REVIEW: THE LITTLE MERMAID comes ashore with new extras, 3-hours of classic features
THE LITTLE MERMAID emerges once again for home release and in this new Walt Disney Signature Collection Multi-Screen Edition (say that three times fast) we find an expected assortment of new and returning features to help push you towards the decision to re-purchase a movie that you’ve likely already purchased at least once before over the years!
There’s THREE ways in which you can enjoy the movie: Regular, Sing-Along, and with Audio Commentary. There’s nothing particularly elusive or secretive in these self-explanatory formats but it’s always nice to tailor the viewing experience depending on the intended audience!
If you’re interested in the NEW things to get you to purchase this new edition, then we dive in now to the bonus features…
Stories From Walt’s Office is one of my favorite types of bonus features. It serves as a sort of connective tissue for the Signature Collection and is the third episode in this series. For this film, we have the featurette called Gadgets & Gizmos which features Disney Archivist Becky Cline. She shares a little about Walt’s never-realized interest to create this story as an animated feature and then goes on to share how Walt and Ariel shared a character trait in their affinity for being collectors — a tenuous link but it works for us! We learn about several of the thing-a-mabobs and trinkets in Walt’s re-created office at the Disney Studio. So great!
Alan Menken & the Leading Ladies Song is one of those great rare occurrences where a whole bunch of Disney royalty are assembled together. Here we get Jodi Benson (Ariel), Paige O’Hara (Belle), Judy Kuhn (Pocahontas Singing Voice), Lillias White (Calliope) and Donna Murphy (Mother Gothel) together in a room with Alan Menken to chit chat. We get 15 minutes of a priceless tea party piano-side as they recount memories of working together over the years.
“What I Want From You…Is YOUR VOICE” is a fantastic piece featuring clips of actual recording session footage of the film’s stars laying down the tracks to capture their voices for all eternity in this movie. Literally magic in the making, it’s so awesome to see this footage. Clips of Jodi Benson, Pat Caroll, Samuel E. Wright, Buddy Hackett, and Will Ryan but oddly not Christopher Daniel Barnes.
#TreasuresUntold, as it’s name might imply, is totally for the little guppies. The Disney synergy machine goes into full effect here starring Disney Channel stars Ruby Rose Turner and Olivia Sanabia. They take a decidedly youthful introduction into the world of THE LITTLE MERMAID with fun facts for all aspects of the film. It’s an odd thing to exist, especially as a bonus feature but it should do its job to get the little ones to pay attention with stars they know from their favorite channel.
“Part of Your World” is a wonderful digital exclusive — clocking in at just under 6 minutes — featuring a treasure trove of wonders with footage of Disney Legends Jodi Benson and Alan Menken taking a 30-year look back at bringing to life the indelible songs from this film with the late Howard Ashman. The old home camera footage is always so great to see even if we’ve seen it before. It’s so great seeing this during a time when Disney Animation was hardly the power house it would become thanks completely in part to this success of this very film. Grab your tissue.
The rest of the features are about what you’d expect. If you have just a physical copy then you get a small selection of bonus features from previous releases and the new DCapella music video of the Disney group performing “Part of Your World.” If you have the digital or multi-screen edition then you get the above plus more than 3-hours of additional classic Bonus content released over the years.
See it for Yourself
THE LITTLE MERMAID Walt Disney Signature Collection edition is available now digitally in HD, 4K Ultra HD™, Movies Anywhere, and on 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray™.