Every story has a beginning but only one begins under the sea…now for the first time ever discover the story you never knew in The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning, an all-new motion picture only on Disney DVD. Long ago, in a kingdom where music is outlawed, King Triton’s youngest daughter, Ariel, discovers her love for music in a secret, underground music club. Torn with the choice of whether to hide her passion or share it with her father and risk losing everything, Ariel sets off on a daring adventure to restore music to Atlantica.
A prequel to The Little Mermaid, The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning is good family entertainment that deserves a spot in every Disney collection--even if the film isn't quite as striking as the original. It's hard to imagine the underwater world of Atlantica without music, but following the death of Ariel's mother Queen Athena, King Triton (Jim Cummings) outlaws music because of the painful memories it evokes. Ariel (Jodi Benson) and her six sisters are unhappy with their boring daily routine, unfeeling governess Marina Del Ray (Sally Field), and superficial relationship with their father; but only Ariel has the courage to confront their father with a desire for a more fulfilling life. A chance meeting with Flounder (Parker Goris) leads Ariel to the underground Catfish music club where the Caribbean jazz is hot and the starred soloist is none other the King's Chief of Staff Sebastian (Samuel Wright). Suddenly, a whole new world full of promise and excitement opens up for Ariel and her sisters, but things get ugly when Marina tells King Triton about the club and his fury erupts. Can the power of music, combined with Ariel's heartfelt pleas, convince King Triton to pardon all the underground music lovers and reconsider his ban on music? Ariel's Beginning is a wholesome story about love, family, and the power of music that's nicely animated and features a host of good music--the only things missing from the first movie are Ariel's innocent sense of wonder and the extreme catchiness of the original songs. Bonus features include two deleted scenes, four sing-along songs with on-screen lyrics; a mermaid discovery game in which viewers learn about Ariel and her six sisters; a quiz that matches viewers with the character most like themselves; an interview with director Peggy Holmes, and a look at the Broadway production of The Little Mermaid Under the Sea. (Ages 3 and older) --Tami Horiuchi