October 1st, 2013 marked the arrival of the Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment Blu-ray 3D release for The Little Mermaid.
The film was based on the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, and is the story of a mermaid who dreams of becoming human.
This, the 28th film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, was given credit for breathing life back into the art of Disney animated feature films and marked the start of the era known as the Disney Renaissance.
The Little Mermaid the Movie
Ariel is a sixteen-year-old mermaid princess who is curious about the human world.
Ariel collects human artifacts with her best fish friend Flounder, and visits Scuttle the seagull on the surface, ignoring the warnings of her father King Triton and his adviser Sebastian.
Rather she yearns to join the human world, and maybe even to become a human herself.
One night Sebastian follows Ariel and Flounder to the ocean surface where they watch a birthday celebration for Prince Eric on a ship.
Ariel immediately becomes infatuated with the handsome Prince Eric.
When a raging storm destroys the ship, Ariel saves the unconscious Eric from drowning and sings to him on the beach.
However Ariel quickly departs as Eric begins to regain consciousness, in order to avoid being discovered.
Eric is entranced by the memory of her voice, and vows to find the enchanting girl who saved and sung to him.
Meanwhile Ariel vows to find a way to join him and his world.
Triton learns of Ariel’s feelings for Eric, and confronts Ariel in her grotto where she and Flounder store their human artifacts.
After Triton destroys most of the objects with his trident, a pair of eels convince Ariel to visit the sea witch Ursula, who can help her be with Eric.
Ursula agrees to help Ariel, but at the cost of her voice.
Can Ariel possibly get the Prince to fall for her without being able to talk or sing?
The Little Mermaid is certainly one of Disney’s most loved movies.
The film was originally planned as one of Walt Disney’s earliest feature films, as part of a proposed collection of Hans Christian Andersen tales.
Some changes were made to the original story, including eliminating Ariel’s grandmother and expanding the roles of the Merman King and the Sea Witch.
The format was also changed to a Broadway Musical style story structure, with the song sequences at key moments in the film.
Certainly the music and songs make a huge contribution to the film, and it won both Academy Awards and Golden Globes for Best Song and Best Score.
All in all the movie has been a long standing favourite with the family audience, being one of the first Disney animated movies to get an early release on home video formats.
As such this is an essential title for your Blu-ray library.
The voice cast includes Jodi Benson, Christopher Daniel Barnes, Pat Carroll, Samuel E. Wright, Kenneth Mars, Buddy Hacket, Ben Wright and Paddi Edwards.
The critical response to the film was very positive, with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 91% and an IMDb score of 7.5/10.
The Little Mermaid has also been very successful in the cinema, taking in $111.5M at the US box office.
Originally the new 3D version of the film was planned for a new wide theatrical release, but was later reduced to a limited theatrical run where audiences could use iPads to access the Second Screen Live app as the movie ran.
The 3D version was then of course released in this Blu-ray 3D home theater release.
The Little Mermaid on Blu-ray 3D
The video on the disc is a stereo MVC 1080p encode at 28 Mbps, and is presented at 1.78:1 aspect ratio, filling the HDTV screen.
The image quality is solid throughout, with bold colours and a pretty crisp presentation.
Again I am surprised at how well these two dimensional animations look when converted to a 3D format.
The characters have a nice roundness about them and the depth feels natural to look at for the most part.
All in all I don’t think that you will be disappointed with the technical presentation on this release.
For full resolution PNG screen captures taken directly from the disc you can check the details page for The Little Mermaid.
The main audio is a new lossless DTS-HD Master Audio with 7.1 channels – 24 bits resolution at 48 kHz.
The disc is a dual layer BD50, with 35.5 GB used and is coded for All Regions.
The Little Mermaid on Blu-ray 3D – The Bonus Features
For all of the extra features, you should check the regular Blu-ray Disc from the set.
This disc features Disney Intermission, where if you press the pause button during the movie you will get access to special features like the Crab-E-Oke: Sing Along.
You can return to the movie at any time.
From the Bonus Feature menu you will get direct access to the supplemental features.
There is a music video of a version of Part Of Your World from Disney artist Carly Rae Jepsen.
@DisneyAnimation goes behind the scenes with Disney animators, featuring interviews with a number of Disney animators.
There are also a lot of stills and video media from the studios shown along with the dialogue.
There is a new deleted character segment for the character of Harold the Merman.
The character was cut to shorten the movie and was a cautionary tale of what happens to folks who make deals with Ursula the sea witch.
The sequence is shown with dialogue and story boards.
Under the Scene looks at the live action reference that was used for the animation for a number of the scenes.
The shooting of the live action reference had become somewhat of a lost art since Disney had not used the technique for some years.
This segment covers both the history of the technique and the references shot for the movie.
Since the film includes under water events, under water references were also shot.
Howard’s Lecture covers the contributions from Howard Ashman to the music of the movie.
This includes a ‘lunch time lecture’ that Howard presented for the cast and crew.
Segments from the lecture are included among the discussion of his contributions.
Star Jodi Benson’s voyage to New Fantasyland is the focus of Part of Her World.
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort and New Fantasyland include a not of new features, including a Little Mermaid ride.
Crab-E-Oke: Sing Along offers a sing along experience for Part of Your World, Under the Sea, Poor Unfortunate Souls, Les Poissons, and Kiss the Girl.
On top of all of these new supplements, the original DVD supplements are there as well, including an audio commentary, deleted scenes, and a featurette about the Under the Sea Adventure ride.
There are a wide range of additional media thrown in, including a DVD Copy for legacy players, iTunes Digital Copy and a collection of downloadable songs.
All in all it is a great collection of supplements.
The Little Mermaid on Blu-ray 3D – Final Thoughts
The Little Mermaid is an essential addition to the Disney section of you Blu-ray collection.
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has put together a strong release in 3D that includes a wide variety of supplements.
The retail price is $49.99, or order it right now at Amazon for $34.96, saving 30%!
- 10 Music Tracks – Download
- Music Video – “Part Of Your World” – Carly Rae Jepsen
- Disney Intermission: Press Pause and See What Happens
- Crab-E-Oke: Sing Along
- Never Before Seen – Deleted Character – Harold the Merman
- Part of Hher World: Jodi Benson’s Voyage to New Fantasyland
- Disney Animation: Go Behind the Scenes with Today’s Top Disney Animators
- Howard’s Lecture: Music in Movies
- Under The Scene
Experience Ariel’s magical, musical world for the first time ever in dazzling Blu-ray 3D and Digital Copy! The Little Mermaid, one of the most celebrated animated films of all time, is now spectacularly transformed with a state-of-the-art digitally restored picture and brilliant high definition sound!