Monday, April 26, 2010

Musical Mondays! The Little Mermaid


I can't really explain why I chose The Little Mermaid for this week's Monday Musicals, except that Pandora (online radio) kept choosing songs from it when I set up a station based on the music from "Glee" (don't judge me, work was hard this weekend). And since it's been turned into a stage show, I think The Little Mermaid fully qualifies as a musical, even though it's animated. Oh, and over at Random Ramblings of a Demented Doorknob and The Movie Encyclopedia, their podcast was asking questions about opinions on the big 3 animation studios (Disney/Pixar, Dreamworks, and Studio Ghibli), so the time was apparently ready to watch this again. It also makes sense in my own chronology now that I think about it. It was the second videotape I ever owned (also on Betamax) and I think I watched it every single rainy day one summer. I saw it in theaters and loved it. I think it might have been the first CD I ever bought for myself too.
Anyway, rewatching it today I was struck by how incredibly outdated the animation seems now. While it was a huge jump ahead for it's day, and was a rebirth for Disney animation and started the whole Disney Princess creations, I don't think it's animation is anything spectacular even for hand-drawn animation. It's large and colorful, though mostly block colored without much detail. Watching the trailer for The Little Mermaid 3 (a straight to DVD, I imagine) at the beginning had much more detail and precision than the feature film. While Snow White and Sleeping Beauty were also hand-drawn Disney flicks, their style doesn't seem dated today, just a classic form of animation.
However, the music is still just as awesome as I remember, even the orchestral soundtrack is terrific. "Kiss Da Girl" and "Under the Sea" sung by the reggae-inspired crab Sebastian are still terrific songs, that I've heard redone by a cappella groups as well as pop singers. "Part of Your World" is still my favorite, when Ariel sings about her collection of human paraphenalia. It always makes me smile. I probably won't do too many animated films for this weekly musical feature, but I did enjoy watching The Little Mermaid again. The Princess and the Frog are next on my Netflix queue, so I'm excited to see how far Disney has come in 20 years. What are your favorite animated movie musicals?

5 comments:

David Bishop said...

I'm about half-way through writing a review for Aladdin, and that's just about my favorite animated musical. It's the same team that made Little Mermaid too.

I bought The Little Mermaid DVD when it came out and watched it right away. I don't remember the animation feeling too dated, but I'll try watching again to see how I feel.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

I really enjoy this movie, one of my favourite films. period. Few things are as delightful as when Sebastian starts singing "Kiss the Girl" - excellent song.

Jess said...

@ David - Aladdin was the first movie I saw in the theater more than once - 3 times actually. But I never bought the DVD. I wonder if I can find my VHS.

@ Andrew. Kiss the girl always gets me too. But sebastian explaining how to woo a man is still often imitated within my friends. "You gotta puck up your lips, like dis"

Rachel said...

I grew up with The Little Mermaid and just bought it on dvd for Mia a few months ago. Another watched around our house regularly was The Jungle Book, which I also just bought. Trying to collect all the classic Disneys and the Pixar films for her.

Loodle said...

I'm probably the only one, but I loved The Last Unicorn as a kid. Though watching it again as an adult, I couldn't help but giggle at the lyrics of "Now That I'm a Woman" (sung by Mia Farrow!). It wasn't Disney; I think it was done by the Fox animation studio that did all the Don Bluth films, so the animation is a little overwrought...