The Little Mermaid

Film, Animation
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The Little Mermaid

Hans Christian Andersen is given the update in Disney's animated fairytale, the action punctuated by calypso and sweeping ballads as 16-year-old rebellious mermaid Ariel follows her one true, human love, handsome Prince Eric. When the affair is thwarted by her domineering father Triton, sea-witch Ursula offers to turn Ariel into a human for three days; but if she fails to secure a royal kiss in that time, she becomes Ursula's property. This return to traditional Disney territory is geared to captivate children while allowing them to maintain their street cred, largely by combining extravagant animated technique with ranging musical styles. The underwater scenes are spectacular: shimmering, illusory images set behind bold, primary sea life. Why, given this kind of creative care, do the film-makers resort to racial stereotyping for Ariel's crustacean servant?

By: CM

Release details

Duration: 83 mins

Cast and crew

Director: John Musker, Ron Clements
Screenwriter: John Musker, Ron Clements
Cast: René Auberjonois
Christopher Daniel Barnes
Jodi Benson
Pat Carroll
Buddy Hackett
Kenneth Mars

Average User Rating

3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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I remember loving this when I was a kid. Unfortunately, 20 years later, it feels so outdated…

The visuals and songs are great. Catchy, colourful and light-hearted, it does hook you in. But the rest of the storyline is just wrong and boring. It could have been interesting to see Ariel grow from a frustrated teenager to a powerful woman, learning from her mistakes and evolving into a responsible adult. But it’s not like that. She doesn’t learn anything – except maybe that it’s ok to put yourself, your family and your needs behind just to please a man, because being in a relationship beats all, right?


My first ever nightmare was about Ursula in the litle mermaid, and she as a character may be scary for very young kids, but overall a lovely film for the whole family.