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Legacy Review

The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea (2000)

A movie so hell-bent on recreating the original that it casts the same voice actress for the villain, gives her the same design (but skinny), and declares her a “sister.”

Ariel turns back into mermaid for no clear reason except that’s what most of the kids expect.

It takes place at least 15 years in the future, but nobody has aged except Flounder, who now has five kids, a divorce, a dad bod, and a fish combover. (What is the lifespan for crabs, fish, and seagulls?)

The arc closely matches the original (in reverse), but with such dependence on unlucky timing, misunderstandings that could be resolved with a few sentences of dialogue, and stupid decisions that it’s never not frustrating.

The animation is occasionally clean and expressive, but just as often ploopy and misshapen. The look is horribly inconsistent, with none of the atmosphere or menace of the original.

I refuse to believe that any of these songs took more than fifteen minutes to write and another fifteen minutes to record.

At least it moves quickly, and a couple of the scenarios are semi-charming. The returning voice actors retain some energy from the original, and I liked newcomer Tara Strong as protagonist Melody. Plus it’s colorful with a few cool visual designs!

But don’t bother.

Is It Good?

Not Good (2/8)

Note: This review was originally published elsewhere. Please excuse brevity or inconsistencies in style. If you have questions or feedback, please leave a comment or contact me.


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