15 Exciting Facts About The Little Mermaid You Never Knew!
1. The colors were intentionally muted in the first scene so that the directors could save the bright colors for the sea
2. The exact blue-green used for Ariel’s tail was specially mixed by the Disney paint lab just for the mermaid and was named ‘Ariel’
3. The opening scene shows Mickey Mouse, Kermit the Frog, Goofy and Donald Duck among the crowd as King Triton enters
4. Ursula hardly appears in the original Hans Christian Anderson story, the ‘Sea Witch’ as she is referred to, doesn’t even have a name
5. The Animators studied the Monstro scenes from Pinocchio to help them create the shipwreck and Ursula rising up from the sea.
Fun Fact: Pinocchio was made 40 years earlier than The Little Mermaid!
6. In early concepts, Ursula was draw with spinefish and scorpion fish qualities such as lots of spikes and spines. The animators later settled on the eight-legged octopus inspired body that made it into the films
7. The Studio Chairman of Disney at the time, Jeffrey Katzenberg, wanted to cut the ‘Part of Your World’ segment from the film after his first screening. He’s reportedly embarrassed by this error in judgement.
8. The shark that has a run in with Flounder and Ariel is named Glut. There were plans for him to return later in the film but these plans were scraped in order to simplify the story.
9. Flounder turns into Scuttle for a few frames while him impersonates him to Ariel
10. The voice actresses Jodi Benson and Pat Carrol (Ariel and Ursula) both admitted to taking elements of their delivery from the way lyricist Howard Ashman performed the songs.
11. There was a long debate around Ariel’s hair color during production before deciding on her iconic red locks. Red was chosen in the end to compliment the green of her tail and distinguish her from Daryl Hannah’s blonde mermaid character in the film ‘Splash’
12. Several of Ariel’s sisters were named after specific people.
Atina – the lead character in a musical written by Alan Menken (Atina: Evil Queen of the Galaxy)
Alana – A nod from Howard Ashman to Alan Menken
Andrina – The name of one of the directors aerobics instructors!
13. This movie was Menken’s first with Disney and he was so nervous, he convinced himself he was terrible and would be fired
14. Several of the Sailors are caricatures of staff members. The guy dancing here is Razoul Azadani, a man who still sometimes works with Ron Clements and John Musker