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 »in a kingdom where music is outlawed, King Triton?s youngest daughter, Ariel, discovers her love for music in a secret, underground music club. Torn with the choice of whether to hide her passion or share it with her father and risk losing everything, Ariel sets off on a daring adventure to restore music to Atlantica.« less
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.
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.
A fun prequel to The Little Mermaid!
z hayes | TX | 08/30/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Ariel's Beginning" is a fun animated feature that had my 3.5 year old daughter asking for more. The story is the prequel to The Little Mermaid - it tells the story of how King Triton lost his beloved wife Athena in an accident [back when Ariel and her sisters were little] and thus banned music and all forms of gaiety in his kingdom, living in seclusion and with darkness within his heart. When the pirncesses grow up, they all chafe against the restrictions imposed by King Triton, especially Ariel who, like her mother, loves music and singing. Ariel starts to dabble in music secretly, much to her father's anger and finally runs away with Sebastian in tow, until Triton realises his folly.
It is in this movie that we find out how Ariel meets and befriends Flounder, and how Sebastian becomes the music conductor in Triton's court. There is also a villain in the form of nanny, Marina del Rey, though she is not as scary or menacing as Ursula, the sea witch in The Little Mermaid.
Ok, it is not as enchanting as The Little Mermaid, but all in all, I thought it was a decent effort by Disney, considering some of the other animated features out there.
The songs in this feature are not as catchy as in The Little Mermaid, but they are still pleasing and fun. The songs here are: I Remember, I Will Sing, Athena's Song,Just One Mistake,Jump In The Line [Shake, Senora], and Man Smart, Woman Smarter.
The extras include Deleted Scenes, Music and More [the Disney Song Selection option allows the words of the songs to appear on screen, making it easy for sing-alongs], Games and Activities [Mermaid Discovery Vanity Game- allows viewers to unearth secrets about the princesses by clicking on their personal scrapbooks, or compare which of King Triton's daughters you are most like with the Personality Profile Game]. There is also a Backstage Disney feature [a behind the scenes featurette centring on animation director Peggy Holmes].
I watched this with my little one, and we were both entertained - so much so that we watched it again! Having been long-time Little Mermaid fans [me longer than my little one of course:)], this was a delightful addition to our collection of Disney features. "
Very Sweet Movie
R. Caudill | Tiffin, Ohio | 08/27/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Yes, its another Little Mermaid movie. It was a sweet movie that explains some background under the sea but it did leave some questions unanswered. That's okay though. Ariel's parents relationship is the main focus here and you get to see the sisters grow up. Sweet movie. I was pumped since I saw the teaser trailer a long time ago. Ariel is my favorite princess and though there is no mushy love plot with her, it still is a sweet disney movie for those of all ages."