Synopsis: Loosely based upon the story by Hans Christian Andersen. Ariel, youngest daughter of King Triton, is dissatisfied with life in the sea. She longs to be with the humans above the surface, and is often caught in arguments with her father over those "barbaric fish-eaters". She goes to meet Ursula, the Sea Witch, to strike a deal, but Ursula has bigger plans for this mermaid and her father.
Main Feature: "The Little Mermaid" is a classic, a truly revitalizing element of the Disney animation department. This, "Beauty and the Beast, "Aladdin"--they all played a part in making animation the acclaimed, profitable cornerstone of Walt Disney Studios in the 1990s. "Little Mermaid" is a definitive addition to the Walt Disney Signature collection. It's the first time you can view it in 4k Ultra HD, so that's a big bonus for those with ultra high-def capabilities (sadly, I am not one of those). What irks me is these multiple editions--diamond, platinum, signature, etc.--are replacing the old school 'Disney vault' approach. Back in the day, their VHS films would only be available for a short time, making owning them special. Do I need to have a 2nd Blu-ray of the same movie in which the difference is new special features while moving some of the previous edition's to digital only? In a streaming world, perhaps that is their new vault method. Regardless, the film loves lovely, as it always has. This would be one I would definitely invest and watch in 4K. I have no doubt it would be amazing and breathtaking.
Special Features: As noted above, there are some new extras added to the batch on the Diamond edition, while some of those release's bonus features move to the digital only availability (a Moves Anywhere digital code is also part of the Blu-ray/DVD set's extras). Does it warrant going out to purchase this new edition if you have the Diamond one? I would say no. But with the carrot of 4K dangling, that would be the opportunity to take, regardless of the special features (4K Blu-ray also includes standard Blu-ray and digital code). Sing-alongs, interviews with the cast and Alan Menken, music videos, audio commentary--this is a set, like it's predescessor, is chock full and does not skimp on the bonus features.
Final Call: "The Little Mermaid" enters a whole new world of high-definition and streaming with a Blu-ray set that isn't much of an upgrade from his predecessor but nevertheless a worthwhile trip back under the sea.