Today I have some more fun Ariel-inspired stuff for you: first, a review of the new Diamond Edition’s Special Features, and second, a super cool Mermaid giveaway.
This is such a super cute short, where Disney animators, artists and directors reflect on the impact Ariel had on them as well as their path through Disney Animation Studios. This is such a rare treat—you never get to hear from these incredibly talented artists. From hand drawing caricatures of each other to creating Paperman with cutting-edge technology, this is a really sweet inside look at the men and women who are part of Disney’s legacy of awesome animation.
Deleted Character: Harold The Merman
Meet Harold. He was a lovably nerdy merman who falls victim to Ursula … before he found himself on the cutting room floor when Mermaid ran too long. He’s cute, but … well, let’s say the film doesn’t suffer for his absence. That said, what a neat look into the Mermaid that could have been!
Under the Scene: The Art of Live-Action Reference
Holy cow! I didn’t know they used live-action reference for The Little Mermaid! This is easily my favorite feature on the Blu-ray … what an amazing slice of Disney history. Who knew Ariel’s inspiration was a member of the Groundlings?! A comedian! And who knew they used puppets, pillows and other crap around the office to bring Ariel’s world to life?! This is great, great stuff.
Back in the 1980s, Disney Animation offered a series of lunch-time lectures with the studio’s greatest thinkers. Here, Howard Ashman talks about the importance of musical numbers in Disney films and how to make them central to the story. I enjoyed watching Howard—who is often talked of in hushed tones by Disney animation fans—in real time, but this wasn’t my cup of tea. This will be a big hit with Estelle, I am sure.
Part of Her World: Jodi Benson’s Voyage to New Fantasyland
How cool—Jodi runs through Disney World like a mad woman with her completely adorable kids. She shows off Art of Animation as well as New Fantasyland. This is a great, great ad for the new sections of the Park. And, of course, Jodi is adorbs.
Behind the Ride That Almost Was AND Under the Sea Adventure (Classic Features)
This is so cool. It traces how Imagineers developed a ride concept for a Little Mermaid ride… which, at the time of the original release, wasn’t going to get made. But, of course, it did eventually get made as Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid at Disney World. As I rode through the virtual attraction, I was surprised by how similar (especially in the Under the Sea, Ursula and Kiss the Girl scenes) the concept is to the actual attraction. Awesome!
The features also include Crab-e-Oke Sing Along, similar to what I saw in Second Screen Live; the Carly Rae Jepsen music video for “Part of Your World,” which I can take or leave; and all of the bonus features from the classic Mermaid VHS, like deleted scenes, the audio commentary and some special features about the music.
Love the Little Mermaid as much as I do? Enter below to win an Ariel-inspired prize pack containing a copy of The Little Mermaid Greatest Hits CD, an Ariel nameplate and two sets of Mermaid peel and stick tattoos and fingernail tattoos.
Disclosure: I received this DVD free of charge from Disney. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my own experience.