Follow me to my Secret Grotto
This story is just like any other love story: girl finds boy, boy finds girl; they fall in love and live happily ever after. Well, not quite so, we are missing the twist. The girl is a mermaid, the boy is a human prince; her father, the King of Atlantica, forbids her from having any contact with the human world. Meanwhile, a Sea Witch who'll do anything to take over the world (the undersea world that is), takes advantage of the situation by luring the heartsick teenager to fall in her trap.  Ok, I know that sounds quite confusing but that's how the story goes. Also, did I mention that all these events happen in 5 days?
The Little Mermaid premiered in theaters on November 17, 1989 becoming Disney's 28th full-length animated classic. This movie is an adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale The Little Mermaid but with a little twist, Disney style. Unintentionally, Sleeping Beauty (1958) became the last successful classic movie for Disney. Other movies such as The Black Cauldron and The Great Mouse Detective tried to relive the golden era of Disney movies but were not very succesful. Then along came a mermaid.

The Little Mermaid is the story of Ariel, the seventh daughter of King Triton, ruler of Atlantica. Ariel wasn't like any of her other 6 sisters (Arista, Andrina, Attina, Adella, Aquatta and Alana); she wanted to know more about the human world and their thingamabobs. For some reason not mentioned on the movie (other that it is forbidden) King Triton forbids Ariel from going to the surface, but Ariel isn't the kind of girl (mergirl, sorry) that would obey that easily, besides, Scuttle can't go to Atlantica. How else was she going to visit him? This seagull is one of Ariel best friends and he helps her understand how humans use their devices. During one of her visits to the surface, Arielnotices a ship celebrating Prince Eric's birthday.

That's when girl meets boy. Too bad for the party that nobody forecasted that a hurricane was coming. In the middle of the celebration, a bolt of lighting burns the whole ship. As Eric was trying to save Max, he nearly drowns, not to worry, Ariel was there to save him and bring him to safety. Then boy meets girl.
Ariel falls in love with him, Flounder (her fish friend) and Sebastian (her royal nanny) aren't quite thrilled with that. Well Flounder was happy but Sebastian wasn't and he even tries to convince her with a song that "Life is the bubbles under the sea" She didn't listen at all but Oscar did (look at the "did you know" section).

While dancing happily in her grotto King Triton arrives and blasts everything! Of course, Ariel wasn't happy any more and she goes to Ursula's lair (oh, that's the Sea-Witch-that-will-do-anything-to-take-over-the-world-part that I mention above) Ursula bargains Ariel's voice for a pair of legs for 3 days, and to remain a human, Ariel needs Eric to kiss her with a real love kiss (piece of cake of course). Ariel then swims with Flounder and Sebastian to the surface and then to the beach. There, boy meets girl, again! Of course he was a little confused; was she the first girl he met? How come this one doesn't talk? but Max knows she is the same girl! That is day one...
Jodi Benson as Princess Ariel and Vanessa
Samuel E. Wright as Sebastian 
Christopher Daniel Barnes as Prince Eric 
Pat Carroll as Ursula
Kenneth Mars as King Triton
Jason Marin as Flounder

Buddy Hackett as Scuttle
Ben Wright as Grimsby
Paddi Edwards as Flotsam and Jetsam
Rene Auberjonois as Chef Louis
Edie McClurg as Carlotta
Will Ryan as The Seahorse   
Ariel is back in mermaid form and is taken away by Ursula. King Triton arrives moments later and finds his daughter with Ursula; he changes Ariel's signature for his in Ursula's scroll and Ursula is now the ruler of the world (undersea world). Ariel and surprisingly Eric start fighting with Ursula but the trident power is way too powerful.

Ursula becomes this big huge Ursula and starts moving things around, even the ships that were under the sea. Eric, as the good sailor that he is, starts navigating one of those ships and, as soon as Ursula is about to give Ariel a new tan, Boom! Ursula is gone.  A new day starts with Ariel's dream of being part of Eric's world shattered. King Triton sees how Ariel is feeling and gives her the best gift she can get, a new pair of legs. As Eric sees to the ocean, Ariel emerges from the water in this beautiful blue dress with her arms open. They get married and live happily ever after.
In the second day Ariel tours Prince Eric's Kingdom and they have a great time, they almost kiss in the evening! Sebastian and his serenade were great, the mood in the boat was great, everything was according to plan until Ursula's sidekicks Jetsam and Flotsam capsizes the little boat (I told you that Sea Witch will do anything to rule the world, water world).
Bye bye day two...

On the third day, Scuttle awakes Ariel to congratulate her on her wedding, she is as confused as anyone seeing the movie, but anyhow, she ran to the stairs to meet Eric and what she finds is a brunette bride holding Eric's arm. Ariel is devastated (everyone is crying at this moment of the movie, who wouldn't?) crying and looking as the ship sails away without her. Scuttle arrives and drops the news that Ursula was Eric's new girl and he was going to marry her. Ariel and Flounder swim to the ship, crash the party, break Ursula's shell with Ariel's voice, Ariel talks to Eric, Eric recognizes Ariel, Ursula looks angry, Eric and Ariel are about to kiss and then... Day 3 is gone!
 
The Little Mermaid will always be one of the best Disney classics, and thanks to these people and many others we can enjoy this movie.
And if that you wanted to know what happened to Ariel and Eric after they got married just go to:
Did you know?
* "The Little Mermaid" grossed  $84.4 million in its original release in the U.S. and $100.5 million internationally for a grand total of $184.9million!

* "The Little Mermaid" won a Golden Globe and two Oscars, one for Best Original Song "Under the Sea" and another for Best Original Score. The TLM soundtrack is multiplatinum.

* 7,000 feet of hand drawn film were used for this movie.

* There are several bloopers and inside jokes throughout the movie, including a very likely Belle throwing a likely Gaston to a very likely fountain seen in "Beauty and the Beast"

* Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy can be seen at the beginning of the movie during King Triton's entrance (Kermit the Frog is also there).

* "The Little Mermaid" was re-released in theaters on November 14th, 1997 for a special 17-day Thanksgiving holiday.
Directed by :Ron Clements & John Musker 
Produced by: Howard Ashman, John Musker & Maureen Donley 
Written by: Hans Christian Andersen (fairy tale), Roger Allers (story), Howard Ashman (musical),Ron Clements & John Musker 
Music by: Alan Menken
Follow Sebastian to see the lyrics to the movie's songs
Follow Flounder to see some screen shots of this movie!