One day, Gill and Phil, two CGI goldfish who apparently lived at the Disney Studios, were singing along to “Under the Sea” and making bad fish puns. Then, who should appear but Jodi Benson, the voice of Ariel in The Little Mermaid (“Oh hey, it’s Jodi Benson, the voice of Ariel in The Little Mermaid!”). Jodi was friends with these two goldfish, it seemed, and then went on to tell them all about exciting things happening at The Walt Disney Company.
This is so gloriously, wonderfully awkward. And I love it! Most of the time, of course, Disney VHS tapes in the 90s just began with about twenty five minutes of previews with no hosts to help guide you through them. That wasn’t the case with the 1998 release of The Little Mermaid, which had Benson–clearly slightly uncomfortable as she appears to not know quite how to communicate with, well, CGI goldfish (CGI goldfish who transition into real, blank-faced goldfish in the distance shots, natch!)–introducing trailers for Mulan, A Bug’s Life, Pocahontas II, and The Spirit of Mickey (which sadly never got a DVD release).
I wish they had done this stupid thing more! Give me Paige O’Hara chatting with two talking plates for the Beauty and the Beast video! Have James Earl Johns talk to CGI lions for The Lion King! Bring in the late John Hurt to talk with an actual black cauldron for The Black Cauldron! The possibilities would have been endless!
Have a great night, y’all!