Oh no. I'm hoping this is not true. I preordered it and it's just been shipped.
"Little Mermaid" is supposed to have a negative aspect ratio of 1.66:1 (The print negative's dimensions - close to fullscreen). It has an intended theatrical ratio of 1.85:1. It is not supposed to be in 1.78:1 which is the ratio of the new widescreen TVs. If they have indeed cropped it to 1.78:1, then it will exactly fit newer widescreen TVs but will have part of the picture across the top and bottom of the original negative cropped away. It will still have more of the picture visible than in its intended theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1.
Depending on what you want out of the DVD, Disney's choice of 1.78:1 can be good or bad. It will have less picture than the original 1.66:1 negative but more than the 1.85:1 widescreen theatrical print. Cinephiles and purists will be gnashing their teeth but I suppose the bulk of Disney's customers won't care a whit.
1.78. However, compared to the letterboxed edtion, it appears we have added at the sides rather than subtracted at the top and bottom. Your guess is as good as mine what's really going on here.
The bad news is that the voices on the new "enhanced" English soundtrack have had all the life processed out of them. It's hard to make Jodi Benson's vocals sound hollow, cold and uninteresting, but they sure did it. No other English language mix is provided.