The Little Mermaid Revisited

(Revisiting the Renaissance is a bi-weekly series in which Josh Spiegel looks back at the history and making of the 13 films of the Disney Renaissance, released between 1986 and 1999. In today’s column, Spiegel discusses the 1989 fairy tale The Little Mermaid.)

The success of Oliver & Company in 1988, coupled with the continued infusion of new blood among executives at the Walt Disney Company, raised the stakes for the animation studio. Peter Schneider, the president of Walt Disney Animation Studios, announced that they would begin releasing one film per year from that point forward. It was an ambitious approach for a studio that had just begun to claw itself out of a deep hole.

At the time, releasing one film per year was all well and good, but that required the studio to think of viable enough ideas, and quickly. For their next project, Disney’s animators would have to go back into the past of the studio’s undeveloped ideas — under the sea.

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Biggest Marvel Movie Moments

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, Avengers: Endgame directors Anthony & Joe Russo break down some of the biggest moments from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Plus, learn the difference between Disney’s adaptation of The Little Mermaid and the story that inspired it, and watch as Emma Thompson is welcomed a little too warmly by Kate McKinnon at Saturday Night Live. Read More »

New Blu-ray Releases a star is born

This week’s Blu-ray round-up features not one, but two highly underrated films from 2018 – a heist flick and a Western. You’ll also find a big Hollywood musical, two very different Disney films, and yet another reboot of Robin Hood. These are the new Blu-ray releases and their special features you should check out this week and beyond.

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The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, and to commemorate the beloved Disney classic, the film is being released on 4K Ultra Blu-ray and Digital HD next month. Aside from getting the movie in the highest possible quality, fans will also be treated to some new special features, including a celebratory discussion and musical performance with composer Alan Menken and some of Disney’s most beloved leading ladies.

Get the full rundown of The Little Mermaid 4K Blu-ray and digital release below. Read More »

john musker

After nearly four decades with Disney, director John Musker is retiring. Musker co-wrote and co-directed seven feature films throughout his 41-year career at the House of Mouse, including The Little MermaidAladdinMoana and more.

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The Little Mermaid VR - Morning Watch

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, a video essay dives into how the rise of comic book movies is changing how Hollywood is trying to tell stories. Plus, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences adds the iPhone used to shoot the 2015 indie Tangerine into their museum and legendary Disney animator Glen Keane used virtual reality to create a 3D drawing of Ariel from The Little Mermaid. Read More »

The Little Mermaid remake

Rob Marshall, the director of movies like Chicago, Memoirs of a Geisha, and Nine, is looking to be part of Disney’s world once again. According to a new report, the filmmaker is on the top of the studio’s wishlist to direct the planned live-action The Little Mermaid remake, which will feature music from Hamilton and Moana’s Lin-Manuel Miranda and Disney legend Alan Menken.
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Lin Manuel Miranda to Score The Little Mermaid Remake With Alan Menken

Lin-Manuel Miranda continues his streak as Disney’s darling, first jumping on the House of Mouse’s ship to co-write the songs to 2016’s animated Polynesian-set adventure, Moana. He then was announced as the co-lead of Mary Poppins Returns, the new sequel with Emily Blunt to the musical classic that originally starred Julie Andrews.

Now, Miranda is signing on to score the live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid with one of his idols, and the original composer of the 1989 animated classic, Alan Menken.

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Sofia Coppola directing The Bling Ring

Nobody wants to see a Sofia Coppola movie influenced by a committee, including Sofia Coppola. The filmmaker behind Lost in Translation and this week’s The Beguiled was going to make her biggest movie yet with The Little Mermaid, but she exited the project once she realized her vision wasn’t going to go untouched by Universal. “We didn’t agree creatively about how to do it, so I didn’t want to continue,” she said back in 2015.

While promoting her new (and very good) film, Coppola shared a few new details about the experience and what she had in mind for the project. Below, learn more about Sofia Coppola’s The Little Mermaid vision.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Beauty and the Beast Theme Song Remake

This month, Beauty and the Beast joins Alice in WonderlandSleeping BeautyCinderella, and The Jungle Book on the list of Disney animated features that have undergone live-action makeovers. And over the next few years, that list is only going to grow. It seems like every week brings a major update on yet another Disney fairy tale, and the studio’s already got several dates set aside for these projects through 2019. Let’s take a look at all the Disney live-action remakes in development right now. Read More »