With the exception of Snow White, no film changed the fortunes of the Walt Disney Company as dramatically as The Little Mermaid. It arrived at the end of over two decades in the wilderness following the death of Walt Disney: a period marked by financial doldrums, mediocre movies and the very real possibility that they would get out of the cinematic game altogether and become a theme park company. The arrival of CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg helped change all that, greenlighting an update of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale that reestablished the company’s status as king of the animation cage. The film’s arrival on Blu-ray gives us another chance to evaluate its strengths, its weaknesses, and the legacy that continues to reverberate almost 25 years later. Hit the jump for the full review.
Here’s a look at this week’s new Blu-ray releases:
To celebrate Disney’s release of The Little Mermaid Diamond Edition on Blu-ray combo pack and HD digital on October 1st, you can pick yourself up a new Mondo poster and variant from Tom Whalen. Be sure to follow @MondoNews on Twitter since that’s where they’ll announce the poster sale, which will be available at a random time on Thursday, September 26th.
Check out the The Little Mermaid Mondo poster and variant after the jump.
Disney has announced a slew of release date changes. Briefly:
Hit the jump for more details, including the confirmation of George Clooney in 1952 and Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean 5. [Update: Brad Bird has now stated via Twitter that 3D has not been discussed for 1952, so Disney's press release may have been mistaken. This doesn't mean the film absolutely won't be in 3D, just that Bird hasn't OK'd it yet.]
Spurred by the smashing success of The Lion King‘s 3D re-release, Disney has announced that they’ll be giving the big-screen 3D treatment to Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo, and Monsters, Inc. The 3D post-conversion doesn’t bother me so much because as we saw with The Lion King, it wasn’t so much about throwing animation in your face as much as it was about seeing a 2D animated classic given an HD upgrade. I don’t think there will be as much benefit from post-converting Finding Nemo and Monsters, Inc. but it will still be nice to see them in theaters again. More than anything, I’m just happy I’ll finally get to see the 3D Beauty and the Beast I was promised back at Comic-Con 2009.
Hit the jump for the full press release and to find out when each film will be returning to theaters.
Would you like to see another fairy tale re-imagining? Your answer is moot because you’re getting more re-imaginings whether you want them or not. Heat Vision reports that that Sony has picked up a re-imagining of Hans Christen Andersen’s The Little Mermaid, Carolyn Turgeon’s novel Mermaid: A Twist on the Classic Tale (although “A Twist on a Classic Tale” could be applied to every single re-imagining that’s out there). Filmmaker Shana Feste (Country Strong) will adapt the story, which “centers on a princess who, in order to save her ravaged kingdom, sets out on a dangerous journey to marry the prince of her rival kingdom, not knowing that a beautiful mermaid has fallen for the same man and has sacrificed everything to be with him.” Aaaaawkwaaaard…
While the film is being billed as a “dark re-imagining” of Andersen’s tale, the original Little Mermaid was already incredibly dark. In the original tale, the mermaid sacrifices everything to be with the prince, he marries someone else anyway, and she kills herself. If she had a singing Caribbean crab as her friend, maybe that wouldn’t have happened. Hit the jump for the synopsis of Turgeon’s novel.
As part of her on-going series for Disney Parks, celebrated photographer Annie Leibovitz has added more Hollywood actors and actresses into re-enactments from famous Disney movies. The new series features Olivia Wilde as the Evil Queen and Alec Baldwin as the Magic Mirror from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Penelope Cruz and Jeff Bridges as the eponymous Beauty and the Beast, and Queen Latifah as Ursual from The Little Mermaid. These photos are much better than Leibovitz’ work for Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark, but to be fair, nothing’s going to stop that musical from looking silly.
Hit the jump to check out the photos as well as some behind-the-scenes video of Wilde, Baldwin, and Latifah talking about the shoot.
In the late 80′s and into the early 90′s, The Walt Disney Company made four amazing animated movies: The Little Mermaid (1989), Beauty and the Beast (1991), Aladdin (1992), and The Lion King (1994). While kids today think a new animated movie every few months is the norm, back when The Little Mermaid was released, animation was a dying art form and it’s because of these four brilliant movies that we have films like How to Train Your Dragon and Despicable Me today.
Thankfully, with Blu-ray gaining a bigger foothold in the home, the studio is finally releasing the first of these four films on HD, with Beauty and the Beast getting released October 5. And like Disney always does with their big ticket releases, they’ve loaded up the 3-Disc Diamond Edition with tons of extras and bonus features. While you’ll have to wait another month or so to watch them all, a few have just been released. They’re all great, but the second one reminds me how much I love Beauty and the Beast and miss Howard Ashman’s contributions to Disney’s animated movies. You are missed Mr. Ashman.
Hit the jump to watch the three clips:
Director Joe Wright (The Soloist, Atonement) just wants to be a “part of that world.” Proof of this can be found in Variety‘s report that the British filmmaker is currently attached to direct a live-action adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairytale The Little Mermaid. The film, I’m going to assume you have a soul and are thus already familiar with its premise, is currently being developed by British production company Working Title Films who have championed each of Wright’s last three films Pride & Prejudice, Atonement, and The Soloist.
Hit the jump for more info on the project as well as a reason why this adaptation of the tried and true story is already unique.
If you’re a fan of Walt Disney animated movies – specifically the ones made from 1984 to 1994 – you’re going to love the new documentary Waking Sleeping Beauty. Directed by Don Hahn and produced by Peter Schneider, both key players at Walt Disney Studios Feature Animation department during the mid1980s, the film offers an amazing behind the scenes look at what was really going on at Disney during that era.
What many forget is back in 1984, animated movies were a dying art form. They were expensive. They were creatively bankrupt. And they weren’t making nearly enough money to justify the costs. It wasn’t until a girl named Ariel came along (The Little Mermaid) that Disney remembered what great animated movies can do for the studio. After Little Mermaid, the studio produced three of the biggest animated hits of all time: Aladdin, The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast.
More after the jump: