Disclosure: I received an all-expense paid trip to Los Angeles from Disney to attend an event for The Little Mermaid diamond edition DVD release. This is my review and experience, all opinions are mine.
I can clearly remember the first time I watched The Little Mermaid and where I was. My grandmother had picked me up from school to take me to her house for the weekend. On the way to her house, she mentioned that she had picked up a movie for us to watch. For that moment, I was completely excited as I sat thinking and wondering what it could be without actually asking. I anticipated that it could the new Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Indiana Jones or Ghostbusters movie. Any of these, as a young boy, I would have thought would be totally awesome. After we pulled into the driveway, I went straight to the living room to see what Gran-Gran had bought for us to watch. I looked pretty closely on and around the console TV… only to find a copy of The Little Mermaid.
Gran-Gran, you bought me, your grandSON, The Little Mermaid to watch?
To say the least, I was disappointed initially. But as soon as the movie started I was hooked. We sat and watched the entire movie from beginning to end. In fact, we only took time for one pause and that was to get popcorn. Still to this day, I still love The Little Mermaid and being able to share it with my Grandmother who has now passed on.
John Musker and Ron Clements
While I was in Los Angeles for the Disney #LittleMermaidEvent, I was able to attend a group interview with the Writer/Directors John Musker and Ron Clements.
Both John and Ron have been working together since The Fox and the Hound and then collaborating again on The Black Cauldron. The duo have really built a relationship together through their work on The Little Mermaid. They then continued to work together on other great films such as Aladdin, Hercules, and The Princess and the Frog.
The Little Mermaid
Ron and John shared with us just how The Little Mermaid came to be.
The Little Mermaid was released in the late 80’s by Walt Disney Studios, but the idea was actually birthed in the 30’s with small sketches and story boards. For whatever reason, the film idea was shelved for decades. One day, Ron shared the idea of a little red haired mermaid at a “Gong Show” type of meeting intended to pitch new movie ideas. From there, the idea of The Little Mermaid was toyed with and drawn out for a few more years. Once, the voice of Ariel (Jodi Benson) was cast, the movie actually began to move much faster in its production.
Did you think The Little Mermaid was going to be this big?
No, we, we didn’t. I mean felt it had potential to be a really good film. I think really from fairly early on and we were intimidated because it was the first fairy tale. I mean, we were the baby boomer generation.
When we are working on a movie, the public does not see it very much. Not even our own families for the most part in fact. So it wasn’t until we started to have public previews, and we saw the reaction we got, that some sense of that set in. And just as this movie was about to be released, Steven Spielberg states that he believes it is “going make a hundred million dollars.” Of course, we were like, “Really? Spielberg thinks it is going to make a hundred million dollars?” So there was this excitement building. But as you’re doing it, you’re still just the audience for the movie, really. You are just trying to make a movie that you think… or that you would like to see and you hope somebody else will like to see it to.
We had a blast just listening to Ron and John share their experiences working with Walt Disney, Jodi Benson, and Howard Ashman throughout the process of the movie. I can’t wait to share our Q & A time with Jodi Benson next week.
You can currently pre-order The Little Mermaid (Three-Disc Diamond Edition) (Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD + Digital Copy + Music) on Amazon.com or pick it up in stores October 1st.