing Animator: Andreas Dejá
Directing Animator: Matthew O’Callaghan

Little Mermaid, The (1989)

Ariel the Mermaid dreams of leaving her watery palace home and joining the human world. Ignoring the advice of her father King Triton and friend Sebastian the crab, she strikes a bargain with sea witch Ursula, giving up the power of speech in return for human form. Once on dry land she falls for Prince Eric but discovers that the deal was not as straightforward as it seems.


How important a movie in a company’s history do you have to be in order to have it’s score become the company ident theme? That’s what the song-writing duo of Howard Ashman and Alan Menken achieved here with a beautiful score and indispensable songs. Ashman worked on a song in Oliver and Company, then, with Menken, produced three all-time Disney classics with this, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin. Howard Ashman was the driving creative force behind these and sparked a resurgence in the venerable studio that would last for an entire decade after he died. Menken talks about him (on The Little Mermaid commentary) as "the greatest theatrical and dramatic talent of our generation" and, for once in Hollywood, that wasn’t empty hyperbole.

Classified U by BBFC. Universal: Suitable for All.


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