Sep 282013

The Little Mermaid makes a triumphant debut with this “Diamond Edition” Blu-ray containing a fair amount of features and fantastic audio/video transfers making it the best this film has ever looked and sounded.


The Little Mermaid: Three-Disc Diamond Edition (1989)


Genre(s): Animation, Romance, Comedy
Disney | G – 83 min. – $49.99 | October 1, 2013

Directed by:
Ron Clements, John Musker
Writer(s): John Musker and Ron Clements (written by)
Voice Cast: Jodi Benson, Christopher Daniel Barnes, Pat Carroll, Jason Marin, Samuel E. Wright, Kenneth Mars

Theatrical Release Date: November 17, 1989

Featurettes, Music Videos, Sing-Along, DVD Copy, Digital Copy
Number of Discs: 3

Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 7.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.78
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Disc Size: 42.2 GB (2D), 33.0 GB (3D)
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C

THE MOVIE – 4.0/5

Plot Outline: Venture under the sea where Ariel (voiced by JODI BENSON), a free-spirited mermaid princess, longs to be part of the human world, despite the disapproval of her father and king Triton (KENNETH MARS). After bravely striking a bargain with Ursula (PAT CARROLL), a sneaky sea witch, Ariel embarks on the adventure of a lifetime. With Flounder (JASON MARIN) and Sebastian (SAMUEL E. WRIGHT) at her side, Ariel will need all of her courage and determination to make things right in both of her worlds.

Quick Hit Review: The late ‘80s and early ‘90 Disney animation, under the leadership of CEO Michael Eisner, began resurgence for the Mickey Mouse company and starting that rise was The Little Mermaid, the first animated fairy tale feature since 1959’s Sleeping Beauty. Although never my favorite of the big three in that time, along with Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King, the animation is pretty good (a bit too much of the wide-eyed wonderment for Ariel and Eric) and much of the music is catchy and still works just as much today as it did 20+ years ago.


This 3-disc set is contained in a standard Blu-ray case and comes with a reflective and glossy slip cover. Inside is a code to use to download the Digital Copy as well as 10 Music Tracks.

Audio Commentary – Directors/Writers Ron Clements and John Musker and Composer Alan Menken.

“Part of Your World” Music Video (3:39; HD) – Carly Rae Jepsen sings a new rendition of one of the film’s signature songs.

@DisneyAnimation (10:45; HD) is a tour of the Roy E. Disney Animation Building and get comments by various animators and artists discussing their time at the company.

Deleted Character: Harold the Merman (2:05; HD) shows a character who ultimately was not used.

Under the Scene: The Art of Live-Action Reference (13:13; HD) is another newer featurette where the TLM filmmakers talk about drawing the characters and the techniques used to make it look natural.

Howard’s Lecture (16:27; SD) is about Howard Ashman and his part in making TLM and utilizes old footage of him teaching others about writing lyrics.

Part of Her World: Jodi Benson’s Voyage to New Fantasyland (4:45; HD) – The voice of Ariel visits The Art of Animation Resort where there is a Little Mermaid theme.

Crab-E-Oke Sing-Along (15:35; HD) allows you to sing along on 5 key songs.

Deleted Scenes (29:29; SD)
– 3 sequences which were cut down or removed due to pacing issues.

Under Backstage Disney are: Treasures Untold: The Making of The Little Mermaid (45:33; SD), Storm Warning: The Little Mermaid Special Effects Unit (8:40; SD), The Little Mermaid: The Story Behind the Story (11:29; SD), The Little Match Girl (0:33; SD), Under the Sea Early Presentation Reel (2:35; SD), Original Theatrical Trailer (2:15; SD), John and Ron Make Caricatures of Each Other (1:05; SD), Animators Comment on Their Characters (1:42; SD) and Clements and Musker Demonstrating “The Little Mermaid Handshake” (0:32; SD).

Disney Song Selection
lets you jump to four songs.

“Kiss the Girl” Music Video (3:30; SD) performed by Ashley Tisdale.

The disc also includes DisneyPedia: Life Under the Sea (8:25; SD), Behind the Ride That Almost Was (5:54; SD) and Under the Sea Adventure: A Virtual Ride Inspired by Disney Imagineers: Ride the Attraction (4:15; SD).

VIDEO (2D) – 4.5/5
VIDEO (3D) – 3.5/5

The Little Mermaid makes its debut on Blu-ray presented in beautiful 1080p high-definition. The picture here is nothing short of stunning with a pristine transfer showing no signs of artifacting or general aging and banding is non-existent. The colors are also absolutely vibrant popping off the screen and make this the best this movie has ever looked.

The 3D transfer meanwhile is OK showing some good depth at times while others it comes off as a bit flat. Colors are still nice and bright though and compared with other post-conversions, this is probably on par with the majority.

AUDIO – 4.75/5

Along with a new transfer, the movie gets an upgrade in the audio department. The DTS-HD MA 7.1 track is near perfection with mostly crisp and clear dialogue, albeit there are moments it does get strained, and when the musical numbers pop up, this lossless track goes to the next level with stunning clarity.

OVERALL – 4.25/5

Overall, The Little Mermaid makes a triumphant debut with this “Diamond Edition” Blu-ray containing a fair amount of features and fantastic audio/video transfers making it the best this film has ever looked and sounded. The 3D transfer isn’t the best but is best described as adequate. The one issue with this release is the misplacement of one shot which you can check out via YouTube, having seen it here, it’s not terribly distracting though it was an unnecessary blunder by Disney.


Published: 09/28/2013

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