Blu-ray Review: The Little Mermaid Diamond Edition

The Little Mermaid Diamond Edition Blu-ray boxSTUDIO: Disney | DIRECTOR: Ron Clements, John Musker | CAST: Jodi Benson, Pat Carroll, Rene Auberjonois, Christopher Daniel Barnes, Buddy Hackett, Samuel E. Wright
BLU-RAY & DVD RELEASE DATE: 10/1/2013 | PRICE: Blu-ray/DVD Combo $39.99, Blu-ray/DVD Digital Copy Combo $44.99, Blu-ray 3D Combo $49.99
BONUSES: featurettes, sing-alongs, music video, deleted character, more
SPECS: G | 83 min. | Animated family | aspect ratio | 7.1 DTS-HD audio | English, French, Spanish subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

The Little MermaidOne of Disney’s most loved animated movies, The Little Mermaid gets its high-definition debut in this worthy Diamond Edition.

Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale, The Little Mermaid follows underwater princess Ariel (voiced by Jodi Benson, Toy Story 3) as she tries to get legs so she can live happily ever after with the prince (Christopher Daniel Barnes, The Brady Bunch Movie) who lives on land. To make her dreams come true, she makes a deal with the evil octopus Ursula (Pat Carroll, My Neighbor Totoro) and discovers there’s a catch.

The Blu-ray video looks fabulous, with the colors of the fish splashing out of the screen. And the film’s repeat-worthy songs sound great in the 7.1 DTS-HD audio.

But leave lots of time for the special features, because they’re plentiful and good. The disc has the bonuses from The Little Mermaid Two-DVD Platinum Edition, released in 2006. But it also has a bunch of new extras. Here’s the rundown on those:

My personal favorite is the featurette “Howard’s Lecture—Music in Movies,” which shows a lecture with song producer Howard Ashman cut in with new interviews with those who knew him. Howard talks about how the music can help tell the story, like Ariel singing about wanting to be able to go on land. And the fact that it’s a full song, Howard says, shows it’s importance.

There’s also an interesting featurette about the movie’s digital restoration, a music video for “Part of Your World” with Carly Rae Jepsen and a fun look at the deleted character Harold the Merman.

As it’s Disney, there’s of course a featurette about the theme parks, but as much as it’s advertising, Disney also finds a way to make it interesting. This time, the featurette is “Part of Her World: Jodi Benson’s Voyage to New Fantasyland.” Benson tells us how much the Disney theme parks are favorites of her family then they take us with them as they explore the new features of FantasyLand, as well as get a sneak peek at what’s coming. The highlight, of course, is Benson and her children going under the sea on the Little Mermaid ride. And at the end of the piece, Benson signs a piece of Little Mermaid memorabilia. It’s touching and sweet and a great way to introduce the new rides.

Featurette “@DisneyAnimation” goes behind the scenes of the studio’s animation department, including showing caricatures the animators do regularly.

And if you like to sing, check out the “Crab-E-OKE” sing-along, which gives the words to the movie’s favorite songs. The lyrics are animated and fun, but if you don’t know the words, you might want to watch the sing-alongs a few times before you sing along because the words pop up right when you have to sing it. That won’t be a problem for the film’s biggest fans.

 

Buy or Rent The Little Mermaid: Diamond Edition
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About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.