This Week In Home Entertainment: The Little Mermaid, The Croods And More

By Jessica Rawden 2013-10-01 14:13:12discussion comments
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The Little Mermaid Blu-ray
Disney has been routinely re-releasing some of its canon titles on to Blu-ray for the last several years. However, The Little Mermaid remained firmly vaulted for quite some time before the company ultimately opted to bring it on to Blu-ray for the first time ever today. Fans will have plenty of options to choose from, including a 3D Blu-ray copy, a couple of different Blu-ray combo packs and a regular old DVD for those without Blu-ray capacity. That may seem like overkill on the releases, but I actually like that Disney is giving fans a ton of different options for one of its most prominent films.

The beloved classic follows Ariel, a feisty mermaid who has a secret obsession for all things human. So, when she gets the opportunity to trade her fins for human feet, she jumps at the chance without thinking about the potential ramifications of her decision—especially where the sneaky Ursula is involved. While several generations are familiar with the story, thanks to either being a child or having been an adult with a child around the time of the film’s release, Disney’s unvaulting of the title should be able to introduce The Little Mermaid to a brand new generation. More importantly, the picture looks incredible.

The Little Mermaid was initially released back in 1989, but you wouldn’t think it when watching the Diamond Edition. The picture in the Diamond Edition Blu-ray set has been tinkered with, but it looks beautiful and clearly defined in HD. Still, we’re watching a film from the handdrawn era, and while Ariel is one of the most expressive characters in Disney’s canon, there’s a roughness to the picture quality that you wouldn’t find in a movie like Tangled.

Regardless, there’s a charm to Ariel’s defiance, her romance on land, and her occasional damsel-in-distress qualities that remind us of Disney's early princesses. You can choose to see the latter as a problem, but it’s better to sit back and enjoy the retelling of the classic Hans Christian Anderson fairytale for what it is, a great animated story featuring excellent music from Alan Menken that still holds up more than two decades later.

You can order The Little Mermaid over at Amazon.

Best Special Feature: Other than the half hour of previews available at the start of the disc, the set is put together particularly nicely. There’s a brand new menu page for the Diamond Edition Blu-ray set and there are a ton of new bonus features available, along with all of the classic DVD bonus features that you may or may not have already perused. Another nice touch: if you click to access the menu while the film is playing, it will tell you how many minutes and seconds into the film you are.

The best of the new bonus features is the @DisneyAnimation segment, which tells the stories of some of the animators and takes viewers behind-the-scenes to look at the access to a lot of the new technologies being used today. It pretty much has nothing to do with The Little Mermaid, but any Disney fanatics will appreciate the storytelling within the extra.

Other Special Features:
“Part of Your World” Music Video featuring Carly Rae Jepsen
Deleted Character- Harold the Merman
“Under the Scene: The Art of Live-Action Reference”
“Howard’s Lecture”
“Part of Her World: Jodi Benson’s Voyage to New Fantasyland”
Crab-E-Oke Sing-a-Long
Classic Deleted Scenes
Classic Backstage Disney
Classic Music & More
Classic Audio Commentary
Classic Disneypedia
Classic “Behind the Ride that Almost Was”
Classic “Under the Sea Adventure: A Virtual Ride”
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