Reviewed with The Little Mermaid: Diamond Edition Blu-ray
The latest re-releases from the Disney vault are two very different but equally appealing gems. While their ages may have you gasping (Robin Hood is 40, The Little Mermaid’s pushing 25), both feel remarkably fresh on their Blu-ray debuts.
Robin Hood retells the story of England’s most famous outlaw, bantering buddy Little John, foxy lady-love Maid Marian and the put-upon people of Nottingham. The songs have a folksy vibe, and there’s some bang-on anthropomorphic animal casting (even if John is basically Baloo in a feather cap).
Earworm music and irresistible characters are also on offer in The Little Mermaid, a bold Broadway-ification of a classic story (softened from the Hans Christian Andersen source). Headstrong Ariel – who trades her voice for legs for a shot at love with a human – remains one of Disney’s most sympathetic princesses.
Revitalising Disney’s fairytale formula, TLM kick-started a golden streak: Beauty And The Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King…
In contrast to Mermaid’s lush design, Robin Hood’s sequence-recycling animation seems almost dainty.
While a Blu-ray upgrade is probably extravagant for DVD owners, the transfers add even more texture to the 2D visuals and are bedecked with solid extras.