The Little Mermaid (Blu-ray)

October 16, 2013 5 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Ariel is a mermaid, a teenage mermaid no less, with dreams of what awaits outside of her undersea realm. Although she has a wonderful life, given that she is the daughter of King Triton, Ariel is consumed with fantasies of life above the surface. She collects various items that have floated to the ocean floor and ponders the surface life with her friends, but that just isn’t enough. In a violent storm, she happens upon a human, Prince Eric, who she rescues and in the process, falls in love with. But of course, she can’t pursue the romance, since they live in different worlds. She is so desperate to be with Eric that she visits the evil Ursula, who offers to turn her human in exchange for Ariel’s voice. But if Ariel can’t make Eric fall in love within three days, she will be imprisoned in Ursula’s hold forever. Even with the help of her friends Flounder and Sebastian, can Ariel somehow make Eric fall in love or she doomed to be Ursula’s prisoner?

One of Disney’s most beloved animated features, The Little Mermaid was a movie that helped turn Disney’s fortune around, but does the film still have that special magic? Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale, The Little Mermaid offers a tale of adventure, wonder, and of course, singing animals, all of which falls right into place. Ariel has become of Disney’s most popular princesses, which is no surprise, given that she is a bold, empowered character. The writing is rock solid and while it has that Disney spin of singing crabs and what not, it all works. In fact, I think The Little Mermaid has some of the best musical numbers the studio put out, the highlight of which is of course Under the Sea. In addition to Ariel, the film is populated with fun, memorable characters that have become iconic in their own right. The animation is beautiful and looks better than ever here, thanks to the added resolution and depth of high definition. While Disney tends to call all of their animated works “classics,” The Little Mermaid is one that truly deserves the label and this release is highly recommended.

Video: How’s it look?

The Little Mermaid is presented in 1.78:1 widescreen. This is the kind of transfer fans have dreamed about, a simply gorgeous visual presentation. The animation looks better than ever, with every last ounce of detail on showcase. This just blows the previous home video editions out of the water, with vivid colors, stunning black levels, and excellent depth. We had to be patient for The Little Mermaid to finally surface on Blu-ray, but it was well worth that wait.

Audio: How’s it sound?

Just as impressive is the audio, thanks to a DTS HD 7.1 soundtrack that pulls out all the stops. As you’d expect, the music really benefits, with a rich and full presence that brings the songs to life so well. But the track excels at the overall underwater environment as well, so all the little touches come through and help create that atmosphere. I love subtle presence in these tracks and this one has it in spades, so this is some creative, well crafted sound design. No problems with the dialogue either, as all the lines are clear and never hard to understand. This release also includes French and Spanish language options, as well as subtitles in English, Spanish, and French.

Supplements: What are the extras?

The selection of supplements includes an audio commentary with the directors and composer, a look at a deleted character, and a forty-five minute behind the scenes piece on the film’s creation. While those are the highlights, you can also find music videos, an early presentation reel, some deleted scenes, the film’s theatrical trailer, and a host of promotional featurettes.

Disc Scores