After all these years, Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” continues to be enjoyed by new generations. Its success helped kick off Disney’s renaissance period, an era that saw the release of classic films such as Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King.
Even if you’ve seen the film 20 times, here are a few facts you might not have known about the little fish girl who could.
1. The blue-green color of Ariel’s fin was mixed and created by Disney’s paint lab and the new color was called “Ariel” in her honor.
2. The animators decided to make Ariel’s hair red because Daryl Hannah had just played a blonde mermaid in the very popular 1984 comedy Splash and they didn’t want to audiences to get confused.
3. In the opening scene with King Triton, you can see Kermit, Mickey Mouse, Goofy, and Donald Duck and hiding in the crowd.
4. Animating a film is a lot of work, and Disney didn’t have the manpower available. Disney hired the Chinese animation studio Pacific Rim to draw over one million bubbles by hand.
5. In the original development drawings, Ursula was portrayed as a spinefish or a scorpion fish.
6. Most people will say that Ursula is part-octopus, but if you count the number of tentacles, she only has six, as opposed to the traditional eight.
7. The shark’s name is Glut, though it is never mentioned in the film. He also was originally going to return in another scene for a captivating fight sequence with Flounder but the idea was cut for a simple story line.
8. Sebastian was originally a stuffy British butler crab named Clarence. It wasn’t until the music was written that they changed Clarence into a Rastafarian named Sebastian.
9. The actress who voiced Ariel, Jodi Benson, sang “Part of Your World” in the dark just to get the feel of singing in underwater.
10. Patrick Stewart was originally set to voice King Triton. Bummer, Star Trek scheduling conflicts interfered.