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This is what going mad must feel like.

—Dr. Simon Tam
(Sean Maher)
[Firefly]
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The Little Mermaid [1989] (1 disc)
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Director:John Musker
Ron Clements
Writer:John Musker
Ron Clements
Composer:Alan Menken
Songs:Howard Ashman
Length:83 minutes
(1 hour 23 minutes)
MPAA Rating:G
Sorting Category:Family
IMDB Rating:7.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating:92%
Amazon Rating:4.5/5 stars
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Classifications:
  • Fantasy
  • Romance
  • Cartoon
  • Comedy
  • Kids
  • Family
Available Formats:
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Synopsis: A mermaid princess makes a Faustian bargain with an unscrupulous sea-witch in order to meet a human prince on land.


Reaction: Good fun and lots of very memorable songs.


Personal Rating: 8/10

Select Cast and Crew
John Musker => Director / Writer
Ron Clements => Director / Writer
Alan Menken => Composer
Howard Ashman => Songs
Hans Christian Andersen => Original Story
Ben Wright => Grimsby (voice)
Buddy Hackett => Scuttle (voice)
Charles Adler => Additional Voices (as Charlie Adler) (voice)
Christopher Daniel Barnes => Eric (voice)
Edie McClurg => Carlotta (voice)
Frank Welker => Max (voice) (uncredited)
Jack Angel => Additional Voices (voice)
Jason Marin => Flounder (voice)
Jodi Benson => Ariel (voice)
Kenneth Mars => Triton (voice)
Kimmy Robertson => Ariel's sisters (voice) (uncredited)
Nancy Cartwright => Additional Voices (voice)
Paddi Edwards => Flotsam & Jetsam (voice)
Pat Carroll => Ursula (voice)
Rene Auberjonois => Louis (as René Auberjonois) (voice)
Samuel E. Wright => Sebastian (voice)
Susan Boyd => Additional Voices (voice)
Will Ryan => Seahorse (voice)

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • Ursula has six tentacles, plus two human arms, making eight limbs which qualify her as an octopus.
  • In the opening scene when King Triton arrives at the arena, you can briefly see Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck and Kermit the Frog in the crowd of sea-people as mermen when he passes over them.
  • Scheduling conflicts with Star Trek: The Next Generation forced Patrick Stewart to turn down the role of King Triton.
  • "Part of Your World" was nearly cut; [?] Jeffrey Katzenberg felt that it was "boring", as well as being too far over the heads of the children for whom it was intended. At a test screening children were restless during the song which did not have finished animation - in particular one child that sat in front of Katzenberg and spilled his popcorn and was more interested in picking it up than watching the sequence. John Musker, Ron Clements and Howard Ashman all pleaded their case and begged Katzenberg to let the song stay to no avail. Ultimately the one who managed to convince him to give it a second chance was the animator of the sequence [?] Glen Keane. Another screening was set up. This time with an adult audience and was a greater success (even reportedly moving some members to tears) and so the song was left in the film. Katzenberg later said that he was happy that no one listened to him because he couldn't imagine the film without the song.
  • Christopher Daniel Barnes was only 16 years old when he recorded his voice for Prince Eric - the producers felt his voice sounded much older than he really was.
  • Jodi Benson sang 'Part of Your World' in the dark to get that 'under the sea' feeling.
  • Originally, Sebastian was to have an English accent. It was lyricist/producer Howard Ashman who suggested he be Jamaican. This opened the door to calypso-style numbers like "Under the Sea", which won the Academy Award.
  • Ariel was quite deliberately made a redhead in order to distinguish her from Daryl Hannah's character in Splash.
  • In Greek mythology, the God of the Sea is Poseidon, or Neptune in Latin. This movie's sea king has the name Triton, one of Neptune's sons.
  • Ben Wright's final film. When he got the part of Grimsby, Prince Eric's butler, the erstwhile Disney folks had no idea that he had been the voices of Roger in 101 Dalmatians and Rama in The Jungle Book. He had to tell them.
  • Before recording "Poor Unfortunate Souls", Pat Carroll asked Howard Ashman to sing the song one more time to get it right. He obliged, and as he sang he added little spoken ad-libs that Carroll then incorporated into her performance. These included Ursula saying "Pathetic" at the mer-couple she conjures up as an example, and the line "Life's full of tough choices, innit?"
  • There are several shots of Ariel, sitting on a rock, in a pose reminiscent of the "Little Mermaid" statue that sits in Copenhagen harbor.
  • Ariel's body type and personality were based on [?] Alyssa Milano. The effect of her hair underwater was based on footage of astronaut [?] Sally Ride in weightless conditions.