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91 'The Little Mermaid' Facts For Every Kid To Know About

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A musical comedy fantasy animated film released on November 17, 1989, by Walt Disney Feature Animation took the world by storm and made a lot of fans all over the world.

It again returned to theatres on November 14, 1997, after the first run was completed marking its dominance over the film market. Disney's 'The Little Mermaid' is the 28th film from the animation company and the first to be released during the Disney Renaissance.

The animated Disney movie is based loosely upon the fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson of the same name. A young 16-year-old mermaid named Ariel is featured in the movie and the movie showcases the journey of the mermaid when she is captivated by the surface world. She falls in love with a human prince, but to become a human herself, she has to make a deal with a villainous sea witch and earn the love of the prince before time runs out.

Its animation, music, and storytelling were praised all over the world. With over $100 million at the U.S. box office during the first release of the movie, it also won two Academy Awards. The first was for Best Song for the song Under the Sea and the second for Best Original Music Score. It was a success for the studio and Howard Ashman and Alan Menken were hailed for it. After the success of this animated movie, Disney also made two direct-to-video sequels and an animated television series. A Broadway debut was also seen in 2007. There's also a live-action adaptation of the movie in the works currently with music from Alan Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

There are many interesting facts surrounding Disney's 'The Little Mermaid', so read on to check them out!

If you enjoy this article, why not also read about Mulan facts and the Tangled facts here on Kidadl?

Fun Facts About ‘The Little Mermaid’

There are many facts when it comes to Disney's animated film 'The Little Mermaid'.

Disney was actually planning to make a sequel to a live-action mermaid comedy named 'Splash' that was released in 1984. Ron Clements brought the idea of 'The Little Mermaid' to Disney Films and they quickly scrapped the idea as two mermaid movies would have been too much. They later returned to the idea when they realized the movie was a fairy tale that Disney had not made yet.

The iconic Disney villain, Ursula, was loosely based on Baltimore-based drag queen and actress, Divine.

Facts About The Characters In 'The Little Mermaid'

The characters in 'The Little Mermaid' have many facts of their own. Here are some to remember them by.

Pat Caroll was not the first choice to voice Ursula. Disney wanted Bea Arthur to voice the iconic villain character, however, Arthur's agent did not like the idea and the plan was scrapped. People often mistake Ursula to be an octopus, but in reality, Ursula is a cecaelia (a human-octopus hybrid). Ursula does not have eight tentacles. She has two human arms and six tentacles.

'The Little Mermaid' is also the first movie that Pixar and Disney teamed up on. Pixar created a computer version named CAPS (Computer Animation Production System). The system that Pixar made allows drawings to be scanned first, colored, and composited digitally. CAPS allowed the final shot of 'The Little Mermaid' to be finished.

The hair color of Ariel was a point of contention for the whole team. As Daryl Hannah had already played the role of a blonde mermaid in the popular film 'Splash', red and green was chosen for Ariel.

The song 'Part of Your World' sung by Ariel in the movie was almost scrapped from the film as initial test screenings showed that people were not liking it. There was a second test screening and that one saved the song.

The little bubbles seen in the movie were not done by Disney due to the extensive animation work needed. Instead, Pacific Rim Productions was hired for those animated segments who hand-painted the bubbles throughout the movie.

The animators studied some scenes from 'Pinocchio' involving Monstro when making the scene of the shipwreck and Ursula’s emergence from the sea.

The fin color of Ariel (blue-green hue) was specially mixed by the Disney Paint Lab. They even named the new color 'Ariel.'

The way Howard Ashman performed the songs helped Pat Caroll who voiced Ursula and Jodi Benson who voiced Ariel prepare their delivery of the dialogues better.

Secrets About 'The Little Mermaid' Movie

The beautiful character of Ariel that captivated the minds of young girls all over the world, along with other characters of the movie, has a lot of secrets.

As Ariel, the titular character of 'The Little Mermaid' sings 'Part of Your World' in the film, some fun secret details can be seen in the treasure trove right behind her. A bust that seems to be Abraham Lincoln is seen on one of the shelves in Ariel's cave. Also in the song, Ariel is seen swimming up to the famous painting by Georges de La Tour, Magdalene with the Smoking Flame.

Ariel was actually created on the basis of Alyssa Milano in the film. The facial features of Ariel were perfected from the photos of the actress when she was younger.

Ariel's father, King Triton is the son of Poseidon. Poseidon is actually the brother of Zeus. Given that Zeus is Hercules' father, Hercules and Ariel are actually first cousins, once removed.

There are many secret cameos in the Disney film. Some known cameos are by some Disney fairy tales characters like Mickey, Goofy, Kermit the Frog, Donald Duck, Mr. Limpet, and the Duke and King from 'Cinderella'.

There are many hidden Mickeys in the Disney film, including the scene where Chef Louis tries to cook Sebastian and one on the contract Ursula devises for Ariel.

The opening scene of the Disney film with King Triton sees Mickey Mouse, Kermit, Goofy, and Donald Duck and hiding in the crowd.

The original drawings of Ursula saw the character portrayed as a scorpionfish or a spinefish with lots of spines and spikes.

Ariel's many different sisters were named with some inspiration. Atina was named from Atina: Evil Queen of the Galaxy, a musical written by Alan Menken. Alana was a lyrical nod by Howard Ashman to Alan Menken. Andrina was named after an aerobic instructor of the director.

The Little Mermaid is one of the most successful animated films from Disney.

The Cast Of 'The Little Mermaid'

Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, here is the voice cast of the movie.

Jodi Benson as Ariel, Samuel E Wright as Sebastian, Paddi Edwards as Flotsam/Jetsam, Rene Auberjonois as Louis, Pat Caroll voiced Ursula, Buddy Hackett as Scuttle, Jason Marin as Flounder, Kenneth Mars voiced King Triton, Edie McClurg as Carlotta, Ben Wright as Grimsby, Will Ryan as Herald, a seahorse, and many others.

Patrick Stewart was set to voice King Triton, but due to some scheduling conflict, he could not.

17-year-old Christopher Daniel Barnes played the voice of Prince Eric, an adult character. His voice was deemed mature enough for the character.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 91 'The Little Mermaid', then why not take a look at 'Lilo and Stitch' facts or 'Moana' facts.

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Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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