Explore Secrets from the Original Little Mermaid

Can you believe it’s been nearly 35 years since Disney enchanted audiences with its underwater tale? The Little Mermaid, released on Nov. 13, 1989, marked a significant milestone for the studio. This animated masterpiece, based on the 1837 fairy tale, captured hearts worldwide and set the stage for Disney’s subsequent animated hits. As we dive into the intriguing history of The Little Mermaid, we’ll explore lesser-known facts, from casting anecdotes to the creation of unforgettable songs.

The Initial Pitch Rejection and Ariel’s Transformation

Co-director Ron Clements initially faced rejection when pitching the adaptation of The Little Mermaid. Disney had plans for a mermaid-themed sequel to their successful rom-com Splash, starring Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah, leading them to perceive similarities between the two projects.

In the early stages, Ariel, the film’s protagonist, was intended to be a blonde mermaid. However, an executive directive changed the tide, stating, “All mermaids, all blonde.” Ultimately, the character’s supervising animator, Mark Penn, recognized the artistic potential of a red-haired Ariel. The decision harmonized with the vibrant underwater palette, adding depth to the character’s appearance.

Jodi Benson’s Miraculous Selection as Ariel

Jodi Benson, who brought Ariel to life through her voice, had a fateful encounter with the role. Having collaborated with lyricist Howard Ashman on the short-lived Broadway musical Smile, Benson and other female cast members were invited to audition for The Little Mermaid. Without labels on the audition tapes, the executives solely relied on the voices to make their choice. Remarkably, a full year after the auditions, Benson received the life-changing call that her tape had been selected.

The Almost Voice of Belle

Following the resounding success of The Little Mermaid, Disney contemplated casting Jodi Benson as Belle in 1991’s Beauty and the Beast. However, they ultimately sought a slightly more mature voice for the character. Paige O’Hara emerged victorious among 500 actresses, securing the role of Belle with her unique vocal quality.

Meticulous Artistry: Hand-Drawn Bubbles and a Year-Long Storm

The Little Mermaid’s attention to detail extended even to the tiniest elements. Each bubble showcased in the film was meticulously drawn by hand, ensuring that no two were identical. The storm scene, a pivotal moment lasting just two minutes on screen, demanded the collective effort of ten animators, who dedicated an entire year to its creation.

The Voice Behind Ursula: Joan Collins to Pat Carroll

Initially, the producers envisioned Dynasty star Joan Collins as Ursula, basing early sketches of the character on her persona. However, Pat Carroll ultimately claimed the role and brought her unique charisma to the iconic villain. As the character took shape, Ursula drew inspiration from the legendary drag queen, Divine, infusing her with a captivating presence.

Ursula’s Hidden Connection: Triton’s Banished Sister

In the original script, Ursula, the sea witch, had a deeper connection to King Triton and Ariel. She was intended to be Triton’s banished sister and Ariel’s aunt, adding a layer of family dynamics to the story. Although this intriguing revelation was ultimately cut from the film, it offers a glimpse into the complex relationships that could have unfolded.

Almost-Casting Choices: Young Jim Carrey, Roseanne Barr, and Patrick Stewart

During the casting process, some notable actors came close to landing roles in The Little Mermaid. A young Jim Carrey auditioned for the part of Prince Eric, displaying early glimpses of his talent. Additionally, Roseanne Barr tried her hand at voicing Carlotta, the chambermaid. Meanwhile, Patrick Stewart was originally slated to lend his voice to King Triton, but scheduling conflicts prevented him from joining the cast.

As we eagerly anticipate the release of the live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid, it’s worthwhile to reflect on the rich history and captivating secrets that lie beneath the surface of the original animated film. From rejected pitches to casting choices and meticulous craftsmanship, every aspect contributes to the enduring magic that has charmed generations. The Little Mermaid continues to remind us of the power of storytelling and the timeless appeal of Disney’s animated classics.



Dishaa T

At Famouslifestylz.com passionate reporters work round the clock to provide detailed updates from the world of Celebrities Gossip.
Expect nuanced reports, awards, latest fashion, rumours and  the latest social media trends.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *