Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment will premiere 1989 animated classic The Little Mermaid on the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format in celebration of its 30th anniversary in 2019.
Disney has yet to formally announce the release, which is available for pre-order in a Target exclusive limited-edition set that includes a filmmaker gallery and storybook. Also to be released is a 30th anniversary edition Blu-ray.
A rumored release date of February 26 has surfaced, just months after Disney released its first Walt Disney Feature Animation production — 1994’s The Lion King — to the 4K format in early December.
Directed by Disney feature veterans Ron Clements and John Musker (Aladdin, The Princess and the Frog), The Little Mermaid tells the tale of undersea princess Ariel (Jodi Benson), who dreams to become human and join the surface world. When she falls in love with Prince Eric (Christopher Daniel Barnes), much to the chagrin of her disapproving father King Triton (Kenneth Mars), a rebellious Ariel turns to scheming sea witch Ursula (Pat Carroll) and strikes a deal that leaves her without her beautiful voice and in need of the kiss of true love — lest she become Ursula’s prisoner.
The cherished classic has since been credited with ushering in the Disney Renaissance, a decade-long period that saw Walt Disney Animation Studios return to prominence with a series of Broadway-inspired and critically acclaimed box office hits, including Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King.
Disney next looks to transform The Little Mermaid into a live-action re-imagining, potentially with Spider-Man: Far From Home and The Greatest Showman star Zendaya in the lead role.
An August report claimed Disney was eyeing the 22-year-old star for the role and may have already approached the actress-slash-singer with an offer. She has since expressed interest in playing the iconic Disney Princess, telling Variety, “Yeah, why wouldn’t I?”
If she signs on, Zendaya could star opposite A Star Is Born breakout and Oscars favorite Lady Gaga, who is rumored to be Disney’s first choice for the role of the bewitching octopus-like Ursula.0comments
The live-action Little Mermaid will again boast music from original composer Alan Menken, who teams with Lin-Manuel Miranda (Broadway’s Hamilton, Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns) under attached director Rob Marshall (Into the Woods, Mary Poppins Returns).
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