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The Little Mermaid review

Re-released in the US to battle with Anastasia, Fox's first animated feature, The Little Mermaid cleaned up. Here it has an even lesser foe, going up against Warner's 'toon fantasy The Magic Sword, and is likely to do just as well, given the lack of appealing summer fare for kids.

Hailed as heralding a new era in animated features, The Little Mermaid deserves all its plaudits. After several miserable releases, (The Black Cauldron, anyone?) Disney finally got its act together, hiring a top songwriting duo (Ashman&Menken), a host of Broadway vocal talent and a 400-strong team of animators and artists to make a different type of full-length venture. The three years spent honing The Little Mermaid paid off at the box office and in merchandising: the block-busting 'toon was born.

With a strong heroine, it'll appeal more to young girls than boys, but there's still enough humour to stop it being sloppy. And any pic that inspires a Simpsons pastiche (Homer's take on Under The Sea apes the Oscar-winning song) has to be seen.

For fans of animated features this is Disney at its best; wonderful characters, belting songs and great entertainment. Although it's a 'toon aimed more at young girls, the humour is strong enough to prevent it becoming too slushy.

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