"Little Mermaid" brings back memories with Blu-Ray release
It's a word that gets thrown around too often. Like "legendary" or "timeless," these words are used to describe things we like, or remember fondly. I think in marketing these three words get used more than they should.
However, sometimes a person, production, song or sports team may actually earn one of these labels. In November of 1989, Walt Disney Studios released what is now a true classic, "The Little Mermaid."
The 28th animated film by the company, the under-the-sea tale is considered the first film in the Disney Animation Renaissance. The movie, at the time, brought the Disney name back for family entertainment for a whole new generation. The theatrical showing, and the VHS home theater edition later, sparked a run that would include "Aladdin," "The Lion King" and "Beauty and the Beast."
On Tuesday, Disney Home Entertainment releases "The Little Mermaid" Diamond Edition. The limited-time release brings the movie out of the Disney vault and marks the first time the film is on Blu-Ray. The combo pack includes the Blu-Ray, DVD version and a digital copy that not only features the story of Ariel, but is full of never-before-seen bonus features.
I had the opportunity to screen the Blue-Ray before its release on Oct. 1.
My favorite for the kids is the Crab-E-OKE, where Sebastian leads the crowd through learning the words to some of the favorite songs from the movie like "Under the Sea," "Kiss the Girl" and "Part of Your World." Adults who grew up with the movie may enjoy the features that take people behind the scenes to meet the new animators who work at Disney Animation. The artists who are currently working on "Frozen" a winter animated film, and worked on last year's "Wreck It Ralph," were children and young adults just starting on their craft when "The Little Mermaid" came to the big screen.
There's a new music video of "Part of Your World" sung by Carly Rae Jepsen, best known for her single "Call Me Maybe." A DVD extra short covered Harold the Merman, a character that ended up on the cutting room floor, and there's a lecture by Howard Ashman, the late Oscar winner who was the lyricist and executive producer of "The Little Mermaid" and "Beauty and The Beast."
Ashman, considered the one responsible for bringing a musical theater sensibility to Disney animated films, walks animators through the songs of the film and his take on the use of music and songs for movies. This lunch-time lecture took place when he was new to the studio in the late 1980s. He died in 1991.
One guilty pleasure was watching the extra bonus features that was on the original DVD release of the film. When "The Little Mermaid" was a box office hit, the Disney Imagineeers created a ride meant for one of the theme parks. Back then, the DVD offered a background on the ride that wasn't and an animated walk-through of the ride.
Here, in the bonus features on the Diamond Edition is a short of the voice of Ariel, Jodi Benson, actually on "The Little Mermaid" ride with her children. The attraction is now real and featured at New Fantasyland at Walt Disney World in Florida.
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