The Little Mermaid
(aka Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid
) is an anime
adaptation of "The Little Mermaid
" produced by Toei Animation
. It was released in 1975 in Japan and was dubbed into English in 1978.
The plot follows Andersen
's original story much more closely than the Disney version
, keeping the sad ending.
It also has some elements that Disney would later use, such as an animal companion for the mermaid (Fritz the Dolphin) and an antagonistic force seeking to hurt the mermaid on land (Jenny the cat).
This anime contains examples of:
- Acting for Two: The English dub has the same actress portray the Sea Witch and the cat.
- Arranged Marriage: The Prince is expected to enter one with the princess of a neighboring kingdom, per his parents' wishes.
- Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Seems to be the case after the two meet and learn who the other really is. Unfortunately, she is not really the one that rescued the Prince. She only found him after his real rescuer and desired bride, Marina, had to leave. The Prince realizes this after it's too late.
- The Bad Guy Wins: Jenny the cat wants Marina dead for no real reason. She succeeds.
- Badass Adorable: Fritz. He takes on an army of polyps using starfish and a mermaid skull as weapons, and saves Marina multiple times.
- Bowdlerize: The DVD release cuts some of the Sea Witch's scene and Marina's reunion with her sisters due to their nipples being shown.
- Cats Are Magic: Jenny somehow knows Marina is a mermaid.
- Cats Are Mean: Jenny.
- Cool Old Lady: Marina's grandma.
- Dark Reprise: Marina sings a darker version of her song on the night of her death.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Marina's gasping and moaning during her transformation.
- Downer Ending: The prince realizes his mistake just after it's too late, and Fritz tearfully chases the bubbles that were Marina.
- Dramatic Shattering: When the Prince tells Marina he's found and is marrying who he thinks is his princess she drops a mirror, which breaks.
- Godiva Hair: Marina, both underwater and when she first gains her legs.
- Also her sisters, until they cut their hair as payment to the witch.
- Hypnotize The Prince: Jenny convinces the Prince's parents that Marina bewitched him.
- In-Series Nickname: Marina is called "Princess Mermaid" by the Prince.
- It's All About Me: The Prince confesses to Marina that he wants to marry the girl who found him after he washed up on the beach, but since he can't find her, he wants to marry her instead. This gives the lovesick Marina a brief Hope Spot, even after his parents forbid the union and insist he enter an Arranged Marriage. When the princess his parents choose for him turns out to be the girl who found him, the Prince excitedly tells Marina the good news. It never seems to occur to him that she might feel disappointed or heartbroken that he cast her aside after finding someone better.
- My God, What Have I Done?: The Prince, after he realizes who his "Princess Mermaid" really was.
- Nice to the Waiter: Marina offers the pearl in her hair (that her family gave her as a Rite of Passage) to the head maid since she was admiring it.
- Non-Human Sidekick: Fritz.
- Parental Marriage Veto: The King and Queen are NOT pleased to learn how close their son is becoming with the girl he found, and forcibly separate them after he asserts he wants to marry her over the princess they choose for him.
- Rebellious Princess: Marina, who visits the surface before she's allowed to.
- Rite of Passage: Earning a pearl in your hair marks mermaids as being able to visit the surface. Marina's the last to get one.
- Sweet Polly Oliver: Upon washing ashore, Marina is dressed in the Prince's clothes, which fit her perfectly.
- Talking Animal: The ones underwater, such as Fritz, and at least one on land, Jenny the cat.
- Wounded Gazelle Gambit: The Prince's parents pretend his mother is gravely ill in order to manipulate him into coming to visit them, so they can forcibly separate him from his "Princess Mermaid" and take him to meet the princess THEY want him to marry instead.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Marina's sisters all have impossible hair colors.