The Little Mermaid

Critics Consensus

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

93%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 69
User image

The Little Mermaid Videos

The Little Mermaid Photos

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, Rovi

Watch it now

Cast

News & Interviews for The Little Mermaid

Critic Reviews for The Little Mermaid

All Critics (69) | Top Critics (13)

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

    Nov 14, 2015 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • The Little Mermaid -- impudent, grandiose, a multilevel crowd-pleaser -- almost returns the Disney animated features to their glory traditions of the '30s and '40s.

    Nov 15, 2013 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Nov 15, 2013 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Nov 15, 2013 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Nov 15, 2013 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Sep 3, 2008 | Full Review…

The Little Mermaid Quotes

News & Features