10 best animated films from the Disney Renaissance

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5. The Little Mermaid

This 1989 film is about a mermaid named Ariel who wants nothing more than to see what it’s like on land. She does get her wish but at an extreme cost to her. When she meets the sea witch, Ursula, the woman offers to give her a pair of legs, but she must give her something in return: her voice.

Ariel agrees and is sent to land where she meets a man that is all too familiar. Earlier in the story, she saved a man from drowning. That same man finds her on the beach and that begins their love story…despite the fact that she can’t speak a word. But, if Ariel can get Eric to kiss her, she will remain a human permanently. Unfortunately, she has no such luck.

But Ursula is not finished with Ariel. She wants more than her voice;. she want to ruin her dreams completely. So, she turns herself into a girl named Vanessa and heads to shore, doing her best to steal Eric’s heart. And it works. Eric plans on marrying Vanessa after he hears Ariel’s voice coming out of her mouth.

Desperate to stop the match, Ariel with the help of her animal friends break the shell containing Ariel’s voice from Vanessa’s neck and Ariel’s voice is restored. Eric realizes his mistake and kisses Ariel,l but he’s too late. Ariel turns back into a mermaid and is kidnapped by Ursula.Luckily, Ursula is no match for true love and is ultimately defeated.

The Little Mermaid might have the most fun songs out of any Disney film from this era. Who hasn’t sung “Part of Your World” or “Kiss the Girl” at the top of their lungs? They were created by the classic duo of Howard Ashman and Alan Menken.

There hasn’t been a Disney-sanctioned remake of this film, but there have been plenty of retellings including a 2016 film that starred Rosie Mac, Matt Martin, and Amber Borzotra.