A marvel of skillful animation, witty songwriting and smart planning.
Janet Maslin - New York Times
Even at its highest points, it cannot claim a place next to even the least of the great Disney classics.
Hal Hinson - Washington Post
A movie that's so creative and so much fun it deserves comparison with the best Disney work of the past.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
Within the apparently necessary aesthetic and ideological limitations (such as making the hero and heroine Americans surrounded by foreign servants a la Pinocchio), the animation manages to be fairly energetic.
Jonathan Rosenbaum - Chicago Reader
May represent Disney's best animated feature since the underrated Sleeping Beauty in 1959.
Variety Staff - Variety
A fantastic success.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
You could wish upon a star and not conjure up a more joyous animated movie than this graceful retelling of the Hans Christian Andersen tale.
Dean Essner - TIME Magazine
Superb, entertaining animated musical has some scary stuff.
Nell Minow - Common Sense Media
The long-awaited proof that Disney animation could, in fact, return almost the quality and beauty of its Golden Age.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
This is unquestionably the best animated film in many years and is therefore highly recommended.
Chris Hicks - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Relying on a simple, recognized tale, great songs and marvellous animation, it turned its fortunes around.
Dean Essner - Film4
Overall, it's an enjoyable film, thankfully free of the computerized look of later Disney cartoons, but it really can't compare to the real Disney classics.
Dean Essner - TV Guide's Movie Guide
A coming of age fable for both Disney and the mermaid heroine
Nathaniel Rogers - Film Experience
The Little Mermaid was a mirage, not an oasis.
Bill Chambers - Film Freak Central
Still a great entertainment and a welcome addition to any Disney library.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
The hand-drawn animation is terrific, and the soundtrack, which includes Part of Your World, Under the Sea and Kiss the Girl, is among Disney's best.
Forrest Hartman - Reno Gazette-Journal
The Little Mermaid is the story of one packrat pre-tween princess whose undersea kingdom is only matched in depth by her remarkable sense of consumer-minded entitlement.
Eric Henderson - Slant Magazine
...cute, romantic, well-animated, well paced, and filled with more good music than Disney had produced in quite some time.
John J. Puccio - DVDTown.com
John J. Puccio - Movie Metropolis
This return to traditional Disney territory is geared to captivate children while allowing them to maintain their street cred, largely by combining extravagant animated technique with ranging musical styles.
Geoff Andrew - Time Out
Huggable, lovable Disney. Before the corporation went dumpster diving.
Widgett Walls - Needcoffee.com
An instant classic with a great story, great animation, great music, and a great villain.
James Plath - DVDTown.com
James Plath - Movie Metropolis
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
A surprising success, thanks largely to Alan Menken and Howard Ashman's brilliant songs.
James Rocchi - Netflix
The re-birth of the Disney musical.
Michael A. Smith - Nolan's Pop Culture Review
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
Audrey Rock-Richardson - Tooele Transcript-Bulletin (Utah)
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
The start of a run of modern Disney animated classics.
Rob Thomas - Capital Times (Madison, WI)
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
The Little Mermaid revitalized the notion of what can be achieved with pen and ink, and once again put Disney in an unreachable top spot as the undisputed king of animation studios.
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
Carol Cling - Las Vegas Review-Journal
James O'Ehley - Sci-Fi Movie Page
Jeffrey Westhoff - Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
Marks the end of an era of good -- even very good -- Disney animated features, and the start (one hopes) of a new period of great ones.
Warren Spector - Austin Chronicle
All the voice actors do an excellent job, particularly Carroll, who practically steals the show as Ursula, and Wright, whose Jamaican crab accent is funny and lovable.
John R. McEwen - Film Quips Online
Michael Szymanski - Zap2it.com
Philip Martin - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
A movie to love.
Margaret A. McGurk - Cincinnati Enquirer
Disney returned to form with this animated musical classic, setting off a decade-long string of success for the studio's children's entertainment.
Phil Villarreal - Arizona Daily Star
Scott Weinberg - eFilmCritic.com
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
its best moments are certainly as delightful as anything the Mouse Factory has ever produced...
James Sanford - Kalamazoo Gazette
If you don't leave the theater humming, then you'd better check the adjustment on your hearing aid.
Steve Rhodes - Internet Reviews
A zesty, visually fluid piece of entertainment, with Ursula held up as a great cartoon villain.
Urban Cinefile Critics - Urban Cinefile
Represents a return not just to the classic tradition but also to the classic formula.
Mark R. Leeper - rec.arts.movies.reviews
It's certainly not brain food, but give this fish the credit its due: Turning around Disney.
Christopher Null - Filmcritic.com
Delivers exactly the right quotient of laughs, sniffles, scares and songs to remain sparkling family fun.
Dean Essner - Empire Magazine
If you have kids, take them and have a ball.
Barbara Shulgasser - San Francisco Examiner
I love this movie.
Rob Blackwelder - SPLICEDWire
Its exuberance and humor made animation hip again.
Scott Renshaw - rec.arts.movies.reviews