Photo: The Little Mermaid at Walt Disney World

The Little Mermaid at Walt Disney World

Prince Eric’s kingdom serves as the entrance to Under the Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid in Fantasyland at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. But instead of that long name, most people just call it the Little Mermaid ride, and everyone knows what they are talking about. Perhaps the Imagineers included “Under the Sea” in the title because the ride sits where the long-gone 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea attraction used to be. But it still makes for a long name.

Twenty-five years ago yesterday, November 17, 1989, The Little Mermaid opened in movie theaters. And I was at the first matinee showing that day, along with my mom. I only had early college classes on Fridays, and my mom only taught half days at that time, so that is why we were able to go right after lunch. And then I went back a day or two later with Laura, because she couldn’t go to that first matinee because of school.

I was greatly impressed with the songs and score of The Little Mermaid, as it was the first Disney movie that Howard Ashman and Alan Menken worked on. I had actually bought the soundtrack a few weeks earlier, on Halloween to be precise, although I don’t know why I remember that was the day. Back during the summer, I had heard a clip of “Under the Sea” (the song, not the future theme park attraction) in the promotional loop at the Disney Store, and I knew that the soundtrack would be something I would want to have. I still do have that original CD, although I am surprised that it held up after all the playings that it received.

And I was also impressed with the sound design, which worked well in our new local theater with its fancy surround sound equipment. Of course, these days we can watch the movie on a high definition television with surround sound in our own home. But back then, while there were a few televisions with stereo sound, most of them just had one speaker. That made the sound coming from speakers all around you in a movie theater something really special.

Of course, The Little Mermaid went on to become a classic and the start of the revival of Disney’s hand-drawn animation, which is now all but dead, unfortunately. But looking back, it is hard to believe all of that was 25 years ago.

Time sure does fly by. Or in this case, swim.

About the photo:
A single RAW exposure, processed in Photoshop. Read more about the photo software and gear I use at the camera gear page.
Camera: Canon EOS 60D
Lens: Sigma 10-20mm