The Little Mermaid

Reviewed by Dan Lybarger

November 18, 1997

In 1989 the folks at Disney took gigantic liberties with the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, and the result was one of the most delightful features the studio has ever produced. Writer/directors John Musker and Ron Clements (Aladdin and Hercules) take an often-recited tale and delivered it with an unexpected freshness and style. If the animation in the Little Mermaid isn't quite a spectacular as it is in the later movies like The Lion King and Pocahontas, the livelier storytelling and the better conceived characters more than compensate. In addition, the soundtrack features unforgettable calypso-influenced songs by Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman ("Under the Sea" won an Oscar). Some of the more recent Disney animated features have played more like hypocritical sermons than cartoons, but The Little Mermaid is a pleasant reminder of how much fun it can be when these people get it right (G). Rating: 9.


Capsule: The people at Disney took enormous liberties with the classic fairy tale, and who cares? This re-release of one of the more stylish and entertaining cartoons from the studio is worth a second look. Some catchy tunes (by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman) and a sense of fun that's been missing from some of the recent Disney flicks make The Little Mermaid seem more like a treat and less like a franchise (G). Rating: 9.


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This page was last updated on 11/18/97.
Ó 1997 Dan Lybarger



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