Twelve years after the original movie, Ariel has a daughter who dreams of returning to the sea.
When we last saw Ariel et al, the former mermaid had earned her legs and regained her singing voice and lived happily ever after with her the love of her life, Prince Eric. When we start the sequel, the two are welcoming their new baby daughter Melody into the world.
The movie opens with Ariel and Eric taking Melody out to sea to meet their mermaid family and Melody’s granddad, King Triton. After a quick song number, Triton gives Melody a locket to remember the part of her life that is with the sea. Unfortuantely, a squid arm reaches out of the water and grabs Melody out of her mother’s hands. We are told in exposition this is Ursula’s crazy sister Morgana. She threatens to kill Melody if she is not given King Triton’s trident to allow her to gain full power over the seas. Ariel and Eric quickly take action and, with Triton’s assistance, they save the child. However, Morgana escapes.
This kick starts the plot, as Ariel understands that as long as Morgana is on the loose, neither she nor Melody can ever safely return to the sea. She returns the locket to her father and the two understand that Melody must never know of her heritage, for fear the witch. Over time, a giant wall is built around the city protecting Melody from the dangers of the sea and we fast forward to her twelfth birthday party.
The movie takes the opposite approach of the first film which introduced us to a young mermaid who wanted nothing more than to have legs and find true love. In this sequel we are presented with the turmoil of her daughter, a young girl who wants nothing more that to explore the mysterious sea. She is eventually lured to the sea where she is tricked by Morgana into stealing Triton’s trident in exchange for a promise to change her into a mermaid. Of course, the lesson is it is better to be true to yourself and your family and accept who you are. This is, now that I think about it, exactly the opposite of the first movies lesson about changing and reaching your dreams.
The songs are all kind of cheesy, but I guess for a kid’s flick they are decent. I think the message in this movie is better than the original, but what made the first one special was the unique premise which is now old hat. I’d like to say that I don’t understand why Disney feels the need to continuously regurgitate classic (and I guess the 90s is classic for today’s kids) animated films with lesser sequels. However, it is all about the money.
The movie is a nice flick but nothing that you haven’t seen before. The animation is decent, but below the level of what makes Disney so great. For fans of the original, there are cute moments with the characters from the first, but they are just sidebars in an otherwise redo of the first film. It is just average but, if you have a little kid (especially a little girl), the message is good enough to recommend. If you’re an adult, there is nothing here to keep your interest.
Deleted Song (01:54) – This is a short deleted scene with a song by Morgana. It’s an old style Broadway type song and didn’t really fit with the rest of the movie’s music.
Games and Activities:
Underwater Mer-venture Challenge Game – Using the arrows on the remote, you swim, make friends and play music. Once you complete the challenges you become an honorary mer-person. I can’t figure out the swimming part but the rest is simple.
The Little Mermaid II Trivia Game – I kick ass at this game. I might be smarter than a fifth grader.
The Little Mermaid II DVD Storybook – This is a storybook to either read the story off the screen or have a voice over read it to you.
“What Am I?” Game – This is a nice addition for the kids. You answer questions and, if you get them right, live action clips of the actual animal are played.
Bonus Short: “Merbabies” (08:35) – This is a Walt Disney Silly Symphony from 1938. A bunch of merbabies appear and soon drift to the bottom of the ocean to put on a parade with the sea creatures which eventually leads into circus performances.