THE LITTLE MERMAID: THE LEGACY COLLECTION (2014)
Trust Disney to enchant audiences worldwide with an animated mermaid donning a purple seashells padded bikini. If you are an adult fan who went head over heels who saw the golden age of Disney animated classics in the late 1980s, you’d know how this musical film directed by Ron Clements and John Musker became an instant phenomenon when it was released.
It is only apt then, that The Legacy Collection from Walt Disney Records celebrates this movie with a two disc album in November last year to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the film.
This reviewer remembers forking out his pocket money to buy the soundtrack cassette tape when he was in primary school. Some years later, he would use his first army salary to purchase the CD version. Now, things come full circle with this commemorative release.
Disc One gives fans over 70 minutes of material. The music is presented in film order, which means you get to hear the songs and score as how they were presented in the movie.
One never gets tired with the hilarious “Daughters of Triton”, and there’s always new inspiration to be found with each listen of “Part of Your World” (though the real emotional kicker is in the reprise of the song). Elsewhere, the Oscar winning “Under the Sea” will still have you tapping your feet to the infectious tune, and “Poor Unfortunate Soul” will still send chills down your spine (this tune now comes with a never released reprise version!). The lyrics by Howard Ashman, who would die two years after the release of the film from AIDS, pens the lovely lyrics.
The evergreen score by Alan Menken (who won an Academy Award) is a joy to listen to: there’s the folksy “Fireworks”, the romantic “Ariel in Love”, the ominous “Flotsam and Jetsam”, the action packed “Ursula’s Defeat” and the triumphant “Happy Ending”. Fans will be pleased with some of the never before released cues, giving a more complete listening experience.
On Disc Two, you get 12 demo recordings by Menken and Ashman, providing insights to how the music was created. You hear the two men singing to synthesizer demos and piano recordings, fully appreciating the imaginative work behind the scenes.
Like the other albums in the series, you’ll enjoy flipping through the pages of the collectible booklet, learning how Menken became involved with this project, and how Musker sought out Ashman to write the music. You’ll also reminisce the good ol’ days of animation with the artwork featured in the album. They really don’t do music (or films, for that matter) like this anymore, do they?
Recommended Track: (6) Under the Sea (Synth Demo) – Disc Two
Review by John Li