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Faerie Tale Theatre - The Little Mermaid [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Brian Dennehy, Carinthia West, Shawn Erler, Treat Williams, Guy Boyd
  • Directors: Robert Iscove
  • Format: NTSC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00000F3GL
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #684,867 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Family Fairy Tale

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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See all 12 customer reviews
The sets are wonderful and the music is hauntingly beautiful.
J. Fees
Karen Black makes a splash of a performance as the sea witch, and Helen Mirren turns in a nice performance as the prince's wife.
Clob Lane
I highly recommend this movie and this whole collection to anyone who enjoys fairy tales.
meghann chapman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Byron Kolln HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on November 7, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
FAERIE TALE THEATRE's touching and tender recreation of THE LITTLE MERMAID (the second-last in the series) is one of their best efforts.

Pearl (Pam Dawber) is a beautiful young mermaid who lives with her father King Neptune (Brian Dennehy) and her sisters Coral and Anemonie (Donna McKechnie and Laraine Newman) in a kingdom at the bottom of the ocean. When Pearl comes of age and is allowed a brief glimpse of the world above the sea, she falls in love with a handsome Prince (Treat Williams) whom she saves from drowning when his ship has a fatal explosion.

She makes a bargain with the Sea Witch (Karen Black): her voice in exchange for a pair of legs and hopefully the love of the Prince. Once on land Pearl quickly returns to the Prince, though he only has eyes for the lovely Princess Emilia (Helen Mirren).

What follows is a heartbreaking story of selfless love and sacrifice, as Pearl risks everything for true love...

Pam Dawber leads a strong cast. Karen Black is amazing as the Sea Witch; Newman and McKechnie are a delight as Pearl's sisters and Treat Williams fills the role of the Prince admirably. A true gem in the series
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By The Pie Maker on December 10, 2004
Format: DVD
QUOTED FROM M REINKING -""One also must note the ending, which tries to change the sad ending of the original fairy tale where the Mermaid turns into seafoam, and that's the end of that. But here, they make her a "Spirit of the Air", so she can watch over her Prince. Blah. A bad ending to a bad film.""

M. Reinking obviously did not read the original story by Hans Anderson. Yes the mermaid did start to turn to sea foam, but that was not the end of that. in the book she was transformed into a "Daughter of the Air" and given a second chance at obtaining an eternal soul. So M Reinking doesn't even know what they are talking about.

As for the film, Yes, the special effects would be laughed at by kids today spoiled with amazing looking films like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. Where the film still stands strong though is in the story and performances by Pam Dawber, Treat Williams and the always admirable Helen Mirren. Shelly Duvall did a great service for kids in the 80's with her series of Faerie Tale Theaters. Sure today we have films and series of better quality but I would hope that everyone who grew up with these can still appriciate them the way they did when they were kids.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Faerie Tale Theatre" productions are sometimes scary ("HANSEL & GRETEL") and often hilarious ("LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD", "THE PRINCESS AND THE PEA"). Rarely are they as touching and as poignant as this version of
"THE LITTLE MERMAID," directed by Robert Iscove from a teleplay by Anne Beatts.
You won't find any Disneyfied sea creatures singing a Broadway musical number under the sea; or a tacked-on Disney "happy ending" here. What we do have is a beautiful, live-action version that is faithful and true to Hans Christian Anderson's original bittersweet fairy tale.
The cast is superb. Pam Dawber's role as little mermaid Pearl, who sacrifices everything for the love of Sailor/Prince Andrew (the extremely attractive Treat Williams), is largely mute. So she must communicate her emotions mostly with just her eyes and face. The depth of sadness and despair she conveys in the face of unrequited love is truly heart-breaking.
Brian Dennehy is Pearl's father King Neptune, and also serves as Narrator. Loraine Newman and Donna McKechnie are featured as Pearl's sisters Coral and Anemone. Karen Black makes a memorable cameo appearance as the Sea Witch who begs Pearl not to sacrifice everything for the love of Andrew. "Trust me," she says, "no guy is worth it. Love is a disease that only humans catch. And once you've caught it, you can never be rid of it." The Sea Witch also tells her that when she walks on human legs, she will feel a pain like walking on knives. Nevertheless, she is prepared to endure anything. Unfortunately, although he cares for her, Andrew's heart belongs to Princess Amelia (Oscar winner Helen Mirren). Given a final opportunity to save herself, Pearl still can not and will not betray her beloved; teaching us that true love often requires truly tragic sacrifices. I actually cry every time I watch this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rachel Gomez on April 26, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
I enjoyed this movie very much. It met all of my expectations for a Faerie Tale Theatre film. It was great. It followed the original faerie tale version, so the end was a little sad (I almost felt like crying). But it taught a good lesson and did end on a happy note.
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Format: DVD
SPOILERS FOLLOW

Faerie Tale Theatre"s "The Little Mermaid" is a bit of a mixed bag. A heartfelt story with much more of a tragic tone than the more famous Disney adaptation, it is undermined mostly by laughable underwater swimming visual effects. However, it does also offer a great cast to compensate for other shortcomings.

Starring Pam Dawber, Brian Dennehy, and Treat Williams, "The Little Mermaid" shines in its screenplay and in its fairly sumptuous palace detail. Once Pearl, the titular mermaid played by Ms. Dawber is on dry land with her adored prince, the true strength of this adaptation comes through. Dawber can be very expressive without saying a word, and Treat Williams plays a very solid prince. Additionally, the prince's fiancee is played with unexpected compassion and authenticity by none other than Dame Helen Mirren.

Also starring Karen Black and Laraine Newman, Faerie Tale Theatre's "The Little Mermaid" is far from the best entry in the series. Nevertheless, it is very classy with admirable fidelity to Hans Christian Andersen's original story.
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