Disney's The Little Mermaid had its premier in November 1989, and in it's wake left an imprint on the collective mind of pop culture. The few years after The Little Mermaid was released are considered by many as to be Disney's Second Golden Age (or Rennaisance Years), making animation cool and relevant again. The movie was directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, a directing dynamic duo who were also behind The Great Mouse Detective, Aladdin, Hercules and Treasure Planet.
The Little Mermaid was not (by far) the first animated Disney flick I'd ever seen, but it was the first flick to make me remember the name by which it came under : Disney. I watched it ages ago as an ickle kid, when a friend recommended it to me, and since I was already familiar with Hans Christian Anderson's original tale, I was surprised to find Disney's version more upbeat, funnier and had a happy ending. The Disney versions features elements borrowed from Hans Christian Andersen's fairytale "The Little Mermaid", but only a few plot elements. The core of the story, its purpose and goals, are completely different. The tale had been reworked into something more contemporary so that those of today would be able to relate to it better.
Disney’s The Little Mermaid tells the tale of Ariel, the little mermaid who’s more curious about the forbidden human world than is healthy for her. Despite the restraints set upon by her protective father, Ariel continues to visit the surface and one day sets eyes upon Prince Eric, who immediately steals her heart. She saves his life, and the bond brings forth love in the young mermaid’s heart. She could have been content (for a while) as it were with her yearnings, but an ill-timed confrontation with her father sets Ariel’s plan in motion: she’ll make her love known to Eric. A deal with the wicked sea-witch Ursula has Ariel trading in her voice for legs and a chance to win Eric’s heart within three days -- or else all is lost.
The film for the most part is light-hearted and fun, with catchy music and stunning underwater animation. But there is a story with heart underneath it all as we follow Ariel, a flawed princess, who searches for her happy ending with wide-eyed curiosity and heartfelt determination.