Everyone knows how much I love and respect Disney Home Video for the love and care they put into their Blu-ray releases – live action. I’m not counting the suckfest that was Iron-Man 3. For them the “Diamond Edition” label actually means something so they take extra time and care when releasing their classics on Blu-ray. The Little Mermaid Diamond Edition is finally out and it is glorious,.
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Yes, I know everyone has seen The Little Mermaid. Everyone, except me apparently. This is my first experience with this wondrous movie. It is a classic for a reason, it is a gorgeous piece of work that really shines on Blu-ray, especially the 3D version. It is so immersive and intense that you cannot help but get swept up in the world Directors Ron Clements, John Musker and their animation team created. This is another example of why hand drawn animation will always be better than computer generated animation. There’s just a certain feeling of life that permeates every frame of this movie that can’t be duplicated by the sterile feel that computer animation produces (yes, I’m including Pixar in this). I miss seeing the nuances of a well thought out brushstroke.
A lot of Disney’s Blu-rays maintain the original 4:3 aspect ration which results in black bars on the sides. I love that, this time, Disney used a 1.78:1 transfer. It filled up my entire 55 inch television screen. This features a 1080p/MVC-encoded 3D presentation and it is flawless. If you want to sell 3D TV to families, stores need to showcase Disney’s recent 3D post conversion efforts. Animation just lends itself to 3D far more than live action. The colors used in animation are already bright, so 3D doesn’t detract and in the case of computer animation like Toy Story those were done with 3D in modeling to begin with. Alan Menken’s (with Lyrics by Howard Ashmore) soundtrack/score sounds beautiful with this new 7.1 DTS Master Audio mix. Ariel (Jodi Benson) and all the classics like Under The Sea never sounded better.
- Previews – Let me just say the preview for the Mary Poppins Blu-ray looks amazing in some parts and weirdly over-saturated in others, really curious and concerned about this one.
- Part of Your World Music Video by Carly Rae Jepson (3 Mins, HD),
- @DisneyAnimation (10 Min, HD) – a cool look at what it is like to work inside Disney Animation Studios
- Deleted Character – Harold The Merman (2 Min, HD)
- Under the Scene: The Art of Live-Action Reference (13 Min, HD) – A look at how the animators used live actors to create references for the animation.
- Howard’s Lecture (16 Mins, HD/SD) – Features clips from A classic lunchtime lecture with Howard Ashman one of the lyrist and Producers for The Little Mermaid.
- Part of Her World: Jodi Benson’s Voyage to New Fantasyland (5 Min, HD) – Jodi Benson, the Voice of Arial takes her family and us on a journey to Disney’s Art of Animation resort and the brand new Disney Fantasyland at Walt Disney World (Of course it was closed when I went there, but that’s another story).
- The Little Mermaid Second Screen Experience
- Digital Copy – Sometimes I actually foolishly believe Disney reads my reviews and implements my ideas. I imagine them asking themselves “What would Michelle Alexandria want in this release?” during their brainstorming sessions. I can dream can’t I? Disney has gotten rid of the annoying DisneyFile disc and now let’s you get your digital copy online. You can even choose your store of choice – iTunes, Vudu/Ultraviolet or Amazon. I went with Vudu because I hate being locked into iTunes and only being able to watch on iDevices.
- Music Download – 10 Songs from the movie “re-imagined” by modern day Disney stars like Ashley Tisdale and Carly Rae Jepson.
- Classic DVD Bonus Features – Classic Bonus features includes more than an hour of additional material including a documentary on the making of Little Mermaid, DisneyPedia: Life Under The Sea, Kiss The Girl Music Video by Ashley Tisdale, and more.
How can I complain about this release? Great movie, Great transfer and nice mix of extras. As a showcase for 3D post conversion The Little Mermaid 3D Diamond Edition is reference quality work.
- Movie – A
- Video – A
- 3D Video – A
- Audio – A
- Extras – A
Final Grade – A+