The Little Mermaid (1989) Rene Auberjonois, Christopher Daniel Barnes, Jodi Benson, Pat Carroll Movie Review

The Little Mermaid (1989)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Ariel - The Little Mermaid (1989)

Ariel Makes a Splash

Whilst all his other daughters do as they are told King Triton has a problem with his youngest daughter, Ariel, who is bored of living under the sea and is increasingly inquisitive about those who live on the land. Having saved the life of a young sailor when he ends up tossed overboard when his ship enters a storm and having had enough of being berated by her father for her fascination with the barbaric fish-eaters Ariel seeks out the Sea Witch to strike a deal with her so that she can become part of the human world. But Ariel is unaware that Ursula the Sea Witch has much more devious plans involving her and her father.

I don't think I have come across one Disney animation which isn't held dear by one group of people or another and I put that down to pretty much everyone has an age where they watch a Disney animation and it sticks with them and so many years later that movie has that nostalgic quality of reminding them of simpler, maybe better times. For me that movie would be "Pete's Dragon" as it always makes me remember back to when the entire family watched it at the cinema. As such I can understand why there are many who absolutely adore and have cherished memories of "The Little Mermaid", although I am not one of them.

Now I don't think for a minute "The Little Mermaid" is a bad movie as it has all the ingredients you expect from a Disney animation. There are comical characters, heavily shadowed bad guys, beautiful animation work as well as memorable musical numbers that are quite jaunty. But I can mention those very same things about almost every animation Disney was making in the late 80s and 90s and is why it is a generational movie which works for those who watched it as a child then rather than a grown up who could see how it uses a familiar formula which all the Disney movies of the time were being made to right down to a French chef.

What this all boils down to is that "The Little Mermaid" is a good movie and it delivers all that you expect from a Disney animation. But for me it just felt like another Disney movie built to the same formula that they were using with all their animations around that time. Although I will say there is a surprising male fantasy element to this with how Ariel looks when ever she emerges from the water.