Little Mermaid Blu-ray Review – This Little Fish Still Makes A Big Splash

Written by George Taylor. Posted in Disney, Disney Movies, Features, The Disney Review

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Published on October 05, 2013 at 3:00 am with 9 Comments

George: The Little Mermaid is a very special movie for me. I’d been out of Disney for a few years (you know, teen angst) and this film brought me back into the fold. It’s also one of the film’s that heralded Disney’s return to animated musical dominance and was at the beginning of the second golden age of Disney animation. Beyond all of that, the music, characters and story captivated me and has had a hold on me for more than 25 years. Sing with me now…

Jeff: Now George, we talked about this. No singing. Especially in a written column! Like George, I absolutely love this film. I wasn’t out of the Disney game when this film came out, but in a lot of ways, just getting into it and beginning to realize how these films were made. I have to say, watching it again on Blu-Ray was like jumping back in time for me. Sure, I’ve seen it many times since then, but for some reason, this time really got to me.

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George: It’s been few years since I sat down and watched the film. During its initial home video release, I know I wore at least one copy of VHS tape out. Like many of the other Blu-rays that we’ve reviewed, I was worried about the quality of the transfer. Would the image look grainy or be crystal clear? What about the songs and music? With the songwriting team of Menken and Ashman, I knew how important the songs were for the film.

Jeff: Thankfully, all of these fears were alleviated when the film began to play. The movie looks better than it has in years. The colors pop, the sound is fantastic, and the songs are just as wonderful today as they were when they debuted almost 20 years ago. Like I mentioned earlier, seeing it on Blu-Ray really brought the film back to life for me, and made me a kid again.

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George: Any of our faithful cadets know how disappointed we are when Disney doesn’t add new features to the Blu-ray release. It seems like Disney releases the movie in the Blu-ray format and hopes that hi-definition video and great sound will sell the blu-ray. In this case it does, but it’s also worth it to note that the features added to the disc are very well done and add to the viewing experience. The @Disney Animation special was a treat to watch, although it could have been longer. Ron Clements and John Musker wax about learning animation from the Nine Old Men while younger animators discuss how influential The Little Mermaid was to them. There are also a few other gems in the features section.

Jeff: I actually was kind of blown away by how many NEW special features were on the disc. It’s not often that Disney produces new stuff, instead just replicating old DVD features, but this time…wow! I was impressed. In addition to the one George mentioned, there were a few other featurettes that were great. The short piece on the deleted MerMAN was interesting. And as a karaoke connoisseur, I appreciated the Crab-E-Oke on the disc as well. The inclusion of the other features only helped to round out the package.

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George: One of the bittersweet extras was Howard’s lecture. As much as anyone else in the company, Howard Ashman was probably the driving force with the re-invigoration of the Disney animated musical. It’s a must watch. So, getting down to the nitty-gritty, it’s pretty safe to say that we both whole heartedly recommend this blu-ray release. It’s been a few years since we’ve seen it on DVD (2006, to be exact) and with the addition of the the attractions at Walt Disney World and Disneyland, this is a perfect time to re-visit this classic film.

Jeff: Agreed. Finish catching up on reading the MiceChat articles from through out the week, and go out to buy this blu-ray. We promise you won’t be disappointed. If you can prove you bought it, I have no problem sharing some of my Crab-E-Oke videos with you!

Are you excited about this blu-ray release? What’s your favorite Little Mermaid memory?


By Jeff Heimbuch and George Taylor

The Disney Review is written and edited by Jeff Heimbuch and George Taylor

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email us at
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About George Taylor

George has been obsessed with Disney theme parks since the first time he saw a photo of the Haunted Mansion in the early 70s. He started writing about Disney in 2007 and has amassed one of the world's largest Disney-related libraries.

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9 Comments

Comments for Little Mermaid Blu-ray Review – This Little Fish Still Makes A Big Splash are now closed.

  1. Was the 3D conversion any good?

  2. While I appreciate you taking the time to review, I’m looking for more information in the review. Like what Bonus Features are ported over from the Platinum release and what has been eliminated. More descriptions on what is on what disc, how is the transfer, is it 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen like the Platinum or 1.66:1 non-anamorphic widescreen exhibition like the Limited? What sound mix is it using? Like the other poster said, how is the 3D conversion? All of this information would make for a more helpful review.

    • Yes this would be really good information to have, especially about the 3D conversion since like The Lion King it is completely pointless and unnecessary. Having said that, I pre-ordered the 3D Blu Ray / Blu Ray / DVD combo pack the day it was announced but this film means a lot to me too. It’s the first film I ever went back 10 (literally) times to see at the cinema, I still own a working VHS copy, laserdisc and previous DVD releases. Add to that all the teaser and release one sheets and daybills. I even have a few sculptures and toys, I kinda like the film so the Blu Ray was an easy sell for me ;)

  3. I took a chance and ordered the Blu-ray before I read your review. Glad to hear it’s a good version! It’s the only major Disney film I don’t have and I’ve waited for years for this disc.

  4. Worth mentioning: there’s a handful of issues with the original pressing of the Blu-ray (some intentional, some not).

    1. The 2011 iteration of the Walt Disney Pictures logo replaces the 1985 version (this has been the case on all the 3D-converted films).
    2. A few transitions have been altered (the opening fade-in is a second and change too early and the first time we see Scuttle is a hard cut instead of a dissolve)
    3. The timing of the opening credits has been (bafflingly) altered and the “In Association with Silver Screen Partners III) credit has been excised.
    4. This is the most egregious change. Two shots are swapped near the end of the “Part of Your World” sequence resulting in a jarring lip-sync failure.

    Fortunately, Disney will be offering a disc replacement program – as they did for the audio problems on the Pinocchio Blu-ray – but as of right now the only fixes are correcting the shots from Part of Your World and the transition in the Scuttle scene.

    Go to http://www.disneystudioshelp.com and call/email to get the details.

    • Thank you so much for this information

    • I agree with Internitty, thank you! Your post had more information in it then the entire review. I like the reviews, but it’s more about personal experiences than an actual review of what’s there.

  5. [...] Little Mermaid Blu-Ray review George: Any of our faithful cadets know how disappointed we are when Disney doesn't add new features to the Blu-ray release. It seems like Disney releases the movie in the Blu-ray format and hopes that hi-definition video and great sound will sell the … Read more on MiceChat [...]

  6. [...] Little Mermaid Blu-Ray review George: The Little Mermaid is a very special movie for me. I'd been out of Disney for a few years (you know, teen angst) and this film brought me back into the fold. It's also one of the film's that heralded Disney's return to animated musical … Read more on MiceChat [...]