The Little Mermaid (1989) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Little Mermaid (1989)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: The Little Mermaid ushered in a new golden era for Disney animation with warm and charming hand-drawn characters and catchy musical sequences.

Movie Info

Disney's The Little Mermaid was the first in a series of blockbusters that restored the venerable firm's reputation as the world's premiere animated-feature factory. The title character is a precocious teenager named Ariel, the daughter of Triton, king of the Sea. Against her dad's wishes, Ariel journeys beyond her own world to the surface, where she falls in love with Prince Eric, a handsome human. Foolishly, the little mermaid enters into an agreement with evil sea witch Ursula in order to become human herself. The wistfully melancholy ending of the original Hans Christian Andersen story is dispensed with in favor of a joyously happy ending-but not before a spectacular climactic confrontation between Ursula and Triton. The obligatory Disney comic relief is handled by such freshly minted characters as Sebastian the Crab, who, courtesy of voiceover artist Samuel E. Wright, sings the film's Oscar-winning "Under the Sea." Other voices are provided by Broadway star Jodi Benson (as Ariel) and such Hollywood reliables as Buddy Hackett, Pat Carroll, Kenneth Mars, and Rene Auberjonois. The enormous box-office take of The Little Mermaid made possible such future Disney cartoon ventures as Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovimore

Cast

Paddi Edwards
as Flotsam & Jetsam
Jason Marin
as Flounder
Kenneth Mars
as King Triton
Edie McClurg
as Carlotta
Will Ryan
as Seahorse
Ben Wright
as Grimsby
Robert Weil
as UNKNOWN
Ed Gilbert
as UNKNOWN
Jack Angel
as UNKNOWN
Susan Boyd
as UNKNOWN
Steve Bulen
as UNKNOWN
Allan Davies
as UNKNOWN
Gail Farrell
as UNKNOWN
Mitch Gordon
as UNKNOWN
Linda Harmon
as UNKNOWN
Edie Lehmann
as UNKNOWN
Sherry Lynn
as UNKNOWN
Guy Maeda
as UNKNOWN
Robert Tebow
as UNKNOWN
Rob Trow
as UNKNOWN
Joe Turano
as UNKNOWN
Jackie Ward
as UNKNOWN
Bobbi White
as UNKNOWN
Sam E. Wright
as Sebastian
Gerrit Graham
as Additional Dialogue
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Little Mermaid

Critic Reviews for The Little Mermaid

All Critics (67) | Top Critics (13)

Audiences of all ages are bound to fall in love with this bubbly, thoroughly enchanting fish story.

Full Review… | November 14, 2015
New York Daily News
Top Critic

The Little Mermaid -- impudent, grandiose, a multilevel crowd-pleaser -- almost returns the Disney animated features to their glory traditions of the '30s and '40s.

Full Review… | November 15, 2013
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

It may not be a transcendent masterpiece of the Disney canon, but The Little Mermaid is still very heartening: It suggests the Disney magic isn`t lost after all.

Full Review… | November 15, 2013
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

The latest Disney offering looks back to the studio's unrivaled heritage. It has the look of classic animation. More important, it has the skill required to make it work.

Full Review… | November 15, 2013
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

In adapting this animated film from Hans Christian Andersen's sad and beautiful fairy tale, writers/directors John Musker and Ron Clements came up with a bright and perky movie.

Full Review… | November 15, 2013
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

You could wish upon a star and not conjure up a more joyous animated movie than this graceful retelling of the Hans Christian Andersen tale.

Full Review… | September 3, 2008
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Little Mermaid

½

The best film of the studio in more than twenty years and an excellent return to the golden age of fairy tale classics, with wonderful songs, a delightful animation and a well-constructed story that sets a new standard to be followed by the studio in the next decade.

blacksheepboy
Carlos Magalh„es

Super Reviewer

If there is an entertaining tale about a mermaid, Ron Clements and John Musker get it right in The Little Mermaid.The plot details come and go at a solid pace. While sounding like a brief run time, 80 minutes turns out to be the perfect solution to this story that is fitting for adults and children alike.The bright colors give the picture life and the musical numbers create a memorable soundtrack. It's safe to say that the visuals and music compliment the story without fail.Sure, the lead character is a mermaid with an excellent voice, thanks to Jodi Benson, but it's the supporting cast of characters that get the job done. Sam E. Wright as Sebastian. That says it all.Not much else to say except The Little Mermaid swims to the surface and explodes out of the water as a fantastic watch.

skactopus
JY Skacto

Super Reviewer

½

Definitely not one of the better Disney-animated films out there, feeling a little dull at times, but the heart of the film is always in the right place, making it a very enjoyable film to watch. Ariel's character is very likeable as she is given a chance to have legs and fall in love with a prince. Sure, the idea is as old as the hills, but when it's done right, time never makes a difference. "The Little Marmaid" is a classic tale that will never get old, but it's not one of their efforts that will stay in my heart. It's fun and then it's over. There is not much to this one, but it's very likeable!

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

The Little Mermaid Quotes

Ariel: Flounder, hurry up!
– Submitted by Alyssa B (2 years ago)
Eric: (first lines) Isn't this great? The salty sea air, the wind blowing in your face. Aaah, the perfect day to be at sea!
Grimsby: (first lines) Oh, yes, urp delightful.
– Submitted by Alyssa B (2 years ago)
Scuttle: We're out to discover!
– Submitted by Alyssa B (2 years ago)
Ariel: Flounder, don't be such a guppy.
Flounder: I'm not a guppy.
– Submitted by Alyssa B (2 years ago)

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