‘The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea’ Special Edition DVD Review
1989’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ told of Ariel (Jodi Benson), a fishy babe who wanted to know more about the world of humans. In the sequel, her daughter Melody (Tara Charendoff) is a legged pre-teen who loves the ocean and wants to spend more time under the sea. For this we had to wait 11 years?
In reality, ‘Little Mermaid II’ is more remake than sequel. Other than the reverse water-land direction, the plots are quite similar. We have another sea witch. This one’s named Morgana, and she’s the sister of the first film ‘s Ursula. Pat Carroll voiced Ursula, and by some incredible coincidence, she also provides the pipes for Morgana. The new character is less self-assured than the old one, but otherwise they’re virtually the same personality.
Quite a lot of the rest of the original cast returns as well. There’s Sebastian (Samuel Wright), Triton (Kenneth Mars), Scuttle (Buddy Hackett), Louis (Rene Auberjonois), and Carlotta (Edie McClurg). Of the first film’s main voices, only Jason Marin (Flounder) and Prince Eric (Christopher Daniel Barnes) are AWOL; Marin certainly couldn’t repeat since one would hope his voice has changed since the Eighties, but I have no idea why Barnes doesn’t reappear.
Movie Content: 4/5
The print is presented in an anamorphic 1.66:1 aspect ratio which is an upgrade from the non-anamorphic 2000 release. Colors looked beautifully vibrant and rich. Black levels were terrifically deep and dense, and shadow detail seemed appropriately opaque without any excessive heaviness. All in all, it’s a fantastic image. Sharpness seemed crisp and well-detailed from start to finish, without the slightest hints of softness.
Video Quality: 4/5
The audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. The soundfield was more front heavy than using the rears. The surrounds also contributed to the presentation with a nice usage of music and some effects. The soundtrack is really taken advantage here in the film. Dialogue is clear and crisp through the center channel.
Audio Quality: 4/5
- Deleted Song: “Gonna Get My Wish.”
- 1938 Silly Symphony Short “Merbabies”
- “Little Mermaid II” DVD Storybook
- “The Little Mermaid II” Underwater Mer-Venture Challenge Game – Games & Activities
- “Little Mermaid II” Trivia Game – Games & Activities
- “What Am I?” Sea Creature Game – Games & Activities
- Sneak Peaks include upcoming 2009’s “The Princess and the Frog.”
Special Features: 4/5
‘Little Mermaid II’ is more remake than sequel, but it is a nice twist to the story. This special edition offers more in the extras department as opposed to the previous release. Fans of ‘The Little Mermaid’ should not hesitate to pick up this Special Edition of ‘The Little Mermaid II’.
Overall Rating: 4/5 (Purchase)