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Fan of The Little Mermaid?

Posted by on Sep. 23, 2013 at 8:58 AM
  • 8 Replies

Check out these 17 Facts of Disney's 'The Little Mermaid.'

1. There are plenty of Disney canon cameos (and one Muppet).

Hey look, it's Goofy, Donald Duck, and Mickey! (Photo: disney-hiddensecrets/Tumblr)

You may already know about the smattering of hidden Mickey Mouses throughout the film, but less obvious are the many familiar Magic Kingdom faves scattered in some of "The Little Mermaid's" crowd scenes. While the most obvious ones are Mickey, Goofy, and Donald Duck — during King Triton's entrance — there are also a couple of "Snow White" dwarfs and even Kermit the Frog!

Also, during the wedding between Eric and "Vanessa," when the camera pans around the crowd, you can find the King and Duke from "Cinderella."

2. Ursula was based on Madame Medusa from "The Rescuers" and cinema drag-queen icon Divine.

From L-R: Madame Medusa, Ursula, Divine (Photo: Everett/Getty)

One can only imagine that she's John Waters's favorite Disney villain.

3. The voice of Ursula was supposed to be Bea Arthur, but she dropped out of the film due to "Golden Girls" conflicts.

Fun fact: Pat Carroll, the woman who voiced Ursula, played evil sister Prunella in the TV-movie adaptation of "Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella."

4. The voice of King Triton was supposed to be Patrick Stewart, but he dropped out of the film due to "Star Trek: The Next Generation" conflicts. 

The eventual voice actor, Kenneth Mars, also voiced Littlefoot's grandfather in "The Land Before Time."

5. Sebastian was originally supposed to have an English accent.

Good thing they dropped that idea: The bubbly, Caribbean-inspired "Under the Sea" won an Oscar for Best Song.

6. While Ariel's body and personality were based on a young Alyssa Milano, there was another model for the mermaid.

Sherri Stoner pulled double duty as an animator and a body model. (Photo: rosagcastro/Tumblr)

Ariel's actual body model for Ariel was "Tiny Toons Adventures" script writer Sherri Stoner, whose movements also were used for Belle in "Beauty and the Beast."

7. Ariel's mom's name is Queen Athena.

Neither Triton nor Athena are referenced properly as the original Greek gods after whom they're named. In Greek mythology, Triton is the son of Poseidon, the god of the sea. In the film, Triton is the ruler of the sea (and not the son of the ruler). According to Greek myth, Athena is the goddess of wisdom, civilization, mathematics, and strategy, among other things, and was never married — nor did she live underwater.

8. In deleted scenes from the film, it's strongly suggested that Ursula is King Triton's sister.

In the "Little Mermaid" Broadway adaptation, this fact is included in the storyline.

9. Jodi Benson, who did both Ariel's speaking and singing voices, recorded "Part of Your World" with the studio lights turned down low to get a better underwater feel.

Yet, the song was almost cut from the final celluloid version because test audiences thought it slowed down the film.

10. The scenes where Ariel is on the rock in the ocean hearkens back to the famous "Little Mermaid" statue in Copenhagen's harbor.

The Disney version is considerably less sad. (Photo: Buena Vista Pictures/Wikimedia)

Hans Christian Andersen, the man behind many popular fairy tales, including "The Little Mermaid," was Danish.

11. The voice actor for Prince Eric was only 16 years old.

That almost makes it less creepy that Eric ended up marrying the very, very young Ariel. Almost.

12. Ariel was made a redhead so that she wouldn't be confused with Daryl Hannah's mermaid in "Splash."

Ariel's hair makes her decidedly different than Daryl Hanna's mermaid, who went by Madison (Photo: Everett Col …

While Disney had the rights to the Little Mermaid story since the 1930s, the film still almost didn't get made because the studio was working on a "Splash" sequel.

13. If you think the film's famous storm sequence is fantastic, guess how long it took to make it.

(From Walt Disney Pictures)

It took a team of 10 animators an entire year to finish the 10-minute sequence.

14. Ariel's underwater hair animation was based on a video of astronaut Sally Ride's hair in space.

Sally K. Ride, 1983 (Photo: Getty)

That's why Ariel's head is in the clouds.

15. Ariel is only occasionally drawn with fingernails.

As a mermaid, she doesn't have any. When she gets on land, she only sporadically has them. Look closely next time you watch.

16. ABC's "Once Upon a Time," which draws from the Disney canon for its characters, is adding Ariel next season.

Ariel and Joanna García (Disney/NBC)

She'll be played by actress Joanna García.

17. Flounder is definitely not a flounder.

Yeaaah, those aren't the same fish. (Photo: Olivier Baghdadi via Disney Wikia/Wikimedia)

He's more like a juvenile Atlantic blue tang. (Hey, guess who else is a blue tang...)

by on Sep. 23, 2013 at 8:58 AM
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Replies (1-8):
by Melissa on Sep. 23, 2013 at 9:16 AM

Wow I didn't know any of those lol

by on Sep. 23, 2013 at 9:24 AM

Quoting trfgirl56701:

Wow I didn't know any of those lol

It just makes a whole lot of sense that Ursala was actually based on a drag queen. Haha! I obviously didn't think that as a kid, but I have definitely made that connection as an adult. 

The allusions are really neat! I have always loved the way they throw in little references to other Disney movies, but the homage to Hans Christian Anderson was a nice touch! 

by on Sep. 23, 2013 at 9:25 AM
My favorite kids movie!! I didn't know these either.
by Leah on Sep. 23, 2013 at 11:33 AM

 wow, that's so cool!

by Gold Member on Sep. 23, 2013 at 1:15 PM
Interesting! I'll be looking for Ariel on Once Upon a Time. ;)
by on Sep. 23, 2013 at 1:21 PM

Quoting rissarin:

Interesting! I'll be looking for Ariel on Once Upon a Time. ;)

I thought that was pretty cool! 

by Platinum Member on Sep. 23, 2013 at 7:09 PM
by Tracy on Sep. 24, 2013 at 8:00 PM
Interesting. It's my favorite Disney movie
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