by Beth Rowen
The Little Mermaid (1989)
It's interesting to note that the most memorable entries in the Disney franchise were all released pre-2000. Just as other studios finally begin to challenge Disney's monopoly on animation, the Mouse House finds itself caught in a slump. Its creative force peaked in the late 1980s and early '90s, with The Little Mermaid the first in a string of blockbusters. The film's perpetually upbeat producers replaced the original yet melancholy Hans Christian Andersen ending with a signature girl-nabs-the-guy one. But never mind, the lush colors, toe-tapping score, and droll script more than make up for the formulaic plot.
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