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Western Animation / Saban's Adventures of the Little Mermaid

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Saban's Adventures of the Little Mermaid (or simply Adventures of the Little Mermaid) is a cartoon produced by Fuji Television and Saban International Paris in 1990 - adapted from Hans Christian Anderson's The Little Mermaid. It also owes a lot of inspiration to the Disney version.

The familiar story is the show's pilot - with mermaid princess Marina saving human prince Justin from drowning, making a deal with the sea witch, losing her voice, mistaken identity etc. However when Justin discovers Marina's identity...she turns back into a mermaid. The rest of the series follows their attempts to still be together, all the while dodging the wicked sea witch Hedwig. As expected there's animal and human sidekicks along the way.

The series ran for 26 episodes.

Tropes of change...:

  • Adaptational Villainy: Hedwig the sea witch, whose counterpart was neutral in the original tale, becomes the main antagonist like her Disney equivalent, Ursula. Also with Cecily, the princess that the prince assumed was the one who saved him - she becomes Marina's romantic rival, whereas in the fairytale the princess isn't even aware of the mermaid.
  • Badly Battered Babysitter: In "Sugar and Spice", Dudley goes through all kinds of hell trying to prevent the babyfied Coral from wrecking Hedwig's lair.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: The gang come to a wishing well and make wishes. Unfortunately, this is an enchanted well that causes an opposite effect to those wishes. Marina wants to be with Justin always (a magic force keeps her distant from Justin). Winnie never wants to be near Hedwig ever again (Winnie becomes magically connected to Hedwig). Justin wishes to become as noble a person as his father (Justin turns malevolent and cruel). Anselm and Hedwig disenchant the well, restoring everything (albeit with amnesia over their experiences).
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: Happens to a man that cons Marina into buying an old horse.
  • Damsel out of Distress: Marina occasionally as a mermaid.
  • Distressed Dude: Justin more than once.
  • Evil Brit: Hedwig has a British accent. Cecily, however, has an American accent.
  • Expy: Bobo is an obvious one to Flounder.
  • Flying Seafood Special: Winnie is able to hover in the air, despite being an ordinary, non-magical seahorse.
  • Fountain of Youth: In "Sugar and Spice", Hedwig's potion turns Coral into a baby.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Marina both to creatures underwater and on land.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Marina is a blonde and has Incorruptible Pure Pureness. She also isn't the brightest bulb when she's on land.
  • The High Queen: Justin's mother Queen Catherine.
  • Hypnotize the Captive: Marina, Justin and their friends in "Song of the Sea Witch", affected by a hypnotic flute that Hedwig got ahold of. Marina gets this again in "Hold That Thought". Subverted in the latter, where Hedwig's attempt at hypnosis failed and Marina was just playing along.
  • Loophole Abuse: Seeing the human Marina jumping into the sea to drown herself, Anselm is sympathetic to her plight, but can do nothing. He is bound to his oath to no longer use his magic in human affairs. Ridley, fortunately, argues that since Marina was originally a mermaid, she doesn't count as a human. Seeing this loophole, Anselm restores Marina to her true form to prevent her drowning.
  • Magic Pants: Marina gains a dress when she takes the Potion of Change.
  • Magic Potion: A solution to Justin and Marina's star-crossed situation: the Potion of Change, which can allow Justin to temporarily breathe underwater and allow Marina to temporarily become human.
  • The Mentor: Anselm.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: Dudley, by way of being too dumb. Hedwig even tries to get him to drink a potion to make him smart.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Marina has Bobo the fish and Winnie the seahorse. Anselm has Ridley the otter. Marina also has Dudley the shark, Ray the manta ray and Hugo the octopus.
  • Organic Bra: As the above image shows, the mermaids' fish scales go up to their chests, making a natural swimsuit.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different:
    • The series uses both 'The Little Mermaid Method' and 'The Magical Item Method'. Marina can only become human with the Potion of Change, given to her by Hedwig. It works the other way around too, enabling Justin to visit her underwater (although for some reason he just becomes able to breathe underwater rather than turning into a merman). The Golden Tablet, however, has the power to make Marina human permanently.
    • Hedwig is also a mermaid but with an eel's bottom.
  • Pity the Kidnapper: In "Sugar and Spice", baby Coral proves too much for the villains to handle, and completely fucks up their lair. By the end of the episode, Hedwig pretty much begs Marina to take her away and change her back.
  • Plucky Girl: Marina.
  • Rich Bitch: Cecily.
  • Seashell Bra: Averted as Marina's breasts appear to be covered by natural scales that are part of her tail. Hedwig however has one.
  • Threatening Shark: Completely averted with Dudley, who is a dim-witted source of comic relief.
  • Traumatic Haircut: Hedwig intends to do this to Marina. Unluckily for her, Justin is freed just as she's about to...
    Hedwig: I didn't mean it! I was only going to trim her split ends!
  • Water Is Air: And you're able to have curtains, tablecloths and spills in it.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back!: Averted when Hedwig drinks the Potion of Reverse, which makes her nice. Everyone - including her own minions - prefers her that way.