The Little Mermaid (1989 film)

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The Little Mermaid is a 1989 film by Walt Disney Pictures, based on the fairy tale of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen.

Written and directed by Ron Clements and John Musker.
Somewhere under the sea and beyond your imagination is an adventure in fantasy. Tagline


[Scuttle shows Ariel and Flounder a tobacco pipe]
Scuttle: This, I haven't seen this in years. This is wonderful! A banded, bulbous snarfblatt.
Ariel and Flounder: Oh!
Scuttle: Now, the snarfblatt dates back to prehistorical times when humans used to sit around and stare at each other all day. Got very boring. So they invented this snarfblatt to make fine music. Allow me. [blows into it, only to have seaweed and water come out]
Ariel: Music!
Scuttle: [coughs] It's stuck!
Ariel: Oh, the concert! Oh, my gosh! My father's gonna kill me!
Flounder: The concert was today?!
Scuttle: [inspects the "snarfblatt" further] Maybe you can make a little planter out of it or somethin'.
Ariel: [takes it back] I'm sorry! I've gotta go! Thank you, Scuttle!
[she and Flounder swim back home]
Scuttle: Anytime, sweetie! Anytime.

Ursula: Yes. Hurry home, princess. We wouldn't want to miss old daddy's celebration, huh? Would we? [scoffs] Celebration, indeed. Oh, BAH! In my day, we had fantastical feasts, when I lived in the palace. [eats shrimp] And now, look at me. Wasted away to practically nothing. Banished and exiled and practically starving! While he and his flimsy fish folk celebrate. Well, I'll give 'em something to celebrate soon enough. [to her eels] FLOTSAM! JETSAM! I want you to keep an extra close watch on this pretty little daughter of his. She may be the key to Triton's undoing.

Triton: You went up to the surface again, didn't you? DIDN'T you?!
Ariel: Nothing happened.
Triton: [exasperatedly] Ariel, how many times must we go through this? You could've been seen by one of those barbarians. By... By one of those... HUMANS!
Ariel: Daddy, they're not barbarians!
Triton: They are DANGEROUS! Do you think I want to see my youngest daughter snared by some fish-eater's hook?!
Ariel: I'm 16 years old! I'm not a child anymore!
Triton: Don't you take that tone of voice with me, young lady! As long as you live under my ocean, you'll obey MY rules!
Ariel: But if you would just listen!
Triton: NOT ANOTHER WORD! And I am never, NEVER to hear of you going to the surface again! IS THAT CLEAR?!
[Ariel disappointedly swims away]
Sebastian: Teenagers. Dey think dey know everything. You give dem an inch, dey swim all over you.
Triton: Do you think I was too hard on her?
Sebastian: Definitely not! Why, if Ariel was my daughter, I'd show her who was boss! None o' dis flitting to the surface and other such nonsense. No, sir! I'd keep her under tight control.
Triton: [smiles] You're absolutely right, Sebastian.
Sebastian: Of course.
Triton: Ariel needs constant supervision.
Sebastian: Constant.
Triton: Someone to watch over her. To keep her out of trouble.
Sebastian: All da time.
Triton: And YOU are just the crab to do it!

Triton: [confronts Ariel in her grotto] I consider myself a reasonable merman. I set certain rules and I expect those rules to be obeyed.
Ariel: But Dad, I...!
Triton: Is it true you rescued a human from drowning?!
Ariel: Daddy, I had to.
Triton: Contact between the human world and the mer world is strictly forbidden! Ariel, you know that! Everyone knows that!
Ariel: He would've died!
Triton: One less human to worry about.
Ariel: [angrily] You don't even know him!
Triton: Know him? I don't have to know him! They're all the same: Spineless, savage, harpooning fish-eaters, incapable of any feeling.
Ariel: DADDY, I LOVE HIM! [gasps, as she has accidentally slipped the truth]
Triton: [shocked] No. Have you lost your senses completely?! He's a HUMAN! You're a MERMAID!
Ariel: I don't care!
Triton: So help me, Ariel, I am going to get through to you. And if this is the only way, so be it!
[With his trident at full power, Triton pointed it towards one of Ariel's treasures and blasted it. The blast was intense and it spooked everyone, including Sebastian]
Ariel: DADDY! NO, NO, PLEASE! [But Triton, in his rage, refused to stop. He continued pointing his trident at one artifact and then another, mindlessly destroying everything in his path] DADDY, STOP! DADDY, STOP IT! [She swam to her angry father and tried stopping him, but it was no use. The only treasure left in the grotto was the statue of Eric. Seeing that he is now focused on that, Ariel turned to her angry father] DADDY, NO! [But Triton ignored the pleas of his frightened daughter and blasted the statue. Pieces of the statue flew around the grotto as the explosion subsided. The trident calmed down as she looked in horror at where the statue was. Her grotto, full of many treasures just minutes ago, was now a barren cave with much wreckage. Overcome with sadness, She collapsed onto the ground and started sobbing. Triton sternly looked at her daughter. But Triton, knowing that his time in the grotto was over, didn't say a word and turned to leave. But as he did, he couldn't help but feel that he went too far in scolding Ariel. He glimpsed at Ariel with remorse before leaving. Sebastian, Flounder were the only ones left in the grotto and they were all terrified at what just happened. Feeling terrible for Ariel, Sebastian approached the crying girl and tried to comfort her.]
Sebastian: Ariel, I...
Ariel: [softly] Just go away.
[Sebastian, remorseful for leading King Triton into the grotto, which resulted in the destruction of Ariel's treasures, leaves somberly with Flounder. Ariel was now on her own, sobbing over losing her treasures, all that she collected for years, and the Eric statue, the newest and most fascinating treasure of them all. She was now left with nothing.]

Ariel: If I become human, I'll never be with my father or sisters again.
Ursula: That's right. But you'll have your man. Life's full of tough choices, innit?

Scuttle: Ariel, I was flying. I was-- Of course I was flying. And I saw the watch-- the WITCH was watchin' the mirror, and she was singin' with a stolen set of pipes! DO YOU HEAR WHAT I'M TELLIN' YOU?! THE PRINCE IS MARRYING THE SEAWITCH IN DISGUISE!
Sebastian: Are you sure about this?
Scuttle: Have I ever been wrong? I MEAN, WHEN IT'S IMPORTANT?!

Triton: She really does love him, doesn't she, Sebastian?
Sebastian: Well, it's like I always say, your majesty, children got to be free to lead their own life.
Triton: You always say that?
[Sebastian smiles sheepishly]
Triton: Then I guess there's just one problem left.
Sebastian: And what's that, your majesty?
Triton: How much I'm going to miss her.
[Sebastian stares at him in surprise as Triton uses his magic to turn Ariel into a human]


Daughters of Triton[edit]

Ah, we are the daughters of Triton
Great father who loves us and named us well
Aquata, Andrina, Arista, Attina, Adella, Alana
And then there is the youngest in her musical debut
Our seventh little sister, we're presenting her to you
To sing a song Sebastian wrote
Her voice is like a bell
She's our sister, Ari--

Part of Your World[edit]

Look at this stuff, isn't it neat?
Wouldn't you think my collection's complete?
Wouldn't you think I'm the girl,
The girl who has everything?
Look at this trove, treasures untold,
How many wonders can one cavern hold?
Lookin' around here you'd think,
'Sure, she's got everything.'

Part of Your World Reprise[edit]

Ariel: What would I give to live where you are?
What would I pay, to stay here beside you?
What would I do to see you smiling at me?
Where would we walk?
Where would we run?
If we could stay all day in the sun
Just you and me
And I could be
Part of your world
I don't know when
I don't know how
But I know something's starting right now
Watch and you'll see
Someday I'll be
Part of your world

Under the Sea[edit]

Sebastian: Ariel, listen to me. The human world, it's a mess. Life under the sea is better than anything they got up there!
[sings] The seaweed is always greener
In somebody else's lake,
You dream about going up there,
But that is a big mistake.
Just look at the world around you,
Right here on the ocean floor.
Such wonderful things around you.
What more is you lookin' for?
Under the Sea, under the sea.
Darlin', it's better, down where it's wetter.
Take it from me.
Up on the shore, they work all day.
Out in the sun they slave away,
While we devoting full time to floating
Under the sea.

Poor Unfortunate Souls[edit]

Ursula: The only way to get what you want is to become a human yourself.
Ariel: Can you do that?
Ursula: My dear sweet child, that's what I do. It's what I live for, to help unfortunate merfolk, like yourself. Poor souls with no one else to turn to.
[sings] I admit that in the past I've been a nasty.
They weren't kidding when they called me, well, a witch.
But you'll find that nowadays,
I've mended all my ways,
Repented, seen the light and made a switch.
True? Yes!
And I fortunately know a little magic,
It's a talent that I always have possessed.
And here lately, please don't laugh,
I use it on behalf
Of the miserable, lonely, and depressed--
Poor unfortunate souls,
In pain, in need.
This one longing to be thinner,
That one wants to get the girl,
And do I help them? Yes, indeed!

Les Poissons[edit]

Les poissons, les poissons
How I love les poissons
Love to chop up and to serve little fish
First I cut off their heads
Then I pull out their bones
Ah, mais oui, ca c'est
Toujours delish.

Kiss the Girl[edit]

Sebastian: Percussion, strings, winds, words...
There you see her
Sitting there across the way
She don't got a lot to say
But there's something about her
And you don't know why
But you're dying to try
You wanna kiss the girl

Vanessa's Song[edit]

What a lovely little bride I'll make, my dear, I'll look divine.
Things are working out according to my ultimate design.
Soon I'll have that little mermaid and the ocean will be mine!!

Cast (voices)[edit]


  • Somewhere under the sea and beyond your imagination is an adventure in fantasy.
  • Love has no boundaries.

About The Little Mermaid (1989 film)[edit]

  • When we first proposed it, we knew that it was going to be really, really challenging. I mean, for a lot of reasons. But one of the big reasons is two-thirds of the movie takes place underwater. All that requires a lot of animation in this animated films. We have character animation. The artist who animate the characters. They’re kind of like actors. We always felt they are actors with a pencil. Glen Keane and Mark Henn who did Ariel. That’s what they do. Then, we have effects animators. Effects animators do the non-character stuff that moves which is like water waves or bubbles. Or fire or smoke or light effects, if there’s anything that moves that isn’t the character. This probably had more character animation than any Disney movie project since “Fantasia.” This really had a lot of effects, even with the character stuff — like whenever Ariel is underwater, her hair has to move all the time. Hair moving underwater is tricky. We had a lot of meetings about hair. One of the extras in the video is some of the live action footage that we shot for reference to see the hair floating.
  • You see at the heart of it, “The Little Mermaid” is the father-daughter story. It’s an overprotective father. There’s a daughter who is kind of adventurous and rebellious and wanting to see a new world. How do they resolve that? That story is still in place today.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]