Just forget the words and sing along

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Under the Sea

Movie poster for the Little Mermaid...my #3 movie poster of all time.
I'm sure it'll come as no surprise that I ran out and bought the 2-disc special edition of The Little Mermaid last week. I more or less had to...I already have the 2-disc special editions of Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King. Those four films together represent the massive resurgance in animation that dominated the 1990s.

Actually, I have a happy memory of The Little Mermaid. It represents the first time in my life a woman called me "cool."

The year was 1997. Disney had just re-released The Little Mermaid to theatres. Kinda mad at myself for having missed it the first time in theatres, I decided to go see it. I was still at Augustana, and I would be seeing it at Camrose's classic old single-screen theatre, the Bailey.

I was just chillin' in the common room, when an accquaintance of mine walked in. She was off to see her boyfriend and we made small talk. She asked if I had plans for that evening. I said I was off to see The Little Mermaid.

Her eyes grew wide in awe. "You are so cool, Mark!" she said. "I know of no other man who would willingly go to see The Little Mermaid!"

It was quite a feather in my cap that night.

Anyway, Disney did another stellar job with the 2-disc special edition of The LIttle Mermaid. If I have a complaint, it would be that they neglected to include the trailer for the 1997 re-release...one of the few trailers that gives me goosebumps.

Oh, well. To celebrate, here's 5 Fun Facts about The Little Mermaid:

  1. The Little Mermaid was Disney's last animated film that was painted and photographed by hand. After The Little Mermaid, Disney switched to the CAPS system, which did all of that on computer.
  2. The Little Mermaid was Disney's first animated film in years in which the animators filmed extensive live-action reference footage. (Live-action reference footage is when the animators have actors act out the scene to get a better idea of how to animate it.) In the live-action reference footage, Ariel was played by Sherri Stoner, who went on to write and do voices for Animaniacs.
  3. Ursula the Sea Witch was based on Divine, an obese female impersonator who's a mainstay of the films of John Waters.
  4. Walt Disney had originally planned to do The Little Mermaid back in 1940, but the project was scrapped. When they decided to do it in 1989, the animators actually dug out and took a look at all the concept art that was done in 1940.
  5. Grimsby, Prince Eric's servant, was voiced by Ben Wright. Wright was also the voice of Roger, Pongo's owner, in One Hundred and One Dalmations. Wright actually had to remind the Disney animators of this fact when he was hired.

Hey! Look what I found on YouTube! It's the 1997 re-release trailer! You would have seen this in theatres in front of Hercules:

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