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(Review originally written at 27 October 2006)

After a few slow and disappointing years for the Disney animation studios, this movie marked their official comeback. The movie set the standards and raised the bar for the later and most classic Diseny movies, such as "Beauty and the Beast, "The Lion King" and "Aladdin". After this movie a decade of successes follow for Walt Disney Pictures.

The movie is perhaps not as childish and simple as the earliest Disney works. It makes this movie more accessible and enjoyable for people of all ages, although it of course will be the kids that will enjoy this movie still the most.

Main thing that makes this movie such a great and memorable one are its classic characters. They are all memorable and entertaining in their own way. Ariel is a great main and likable main character that I'll bet many little girls admire. The comical reliefs of the movie are Scuttle, Flounder and Sebastian the crab. They mostly make the movie entertaining, although the movie lies its emphasis on the love-story between the mermaid Ariel and the human prince Eric, that is well developed and written in the movie. The love-story is very pleasant to watch, which without kidding makes this one of the very best romantic movies ever made, that never gets too sappy or not believable. But also the villain is a great and memorable. Ursula the sea witch is perfectly villainous that works of course as an entertaining one as well.

Also a reason why this is a classic are it's great memorable sing along songs. This movie features some of the very best and most memorable songs out of all Disney movies.

The imaginative underwater world is well made and works perfectly entertaining as the backdrop for the movie its story. The best sequences of the movie are also set underwater. The animations are superb.

The voice cast is great. It doesn't feature any big names, with perhaps the exception of Rene Auberjonois but he plays a very, very little part in the movie. Ariel has a perfect girlie and signing voice, both provided by Jodi Benson. Pat Carroll is also perfect as the villain Ursula but perhaps the best piece of casting is Samuel E. Wright as Sebastian. His voice is what makes the character interesting and is the reason why his character works entertaining as well.

The movie is of course not without its flaws. The movie is quite short with means that some things are too rushed and the story doesn't always get developed to the max. Some of the characters are underused in the movie as well, such as King Triton and the villain Ursula, who perhaps appears a bit too late and too sudden in the movie. The movie is also perhaps not as humorous as most other Disney movies but it really is the wonderful well written love-story that compensates for this.

A great and wonderful bar raising animated picture, that marked the beginning of the decade of perhaps the greatest full length Disney animated pictures.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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