(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea)
Doug (vo): So, I'm not gonna lie. One of the few Disney sequels that peaked my interest a little bit was Little Mermaid II. Aside from Return of Jafar, I never saw any of the Disney sequels. They just didn't peak my interest, and I think I was a little too old for them. But when I saw the commercials for this one, about Ariel's daughter who's a human who wants to become a mermaid, I thought, "That's kind of a clever idea." Okay, I wasn't expecting much. I know it's a Disney sequel, but I thought there were some possibilities in this. I popped it in, gave it a watch, and...yeah, it sucked. Okay, maybe that's too strong a word, but it just felt like an hour and a half of...nothing. This story should be so easy to make interesting, but instead, you just felt like they're going through the motions. The motions that we got to see these characters again, we got to do at least five dumb kids' movies cliches that you've seen everywhere, and we have to in no way make the characters feel like their decisions are making the story flow, doing what the story says they have to do. And it's a shame, because like I said, I thought this was a good idea.
Doug (vo): Ariel and Eric have given birth to a little girl named Melody. She's about to be introduced to her grandfather Triton, but then, Ursula's crazy sister interrupts and threatens to kill Melody unless Triton hands over his magic trident. She's defeated, but they decide to follow Frozen parents' logic and just keep her away from the thing that she would obviously be very drawn to instead of finding about a million other ways around this. So she can never be told about mer-people or the sea or anything like that; in fact, they even build a wall in between the kingdoms. Insert Trump joke here. But Triton tells Sebastian to keep an eye on her, because...yeah, that makes sense...and 12 years pass, but everybody acts like it was just 12 minutes. No, really. 12 years later, Sebastian is like, "Oh, look after her, he said." But, wait. Why are you acting like he just said that when it was 12 years ago? Also, Ursula's sister is trying to turn this little guppy back into a shark that was just transformed into a guppy. Why are you still doing this 12 years later and acting like it just happened a few minutes ago? Ju...this is the kind of logic this movie runs on! Melody constantly sneaks under the wall and goes into the sea, because she loves it so much. She...doesn't question that she can talk to crabs and fish and seagulls, but apparently, everyone else does and sees her as kind of weird. When Sebastian accidentally gets loose during a party and causes a big scene, she thinks she's to blame, even though...nobody says she's to blame, and this ruins her big night that...I guess could've possibly gone awkward anyway. You see Ariel cross her fingers, though we don't know why. She's afraid to dance with this boy, though we don't know why. She looks down at her feet like she doesn't know how to dance, but this was never addressed. Yeah, we're not even at the meat of the story yet, and nothing is adding up. She finds her old magical locket that shows that the underwater city is real, and this convinces her that it's totally rational to leave her home and try to find it. Yeah, again, kind of crazy. She comes across Ursula's sister, who turns her into a mermaid, but sadly says she doesn't have enough magic to keep her that way. The only thing that does have enough magic is King Triton's trident, who she now says he stole from her. Because Melody has succumbed to stupidly written kid syndrome like in all bad scripts, she believes her, thinks Triton is the bad guy, and goes and tries to steal from him. Along the way, she comes across Sea Timon and Pumbaa...yeah, I'm sure they have other names (Tip and Dash), but it's just Timon and Pumbaa underwater...and she even totally 100% betrays her mother, while also simultaneously dooming the world.
Doug (vo; chuckling): Oh, God, is this movie stupid. Every second, there's another dumb thing that doesn't add up, or something that just makes a character look selfish or idiotic. When Melody finds out that her mother has been lying to her and that her life is a lie, look at this. She runs right past her dad. The dad doesn't even give a shit! (Imitates Prince Eric) "Oh, hey, Ariel, what's up?" (Normal) What...I...attend to your daughter, you idiot! He doesn't even go with Ariel to go find her, he just stays behind and says, "Good luck."
(An action scene from Aladdin and the King of Thieves is briefly shown)
Doug (vo): Even Jasmine threw a punch in Aladdin 3, this guy just does nothing!
(Clips mostly focusing on Melody and the villain Morgana are shown)
Doug (vo): The only characters very occasionally of interest are either Melody or the evil sister. Once in a while, they do a good expression on them and, hey, Pat Carroll's back to do the voice. She could read the phone book and make it sound deliciously evil. Even the animation is just generic. I can't say it's bad, but nothing really stands out about it either.
(Images of Ariel in the first film are shown)
Doug (vo): I remember the incredible expressions that they gave Ariel in the first one. Even when she couldn't talk, the animation on her face was just so passionate and so well done. Here, she just feels like a robot. Look kind of happy, look kind of sad, look kind of worried, look kind of whimsical. It's like talking the notes instead of singing the notes. The Disney sequels that had generic animation always had something that stood out about it. Pocahontas II had a lot of great expressions and some good nature shots. Beauty and the Beast II has some nice winter colors and that awesome organ. This just seems like it's there to do its job, and that's it. I can't totally blame them, I'm sure they were rushed and had to get it out fast, but it's just so weird that nothing, frigging nothing, stands out about it. Even the songs are forgettable. I don't remember a single one.
Final thought Edit
Doug (vo): I don't know. I guess I shouldn't be shocked. I mean, it's a Disney sequel, this is what we're supposed to expect. But I really liked this idea. I wanted to see more of Melody longing for the sea, I wanted to see more conflict between her and the parents, I wanted her when she finally gets into the ocean to see what a spectacular world it is, like her life is starting anew. But instead of feeling any of that, you're just kind of shown it. You're told what's going on and not experiencing it. I guess it's not awful, especially compared to other Disney sequels, it's just...bland and not very memorable. And for an idea like this, especially being a sequel to such a passionate film, you would think even a rushed sequel off of something so passionate would leave some kind of impact. I guess it's fine and corny enough for little kids, but for someone who really loved the beauty, energy and elegance of the original, for me, this definitely flounders.
(The final scene of the movie, showing all the characters singing together as King Triton uses his trident to make a rainbow appear, is shown)