Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tirades of Truth: The Little Mermaid 2 - Return to the Sea

I've said it before, when you have a little girl you tend to watch things you normally wouldn't. My wife and I actually saw The Little Mermaid together when it was re-released in 1997. It wasn't a bad film. I had never seen it before and was pleasantly surprised at how good it was.

So when our little daughter wanted to watch a Disney movie, she was drawn to Ariel...better than Pocahontas. Now Disney has been known to "beat a dead horse" so to speak when it comes to making money. So I guess it shouldn't surprise anyone when they released The Little Mermaid 2.

I thought the opening shots were nice as they somewhat mirrored the original's opening. Then I saw it. The animation was horrible. Literally, within one minute I can't stop thinking of how bad the animation is. I mean it's no secret that the original Little Mermaid literally saved Disney's animation department. Not only that it ushered in a new era in Disney classics like Aladdin, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, and tons more. All of those can be traced back to the success of The Little Mermaid. So you would think that the sequel would have gotten better animation.

The next thing I picked up on right away was the voice actors. Prince Eric was no longer voiced by the same actor. If I can tell right away... not good. It's funny though because the original Price Eric was voiced by Christopher Barnes (Greg Brady in the Brady Bunch movies, voice of Spider Man the Animated Series) didn't do this sequel, but then did the 2 Cinderella dvd sequels as the Prince.

The songs were less than memorable too. The original had tons of classics; Part of Your World, Kiss the Girl, and Under the Sea. This one, nothing. The opening song is a sign of things to come. Ariel's singing voice is soo high now. By the way, my wife informed me that she is singing high to harmonize with Melody.

So that is already two strikes against the movie and I haven't gotten to the story. The plot is pretty much a re-hash of the original, with the roles reversed. Ariel's daughter, Melody, now wants to be apart of the sea. So she makes a deal with Morgana, Ursula's sister (how convenient) to become a mermaid in exchange for King Triton's trident. It's pretty predictable down to the ending.

The extra characters are a lot worse too. With the original you had some pretty memorable "side kicks" for Ariel. Now, you are treated to some very annoying side kicks. Tip and Dash are horrible and you find yourself actually rooting against them at times. And can they be anymore cliche? A fat slow gentle walrus and a wise cracking rude penguin? So original.

Melody is a brat as well. Yes, I understand that Ariel disobeyed her father in the original, but Melody is tons worse. In the final act, Ariel shows up to stop Melody from giving Morgana the trident. Melody is surprised her mom is a mermaid. So to get back at her she doesn't listen to Ariel and gives the trident to Morgana...just horrible.

Finally, as a self-proclaimed comic nerd, continuity is important to me. In the original movie Ariel had a grotto that held all of her "treasures" and King Triton destroys it. Yet, go back to the video For a Moment and at the 1:20 mark, there is Ariel back in the grotto. And to make it worse it looks like it did before Triton blew it up. Did they go back in and fix it?

There is another scene in the same video where Ariel goes back to the anchor that the shark gets caught in. Remember she had to swim through it to pull Flounder out, now (1:29 mark) it's only big enough for her to put her hand through it. Could it be a different anchor? Yes, but we all know it's not supposed to be.

One final note about the animation, just watch the end of that video again and look at Ariel's animation at the end of the song. Look at her neck!!! It looks longer than freakin' foot! I guess that one video sums up how bad this movie is.

I know this video isn't meant for adults, but we have to watch it too. Throw us something. This is a bad bad bad movie. Bad animation, bad characters, bad music.

So what about The Little Mermaid's third movie Ariel's Beginnings? I will get that one later.

No comments: