Disney’s the Little Mermaid returns to home video to celebrate the film’s 30th anniversary with a Walt Disney Signature Collection Release on DVD, Blu-ray, 4K & Digital. It has been about six years since the last home video release and this marks nearly a dozen different releases over the years in the US market. The classic film looks and sounds as good as ever with this release. There are a handful of new bonus features plus a treasure trove of classic features available. For more on the technical specs and details of this release here is the original press release.
Some of the new features this time around:
- Sing-Along Mode: As the movie plays the words to the songs appear at the bottom of the screen. With the digital version there is no way to just jump to the songs, you have to scroll through or just watch the film and wait for them.
- Alan Menken & the Leading Ladies (15:40) – I thought this was a very interesting group of vocal talent assembled (Jodi Benson (Ariel), Paige O’Hara (Belle), Judy Kuhn (Pocahontas Singing Voice), Lillias White (Calliope) and Donna Murphy (Mother Gothel) to talk about Disney Music with Alan Menken. It was a very entertaining piece and the 15 minutes flew by leaving you wanting more.
- What I Want From You… is YOUR VOICE (5:49) – A brief look at some of the recording sessions from the Little Mermaid. I always enjoy seeing these and taking a look back to the late 80s was entertaining.
- Stories from Walt’s Office – Gadgets & Gizmos (5:55) – This is a continuation of a series looking around the newly restored Walt Disney Office Suite on the studio lot in Burbank. Archivists share some stories behind the objects on the desks and shelves of the office.
- #TreasuresUntold (5:42) – Two Disney Channel starts (Ruby Rose Turner and Olivia Sanabia) share some factoids and trivia about the Little Mermaid
- DCapella “Part of Your World” Music Video (3:03) – Continuing the tradition of releasing a music video with the home video release this time another version of Part Of Your World by DCapella.
- “Part of Your World” – A Look Back (Digital Only – 5:50) – A conversation between Jodi Benson and Alan Menken about Part of Your World.
On the Blu-ray release there are a couple classic bonus features but the Digital Release features the large archive of over 3 hours of additional classic bonus features. Including several of the making of features from previous releases and the un-built Little Mermaid attraction.
I thought this was a great release due to the vast collection of classic bonus features and the couple new conversation featurettes. I enjoyed watching the new ones and revisiting many of the classic ones. I did think there were some missed opportunities with the release. I would have liked to have seen a follow-up piece on the attraction proposal talking about Little Mermaid in the parks. There are several attractions around the world as well as a port at Tokyo DisneySea. This would have made a fun featurette. Also they could have talked about the Broadway Musical too. I would have liked to have seen an extended version of the Alan Menken & the Leading Ladies featurette on digital. Clocking in at nearly 16 minutes is long for a disc but it was interesting and still seemed short to me.
I was frustrated by the user interface with the digital/Movies Anywhere system. The videos are organized into three sections with a vast majority of the items in “Under the Scenes”. I would have really liked to have seen these organized by type such as music videos, behind the scenes, alternate version/deleted scenes, theme park attraction, etc.. And maybe a list view option with some additional information beyond a title.. such as the year, length, description etc.. In some cases featurettes that would flow from one to another were not near each other.
If you are a fan of classic bonus features and would like to have them available digitally this release will fit your library perfectly. If you do not have the film digitally or on Blu-ray this is a great release to fill that hole in your collection.
Enter to win a copy Blu-ray copy of this release on our The Little Mermaid 30th Anniversary Edition Giveaway page Entries must be received by midnight on Tuesday Feburary 26, 2019.