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The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning
DVD disk
Sep 24, 2008 By: Jason Adams
The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning order
Director:
Peggy Holmes

Actors:
Jodi Benson
Samuel E. Wright
Sally Field

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Well, Ariel began one night when her father King Triton and her mother Queen Athena had a bit too much seaweed wine and a little Al Green came on the radio and, well, you know, one thing led to another and….

Oh, not that beginning.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I thought John Lasseter put a halt to all of these shitty straight to DVD sequels and prequels when he and Pixar took over Disney. So why are we getting a third variation of the LITTLE MERMAID story? Especially one as completely useless and unimportant as ARIEL’S BEGINNING. Want to know what this movie has to add to the LITTLE MERMAID canon? Ariel’s father outlawed music after her mom died and Ariel shows him how important the power of song is. Somebody actually thought this was a plotline worth exploring. (P.S. I also can’t believe I wrote the words “LITTLE MERMAID canon.”)

Hey, I’m not a scrooge about music in animated movies. THE LITTLE MERMAID had some good, memorable songs. Unfortunately we’re not so lucky this time around. Everything is painfully generic and instantly forgettable, except for a reprise of Harry Belafonte’s “Jump in the Line.” The original Ariel and Sebastian return to do voicework and sing, and even Oscar-winner Sally Field joins in the fun, but the magic is just not there.

The only thing really positive about the whole affair is that the animation is actually pretty well done, much better quality than most other STD movies. Oh, that and the fact that Ariel is still disturbingly hot and is joined by her six equally smokin’ sisters.
THE EXTRAS
Splashdance (7:22): The director talks about how her background is in dance, not filmmaking—comparing direction to choreography. It might explain why more attention was paid to the musical sequences then the story.

Under the Sea and Behind the Scenes on Broadway (10:26): Take a backstage tour of the brand new Broadway show based on THE LITTLE MERMAID—the show that was so poorly received it’s since been shut down. Hosted by actors that have since lost their job.

Deleted Scenes (5:41): Two quick scenes comprised of storyboards and dialogue, neither of which added much to the already lacking story.

Music & More: Choose one of the film’s songs to watch. Otherwise known as Scene Selection.

Mermaid Discovery Vanity Game: Learn more about each of Ariel’s sisters by clicking around their personal vanities. That’s not stalker-ish at all!
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
You know the drill by now—THE LITTLE MERMAID: ARIEL’S BEGINNING is just a cheap cash in on an already established title. (Which is a little funny, since the people that saw the original LITTLE MERMAID when it came out are now in their 20s.) Avoid it unless you need to entertain really young, undiscerning children.

Extra Tidbit: This prequel contradicts plot points from the Little Mermaid TV show, which also took place before the first film. All seven hardcore LITTLE MERMAID purists are said to be inconsolable.
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