Timeless Tales: The Little Mermaid (1997/1998)

“Princess Miranda lives with her father, the Sea King, and her two sisters in a magical palace. She has the most beautiful voice in all the Merfolk Kingdom. Miranda has always had a consuming curiosity about the human world and the reason that humans do not treat “her world” with the same love and respect that she does. On Miranda’s 15th birthday, she is permitted her first glimpse of the human world and its wonders.”

– Burbank Animation Studios, IMDB.

“This animated classic tells the tale of the famous Hans Christian Anderson story of Ariel, The Little Mermaid. Ariel is dissatisfied with life in the sea and longs to be with the humans above the surface. She seeks out the banished Sea Witch, Ursula, to strike a deal, but Ursula has bigger plans for this mermaid and her father”

– Timeless Tales: The Little Mermaid DVD Description.

Timeless Tales: The Little Mermaid was brought to us by the Burbank Animation Studio in Australia. The Little Mermaid was part of a package deal commissioned by U.S. company Anchor Bay Entertainment to produce six 50 minute made for TV movies. Though their last made for TV release was in the early 2000’s the studio is still in operation today, having worked on the shows Roddy the Rooster and The Amazing Space Buddies.

Some thoughts from me (Potential spoilers below)…
So, full disclosure… this is one movie that has been taken out and put back into the Bad Princess Movie line up quite a few times. It’s got bad animation, bad voice acting, and a bad story… but to this day I am still waffling on whether it’s entertaining enough to make my friends sit through. Compared to some of the crazier films we’ve seen, it’s a fairly forgettable Princess Movie.   

So why do I sometimes I include it in the running? There are indeed some funny parts to the movie that I’d love to share with people. Probably my favourite moment is that Miranda, the titular Little Mermaid has a really terrible song about polluting the ocean that she sings multiple times in the film. An instrumental version of the song is even used as the Miranda’s leitmotif throughout the film. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good lesson to pass on to kids, but it has absolutely no bearing on the story being told.   

I’m also sort of charmed by the DVD itself, which as shown earlier is straight up mis-representing the movie as Disney’s far superior version of The Little Mermaid.

So while Timeless Tales: The Little Mermaid, isn’t going to be the crown jewel in your movie night, it’s potentially got enough going for it that it should keep your guests entertained. And if not, it’s only 50 minutes long. Maybe plan to show this movie when the pizza is due to arrive.


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