THE LITTLE MERMAID Pops Out of the Vault on 3D Blu-ray (Video Review)

MERMAID boxart

One of Disney’s classic films, The Little Mermaid, gets released from the vault and delivers the family film on Blu-ray/Blu-ray 3D for the first time.  The animated movie comes to home theaters with a sharper image and a lot of bonus features. The hit film went on to win two Oscars and two Golden Globes. The song “Under the Sea” featured in the film was also awarded a Grammy.

The movie tells the story of the free-spirited Ariel (voiced by Jodi Benson) a mermaid who has been longing to have an adventure beyond her home in the sea.  One day she ventures out to see the world outside her domain so along with Flounder (voiced by Jason Marin) and the happy go lucky crab Sebastian (voiced by Samuel E. Wright) she starts to explore. When she finds out about humans, makes a deal with the sea witch Ursula and takes a new chance on life beyond her home in the sea, Ariel finds her dream in jeopardy.

Ariel with Flounder and Scuttle

Ariel with Flounder and Scuttle

All the characters in the film have wonderful personalities, get into very funny situations, become endearing and enjoyable to watch within Ariel’s journey.  Very family friendly, even the sea witch Ursula makes some bumbling mistakes that provide a few giggles. But she’s a sea octopus to be reckoned with and uses some nasty eels as her guards so to the youngest of children this segment may be a little scary. If you feel your youngest ones may be a little timid, I recommend an adult or older children accompaniment when showing the movie on your home theater.

The Little Mermaid video package has over 3 hours of bonus features, some from the 2-Disc Platinum DVD release in 2006 and very good new surprises on the first ever 3 Disc Blu-ray diamond edition combo release.


  • “Audio Commentary” this tell-all includes some revealing stories and comments by Directors Ron Clements, John Musker and also award winning composer Alan Menken.
  • “Deleted Character” The original making of the film included a character called the Merman that was subsequently deleted before the movie was released in theaters.  This little short is that scene and involves his altercation with Ursula.
  • “@DisneyAnimation” this short featurette takes you to the studio where you get to meet animators.
  • “Under the Scene” shows you about working with animation and all the fundamentals involved.
  • “Part of Her World” this is a real cool short that brings you along with singer and voice of Ariel Jodi Benson as she takes her children to Disneyland for the opening of Ariel’s Grotto.
  • “Howard’s Lecture” more for adults this feature visits one of Disney’s writers and lyricist who gives an interesting view of the work involved in bringing the film to life.
  • “Backstage Disney” there are nine separate short features that include; “The Little Match Girl”, “The Making of The Little Mermaid”, “The Story Behind the Story”, “The Storm Warning special effects”, “Under the Sea Early Presentation Reel”, “John & Ron Make Caricatures of Each Other” and more.
  • “Crab-E-Oke Sing Along” the family can sing along with “Part of Your World” and others featured in The Little Mermaid.
  • “Music Video” in this exceptionally wonderful video we are treated to Carly Rae Jepsen’s beautiful rendition of “Part of Your World”.
  • “Deleted Scenes” include nearly a half hour of scenes that were deleted from the film in their unfinished form. There’s also an alternate ending to The Little Mermaid.  It’s great for budding artists and those that want to go into animation film making.
  • And much more


King Triton and Sebastian

King Triton and Sebastian

If you purchase the Diamond edition you will receive the Blu-ray 3D, a Blu-ray disc and DVD disc and digital copy that can be downloaded through iTunes. In addition this combo pack includes a 10 song musical track download that features all the songs from The Little Mermaid and “Part of Your World” by Carly Rae Jepsen.  If you have 3D or may decide to get it in the future, Disney does an excellent job of bringing the exciting format to 3D TV’s with the necessary equipment.

The video quality is exceptionally good with the widescreen 1.78:1 aspect ratio that works nicely on 16×9 HD television screens.  The colors are vibrant, the backgrounds are nicely washed and the 3D factor does give the film depth of field that adds a new feel to the movie.  The 3D draws watchers into the film and mesmerizes making it hard to break away from the fun loving story. Even if you do not have the 3D the Blu-ray process ramps up the film way beyond the DVD released in 2006.  For this factor alone, this combo pack will fit very nicely in anyone’s treasured collection.

The sound on this Blu-ray release with the 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio will blow most kids away from being to close up to the television.  That said, if you tone it down a bit, you can still get all the side sounds from surround TV speakers or an upgraded speaker system that creates a theater experience.  Still, most any television speakers should make for an excellent presentation without any distortion played through your Blu-ray player.

FINAL ANALYSIS: It’s about time they let Ariel out of the Disney lock-up for a chance to shine on Blu-ray (A)

Specifications and additional film information:
Cast: Jodi Benson, Samuel E. Wright, Rene Auberjonois, Christopher Daniel Barnes, Pat Carroll, Paddi Edwards, Buddy Hacket, Jason Marin, Kenneth Mars, Edie McClurg, Will Ryan and Ben Wright
Directed by: Ron Clements, John Musker
MPAA Rating: G
Genre: Family, Animated, Comedy, Romance
Running Time: 1 hr 28 min       
Video Release Date: October 1, 2013
Original Film Release Date: November 17, 1989   
Language: English, French, Spanish
Format: Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD
Audio: Blu-ray: 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio (English); DVD: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound (French DD5.1 and Spanish DD5.1)
Video: Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Number of Discs: 3 Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack
Distributed by: Buena Vista Home Entertainment

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