Saban's Adventures of the Little Mermaid (or simply Adventures of the Little Mermaid) is a cartoon produced by Fuji Television and SIP Animation 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: The sea witch who was a True Neutral in the original tale becomes the main antagonist. Also with the princess that the prince assumed was the one who saved him - she becomes Marina's romantic rival.
- Badly Battered Babysitter: In "Sugar and Spice", Dudley goes through all kinds of hell trying to prevent the babyfied Carol from wrecking Hedwig's lair.
- 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.
- Everything's Better with Princesses: Marina is of course a princess. Cecily however is not a princess, which she was in the original story.
- Evil Brit: Hedwig has a British accent. Cecily however has an American accent.
- Expy: Bobo is an obvious one to Flounder.
- Fountain of Youth: In "Sugar and Spice", Hedwig's potion turns Carol into a baby.
- Friend to All Living Things: Marina both to creatures underwater and on land.
- Hair Decorations: Cecily has a bow in her hair.
- 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 Princess: Marina in "Sing Along with Witch", affected by a hypnotic flute. She gets this again in "Hold That Thought." Subverted in that she was faking it in the latter.
- Magic Pants: Marina gains a dress when she takes the Potion of Change.
- 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.
- One Mario Limit: Has a character named Hedwig, long before people would have associated it with the pet owl of Harry Potter.
- 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. 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 Carol 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.