Old Treasures New Again: River and The Little Mermaid

Thursday was another delightful (and active) River Day.  River Days are the Thursdays when my husband babysits his two-year-old granddaughter, River.  I get to enjoy the latter part of a River Day, when I return from work around four.

On this past Thursday afternoon, I introduced River to one of my daughter’s (and my) beloved treasures.  When Gabrielle was maybe a little older than River, Disney’s The Little Mermaid was THE favorite movie in our house.  We watched it so many times!  In fact, we both learned all of the songs and could deliver many of the lines. (While we were rooting for Ariel, it was Ursula, the sea hag, who had some of the best dialogue. But then, the villain always does, right?)

Of course, it was The Little Mermaid’s music that captivated us.  The score, composed and written by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, brought “Broadway musical” to animation.  When Ariel would sing Part of Your World,  we would sing it big and full, too, like we were performing onstage.  And Under the Sea was just plain fun!  Since I watched The Little Mermaid with River the other day, I have to admit that the music is still playing in my head.

So I have to tell you that I don’t (yet) own the DVD version, and what I showed River was the VHS version that I originally bought for Gabrielle maybe twenty years ago – the one that was played so many times.  I wasn’t sure if it would still be good.  At some point, it might have seen time in a damp corner in the basement.  Maybe the tape would be a mess…I had no idea what to expect, but I had to take a chance and find out.  With my trusty VCR working in fine condition, I popped the movie in and was thrilled to see that the VHS taped looked okay.  Not brand-new top quality, but decent for a twenty-year-old tape.  Whew!  River and I watched the movie for a good while, sang some songs (she just looked at me like, huh?), and talked about mermaids, sharks, and dinglehoppers before she was ready to move on to something else.  Well, she is still only two, after all. 😉  There will be plenty of time for mermaids…

I learned just this week that, as with Titanic and other favorite blockbusters, The Little Mermaid will be re-released in 3D (in September 2013).  Personally, I don’t think it needs the 3D treatment; it’s wonderful just the way it is.  But maybe the re-release will excite a new audience of children who will discover it for the first time and treasure it the way that Gabrielle and I still do. 🙂

2 thoughts on “Old Treasures New Again: River and The Little Mermaid

  1. Aww I’m glad you are able to share with River something that I once treasured so deeply! She may look at you strange now, but I’m almost certain she’ll be memorizing the movie too–kids seem to be very good at that. I agree that the 3D thing has been getting a little crazy–they released The Lion King in 3D, Titanic in 3D is out now, and Beauty and the Beast is supposed to come out in 3D. While I’m sure many people enjoy this and it allows younger generations to discover these movies, I think that this is mostly a way to make more money off of the same products. I would rather see Disney spend more time making new quality animated movies that can be contemporary classics.

    By the way, cute picture of River. 🙂

    • Yes, I think the 3D treatments are not so much about creativity (they’re done post-production) as they are a gimmick, which is a good marketing tool when applied to films that moviegoers feel nostalgic about. And the funny thing is that people will shell out the money to go see those films. What I will be curious to see is if there will be any disappointment from the public, once they see Titanic, for example, with its 3D effects. I guess it will depend on the quality of the 3D treatment and how effective it is. I think you make a good point about Disney looking to invest in new projects. I’d like to see Disney work on projects from new, original material. That would be exciting to me.

      It was fun to show River your movie. I’m glad that brought you happy thoughts, too. I think I will bring it out again on another Thursday. Since I have the VCR in the kitchen, it’s nice to turn it on if we are having a little bite in there. The photo of River was from a couple Thursdays ago. Since I will be home all day this Thursday, I will have to take some new ones – maybe we’ll get to the park, if the weather is nice!

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