Starring: Jodi Benson, Samuel E. Wright, Tara Strong, Rob Paulsen, Jim Cummings, Sally Field
Directors: Jim Kammerud, Peggy Holmes
Number of discs: 3
Rated: G (General Audience)
Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Release Date: November 19, 2013
Run Time: 152 minutes
The Little Mermaid: Return to the Sea: 3 out of 5 stars
The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars
“The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea” and “The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning”, the direct-to-video sequel and prequel to the timeless classic “The Little Mermaid are make their high definition on Blu-ray. It is the latest 2-Movie Collection from Disney, which has been unloading its catalog of films on Blu-ray over the last year. I know the world has been rioting to get these two films releases but it is nice to add them to my collection. They are not the best out of the Disney sequels/prequels but who doesn’t love “The Little Mermaid”? I grew up watching the original film and now my daughter (who is 17 months) watches it at least once a day, so I have a feeling we are going to be getting a lot of use out of these discs. I would probably only recommend this for hardcore Disney fans.
Official Premise: “The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea” follows the plight of Melody (Tara Strong), the daughter of Ariel (Jodi Benson) and Prince Eric (Rob Paulsen). To protect her from the evil sea witch, Morgana (Pat Carroll), Melody is not allowed in the ocean… until she turns twelve, when she runs away and experiences an adventure under the sea. Then, in “The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning”, we go back in time, before the events of “The Little Mermaid”. After a traumatic event has a profound effect on King Triton, all music is banned from the underwater kingdom of Atlantica. All that changes, though, when his youngest daughter Ariel attempts to challenge the new law.
Disney is releases this 2-Movie Collection in a 3-disc set. There is a single BD-50 disc with both films in high definition and there then are two DVDs for each film in standard definition. My question is…”Where are the digital copies”? Disney has been doing great with this recently but I am kinda disappointed here. The 1080p transfers on both films look good and support the colorful animations but they still have that direct-to-video look and feel. Same goes for the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 tracks, since they work well with the music and songs but nothing like the epic feeling you get from audio track on “The Little Mermaid” Blu-ray release.
Even though the films are direct-to-video, they still have some decent special features but nothing amazing. For “The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea”, we get a “Storybook: Read To You By Jodi Benson – The Voice Of Ariel”. There is a deleted song included called. “Gonna Get My Wish”. Lastly there is a classic animated short “Merbabies”. For “The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning”, we get “Splashdance: A Dancer’s Adventures Under The Sea”, 2 Deleted Scenes, 4 Sing-Along Songs and “Mermaid Discovery Vanity Game” (which is only available on the DVD disc).