The Little Mermaid is a animated Walt Disney animated Television series based on the1989 Disney film. It features the adventures of Ariel as a mermaid prior to the events of the film. This series is the first Disney television series to be spun off from a major animated film. Some of the voice actors of the film reprise their roles in the series, among them is Jodi Benson as Ariel, Samuel E.Wright as Sebastian, the late Kenneth Mars as King Triton, and Pat Carroll as Ursula.
The Little Mermaid premiered in the fall of 1992 with the animated prime time special called "A Whale of a Tale," then moved to Saturday mornings. This series originally appeared on CBS, with an original run from 1992 to 1994. It was later shown in reruns on The Disney Channel and Toon Disney.
Some of the episodes contain musical segments, featuring original songs written for the series. The opening theme to the show is a combination of the songs "Part of Your World", "Under the Sea", and "Kiss the Girl". The overture for the stage musical of The Little Mermaid is similar to this. The series returned on the Disney Junior channel March 23, 2012.
The Little Mermaid television series is a prequel to the first film. The story is set before the events in the 1989 film, and follows Ariel's adventures as a mermaid still living under the sea with her father, Sebastian and Flounder. Various episodes highlight her relationship with her friends, father and sisters, and usually involve Ariel foiling the attempts of various enemies that intend ill harm to her or to her kingdom.
1."Whale of a Tale" September 11, 1992
- Ariel befriends a baby Orca that was separated from his family because of human poachers, but Triton insists that he be sent away once he has been taught how to survive on his own. (Note: The title is a reference of A Whale of a Tale from the movie 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.) Music: "Just A Little Love", performed by Jodi Benson and "You've Got to Be You", performed by Samuel E. Wright and Tom Kenny.
2."The Great Sebastian" September 12, 1992
- Sebastian tells Triton that he is capable of making a deal with the Sharkanians (a race of shark-like merfolk with an attitude that matches), but in truth, he is petrified of them and Ariel and Flounder must tag along to help him make the process go smoothly. (This is the pilot episode and a parody of The Great Gatsby)
3."Stormy the Wild Seahorse" September 19, 1992
- Ariel rides a wild seahorse named Stormy against her father's wishes and gets lost in the wilderness with Stormy. Music: "Edge of the Edge of the Sea", performed by Jodi Benson
4."Urchin" September 26, 1992
- Ariel befriends an orphaned merboy who has fallen in with the underwater gangster 'Lobster Mobster'. (Note: this is the first appearance of Urchin). Music: "In the Lobster Mobster Mob", performed by Joe Alaskey and David Lander.
5."Double Bubble" October 3, 1992
- Ariel babysits two mischievous mertwins. As lively as the twins are, matters are complicated by the Lobster Mobster, who kidnaps the twins to gain their mother's pearl necklace. Music: "The Beddy Bye Blues" Performed by Joe Alaskey and David Lander
6."Message in a Bottle" October 10, 1992
- Ariel befriends Simon, a lonely sea dragon, after she, Sebastian and Flounder discover his message he sent in a bottle. Music: "Sing A New Song", performed by Jodi Benson
7."Charmed" October 17, 1992
- Ariel puts on a human bracelet and then can't take it off. When she tries to use the key to take it off, she gets trapped by a giant whirlpool and in a horrible underwater nightmare when she runs away from home, afraid of how her father would react after he destroyed a magnifying glass (referred to by her as a 'biggermajiger') she discovered earlier.
8."Marriage of Inconvenience" October 24, 1992
- Ariel believes her father King Triton is setting her up for an arranged marriage with a snobbish merprince of Olympia named Prince Thor, and she and her friends go to great lengths to prevent this from happening.
9."The Evil Manta" October 31, 1992
- Ariel accidentally frees a dark figure known as the Evil Manta, who tries to take over Atlantica using deception and lies to turn its people against each other... to the extent that he even tries to turn Flounder against Ariel. Music: "In Harmony", performed by Jodi Benson
10."Thingamajigger" November 7, 1992
- When a pirate's boot falls into the sea, Ariel, Sebastian and Flounder try to figure out what it is, culminating in the Lobster Mobster and the Evil Manta mistaking it for a weapon. (Note: In this episode, Prince Eric, along with Max, his sheepdog, makes his first appearance)
11."Red" November 14, 1992
- A magic spell turns King Triton into a merboy, and Ariel has to play mother to him.
Music: "This is the Life", performed by Samuel E. Wright
12."Beached" November 21, 1992
- Before a family trip to the Carnival of Tides on the tide, Ariel and Arista get into a fight and are 'beached' (grounded); two gators attempt to steal the royal treasure. Ariel and Arista not only learn more about each other and have an adventure together, but they also learn to work together and to get along.
13."Trident True" November 28, 1992
- Ariel looks for the perfect Father's Day gift to give King Triton, but it leads her to misfortune, when a giant octopus traps them in a cave, forcing Urchin to try and steal the trident so he can save the day.
14."Eel-Ectric City" December 5, 1992
- Pearl, a mermaid who is obsessed with partying, takes Ariel and her sister Alana to Eel-Ectric City instead of to her house, while Sebastian and Flounder follow. In the end Ariel and Alana are beached. This is Ariel's second time getting beached.
15. "Resigned to It" September 18, 1993
- Sebastian quits his job as King Triton's royal advisor and tries to make a new life for himself. At the same time, the dreaded Red Tide returns and threatens to consume Atlantica.
Music: "Never Give Up", performed by Jodi Benson and Samuel E. Wright
16."Calliope Dreams" September 25, 1993
- King Triton wants Ariel to play the sea calliope: an instrument resembling a organ. However she instead wants to play the new harp she found. The music from the calliope awakens the Seaclops. It is up to Ariel and friends to find a way to put the Seaclops to sleep again (in this episode, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart has a cameo appearance). King Triton's grandfather also appears for the first time and Pearl makes her third appearince.
17. "Save the Whale" October 2, 1993
- Spot, the killer whale from the pilot episode, returns. Spot and Sebastian get captured by a crazed circus owner, and Ariel has to save them.
18."Against the Tide" October 9, 1993
- Ariel rescues a Bad-Luck Creature named Lucky, putting all of Atlantica in a panic, and must make her own luck when Ursula comes after the creature.
Music: "Don't Mess with Me", performed by Pat Carroll
19."Giggles" October 16, 1993
- A grumpy sorcerer blowfish's magic spell causes Ariel to create seaquakes whenever she laughs, then Flounder and Sebastian turn into a Shark, a Killer Whale, a Giant Squid and a Humpback Whale then they switch bodies.
Music: "The Sound of Laughter", performed by Samuel E. Wright
20."Wish Upon a Starfish" October 23, 1993
- A big wave grabs a ballerina music box during a thunderstorm, and Ariel, Flounder, and Sebastian tried to get it, but it was unable to reach. Ariel befriends a deaf mermaid, and both of them decide to seek out the magical Wishing Starfish to make their dreams come true. (Note: This is the first appearance of Gabriella. Also, the title is a play on When You Wish Upon a Star from the animated film Pinocchio). Music: "Daring to Dance", performed by Jodi Benson
21."Tail of Two Crabs" October 30, 1993
- Sebastian feels threatened by Zeus, an old arch-rival who is better than him at everything, while Ursula works on a plan to turn Triton, Ariel, and others into sea polyps by using a magic stone. This episode is a parody of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.
22."Metal Fish" November 6, 1993
- A human explorer known in the episode as the author of The Little Mermaid story, Hans Christian Andersen, boards a primitive submarine to explore the undersea realm, and crosses paths with Ariel when his submarine is damaged and starts to leak (:Note this episode ends with Kenneth Mars the voice of King Triton telling us a message that he wrote the original story and to find his books at your local Library.
23."T'ank You for Dat, Ariel" December 11, 1993
- Ariel enters a magic cave to become a sea witch and uses her powers to make Sebastian a great big crab. Unfortunately, she is not quite specific about the size she wishes Sebastian to attain.
24."Scuttle" September 17, 1994
- Ariel meets Scuttle for the first time and must use his help to rescue Sebastian from a gang of pirates. Note: This marks the second appearance of Prince Eric.
Music: "Just Give Me A Chance", performed by Maurice LaMarche
25. "King Crab" September 24, 1994
- Sebastian realizes that his parents are coming to visit and must try to create a huge scheme to make it appear that he is the king of Atlantica like he wrote in his letters to them.
26. "Island of Fear" October 1, 1994
- A mad scientist captures Sebastian and tries to use him for sinister experiments, while Sebastian bonds with his young apprentice.
27."Land of the Dinosaurs" October 8, 1994
- During a trip to the north pole, Ariel finds frozen dinosaurs and thaws them with her father's trident. Somehow they are aquatic and cause chaos before King Triton makes a refuge for them on land.
28."Heroes" October 15, 1994
- Apollo, a great Atlantican hero comes to visit and Ariel wants to go on an adventure with him, only to learn that he isn't all he's cracked up to be.
29."The Beast Within" October 22, 1994
- Flounder is bitten by a howling hairfish and starts to turn into one.
30."Ariel's Treasures" October 29, 1994
- Gabriella returns to visit Ariel as she shows her all of her new human things. However, Ursula's spell causes her treasures to go crazy and begin attacking innocent fish and merpeople. Note: Prince Eric makes his third appearance.
31."A Little Evil" November 26, 1994
- The Evil Manta returns and introduces his son, who he wants to be just as evil as he is. Unfortunately, when his son befriends Ariel and goes to school with her, he starts to get other "good" ideas in his head. Music: "Just Like Me", performed by Tim Curry
- Jodi Benson as Ariel
- Samuel E. Wright as Sebastian
- Bradley Pierce as Flounder
- the late Kenneth Mars as King Triton
- Maurice LaMarche as Scuttle
- Mona Marshall as Aquata
- Catherine Cavadinias Andrina
- the late Mary Kay Bergman as Arista
- Kath Soucie as Attina
- Sherry Lynn as Adella
- Kimmy Robertson as Alana
- Pat Carroll as Ursula
- the late Paddi Edwards as Floatsam and Jetsam
- Jeff Bennett as Prince Eric
- Danny Cooksey as Urchin
- the late Joe Alaskey as The Lobster Mobster
- David Lander as De Shrimp
- The Evil Manta (voiced by Tim Curry) - An evil man/manta ray hybrid who repeatedly tries to take over Atlantica.
- Pearl (voiced by Cree Summer) - A spoiled, thrill-seeking mermaid whose actions often lead to Ariel, as well as herself, getting in trouble.
- Spot - A killer whale cub whom Ariel adopted and secretly raised in the palace.
- Gabriella - A deaf-mute Latina mermaid who dreams of becoming a singer. Gabriella's sign language is translated by her octopus friend Ollie (who is voiced by Gabriel Damon). This character is based on a real person who was a fan of the show and died during its first season.
- Moray Eel (voiced by Dave Coulier) - A moray eel salesman and con-artist who occasionally sells items to Ariel that alternately help her or get her into trouble.
- The Crabscouts (occasionally voiced by J.D. Daniels, Anndi McAfee, Bradley Pierce, Malachi Pearson, and Whitby Hertford) - They are crab children, consisting of two boys and one girl, who are under the mentorship of Sebastian in a scout-like troop.
- Flo and Ebb (voiced by Kath Soucie and Jim Cummings) - Alligator criminals who first appear in the episode "Beached".
- The Magical Wishing Starfish (voiced by the late Tony Jay) - A giant starfish with a beard and crown who only appears in the episode "Wish Upon A Starfish".
- Edan Gross, the third person to voice Flounder, went through puberty and his voice went to a deeper tone, but the voice director wasn't going to replace him due to obvious reasons. From then on, Edan continued to voice Flounder for the rest of the series, regardless of how low his voice was.
- Christopher Daniel Barners wasn't able to voice to Eric in the series. Instead, he is replaced by Jeff Bennett.
- After the series ended in 1994, 6 years have passed until the sequel film The Liitle Mermaid ll :Return to the Sea came out.
- Though Ariel doesn't see Eric's face during the series which was done on purpose to keep it canon to the movie, he unknowingly changes her perception of humans for she was initially fearful of humans but when she saw him free a dolphin from a net her perception of humans greatly changed.
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