Hans Christian Anderson's The Little Mermaid

Alt title: Andersen Douwa: Ningyo Hime

Movie (1 ep x 69 min)
1975
3.356 out of 5 from 490 votes
Rank #7,740

Marina is a fifteen-year-old mermaid who lives at the bottom of the sea; alongside her sisters, loving father and dolphin friend she explores sunken ships and gazes at human treasures, all the while longing to see the outside world. In secret, Marina swims to the surface one evening and sees a beautiful prince that she instantly falls in love with – but the evil sea witch uses her powers to sink the prince’s ship, casting him into the cold water below. Marina saves her love but remains hidden while he comes to on the shore, leaving her yearning to see him again. To fulfill her desires Marina visits the sea witch and exchanges her beautiful singing voice for human legs – but there’s a catch. If the prince marries another, the morning after Marina will die of a broken heart and will turn into sea foam...

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Reviews

AnnaSartin
7

While this anime is a precious part of my childhood (in fact it was one of the first anime I ever saw at age 4) rewatching it so many years later has given me a very different perspective of the classic story. As an adult I notice one particular theme that is constantly repeated throughout the tale: Bad decision-making. "The Little Mermaid" is a tragic tale of bad decisions where we watch Marina, the pretty youngest daughter of the sea king, make one poor decision after another while her peers and elders either assist in or reward her unwise behavior. Unsurprisingly enough, her foolish actions escalate until her life becomes a complete disaster. In beginning Marina makes the bad decision to sneak out of her home in the middle of the night to swim up to the ocean's surface, a place her father has forbidden her to go. We can surely understand her feelings, what teenager likes being told she can't do the things her elder siblings can do because she's "not old enough"? Her young companion Fritz makes the bad decision to blackmail his uncle into helping them sneak out and the uncle makes the bad decision of agreeing to it. After reaching the surface Marina becomes infatuated with a prince she sees on a ship and rescues him when it sinks in a storm. (The ship's captain apparently made the unfortunate decision to not keep an eye out for bad weather so he could get his ship and his royal passenger safely back to the shore) Marina takes the unconscious prince to a beach where a dark-haired young princess and her companions find him and take him away. Marina returns home we hope to receive a well-deserved punishment that will encourage her to make smarter choices in the future. Instead, the cycle of bad decision-making continues. Her grandmother makes the preposterous suggestion to REWARD Marina's wrongdoing by letting her celebrate her "coming of age" early, thereby declaring her a legal adult... AND HER FATHER AGREES. To reiterate: A fifteen year-old sneaks out of her home in the middle of the night and her father and grandmother decide she's ready to become an adult. The Sea King's appallingly terrible decision to listen to his old mother might be easier to understand had Marina been his first child instead of his last, but considering he's managed to raise five other daughters to adulthood this bizarre error in judgement comes off as completely nonsensical. The fish of the sea remark on how wise Marina's grandmother is and how she truly knows what's best for her granddaughter. Um... no. No, she doesn't. Nobody seems to know what's right for this young girl and the incompetence of those around her are allowing Marina's adolescent emotions to slowly lead her to her doom. Having shown that she isn't yet ready to behave responsibly, the decision to heap MORE responsibility and unearned privilege on Marina's teenage shoulders is one of the most preposterous and destructive parenting choices I've ever seen. So how does "adult" Marina handle her newfound privilege? By immediately going to ANOTHER dangerous place she knows she's not supposed to be and nearly getting herself killed in the process. Overwhelmed by the intense passion that only an adolescent can feel, Marina decides that she has to be with the prince she rescued and bargains with the Sea Witch to make her a human being. Making her worst decision yet, the mermaid trades her voice and swims to the shore with a vial of magic potion that will change her tail into a pair of legs, abandoning her friends and family in hopes of making her romantic dream come true.For the next month Marina's life on land is everything she could have wished for. She is found and sheltered by her beloved prince and although she can't speak the two young people enjoy each other's company. Things go downhill soon after when the prince's parents begin pressuring him to submit to the marriage they have arranged for him. (It never occurred to Marina that the object of her affection might already be promised to another, nor did she stop to think of the possibility that human customs regarding marriage might be different from her own) The prince is defiant at first but finally agrees when he learns the princess he is to marry is the same one who found him washed up on shore the day of the shipwreck, who he mistakenly believes saved him from drowning. Marina is heartbroken and her dolphin friend Fritz is equally distressed upon learning the news, for the Sea Witch warned them that if the man Marina loved married another she would die the following morning. Marina's sisters desperately go to the Sea Witch and sell her their hair in exchange for a way to save their youngest sister. They bring a knife for Marina to kill the prince, claiming his blood will make her a mermaid again, but mercifully Marina's bad decisions have finally come to an end. She chooses death over murder, coming too late to maturity as she finally realizes she must return to the sea where she belongs. This depressing story is all the sadder knowing that the young princess's tragic fate could easily have been avoided had the adults in her life done their jobs properly and protected her from the youthful impulses that she was not yet old enough to control. As a result, each terrible decision made led to another until there was no turning back. It's easy to try and lay all the blame on the Sea Witch, but the truth is she was a neutral party. She performed a service requested of her for a price and had no interest in whether or not Marina succeeded or failed in her endeavor afterwards. The people who loved Marina the most are the ones who truly let her down. What makes this old 70's anime especially worth watching is the classic lesson at the end of the tale that more modern versions of "The Little Mermaid" gloss over or leave out entirely: The fact that bad decisions often come at a heavy- and sometimes deadly- price.

YuiYui
7

Warning this may contain spoilers- Who doesn't like a traditional fairy tale, well this movie is based on the well known story of the little mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen and yeah it may not be like the Disney version so many people have grown to love there were some good aspects of it. STORY Yeah the basic story is just like the original, our female mermaid falls in love with the prince of the story and she has to sacrifice something so she can be with him. I thought it was quite well paced overall but did get a bit slow in the middle which would of put some people off, and it didn't help that the characters weren't outstanding. There was also limited character development but that was slightly expected of a short movie such as this. ANIMATION First things first is that this is an old anime movie and as people expect this style of art is a bit outdated but it was still to quite a high quality, of course there were things that were off because it wasn't the type of art style I was used to but it was good. I want to say that you shouldn't get put off by the art style and don't give up on it because of that. I found it quite unique and sweet when you are watching it late in the evening. SOUND Sound, yeah well this is were I felt a bit let down. I watched this in the english dub and it wasn't the best. I found the main girls voice quite annoying and that dolphin, urgh...honestly this was what let it down to me. The song at the end was quite sweet but the english voice acting was just, weird. CHARACTERS Now onto the characters, they weren't bad...our main girl Marina was just like so many 15 year olds are, intriguied to find out more but something about her just felt weird and it wasn't just the fact that her voice annoyed me slightly. Her dolphin friend really annoyed me, he just seems really useless and kind of pointless in the story, in the end he didn't play too much of a part in the actual story which kind of annoyed me. The prince was just an airhead, like seriously his thought process was just so limited. I liked the villian though, thought she was quite cool XD But that ends another review, and I must admit I enjoyed writing this one xx -AngelBeatsYui- Ps-This is for the Daily Anime Marathon Club in March 2016

galpal
7

While I have no dought that you've seen Disney's The Little Mermaid you may have not heard of the origional tale. Well this Movie is certenly a good place to hear the origional tale. In case your wondering no I will not be comparing this to the Disney vershion because comparing anything to Disney is just unfair. So lets dive into this. The story The Story follows the origional tale by Hans Christian Anderson. Since that was a short story they have to do a lot to pat it out to featcher length. Its actualy very strange that they decided to make it a full movie when it would have been so easy to make it a short ova. However the anime knows how to keep the audiances attention and even when it pulls the breaks on the story sumething enjoyable always happens such as charecter development or a suuden action scene. The animation Toni animation has always been good at making the most of reused animation and here is no different while the animation is nothing great the art style  and the background are bautiful. As for the charecter desighns well that depends on wich charecters. The merpeople and fish look great but the humans (with the exeption of Marina when she becomes a human) all look genaric. The sound There is realy not much to say about the sound. It mainly goes for a slow orcistra tune. If you like that you will enjoy the score here and if not you defenitly won't take anything from it. The characters Marina is easily the best charecter in the movie. She goes from a nieve young girl to a much wiser person who makes the ultimate sacrifiese in the end. Fjord, the prince on the other hand has little personality and comes of as a jerk in the end. Fritz the doulphen is a good comic releaf charecter who entertains the audience without feeling out of place. Overall I Certenly enjoyed it so feel free to check it out. It,s certenly not a masterpiece but worth watching none the less.

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