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The Little Mermaid - Ariel's Beginning
The Little Mermaid - Ariel's Beginning
Actors: Jodi Benson, Samuel E. Wright, Jim Cummings, Sally Field, Parker Goris
Director: Peggy Holmes
Genres: Kids & Family, Animation
NR     2008     1hr 17min

Every story has a beginning but only one begins under the sea?now for the first time ever discover the story you never knew in The Little Mermaid: Ariel?s Beginning, an all-new motion picture only on Disney DVD. Long ago, ...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Jodi Benson, Samuel E. Wright, Jim Cummings, Sally Field, Parker Goris
Director: Peggy Holmes
Creators: Evan Spiliotopoulos, Robert Reece
Genres: Kids & Family, Animation
Sub-Genres: Animation, Animation
Format: DVD - Color - Animated
DVD Release Date: 08/26/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 17min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 3
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French

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Member Movie Reviews

Reviewed on 5/30/2023...
A Disney classic when they used to make classics!
Kirsten R. (ringwraith10) from MILLEDGEVILLE, GA
Reviewed on 7/3/2009...
I thought this movie was good in comparison to most other Disney sequels (or prequels). The storyline was decent, it actually explained a few things that may have been confusing about the original movie (such as "Where is Ariel's mom?"), and above all, the animation was not the low quality that most Disney sequels have. This movie was definitely better than "The Little Mermaid II".
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jacqueline G. (Janeway) from LIBERTY, MO
Reviewed on 8/26/2008...
This movie was very disappointing. Was an okay storyline but would be something you would expect from the TV show not from a movie.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning - Review of the DVD!
Dave | San Diego, CA | 08/18/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I'm not sure why a number of people have chosen to review or bash a movie that they've never seen, but I for one found this movie to be very well done. Is it worthy of a big screen release? Not necessarily; it is a low-key story, but nonetheless, a VAST improvement over some of Disney's previous direct-to-dvd movies. The story is a prequel to "The Little Mermaid (Two-Disc Platinum Edition)," and explains how King Triton banned music in his kingdom when his wife was killed. We learn how Sebastian became the music conductor for King Triton, and how Ariel & Flounder met. Naturally, it is the full-of-life Ariel who helps bring music back to her father's life. Although the villain is not as fun and nasty as the legendary Ursula, Marina Del Rey (ably voiced by Sally Field) is plenty of fun as the evil governess for King Triton's daughter. Not content to be a governess, she plots to usurp Sebastian's position, even if it means getting rid of Ariel. The one odd character in the movie is Marina's sidekick, Benjamin. His style of animation looks like something out of Barney. It is particularly jarring since the animation on this film is SOOOO good! It does not look like your typical straight-to-dvd release; in fact, I would go so far as to say that it is on par with the original feature. Jodi Benson returns as the voice of Ariel. In both singing and acting, she is fantastic and totally believeable as the songstress under the sea. As Sebastian, Samuel E. Wright returns...who else could voice this classic animated character? There are seven musical numbers in the film, and the fact that it was directed by a choreographer (Peggy Holmes) is a plus. The movement of the characters in the film AND the dance numbers is fantastic.

Extras are also great. 2 backstage Disney featurettes: "Splashdance" is a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the movie, hosted by director Peggy Holmes. "The Little Mermaid: Under the Sea and Behind The Scenes On Broadway" gives a backstage look at the Broadway musical production, featuring interviews with the cast. There are 2 deleted scenes (shown in storyboard form), "Music & More" (where viewers can directly access the musical numbers AND watch them karaoke-style with the words on the screen), and the game "Mermaid Discovery Vanity Game," where you can learn about each of King Triton's daughters by clicking on the personal items on their vanity/makeup tables.

Overall, a wonderful DVD for children of all ages. Definitely a quality production!"
Pleasing but really pretty average
A. Gammill | West Point, MS United States | 08/28/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

"In the long-standing tradition of direct-to-video sequels, ARIEL'S BEGINNING continues the story of a beloved character without really adding anything new. The music is OK, but doesn't come close to the brilliant exuberance of the original (it's telling that the most inspired musical number, "Jump in the Line," was NOT written for the movie). Likewise, the animation is well-done, but pales in comparison to the theatrically-released original.

Still, young children may find enough to like about the antics of Ariel and her sisters. As sequels go, it nowhere near as awful as The Hunchback of Notre Dame II, but falls short of even the studio's less-celebrated theatrical releases like Home on the Range.

A brief behind-the-scenes peak at Broadway's "The Little Mermaid", a couple of deleted scenes, a profile of the film's director, and the requisite DVD game round out the bonus features.

If you're a completist, or have young children who love The Little Mermaid, this is not a bad addition to your Disney DVD collection.
My 4 year old was asking for Barbie's 'Swan Lake'
A. R. Holmes | Central NC | 08/30/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)

"... halfway thru this horrid production. I feel sorry for the folks involved ... Jodi Benson and the rest, they did there usual great job, but they had an absolutely AWFUL story to put across. Slow, boring and, I'm sorry, the banning of music from Atlantica is just too high a concept for conflict. Every movie in this vein has GOT to have some evil... Sally Field's "Marina Del Rey" character AIN'T it... she's just annoying.

I was also quite disappointed we only got to spend three minutes (if that) with Athena, Triton's lovely redheaded wife. No back story, no chance to care about her...just an odd scene with some hapless pirates and bad weather and she's gone. No tears, nothing... just a ban on music in Atlantica because Triton can't stand to hear 'their song' anymore. No laughs, poor music, and ho-hum 'production' numbers. I DID laugh when Sebastian turned out to be the 'star' of the underground music club.

Disney had a real chance to let us get to know Athena, find out where Ursula and Morgana came from and why they've such an ax to grind with Triton... some back story on Sebastian, maybe... but they squandered it. The original and the 'Return to the Sea' sequel are far better than this direct to the bargain bin by Halloween release.