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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Fantasy > Fable > The Little Mermaid Diamond Edition (Disney Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray 2D + DVD + Digital Copy + Music)

The Little Mermaid - Diamond Edition (1989/Disney Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray 2D + DVD + Digital Copy + Music)

3D Picture: A- 2D Picture: B+/B Sound: B+/B+/B Extras: B Film: B+

Now also available in a 4K Ultra High Definition edition reviewed elsewhere on this site, I had previously reviewed the Disney Studio 1989 The Little Mermaid when it was released on Platinum Edition DVD; please refer to the link below for my feelings on the film:


I will say that since that review and viewing it again on Blu-ray 2-D/3-D that I like the film even more. Not only does it hold a bit of nostalgia for this reviewer, but it is an all-around well done, classic Disney film.

The Little Mermaid uses a classic tale with Disney's ability to spin archetypes into family friendly fun. The film is not only a visual masterpiece, but a fantastic tale to watch again and again. Each generation discovers this film and remains fascinated; exemplifying that this is a timeless film.

The technical features on this 3 Disc Diamond Edition are quite nice and a clear upgrade from the previous 2-Disc Platinum DVD release of several years ago. This release (as the title mentions) contains not only the Blu-ray and DVD releases, but the 3-D feature as well; of course a television/Blu-ray player with 3-D capabilities will be needed to view that presentation. The 3-D Blu-ray looks wonderful here on home video and is almost on par with The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast 3-D Blu-ray releases. The Little Mermaid on 3-D is the usual MVC with 1.85 X 1 aspect ratio (the same as the standard Blu-ray in this set).

What Disney does right with this 3-D conversion is that colors are kept bright and maintains immersive/framing/deep/inky black levels throughout. What I was somewhat disappointed with was the occasional motion blur when viewing in 3-D and the lack of depth as compared to the aforementioned Disney 3-D releases. Certain under water sequences felt engaging, but overall I felt the conversion lacked complexity and was not nearly immersive enough. Granted I love The Little Mermaid, but I don't know how worthwhile this 3-D conversion was in the end.

The 2-D Blu-ray actually may be better than the 3-D release as the aspects which are distracting in 3-D are stripped away and the film gets back to its original artistic vision. In 2-D the colors remain superbly bright with inky black levels. No motion blur is seen. The film's combined use of computer graphics and classic hand drawn animation displays wonderfully here. At times the backdrops feel a bit basic, whereas other moments host supreme extensively detailed imagery; making this classic film a bit unbalanced (from an artistic perspective). This is a minor gripe and something that I noticed now that the film is so clean and nearly 25 years old. The film was ground breaking for its time, but can feel bare occasionally.

The DVD here is an upgrade from the previous release, but again not on par with the Blu-rays.

The audio presentations on the 3-D and 2-D Blu-rays are the same and displays somewhat on par with the picture quality. The sound is a 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio upgrade that utilizes the entire speaker range; filling the room with music, voices, and ambient noise. The problem is this immersive experience mostly occurs during more epic sequences and musical numbers, while the rest of the film feels rather basic and lost in the mix. The sound isn't perfectly balanced as certain aspects of the musical numbers seem poorly prioritized; but nice never the less. The DVD here is an upgrade from the previous release, but again not on par with the Blu-rays.

The extras are as follows:

  • 10 Music Track Download (via iTunes)

  • Digital Copy

  • Music Video ''Part of Your World'' - Carly Rae Jepsen

    • Not nearly as good as the original

  • Crab-E-OKE Sing Along

  • Never Before Seen Deleted Character - Harold the Merman

    • Good thing he was cut

  • Part of Her World: Jodi Benson's Voyage to the New Fantasyland

  • @Disney Animation - GO Behind the Scenes with today's Top Disney Animators

  • Howard's Lecture - Music in Movies

  • Under the Scene

Ported over from the DVD release:

  • Deleted Scenes

  • Disneypedia

  • Backstage Disney

  • Audio Commentary

  • Under the Sea Adventure

Overall, this is a worthwhile upgrade that takes The Little Mermaid visually to the next level. I personally like the 2-D Blu-ray better than the 3-D release, but each has its merits.

Make this Blu-ray part of your world today.

- Michael P. Dougherty II


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