The Little Mermaid
is an animated Walt Disney Television Animation television series
based on the 1989 Disney film of the same name
. It features the adventures of Ariel
as a mermaid prior to the events of the film. This series is the first Disney Television series to have spun-off from a major film. Some of the voice actors of the film reprise their roles in the series, among them Jodi Benson
as Ariel, Samuel E. Wright
as Sebastian and Kenneth Mars
as King Triton.
The Little Mermaid premiered in the fall of 1992 with the animated prime time special called "A Whale of a Tale," then moved to Saturday mornings. This series originally appeared on CBS, with an original run from 1992 to 1994. Currently, reruns are seen daily on Disney Channel in its early morning cartoon block. It is also seen on weekends during Toon Disney's animation block.
Some of the episodes contain musical segments, featuring original songs written for the series. The opening theme to the show is a combination of the songs "Part of Your World", "Under the Sea", and "Kiss the Girl". The overture for the stage musical of The Little Mermaid is similar to this.
There are currently no plans to release The Little Mermaid TV series on DVD from Walt Disney Home Entertainment.
The Little Mermaid
television series is a prequel to the movie of the same name. The story is set before the events in the 1989 film, and follows Ariel's adventures as a mermaid still living under the sea with her father, Sebastian and Flounder. Various episodes highlight her relationship with her friends, father and sisters, and usually involves Ariel foiling the attempts of various enemies that intend ill harm to her or to her kingdom.
With the release of the prequel film The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning, some events in this television series have been contradicted such as Ariel's first encounter with Flounder. This indicates that the TV series and the third movie are set in different continuities.
From the 1989 film
- Princess Ariel, voiced by Jodi Benson, is the seventh daughter of the sea king who loves to sing and go on adventures.
- Sebastian, voiced by Samuel E. Wright, is a crab who acts as the king's adviser, court musician, and a baby-sitter-like figure for Ariel.
- Flounder, voiced by Bradley Pierce and Edan Gross, is Ariel's best friend, a fish who follows along on her adventures.
- King Triton, voiced by Kenneth Mars is Ariel's father and ruler of Atlantica.
- Scuttle, voiced by Maurice LaMarche is a seagull who is friends with Ariel.
- Aquata, Andrina, Arista (voiced by Mary Kay Bergman), Attina, Adella and Alana (voiced by Kimmy Robertson) are Ariel's six older sisters.
- Ursula, voiced by Pat Carroll, is an overweight cecaelia and powerful sea witch who occasionally antagonizes Ariel. Ursula thinks she's slim and slinder and she has a little sister.
- Flotsam and Jetsam are Ursula's pet eels who do her evil bidding for her.
- Urchin, voiced by Danny Cooksey, is a merboy and Ariel's friend. He shares her love for adventure and is unofficially her adopted brother.
- The Lobster Mobster is a lobster gangster following the style of the 1920s gangster stereotype.
- Da Shrimp, voiced by David Lander, is the Lobster Mobster's sidekick.
- The Evil Manta, voiced by Tim Curry, is an evil man/manta ray hybrid who repeatedly tries to take over Atlantica.
- Pearl, voiced by Cree Summer, is a wealthy and spoiled mermaid and is constantly trying to get Ariel in trouble.
- Spot, a killer whale cub whom Ariel adopted and secretly raised in the palace.
- Gabriella is a deaf-mute mermaid who dreams of becoming a singer. Gabriella's sign language is translated by her octopus friend Ollie. This character is based on a real person, who was a fan of the show and died during its first season.
- Moray Eel is a moray eel salesman and con-artist who occasionally sells items to Ariel that alternately help her or get her into trouble.
- Crabscouts are children crabs, consisting of two boys and one girl, who are under the mentorship of Sebastian in a scout like troop.
A notable episode is "Metal Fish", in which Ariel saves a character named Hans Christian Andersen who is based on the real life author of the original The Little Mermaid, and the encounter inspired the character to "write" the story of The Little Mermaid. A voice-over at the end of the episode talks about the real Hans Christian Andersen, while the image on the screen shows Ariel sitting on a rock in the style of the Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen harbor. If this is to be chronologically accurate, this places the time frame in which this series takes place at around 1836 when the story was first written or shortly before 1837 when the story was actually published.
This situation is repeated in The Legend of Tarzan episode "Tarzan and the Mysterious Visitor" where Tarzan meets his author Edgar Rice Burroughs who travels to Africa in search of inspiration for a new novel.