The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning [2008]

Ariel's mother and King Triton's wife, Queen Athena.  (Nice eyes.  Contacts?)

Ariel's mother and King Triton's wife, Queen Athena. (Nice eyes. Contacts?)

We enjoyed the original Little Mermaid in 1989.  So much so that we refused to watch the direct to video sequel Return to the Sea in 2000.  That was a time when Disney was cashing on on all their franchises and even classics by cranking out such releases.  (Come on, Sleeping Beauty 2!  Do not do that to our favorite classic.)  However it seemed that The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning was a genuine attempt to relaunch Ariel for a new generation, so we gave it a whirl.


Jodi Benson continued to voice Ariel and as the song goes, her voice is like a bell.  But she really does not sing too much as music has been banned in mer-city after the first few 5 year-old Ariel scenes.


Yup.  So that is the biggest hump to get over after 10 years have gone by; mer-city has been pretty much turned into a police state.  King Trition overcome with sadness has swordfish enforcers on the hunt for any music.  Those who love it must resort to secret underground clubs.  If it all sounds a little like prohibition, we think that was the feel they were going for.


The antagonist never filled out in my opinion.  She, like Ursula used electric eels as her personal enforcers.  We think some sort of reference to the sea witch would have helped fill out the franchise lore a bit, but there was none.  For the most part, until Triton’s heart warms at the end, the colors are subdued.

It was nice to see Aerial's mother in the early scenes.  Obviously good looks run in the family.

It was nice to see Ariel's mother in the early scenes. Obviously good looks run in the family. Getting hit by ships is apparently a major hazard in this universe. Just ask Ursula.

As mentioned there is not a ton of music in the film, and what there is does not approach the quality of the original’s songs.  We know that is a high bar, but we think they could have got closer than they did.  And while we are nitpicking we will say that the film could have tranmitted a greater feeling of “travel”.  We feel as though too much of the movie takes place on roughly 3 sets.

Queen Athena shown here passed on her striking looks and voice it seems to her daughter Arial.

Queen Athena (shown here) passed down to Ariel similar fin coloring, hair and of course her melodious voice. Kids these days. They think it all started with them. 😉

On the brighter side it was good to fill out the personalities of Ariel’s sisters.  Not a lot mind you, but enough to give each a distinguishing characteristic.  We especially liked the depiction of Atina, the eldest.


Genetic diversity is an amazing thing. Is it even possible for any additional hair colors to be represented by this family?

The antagonist’s drool sidekick did not annoy like that character stereotype sometimes can.  The pacing, while not peppy enough was consistent.  The content was suitable for even the youngest kids as any violence or injury is only implied.


Less horns, more singing.

Overall we are not disappointed with Ariel’s Beginning.  They treated the characters and for the most part the franchise with respect.  We would not go into this movie with expectations high, however it will definitely do the job of endearing a new generation of kids to Ariel.  It would have done more so if there was some “Part of Your World” like solo song.  We mean come on, you hired Jodi Benson.  Take advantage of those soothing pipes.

Arial's eldest sister Atina.  Even under the sea, elder sisters act responsibly.

Arial's eldest sister Atina. Even under the sea, elder sisters act responsibly. (And are a little bossy. Cute, but bossy.)

See another  pic of Queen Athena in Top Ten Pretty Animated Shots Vol 2.


9 thoughts on “The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning [2008]

  1. I think it’s interesting how the eldest sister is the only one with a real tiara on. Is that supposed to show that she is crown princess of the sea or something? lol

    Also I find it a little creepy that Ariel is her mom’s clone. I mean there’s a reason Triton and Athena have so many kids…

    • Yeah, Ariel is the closest looking to her mother. Hence part of Trition’s problem, the constant reminder. Ariel does have slightly different hair tone and different eye color. They both seem to have the voice.

      The rest of the sisters are a real mix of goofy to ditsy to bossy. However we know that large families are like that. Siblings amazingly different.

    • Ariel did capture a cute and versatile look. It likely remains one of the most popular characters for marketing still. Certainly outstripping some of the more recent and much more forgettable characters.

      Look out Sebastian!
      Can you find Sebastian?

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