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AKA: アンデルセン童話 にんぎょ姫 (Andersen Dowa Ningyo Hime)
Genre: Classic story
Length: Movie, 68 minutes
Distributor: VHS out of print
Content Rating: 13+ (nudity, violence)
Related Series: N/A
Also Recommended: I'm going to go out on a limb and say read the book. That way there is only as much nudity as you imagine.
Notes: Based on the original fairy tale as told by Hans Christian Andersen.
Rating:
 

Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid

Synopsis

This is the story of a little mermaid (imagine that) who falls in love with a human after seeing his statue in a sunken ship, and proceeds to stalk him, with tragic results.

Review

I really don't know what to say about this tape, other than that I'm shocked that has remained in my house for 7-10 years. Regardless of my slackened jaw, on to the review!

I have to say the majority of these characters are worthy of being kicked in the face. The mermaid herself, Marina, is a clueless dolt who falls in love with some guy after seeing his STATUE. Does that seem like it would be a good start to a relationship to you? Well, I'd have liked to think that the guy (only listed in the credits as "the Prince") would have some redeeming qualities, but, alas, it is not to be, with the most telling line he says during the entire movie being:
"I can't find her so I want to marry you."
Is it just me, or is this guy a royal ass? His parents are diabolical and controlling, but that's no excuse. The rest of the characters are equally annoying, with the exception of two, namely, Fritz, Marina's dolphin sidekick (who is surprisingly violent), and the prince's tutor, a skinny, lecherous little fellow who, while only in one scene, was rather amusing.

This was a VHS, after all, so I can't comment on the Japanese language, but the English dub was competent, and in most cases it was superior to the Speed Racer dub. One problem I had with the sound on my copy of tape was a purring sound that ran through its entirety caused by the sheer age of the tape (around 24 years since the English version was released).

This based on the original story, but I'm not entirely sure to what extent that is correct. Anyone who has seen Disney's version will know the basic story, but this version is not a happy-fun-fun Disney release, the story may be straight forward, but the ending is best summed up by my brother (who had come over near the end) when he said "This isn't a happy movie, is it?", and he's quite right, although the narration tries to tack on something about her soul being allowed to return to the sea, but it is still a decidedly sad ending.

The characters are drawn tolerably well, and are excessively detailed, by excessively, I mean "I don't remember those being there!". This is not how I remembered them looking, I had thought the mermaids were undetailed, but I seem to have been sadly mistaken. The human characters are all well drawn( for the time) as well, and all of the characters (human and otherwise) have unique appearances. The character's fingers are rather thin, but that's a nonissue for the most part. The backgrounds are a bit sparse underwater, but look very nice on land, while the characters' movements are generally fluid, a few actions are rather stiff.

The music is 70s. It's undeniably 70s synth that pervades what should be a classic story, not one of the movies MST3K ridicules. A single, wafting semi-song plays on occasion, but it's not very pleasant on the ears either.

This film has far too much nudity. I hadn't remembered it being like this, which is probably due to both the fact that I hadn't seen it in around seven years, as well as the fact that at that time I wouldn't have been taking in the details in order to write a review about it. This film wouldn't have survived in my family (since we're all conservative) were it not based on a classic story, which I don't think was a good enough reason, now that I see it again.

In finishing, I must say this was a disappointment, since I had remembered this being a passable story of the little mermaid, and I wish I didn't have to know it was so filled with pointless nudity, but those who dislike Disney may want to watch this anyway, just to see another take on the story. I also take issue with the use of a rapier as a slashing weapon, but this doesn't change my opinion of this film.

I would have given it three, because it is a fairly nice-looking retelling of the story of the Little Mermaid, but the nudity ruined all chance of that. Those who like or don't mind lots of topless mermaids may add one star.Samuel Arbogast

Recommended Audience: No offensive language, just lots of topless mermaids, and some slightly bloody violence (of which Fritz is the primary party responsible).



Version(s) Viewed: VHS, English dub
Review Status: Full (1/1)
Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid © 1975 Toei