The Little Mermaid (30th Anniversary Edition) – 4K UHD and Blu-ray Review

The Little Mermaid Disney Walt Disney Signature Collection Release

In honor of its 30th anniversary, two-time Academy Award-winner The Little Mermaid has been added to the Walt Disney Signature Collection. Currently available on Digital, 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD, the home release offers more than 3 hours of bonus features for fans to enjoy!

I was provided a free copy of The Little Mermaid Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Combo Pack for review. I bought the 4K UHD myself for a better comparison. The opinions are my own.

The Little Mermaid is a Disney animated movie I have rewatched countless times. I even got into trouble at school when I was in third grade for a drawing I made of Ariel (in her seashell top). My parents came to defend me and smiled in the faces of the outraged parents, and some teachers, who had no respect for artists. It was awesome!

I have read some opinions about how this Disney story doesn’t hold well in current times and you know what? I don’t care. Ariel wanted to become human way before Eric came into her life. So, it isn’t like Ariel changed because of him. Ursula (the best Drag Queen ever!) presented an opportunity and she took it. Being able to snag a prince in the process was just a bonus.

Does it have faults? Yes. But everyone learned their lessons and grew for the better. Let Ariel be happy with her husband and child.

As for The Little Mermaid Anniversary Edition of 4K UHD and Blu-ray home release, the front has the main artwork while the back has a short description and list of special features.

Some of you might already own the Blu-ray (1080p) version which was released back in 2013. The current 4K release presents this classic animated film in 2160p/HDR UHD. The change isn’t too drastic compared to the Blu-ray, but the UHD does offer more color depth. This film is a hand-drawn masterpiece and I still can’t get over how expressive Ariel is as a character.

The audio presentation is impressive, too. From the crashing waves to the dialogue and the songs, everything comes across very clearly.

little mermaid 4k blu-ray review
The Little Mermaid Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Combo Pack (Image: Farid-ul-Haq)

You will find the extra features on the Blu-ray and the accompanying digital code. You will notice some of the extra features which were present in the Diamond Edition. The Sing-Along mode and the more than 3 hours of extra content are the biggest selling points for this current release.

On the Blu-ray:

  • Sing-Along Mode
  • Alan Menken and the Leading Ladies Song (1080p, 15:45) – Stars Jodi Benson (Ariel), Paige O’Hara (Belle from Beauty and the Beast), Judy Kuhn (Pocahontas’ singing voice), Lillias White (Muse from Hercules), and Donna Murphy (Mother Gothel from Tangled) discuss their animated film collaborations with Alan Menken. They talk about acting styles, animating the characters based on the voice actors, and working with Menken and Howard Ashman. Live performance excerpts from their most famous songs are also included. You will also find this feature digitally.
  • “What I Want From You Is…Your Voice” (1080p, 5:47) – Voice actors behind Sebastian, Scuttle, Ursula, and Ariel discuss their characters, rehearsing lines, and share stories from working on this classic. This is also available digitally.
  • Stories From Walt’s Office: Gadgets and Gizmos (1080p, 6:01) – You get to take a look inside Walt Disney’s office and see his various collectibles (mostly miniatures). He also made some of them himself. This feature is available digitally as well.
  • #Treasuresuntold (1080p, 5:40) – Coop and Cami Ask the World actors Olivia Sanabia and Ruby Rose Turner reveal some little known facts about The Little Mermaid. Also available digitally.
  • DCapella “Part of Your World” Music Video (1080p, 3:01)
  • Classic Bonus Features (all are also available digitally):
    • Deleted Character: Harold the Merman (1080p, 2:05).
    • Under the Scene: The Art of Live Action Reference (1080p, 13:13).
    • Howard’s Lecture (1080p, 16:27).
    • Audio Commentary: Writers/Directors Ron Clements and John Musker and composer Alan Menken.
  • Classic Bonus Previews (1080p, 1:09) – A highlight reel promoting additional extra content.

Exclusive Digital Extras:

  • “Part of Your World” – A Look Back (HD, 5:50) – Alan Menken and Jodi Benson discuss the impact of “Part of Your World,” nearly cutting the song from the film and its legacy. They also discuss the film’s impact on Disney animation.
  • Digital-Only Content which also appeared on the Diamond Blu-ray Disc – You can check out the entire list here.

As a Disney animation fan, owning The Little Mermaid Anniversary Edition is a must! There are a ton of extra features which you will definitely enjoy!

Feel free to share your thoughts with us.

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.

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