Directors: Ron Clements, John Musker
Cast: Jodi Benson, Samuel E. Wright (VOICES)
Release Date: February 26, 2019
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 8/10
The Little Mermaid is now part of the Walt Disney Signature Collection. This celebrated Anniversary Edition invites you to sing along with the award-winning songs, venture inside the studio for original recording sessions, and share memories with leading ladies who created iconic characters through Alan Menken’s music.
Disney’s animated classic ‘The Little Mermaid’ returns home in time to celebrate its 30th anniversary as it joins the ongoing Walt Disney Signature Collection lineup with a brand new Anniversary Edition release. So gather up the entire family and get ready to revisit Ariel, Sebastian, Flounder and the rest of her underwater friends of old (and of course the new ones above) for this heartwarming romantic tale filled with love, laughter and of course plenty of famous songs that even those who haven’t seen it in thirty years will surely remember in a heartbeat. Originally released in theaters in November of 1989, it still holds up all around, easily managing to exude all of the magic and wonder that it did thirty years prior and surely will for another thirty to come.
Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ returns home once again in a new Anniversary Edition and marks the eighth entry in the continuing Walt Disney Signature lineup, following last year’s June release of ‘Peter Pan’. Featuring the option of viewing the animated masterpiece in either its original Theatrical Presentation or in Sing-Along mode if you and/or the little ones feel like joining in, this latest Blu-ray release of Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ is here to introduce Ariel’s tale to a whole new generation. For many fans who already own one of the previous Blu-ray releases and aren’t concerned enough about the few new extras to justify double dipping, this one probably won’t be worth grabbing a copy of. But for those that are interested in those specific new extras or don’t already own the film on Blu-ray at all it would be well worth picking up a copy, and you shouldn’t be disappointed in doing so. The new Blu-ray release offers the usual impressive high definition video and audio presentations that fans have come to expect, along with a few brand new extras created specifically for this release, in addition to some archival ones and more (see the technical specification coverage of the review below for more detailed information) and as a whole this Blu-ray release should definitely please. It should also be noted that this is one animated feature film that Disney is also releasing the same day on the 4K Ultra HD format for the first time, so many hoping to upgrade their Disney animated classics in 4K will probably want to consider looking into that release.
Overall, this new Anniversary Edition Blu-ray of ‘The Little Mermaid’ brings Disney’s animated classic home yet again on Blu-ray as it celebrates its 30th anniversary by joining the Walt Disney Signature Collection as its eighth entry. Sporting a gorgeous high definition video presentation and a fairly immersive multichannel soundtrack combined with some brand new extras and a few older ones, as well as the option to view the film in Sing-Along mode and altogether it delivers quite admirably in every regard. For anyone yet to purchase the film on Blu-ray at all, it’s definitely worth picking up a copy of the release, and those intent to upgrade their collection to 4K Ultra HD should be thrilled to see ‘The Little Mermaid’ also being made available on the format for the first time. Yet for those who already own one of the more recent Blu-ray releases of this Disney classic and aren’t enthusiasts who collect each and every release, those few brief new extras probably won’t quite justify coughing up the funds to purchase the film again on the same format.
The 30th Anniversary, Signature Collection Blu-ray release of ‘The Little Mermaid’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing a 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio and including two options for viewing the film: ‘Original Theatrical Edition’ or ‘Sing-Along Mode’. The video presentation looks pretty wonderful as a whole and provides a clean, detailed and richly colored presentation that looks rather great down to nearly every animated line (likely the same presentation used for the previous Blu-ray release although as this is first edition of the film I’ve had the pleasure of viewing on the Blu-ray format I can’t say for absolute certain). It holds up wonderfully even during the fast moving and heavily populated moments, never resulting in anything becoming negatively affected, let alone rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a fantastic high definition video presentation from Disney that looks clean and impressive every step of the way and should more than satisfy the fans.
The Anniversary Edition, Signature Collection Blu-ray release features a 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack delivers a clean, active and fairly immersive audio presentation throughout. It often takes advantage of all seven available channels in order to send the music throughout the various speakers, along with some boat, water relative effects and other activity, and never allowing any dialogue or other audio elements that might happen to be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible along the way. Overall, this is a great 7.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that compliments the film beautifully and should easily please the film’s many fans.
The 30th Anniversary, Signature Collection Blu-ray release of ‘The Little Mermaid’ features a number of enjoyable extras and even includes a couple brand new bonus features. Included on the release is ‘Alan Menken and The Leading Ladies’ (running approximately 16 minutes in length), plus a look at the voice cast and rare footage in “What I Want from You is… Your Voice” (running approximately 6 minutes), along with ‘Stories from Walt’s Office: Gadgets and Gizmos’ (6 minutes) and ‘#TreasuresUntold’ (6 minutes). Also included is a look at ‘Deleted Character: Harold the Merman’ (approximately 2 minutes), plus ‘Under the Scene: The Art of Live-Action Reference’ (13 minutes) and ‘Howard’s Lecture’ (16 minutes), in addition to an ‘Audio Commentary with Co-Writers/Co-Directors Ron Clements and Joe Musker, and Composer Alan Menken’. A ‘Classic Bonus Preview’ (1 minute) is also included which advertises more archival features that can be unlocked with your Digital code, although are not included here on the physical disc.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.