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EXCLUSIVE: Watch Alan Menken and Jodi Benson Talk ‘The Little Mermaid’

Pair share memories honoring film’s 30th anniversary as part of new Disney Signature Collection digital and DVD release rolling out February 12. 

Watch Jodi Benson, the acting and singing voice of Ariel, and legendary composer Alan Menken share memories of their work on Disney’s classic animated musical, The Little Mermaid, in AWN’s exclusive behind-the-scenes clip.  In a mix of recent and archival footage, the two discuss the studio’s historic effort to bring together musical theatre with animation, led by directors John Musker and Ron Clements, along with Menken and his former creative collaborator, playwright and lyricist Howard Ashman, who tragically passed away in 1991 at age 41.

In honor of its 30th anniversary, two-time Academy Award-winner (Best Original Score and Best Original Song “Under the Sea,” 1989) The Little Mermaid, dives into the highly celebrated Walt Disney Signature Collection with all-new bonus features and a sing-along mode. The magical, musical tale of mermaid princess Ariel -- along with loveable sidekicks Sebastian and Flounder, and the love-to-hate sea witch Ursula -- is shore to make a splash with all generations when it comes home for the first time Digitally in HD, 4K Ultra HD and Movies Anywhere on February 12, and on 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray on February 26.

The Signature Edition of The Little Mermaid showcases its award-winning musical score and iconic songs such as “Under the Sea” and “Part of Your World” with a sing-along mode allowing you to accompany this beloved cast of characters on their journey. Never-before-seen bonus features bring Menken and some of Disney’s most recognizable leading ladies together around a piano to reminisce, sing and celebrate The Little Mermaid. The latest installment of Stories from Walt’s Office compares Walt and Ariel’s love of collecting treasures. Viewers will also receive an inside look at the The Little Mermaid cast in their original recording sessions, explore hidden treasures and fun facts from the film, and enjoy a special performance of “Part of Your World” by a cappella singing sensation DCapella. Plus, fans will have access to hours of additional classic bonus features.

The Little Mermaid is the seventh title to join the Walt Disney Signature Collection, which includes groundbreaking films created or inspired by the imagination and legacy of Walt Disney, featuring timeless stories and characters that have touched generations. The film takes its place alongside Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Beauty and the Beast, Pinocchio, Bambi, The Lion King and Lady and the Tramp.

The new release contains the following all-new bonus features:

BLU-RAY & DIGITAL

  • Sing-Along Mode – Sing along to the movie in this  sing-along version of the film.
  • Alan Menken & the Leading Ladies Song – From the voice of a mermaid to the tunes of a muse, the music of Alan Menken has scored the soundtrack for some of Disney’s most iconic leading ladies. Join Alan, Jodi Benson (Ariel), Paige O’Hara (Belle), Judy Kuhn (Pocahontas Singing Voice), Lillias White (Calliope) and Donna Murphy (Mother Gothel) as we celebrate the music of their films in honor of the one that started it all … The Little Mermaid.  In this discussion, the ladies will share their memories of musically creating their characters with Alan, discuss what it means to be part of the Disney Princess/leading lady legacy and create new memories as they sing with Alan around a baby grand piano.
  • “What I Want From You…Is YOUR VOICE” – Enter the recording studio and get an inside look at the cast of The Little Mermaid in their original recording sessions.
  • Stories From Walt’s Office – Gadgets & Gizmos – Like Ariel, Walt Disney was a collector of many different things from miniatures to early mechanical characters that inspired the invention of audio-animatronics. We take a look at some the collections that Walt kept in his office in the third episode of this series.
  • #TreasuresUntold – Join Ruby Rose Turner and Olivia Sanabia from the Disney Channel Original Series Coop and Cami Ask the World as they take a deep dive to explore some hidden treasures and fun facts about Disney’s The Little Mermaid
  • DCapella “Part of Your World” Music Video
  • Classic Bonus Features – revisit four exciting bonus features from previous releases including:
    • Deleted Character: Harold The Merman
    • Under The Scene: The Art Of Live Action Reference
    • Howard’s Lecture
    • Audio Commentary With Ron Clements, John Musker and Alan Menken

DIGITAL EXCLUSIVES

  • “Part of Your World” - A 30-Year Retrospective – Songwriter Alan Menken and Jodi Benson, the acting and singing voice of Ariel, sing the epitome of Disney “I Want” songs “Part of Your World” and discuss its impact since it was first heard 30 years ago.
  • Classic Bonus Features – Over 3 additional hours of previously released classic bonus features including Deleted Scenes, Easter Eggs, Music Videos and more!

Source: The Walt Disney Studios

Dan Sarto's picture

Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.

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