Thirty years ago was the beginning of a run when Disney produced popular and critically acclaimed animated movies. That period would be referred to as the Disney Renaissance, and it began with The Little Mermaid.
The movie had been in development since the late 30’s, but had been delayed for various reasons. Some of the changes to the original story and character designs were lifted from that original version. Ariel herself was based on the visuals and personality of Alyssa Milano… and, perhaps, supervising animator Glen Keane’s wife.
The film’s most popular song, “Part of Your World,” had almost been cut by Jeffrey Katzenberg because kids were getting rowdy during test screenings. Keane pushed for its inclusion, though. (Honestly, I don’t know why Katzenberg would think this, as sappy ballads had been a staple for what had until recently been the reigning king of animation at the time, Don Bluth. Like… An American Tail‘s “Somewhere Out There” was huge just three years previous. I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that Stephen Spielberg just had more foresight in this case.) The soundtrack would go on to establish one of the hallmark traits of the Disney Renaissance: the songs composed by Broadway veterans.
The Little Mermaid went on to break the record for highest-grossing animated film, which previously had been … The Land Before Time. (Also, The Little Mermaid opened against All Dogs Go To Heaven… so it was a dark day in Bluth Land). This, of course, would start the trend of one animated film out-grossing the other, with The Lion King remaining the highest grossing traditionally animated film in history.
So in honor of the Disney Renaissance, today’s prompt: what is your favorite cel animated film?