There are many animations to films on design but this animation is a bit different like The Little Mermaid. You may not be aware of the major role your studio plays in history. But this young mermaid girl wants to see world beyond the sea. It’s wanted to participate in the world beyond our senses. Here are 10 facts about The Little Mermaid through my post.
It based on a classic fairytale:-
Hans Christian Andersen probably didn’t realize he would have such a lasting cultural impact. But his fairy tale has inspired many movies. Perhaps his most successful story was The Little Mermaid. There is even a statue dedicated to his 1837 story in Copenhagen, Denmark, where Andersen lived when the story was published.
Andersen’s story is much darker:-
Anderson gave us a mermaid who wanted to walk on land and a sea witch, but do you remember that part in The Little Mermaid where she seems to walk with a knife at every step? Or love to return to the country to kill the prince? Or will he die and turn into sea foam? Because none of these things from the original story made it into the Disney movie, for obvious reasons.
It could have been very early Disney movies:-
Walt Disney wanted to make a Little Mermaid film, meaning he was still alive when the idea first came to fruition. Following the success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937, Disney planned an anthology film based on Andersen’s fairy tale. However, it was never successful.
The pitch was initially nixed:-
Ron Clements, who co-directed The Great Mouse Detective with John Musker for Disney, stumbled upon The Little Mermaid in 1985 and began thinking about adapting it. As recalled in a 2016 interview with Yahoo, Clements and Masker took the idea to Disney production head honcho Jeffrey Katzenberg in an all-hands-on-deck pitch meeting. Katzenberg passed because, at the time, Splash had plans for a sequel. Then, the next day, he had a change of heart and Clements’s idea was green lit.
A delay helped change the movie:-
The Little Mermaid was shelved at Disney for a while so the studio could focus on two other films: Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Oliver and Company. Lyricist Howard Ashman, best known at the time for “Little Shop of Horrors”, was asked to contribute a song for the latter. This led to Ashman joining the production of The Little Mermaid in 1987, helping to turn the movie into a musical. Ashman found composer Alan Menken, who had worked with him on “Little Shop of Horrors”.
Ashman changed one character which changed everything:-
Initially, there was a small crab character in the Disney movie. We are of course talking about Clarence, the British butler crab. Ashman suggested they turn Clarence into Sebastian and make him Jamaican. It also helped in the music direction of the film.
Ursula had a few inspirations:-
Ashman was the inspiration for the villainous Ursula and Joan Collins as Alexis Carrington on Dynasty. It was probably more about his vibe and personality. Ultimately, Sea Witch’s biggest inspiration was Divine, the famous drag queen character from John Waters’ work.
- It looks a few tries to land on Ursula’s voice:-
Disney wanted Bea to voice Arthur as Ursula, but she turned it down. After that, they were able to cast Ellen Stretch in the role. However, Stretch and Ashman did not get along, so she was dropped from the role. At this time, Pat Carroll was signed to play Ursula and she was able to stay in the role.
Some notable names auditioned:-
The Little Mermaid predates Robin Williams in Aladdin, which changed the role of voiceover forever. You don’t have to be famous to lend a voice to a Disney movie, although some up-and-coming stars have auditioned for the film. Jim Carrey tried out for the role of Prince Eric, a role that went to Christopher Daniel Burns. Bill Maher and Michael Richards both auditioned for Scuttle, a part played by veteran comedian Buddy Hackett.
The character of Ariel had a few reference points:-
Animator Glen Keane was one of the main artists responsible for the character of Ariel. He said, in a 2018 interview, that Ariel looked exactly like his wife but with fins. Meanwhile, based on the Teenage Mermaid personality Alyssa Milano, Who’s the Boss? The movement of her hair underwater was based on Sally Ride’s hair in space.