The Little Mermaid 30th Anniversary Signature Collection Edition Blu-ray review

Feb 26, 2019- Permalink

The Disney animated classic The Little Mermaid is now celebrating its 30th year with the release of a 30th Anniversary Signature Collection Edition. I had a chance to preview the Blu-ray combo version of the release, the eighth in the Signature Collection line.

The 1080p AVC-encoded Blu-ray transfer is in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. This a new transfer and it looks great. The colour palette is full of deep ocean blues, bold reds and the rich purple of our villainess Ursula. The contrast is excellent and there’s a slight grain from its film stock origins. The lines of the hand-drawn animation are crisp and those beautiful Disney backgrounds look fantastic. This is a wonderful transfer with little evidence of encoding artifacts.

As it’s a musical, how does The Little Mermaid treat your ears? There’s an English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 soundtrack as well as Spanish and French Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks. Subtitles are available in English SDH, Spanish and French. It’s a challenge putting an older film’s stereo soundtrack into the modern surround soundscape, but Disney’s sound engineers have done quite a good job. The dialogue and song vocals are crisp and clear and they’ve managed to move enough effects into the surround channels to create some good immersive moments. The low frequencies are also used sparingly but to good effect.

The combo pack also comes with a DVD and a digital download code. As with other Signature Collection discs, the extras get a bit of a makeover, with some new material introduced, some old material excised and some legacy material moved to digital only. A new featurette called Alan Menken and the Leading Ladies has Disney leading ladies Jodi Benson, Paige O’Hara, Judy Kuhn, Lillias White, and Donna Murphy talking about their collaborations with Menken on various classic projects. There are new looks at the voice actors discussing their characters, looks at Walt’s collectibles collection, a new music video,as well as audio commentary from writers/directors Ron Clements and John Musker and composer Alan Menken. The digital-only content includes a plethora of song content including several karaoke tracks.

Couple a classic story, great songs and characters with a newly remastered video presentation, a great 7.1 update on a stereo soundtrack and a ton of extras and you’ll find that The Little Mermaid 30th Anniversary Signature Collection Edition is a worthy addition to your home entertainment library.