The fact that it was a film and not an AA based show was the budget cut.
Bingo. It's a great movie, but would have been so much better with the AAs. It's just not as impressive without them. IF they created it as a superheadliner like originally intended as the DCA American Adventure, then I think it would have been a lot more popular, and better received.
But, I will welcome the Little Mermaid into its place gladly.