Monday, September 1, 2008

Disney's The Little Mermaid, or How Everything I Know I Learnt from Animation

I love 1990s Disney movies. It's not for nothing they call it the Disney Renaissance - I mean, a decade that brings you Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King and Aladdin needs to be kind of amazing. Sure, the later movies couldn't live up to the apex that was that Shakespearean Savannah story but I do think there was still bristling brilliance in all and every Disney animated release: the colour palette in Pocahontas, the art direction in Hunchback of Notre Dame, the humour in Hercules, the character design in Mulan, and the action sequences and the soundtrack in Tarzan. But if there's one movie that foretold all of this animated goodness, it was Ron & Jon's The Little Mermaid, based on Hans Christian Anderson's tale (now being re-told successfully by Miyazaki in Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea). And so I give you:

The Little Mermaid (1989)

Dir. Ron Clements and Jon Musker

Everything I Know I Learnt from a Red-Headed Teenager who dreams of being part of our world...

- My hair needs no product under the sea to look good if I am a red-headed mermaid.
- Conversely, my hair needs no hair product out of the sea if I am an animated prince who seems to mousse his hair naturally.
- Forks make good combs.
- Statues make for good birthday presents (friends: take note!)
- Larger ladies with short hair cuts who have pets and no children cannot be trusted.
- Every teenage girl in the 90s learnt "reprimanded" from this film.
- My voice is an ethereal glowing little shiny cloud (and can be easily stolen!)
- "Never underestimate the power of body language!"
- Teen angst is not exclusive to... what's the word again? Humans.
- Crabs have Caribbean accents.
- Love at first sight is enough to trade your voice in a pact with a crazy sea-witch and leave all you've ever known behind.
- "The seaweed is always greener on the other lake"
- Seagulls are funny and kinda weird (and this was all pre-Nemo!)

Check out past "Everything I Know..."

Pixar Edition
Lilo & Sticth
The Smurfs
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

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