“The Little Mermaid 3D: Diamond Edition” – Blu-ray Review by Matt Marshall

The Little Mermaid: Diamond Edition

The Little Mermaid 3D: Diamond Edition

by Matt Marshall

Time and time again, eager home media consumers have been questioning the whereabouts of Disney’s The Little Mermaid? When’s The Little Mermaid being re-released from the vault? Well, after a four-year stay in moratorium, this classic under the sea romance splashes onto the high-definition scene as the latest addition to Disney’s Diamond Edition collection.

Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale, The Little Mermaid submerges audiences to the ocean floor only to find mermaid princess Ariel (voiced by Jodi Benson), who’s grown tired of sea life. After saving the man of her dreams from disaster, Ariel makes a deal with a villainous sea witch to turn her human. The transformation, however, will cost Ariel her voice.

The Little Mermaid is closing in fast on its 25th anniversary and while I’ve viewed the animated tale countless times on VHS and DVD over the years, seeing it restored in its full high-definition glory is a fresh experience. When it comes to the Diamond Editions, Disney always lives up its high level of anticipation. And with the exception of a few technical errors (mentioned later), The Little Mermaid: Diamond Edition is a must-have to upgrade.

The Little Mermaid is a charming sing-along from start to finish, coupled with an age-old story of teenage rebellion and romance. Ariel’s the textbook teenager, except for her fishy traits of a mermaid. Sure, she falls for the perfect guy instantly and pull the Faust card to get her way, but the little girls are sure to eat this fantasy up.

What’s kept Mermaid afloat all these years is its fast-paced magical storytelling supported by such a colorful cast of characters.

The Blu-ray itself is as visually popping as it characters, remastered in stellar 1080p high definition. The visual track isn’t flawless, but considering the age and construction of The Little Mermaid, a spotless transfer wasn’t to be expected. The yellows on Flounder and Ariel’s red hair are astounding. However, many night shots still retain plenty of grit.

Mermaid’s 7.1 DTS-HDMA soundtrack is crisp, working the speakers heavily as Ariel pours her heart out in song throughout the film.

Like the previous Diamond Editions, Disney once again goes all out on the supplemental content. With over three hours of additional material, there’s plenty to explore on the discs beyond the actual movie. This 3D version also includes 10 downloadable tracks featuring “Part Of Your World” covered by Carly Rae Jepsen.

As stated earlier, there are a few technical issues with this release. During “Part Of Your World,” a shot of Flounder and one of Ariel floating back down have been swapped. The other being a small discrepancy during the opening credits.

But with those errors aside, revisiting The Little Mermaid has never been such a joy and will holdover fans of the animated classic till the next generation of Disney media releases.

  • Movie: A  (10/10)
  • Video: A- (9/10)
  • Audio: A- (9/10)
  • Special Features: B+ (8/10)
Written by
Matt Marshall has been reviewing films since 2003, starting with "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King." He specializes in home media, including 4K UHD, Blu-ray as well as box office analysis. He has a B.A. in Communications/Journalism from St. John Fisher College and resides in Rochester, NY.

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