Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Disney’s The Little Mermaid

10685454_4628651531840_9162534700185981355_nTwenty-five years ago Disney’s The Little Mermaid premiered, and the Disney universe change in an instant.  We learned worlds like “dinglehopper” and “whosit and whatsits” and learned galore just wasn’t enough. On this day in Disney history my generation got it’s first Disney princess,  yes we had the previous princesses like Snow White and Cinderella, but as a child of the 80s Ariel was OURS. I can remember many a summer watching girls at the local pool doing an “Ariel on the rock push up to sing” maneuver when they thought no one was looking (don’t laugh you did it too!). I also remember through my high school years as Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin came out, that my go Disney movie was The Little Mermaid. I even remember singing the songs from the movie at the top of my lungs walking home from the bus with my best friend after rough days at school.

Ariel was the first new Disney Princess since Sleeping Beauty had been released in 1959, and the last Disney feature film to use the  traditional hand-painted cel method of animation. The Little Mermaid earned over $85 million at the North American box office, and sold over 10 million VHS tapes when it was released on VHS six months later, 7 million of those tapes sold in the first month.Since it’s release The Little Mermaid has been released on VHS, DVD and Bluray a combine total of 6 times (I won’t lie I own all 6 versions.). It has had 2 pre/sequels released directly to DVD. A Broadway musical, a musical show at Hollywood Studios, a theme park ride open in two parks and a whole section of a Disney Resort have been created in honor of Ariel and her adventures.

Last week we ask TMSM Nation members “If they remembered the first time they saw TLM, if so how old were they, where was it, AND did it have an impact on them?” and we wanted to share some of their responses in honor of Ariel’s big day today!
tus810923.Autumn “The Little Mermaid is the first Disney movie I knew word for word. I missed it in the theater but saw it on VHS shortly after it was released. Ariel was that spunky, feisty girl I knew I was inside, but was afraid to show. She also had that father who KNEW everything she was doing, which I could relate to with my father being a police officer. TLM has always brought a sense of calming to me. The opening music to this day gives me goosebumps. I spent my 30th birthday in NYC seeing TLM musical, and my 35th at Ariel’s Grotto in Disneyland, and then rode her ride something like 7 times in a row that day trying to find a sense of calm that the Navy had recalled my husband back to VA on my birthday. Part of Your World to me is a song that I can apply to any challenge because in some way in my heart it means conquering whatever is holding you back. And we won’t even get into my collection. Also, it is not uncommon for me to throw in random TLM quotes into daily conversations.”

The_Little_Mermaid_-_Ariels_Undersea_Adventure_entranceValeen Senecal SantosI was 5 and I’m still all about Ariel! I was just married a few weeks ago in Disney and had the “Ariel” gown from Alfred Angelo! I wish the musical would tour again, I’d love to see it again!”

The-Little-Mermaid-377x600Arielle BoardmanIt’s my fav Princess movie!! I’m going to be 25 one month and 9 days after the anniversary! I don’t even remember the first time I saw the movie. But I thought it was really cool we had similar names (my mom later told me my name was supposed to be Ariel but she saw a preview for the movie right before I was born, she was so upset because she wanted to name a girl Ariel since she was little so she added the “le” at the end) and I loved the music, I have this huge huge ridiculous love of Howard Ashman, he has molded the childhoods of so so so many kids. I tear up every time I talk about him. I watch this movie at least once a week. I can’t really explain how much this movie impacted my life but it did, I will always have a place for Ariel and her story in my heart.”

The_Little_Mermaid_Musical_PosterBrianna RoseOh my gosh this movie is what really started my Disney obsession! Mom took me to see it in theaters, I was 4. I sat there wide eyed and bawled during half of it. We wound up staying to watch it again, I was so in love with the characters and music. I watched it so many times as a kid the VHS stopped working at the very end of the movie but I’d never let my mom get rid of it. To this day, other than riding the Haunted Mansion with mom last March, seeing this movie with her is one of my favorite moments I’ve EVER had with her. I’m so thankful she took me to see this and taught me all about Walt and his vision. I’ve always been fascinated with him, his work and the company in general.”

5480334689_8534b7897d_zBrandi-Ann Syd McAuliffeI was also 11 years old. I knew my mother had been ill and was in and out of the hospital but they (my parents) hadn’t told me exactly what was going on yet. Finally my father took me out to dinner and during he explained to me that mommy was very sick, she had something called cancer and she wasn’t going to get better. (Omg im tearing up as i remember this) afterwards he took me to see TLM, i LOVED it and Part of Your World kinda became my personal theme song as i suddenly longed to be ‘normal’ in the sense that my life was turned completely upside down and i wanted to be part of the world that had ‘normal’ health families. She died less then a year later on Sept 29/90. The summer right before TLM came out was our last family trip to WDW and the summer following was the first time daddy and i went just us.
Ok so that’s my TLM story….i really related to the whole fish outta water scenario and Ariel and Disney got me through a very rough time in my life….”

indexJodie TaylorBorn in Laguna, lived in San Clemente a block from the beach, so I was a major water baby, still am…surfer girl mermaid. Hated moving to Orange/Anahiem when I was 9, but got to go to Disneyland a lot and free fireworks in my backyard all summer. ”

Little-Mermaid001-730x365Jaymi Cannon-PalmerMy favorite for sure! I remember watching TLM in the theatre when I was 4. It’s one of my first memories and I fell in love. There are home videos of me signing part of your world at the top of my lungs. I used to not cut my hair so it could be long like Ariel. I absolutely love this film!”


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