The Little Mermaid is an animated Disney movie that was released in 1989. It is cute, sweet, funny, and a little dark. You’re sure to learn something by reading these Little Mermaid facts.
Ariel is the main character in the movie. She’s a 16 year old mermaid who lives in the ocean. She is fascinated by humans and life on the land.
She loves going to the surface, which gets her in trouble with her dad. One time she sees Prince Eric on a ship and is determined to meet him.
She signs a contract and makes a deal with Ursula, which allows her to go on land and have legs, but she loses her beautiful voice.
Other characters in the movie are Prince Eric, Ursula the sea witch, Ariel’s dad King Triton, Sebastian the crab, Flounder the fish, and more.
It’s time to jump into these Little Mermaid facts!
#1 Little Mermaid Fact – Jodi Benson Recorded Songs In The Dark
Jodi Benson does the voice of Ariel. It has been said that she recorded the songs she sang in the dark. This is because she wanted to feel like she was underwater, just like her character Ariel.
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2. The Movie Won An Oscar
This was the first Disney movie to be nominated since 1977 and the first movie to win since 1972. It won for best original score and best original song. The song that won that one was Under The Sea.
3. The Movie Was Turned Down After The First Pitch
Ron Clements came across the Little Mermaid and pitched the idea to Jeffrey Katzenburg. Jeffrey said no and turned Ron down because Disney was working on Splash and he thought it was too many mermaid productions.
Ron later changed his mind since Disney didn’t have a fairytale like it.
4. There Are Hidden Mickeys In The Film
Hidden Mickeys instantly make a movie or Disney ride more fun and interesting. The animation team put some in The Little Mermaid. There is one in the background of the scene where the chef wants to cook Sebastian. Another one is on the contract Ursula writes up for Ariel. You’ll also see some hidden Mickeys in the bubbles throughout the film.
5. Some Famous Disney Characters Make A Brief Appearance
If you look very closely you can see Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy in the scene at the beginning of the movie where King Triton’s daughters are doing a performance. This is one of my favorite Little Mermaid fun facts!
6. This Was The First Disney Film Composer Alan Menken Worked On
The Little Mermaid was the first time Alan Menken worked on a Disney movie. He worked with the lyricist Howard Ashman to make the iconic music that we all love. This includes the songs Under The Sea and Kiss The Girl.
7. Jeffrey Katzenburg Wanted To Edit Out One Of The Movie’s Most Famous Songs
He wanted to take Part Of Your World out of the film. Wouldn’t that be so sad? It’s such an amazing song in this Disney film!
8. The Movie Was Inspired By A Hans Christian Andersen Story
In his story, the little mermaid didn’t have a name. Also, his version of it was much darker talking about death and knives. That doesn’t sound like a very good movie for kids though, so it’s no wonder Walt Disney company left those things out.
9. Some Big Celebrities Auditioned For The Animated Film
Prince Eric is voiced by Christopher Daniel Barnes, but Jim Carey auditioned for the role. Michael Richards and Bill Maher both tried to get the part of Scuttle, but it was given to Buddy Hackett.
Sir Patrick Stewart was going to voice King Triton (Ariel’s father), but he ended up turning down the role due to filming Star Trek: The Next Generation. The part then went to Kenneth Mars.
10. Ursula Was Inspired By A Drag Queen
The drag queen who inspired Ursula’s look was Divine, who was also an actress. Sadly, Divine passed away 1 year before the Disney animated film came out.
11. Disney Wanted Someone Else To Voice Ursula
They wanted Bea Arthur from The Golden Girls, but Bea’s agent was not on board with this idea. The role went to Pat Carrol instead.
12. Ursula Is Not An Octopus
You may have assumed that Ursula is an octopus since she closely resembles one, but she is actually a cecaelia, a mythical hybrid of a human and octopus. She has 6 tentacles and 2 human arms, not the typical 8 tentacles you see on an octopus.
13. Ariel Is The First Disney Princess With Biological Siblings
Ariel has 6 older sisters named Attina, Alana, Aquata, Arista, and Andrina. Each sister has a different colored mermaid tail. They are all biological siblings and are not step sisters like what Cinderella has.
14. A Live Action Version Is Coming
Disney will be coming out with a live action version of The Little Mermaid in 2023. I know I can’t wait to see it!
15. Disney Had Another Company Do The Bubbles
Pacific Rim Productions hand painted every bubble in the movie. Every bubble is unique, which was a lot of work to do. Disney did this to save some money on the film.
16. Ariel’s Features Were Inspired By Alyssa Milano
Alyssa told Wendy Williams in 2013 Glen Kene used Alyssa Milano as inspiration for Ariel. He looked at pictures of her when she was younger to do this. She didn’t even know it at the time.
17. Ariel Wasn’t Going To Have Red Hair
She was originally going to have blonde hair, but Disney had just done a blonde mermaid in Splash, so they decided to mix it up and give her red hair. As a fellow redhead, I love her red hair!
18. Sebastian Wasn’t Initially In The Movie
There was going to be a crab in the movie, but it was a minor role. He was a British butler named Clarence, but Ashman thought they should change the role to Sebastian, a Jamaican crab.
19. This Was The Last Movie That Wasn’t Made With Digital Animation
This movie used Disney’s traditional method of hand-painting cells and it was the last one to do so.
20. The Movie Has 2 Sequels
You know a movie is good when it gets not 1, but 2 sequels! Those movies are The Little Mermaid II: Return To The Sea (2000) and The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning (2008).
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