The Little Mermaid (1989)

A sweet little movie (which was also the film to kick-start the period known as The Disney Renaissance) about a mermaid who longs to visit the human world.

I am not trying to make this blog soley about Disney films but this is another one of those films which formed a big part of my childhood in the mid to late 1990s but I never really watched it avidly.

At its core, its quite a sweet but simple story, even though essentially it could be argued it is about the central mermaid, Ariel, going against her patriarchal control in order to satisfy her curiosity about the human world above the sea and find the man she fell in love with.

All that aside, the animation is lovely (especially the underwater scenes) and the songs are gorgeous. Howard Ashman served as lyracist for the film and his talent comes across in this film, making it more than just the typical film about a lovestruck girl who will do anything to be with the man she loves. I love the instrumental music at the end of the film. It just shows what a talent Ashman was, and how much his loss affected Disney’s films. The villainness, Ursula, is also very memorable as is her song ‘Poor Unfortunate Souls’. She is one of the best villainesses of all time.

This film has more substance than first appears. It is delightfully funny in the right places, with plenty of hearfelt moments in between.It is also darker in places than I remember, but still a good film over all. Compared with this film’s majesty, the sequels pale considerably in comparison.

MY RATING: ***.5 / *****




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