'The Little Mermaid' Review

Updated on September 15, 2017
Raelonus profile image

Thoughts on this movie? What do you agree with or disagree with? I'd like to know.

Sebastian: The human world is a mess. Life under the sea is better than anything they got up there.

Beware: Spoilers may follow.

The Disney Renaissance was a prosperous time for Walt Disney Animation Studios. Their movies were well animated, their stories were well told, and their characters were well defined. And this was the movie that started it all. Is it a good movie? Absolutely. Is it flawless? Well, let’s take a look.

Our main character Ariel is a 16-year-old mermaid living with her six sisters and her father King Triton; the sea king of Atlantica. She finds herself fascinated with the human world and wants to become human herself despite her father prohibiting it. She saves the life of a human prince named Eric from a shipwreck and decides she wants to be with him. Thus, she goes to Ursula the sea witch, who turns her human in exchange for her voice. However, because she does not have her voice, she cannot tell Eric who she is and has to start from the beginning to win his heart. Meanwhile, Ursula hatches her evil scheme to take over Atlantica.

As is with most Disney Renaissance films, this movie takes place between two environments: the land and the sea. Both environments are beautifully shown and the movie takes full advantage of what they have to offer while still spending the appropriate time on both of them.

Despite the fact that the romance is simply over a period of three days and that they did (technically) meet before, it is good that the two do have to start from scratch. Even though the romance is not perfect, it is still developed.

The animation in this movie is beautiful. All the characters are amazingly drawn and the camera angles, colors, and backgrounds in every scene are a sight to behold even to this day.

Ariel is one of the more controversial leads in Disney history. On the one hand, her passion and drive to be a part of the human world is certainly a unique quality. When she’s in the village her curiosity about the human world is in full bloom. She’s very adventurous and it leads to a lot of enjoyable and funny moments. She’s very determined and is willing to go to any lengths to get what she wants. However she doesn’t go through any potential story arc. The problems she faces along the way don’t lend their way to much character development and in spite of how much trouble she brings upon herself and others, she still gets what she wants at the end without learning anything. But to her credit once she sees how much trouble she’s caused she does admit her mistake. However the scene where she admits her wrongdoing is only a few seconds and again, at the end of it all she gets what she wants.

Prince Eric is somewhat forgettable. He’s shown as a hopeless romantic looking for true love. Upon being saved by Ariel he does feel gratitude towards her and wants to find and marry her. And to his credit, he does prove his commitment to Ariel by helping fight Ursula in the climax. The problem is, there isn’t that much to his character on his own. He’s not a bad character per se but he’s not very memorable.

Ursula is a great villain. Her design is incredible. And the form she takes later on is also well drawn and animated (and is also voiced by the same actress as Ariel). And her plan is truly diabolical. All she really wants is power but the manner in which she tries to obtain it and revels in having it (in both forms) is just so delightfully fun to watch.

King Triton is one of the greatest Disney parents and isn’t just restricted to merely being a comedic side character. He has a legitimately well-shown character arc regarding his relationship with Ariel and the sacrifice he makes for this daughter is one of the more iconic moments in the film.

The songs in the movie are brilliant. Each one is different in what it’s trying to provide and contributes to the movie’s tone. They’re catchy, they’re evil, they’re romantic, and each one sticks out with both its clever lyrics and beautiful visuals.

The side characters are a lot of fun. There’s the timid but loyal fish named Flounder, the no-nonsense and worrisome crab Sebastian, an eccentric sea gull who like Ariel has his own fascination with the human world named Scuttle, a hilariously crazy chef who revels in his cooking and tries to kill Sebastian named Louis, and Ursula’s diabolical eels Flotsam and Jetsam. And these side characters aren’t used as mere foil either, they all play to the plot in their own special way.

Despite the movie having flaws in its main leads, everything else about this movie is great. It’s enjoyable to watch as a kid and even as an adult despite its flaws, it has plenty to appreciate. It has strong animation, good side characters, fun songs, and an awesome villain. And this would only be the start of what would come from Disney for years to come.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, reelrundown.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://reelrundown.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)