- The Little Mermaid (1993 film)
name = The Little Mermaid
Masakazu Higuchi Chinami Namba
Hans Christian Andersen(original author) Jack Olesker
distributor =GoodTimes Entertainment
runtime =49 minutes
country = flagicon|Japan
Richard Hurwitz John Arrias
preceded_by = "Beauty and the Beast" (1993)
Originally released directly to video in 1993, The Little Mermaid is a 49-minute animated film based on the classic story, "
The Little Sea-Maid" by Hans Christian Andersen. Like all other Golden Filmsproductions, the film featured a single theme song, "The World Above", written and composed by Richard Hurwitzand John Arrias.
A young, carefree mermaid named Lena lives a happy life in her home under the sea until the very day when she, after disobeying her father, swims up the surface and meets the handsome Prince Stephan. After rescuing her prince from drowning, Lena runs to the aid of the wicked sea-witch Cassandra, who in exchange for her voice gives Lena legs to walk on land and the warning that if Prince Stephan were to marry someone else, Lena would then turn forever into seafoam.
The Little Mermaid was produced by
Golden Filmsand the "American Film Investment Corporation", it was distributed to DVDin 2002 by "GoodTimes Entertainment", as part of their "Collectible Classics" line.
The story begins when Lena, a pretty little
mermaid princess, is playing at the bottom of the sea with her friend Vink, a dolphin. Vink is troubled, for he has let Lena know about her surprise birthday party and he is sure that Lena's sister Tris will be upset when she learns of it. On the other hand, Lena is very happy about the party and cheerfully welcomes every one of her sea friends that she comes across. After a few minutes playing, Lena and Vink decide to swim to the castle, where Lena enters the great room in which the celebration is to take place and sees all of her sisters working very hard to make the room look beautiful. Tris, one of the older sisters, appears and scolds Lena for having entered the room and thus spoiled her own surprise; however, she soon guesses that Vink had had something to do in the matter. Tris decides to go ahead and give Lena her birthday present, a beautiful wreathof pearls for Lena to place atop her blond hair. Delighted with her new wreath, Lena proudly wears it as she swims up to the place where stands a sunken statueof a handsome human prince. Vink questions why the Princess Lena would want to marry a human prince instead of a mermanand her friend replies by saying that there's a whole other world outside of the water and that she longs to see it and perhaps be part of it one day. Both friends ignore that far away, the wicked sea- witchCassandra is watching them. As the sea-witch learns of Lena's longing, she begins to make plans to offer her her magic help, but for a very high price. After Lena spends a long time swimming around the prince's statue, Vink begins to get restless and reminds Lena about the party, and how she'll be late for it unless they get going. Lena agrees and the two friends soon swim away heading for the palace; however, they're interrupted by a great whirlpoolthat catches hold of them and drags them all the way to the surface. Above the water, Lena is marveled by what she sees, the starsshining high above the sea and the clouds drifting by. Vink, a bit dizzy after their ride on the whirlpool, patiently awaits with Lena as she explores this strange world, but after some time, he needs to remind her again about her birthday party. This time, however, Lena does not wish to go to the party, she'd rather spend some more time up here and asks Vink to go ahead of her and tell everyone that she'll be a bit late. Bink is not thrilled with the idea, but soon accepts. Shortly after Vink leaves for the palace, a great ship filled with men appears and Lena quickly swims towards it, hoping that she'll be able to see what the humans look like. Aboard the ship is the Prince Stephan, who is celebrating his birthday on that day as well, and his advisor, Cosgrove. The sailors aboard the ship are preparing a magnificent celebrationin honor of the prince, with dances, music and fireworks. Lena, who's fallen in love with Prince Stephan from the moment she laid her eyes upon him, enjoys the party as much as the crew and the prince himself, and is marveled by the fireworks, which she believes is the sky's own celebration for the prince's greatness. Some time later, the party is interrupted when the captainsenses the coming of a great storm at sea. The captain calls for his crew to stop the celebration and to prepare for the storm by setting the sails in hopes that they may outrun it. Prince Stephan and Cosgrove are asked to take cover as the sailors quickly obey the captain's instructions. Lena, completely unaware of the dangerthe ship and its crew may be in, enjoys herself as she is carried back and forth by the waves, believing them part of the celebration. As the storm grows worse and worse, the ship finds itself in great trouble as it finally begins to sink. Prince Stephan tells Cosgrove, who won't leave until Stephan's crown is safe, to not worry about the crown and to save his life. Only when she sees men jumping into lifeboats and the ship slowly disappearing beneath the water does Lena understand that something is seriously wrong and she quickly goes in search of Prince Stephan. She finds a lost sailor calling for help and she answers his call by helping him into a small lifeboat, telling him that the strong currents will carry him to an island not far away. The prince and Cosgrove had managed to hold on to a floating part of one of the ship's masts and were both struggling, finding themselves very weak, to hold on. Unfortunately, a large piece of woodpassing by pushes Stephan away from the mast and the prince soon begins to struggle to stay afloat. Cosgrove, half asleep and without any strength, is unable to hear his call. Stephan loses his strength and sinks beneath the water. Lena, who had heard his voice, swims to him and finds him unconscious on his way to the bottom of the sea. The little mermaid brings Stephan back to the floating mast and makes sure that he is once again safe. She then grabs a piece of ropetied to the mast and with a lot of effort carries the two men to an island. Unable to swim any further into the island, Lena says goodbye to her prince and kisses him, promising to come back for him someday. On the shore of the island stands a school for young girls; Anna, a student at the school, sees the men and calls for two of her friends, Helen and Carolyn, to help her pull them to shore. Lena watches the scene from behind a rock, happy that the prince and his friend are alive and safe, but wishing that the prince would know that it was she who had rescued him from his watery grave.
Under the sea at the
palace, Lena's father, the sea- king, is furious that his daughter had been away from home the entire night and is storming out sparks of rage from his trident. Tris, his oldest daughter, tries to calm him by reminding him that Vink had said she'd be back soon. The king is not convinced nor calmed and only stops shouting to listen to a report from an octopus generalwho tells him that no one has seen a sign of the princess for as long they had been searching. Some time later, Lena shows up and apologizes for being late. Outraged, the king tells everyone except for Lena to leave the room and demands an explanation from his daughter. Lena cannot bring herself to confess that she had gone up to the surfacebut soon sees no alternative. As she begins to cry, her father reminds her that he had been very worried for her safety all night and punishes her by sending her to the reef cottage, without Vink, for he believes his daughter acts rationally when Vink is not around. Lena heads for the reef cottage, declining an invitation to play "crab-game" from Tris. After what seemed like a long time at the reef cottage, Lena begins to get restless and bored and is happy to see Vink come to visit her with the news that the king has lifted the punishment, that she's free to go and play. As soon as she hears this, she lets the truth about the prince escape her mouth and is scolded by Vink. She confesses her whole adventure from the night before to her friend and begs him to come with her as she goes to make sure that the prince is safe. Vink promises, unenthusiastically, to go and stay with her this time. Lena wastes no time and the two friends are soon on their way to the surface. When they reach the shore where Lena had last seen the prince, she is heartbroken to see that he is nowhere in sight. Lena explains to Vink, who does not understand her interest in the prince, that she has fallen in love with him and wishes to marry him, even if he is a human and she is a mermaid. Lena goes to visit her sister, Tris, and tells her about the prince and how she longs to find him. Tris sees no reason as to why she should help her sister when she didn't bother to show up for her party that they had all worked so hard for. Lena tells her that she already apologized for that and the grinon her sister's face tells her that Tris knows something she doesn't. Tris tells Lena that the prince's name is Stephan, a fact the little mermaid had not known until now, and gives her a map to the prince's castlethat she had obtained from another mermaid. That same night, Lena and Bink swim to Stephan's castle, where they overhear a conversation he was having with Cosgrove. The prince is upset that his mother and father, the king and queen, are asking him to marry a girl he has never seen before, Princess Anna. Cosgrove explains that the marriage will be to ensure peace between two nations, but Stephan contradicts him by saying that love is far more important. As Cosgrove leaves the prince wishing him a good night, Prince Stephan whispers to himself that it would be a good night if he could find the girl who rescued him from drowning and make her his wife. At hearing this, Lena is sure that the prince is in love with her. Together with Vink, she swims back to the palace to tell Tris the news. Tris tries to explain to Lena that what she thinks is love could not be, for Prince Stephan is a human and she is a mermaid. Determined to get her way, Lena tells Tris that she wishes to be a human, too, something that upsets Tris. Tris asks Lena not to say such things, for the only one who knows the dark magicto turn mermaids into humans is Cassandra, the sea-witch, and their father has forbidden them from even mentioning her name. As soon as she hears this, Lena swims off telling Tris that she is going to see Cassandra, leaving her sister worried. Vink tries to reason with Lena and begs her to forget the idea and to return to the palace, but Lena insists on going. The path to Cassandra's home is blocked by many whirlpools, but that does not stop Lena. She tells Vink to swim as low to the sea flooras he can to avoid being carried away by one of the whirlpools. After overcoming this obstacle, strange, stretching hands sprout out of the sea floor and grab the two friends by the tails, preventing them from going any further. Lena and Vink struggle to set themselves free as the wicked sea-witch Cassandra appears, ordering the strange hand-creatures to free the two visitors for she means business with them. Cassandra welcomes Vink and Lena into her home and she does not need to hear Lena's story to know what had brought her there. Cassandra knows that Princess Lena has fallen in love with Prince Stephan and that she'll only be able to marry him if she were to have legs just like him. The sea-witch offers Lena a simple bargain, she'll give her a pair of legs in exchange for her lovely voice. She explains that her simple beautyand charmwill be enough to conquer the heartof the prince; Lena agrees to the bargain, certain that the prince will marry her. Cassandra then explains that the prince had better marry her, were he to marry anyone else, then on his wedding day, the Princess Lena would be turned into sea foamfor all time. Cassandra takes Lena's voice away from her, leaving her mute, and then hands her a glass containing her brew. After the bargain is complete, Cassandra blasts Lena off on her way into the above world; she then sends Vink away from her home. Above the water, Lena, without any clotheson, walks onto the beach, feeling weak and not accustomed to her new legs. Cecil and Claudia, two swallows, watch her come out of the water and come to her aid. They dress Lena in seaweed, but as the princess tries to thank them, she shakes her head unable to speak and finally faints as she tries to stand up and walk. Cecil and Claudia fly off to Prince Stephan's castle in search for help. A short time later, Lena is under the care of the prince and the royal physician. Prince Stephan tells Cosgrove that the girl will stay in the castle under his protection for as long as needs be. As time passes, the prince becomes more and more attached to Lena, even though she can't speak and he doesn't even know her name. This worries the queen, Stephan's mother, for she wishes her son to marry a girl of royal bloodand informs her husband about her worrying. The king comforts her by telling his wife that if it all goes as he plans, the prince will soon be married to someone of royalty; the princess Anna.
Prince Stephan soon has to take a
voyageaboard a ship to Princess Anna's country as a favor for his father and takes Lena with him. The prince is in love with Lena and promises to marry her after he meets Anna and fulfills his father's wishes. Far away, Princess Anna tells Maxwell, her loverthat she must do as her father wishes and marry Prince Stephan in order to prevent war between the two nations. Maxwell tells Anna that he cannot stand seeing her being used in such a way. Once they arrive, Cosgrove calls Prince Stephan inside to meet Princess Anna and he tells his adviser that Lena will go with him. Inside the palace, Princess Anna is shocked to find that Prince Stephan is the same man she had brought to shore after she had found him and Cosgrove shipwrecked in the sea. Lena is unable to tell Stephan that it was she who had brought them to the beach by Anna's school to begin with. Prince Stephan is grateful to Anna, but tells her father that he loves another girl. When he hears this, the king becomes furious and swears to Stephan that he will send his whole armyto destroy his father's kingdom after such an insult to his daughter and himself. Anna calms his father down and tells him that it is up to Stephan to make the choice. The prince, with one sad look at Lena, tells Anna that her father speaks the truth and that it is only right that he should marry her instead of Lena. A short time afterwards, the prince invites Princess Anna aboard his ship to his father's land. He and Anna are making plans for their wedding as Lena, heartbroken, follows them. Cecil and Claudia, the swallows, watch Lena as she cries aboard the ship, not knowing what to do and awaiting her destiny. Vink the dolphin appears and when he sees Lena crying, he knows that something is wrong. Cecil and Claudia go to him and ask him if he is a friend of the "quiet girl". Vink answers in the affirmative and Cecil informs him of the news that Prince Stephan will marry Princess Anna instead of Lena. Shocked, Vink replies by saying that Stephan must marry Lena or else she'll be turned into sea foam; he then parts and swims away. As night approaches far into the open sea, Cosgrove tries to comfort Lena and explains to her why Prince Stephan must marry Anna, but without her voice, Lena cannot explain why the Prince needs to marry her in order to save her life. When Lena is left alone on deck, her father, the king of the sea, appears. The king is angry; for Vink had informed him of Cassandra's bargain with Lena and how his daughter would turn into sea foam for all time on Prince Stephan's wedding day. The king's anger produces a great storm at sea as lightningand thundersprout from his trident. Prince Stephan, Princess Anna and the rest aboard the ship are unaware of the sea-king's doing, but go ahead and prepare to secure the ship. Anna's father tells his daughter to take cover and as Anna runs to obey him, a great part of the mast is hit by lightning and violently falls down headed straight for the princess, who is saved by Maxwell. The king is grateful to Maxwell for having saved his daughter's life, and Anna begs his father to allow her to marry the man she loves. The king hesitates, for he fears that Stephan's father will attack his country if their children do not marry. Stephan tells the king that his father is not a man of war and would not strike against the father of the girl who saved his son's life. The king understands at last, and declares that he could neither do thar nor deny the hand of his daughter to the man who saved her life. The plans are all changed and once again, Lena and Prince Stephan are reunited and due to be married. Cecil and Claudia go to the sea-king and ask him to stop the storm, for Prince Stephan and Lena will get married and his daughter's life will be saved. Days afterwards, Lena and Stephan are married and arrive in Stephan's kingdom, where they are kindly welcomed by all of the people, the sea-king and his many daughters. Vink carries the newly wed couple on a small boat to their palace where they live happily ever after.
Lena: The heroine of the story, Lena is a carefree, beautiful young
mermaid princessliving with her father, the Sea-King and her sisters in their grand underwater palace. Lena has a loyal companion, a dolphinnamed Vink, and it is him to whom she tells about her longing of finding the perfect prince, who will be the love of her life. Lena falls in such a deep love for Prince Stephan that she willingly sacrifices her beautiful voice.
Cassandra: Cassandra is the evil Sea-witch dreaded by the mermaids. The Sea-King has forbidden any of his daughters to have anything to do with her. When Cassandra finds out that Lena has fallen in love with a human prince, she tricks her into trading her beautiful voice for human legs, warning her that if Prince Stephan were to marry someone else, she would then turn into seafoam for all eternity.
dolphin, he is Lena's faithful royal pet. As much as he cares for Lena, he sometimes doesn't feel up to joining her in all of her wild adventures. When he finds out that Lena's life may be in danger, he quickly comes to her rescue and immediately notifies the Sea-King about Cassandra's doing.
Prince Stephan: The handsome human prince with whom Lena falls in love. He has a faithful servant and companion named Cosgrove. When they are
shipwrecked, they are both safely brought to the beachby Lena, then pulled onto the sands by Princess Anna and her schoolmates, none of which ever know about Lena's existence.
Princess Anna: The daughter of the king who fears an attack from Prince Stephan's father, the king of a land foreign to his own. After Prince Stephan believes that only Anna was involved in rescuing him and Cosgrove, he decides to marry her to show his gratitude. Although Princess Anna loves someone else, her father insists on Anna's marriage with Stephan, to prevent his father from attacking his kingdom.
Other characters: Tris, Lena's loving sister; The Sea-King, Lena's strict, but caring father; Cosgrove Thackery, Prince Stephan's servant; Maxwell, Princess Anna's lover.
*Theme: "The World Above", written and composed by
Richard Hurwitzand John Arrias.
Night on Bald Mountain" - Modest Mussorgsky
Ride of the Valkyries" - Richard Wagner
*"Ave María" -
Johann Sebastian Bachand Charles Gounod
* [http://www.bcdb.com/cartoon/84881-Little_Mermaid.html "The Little Mermaid"] at the
Big Cartoon DataBase
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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