My opinion right after watching the film
My opinion right after watching the film is that while I understand what they were trying to do, there was something about the film that made it hard for me to care about it, or do anything but groan at it.
This was around the time where John Lasseter cancelled all of the sequels, but this one got pushed back, so they can focus on Cinderella 3: A Twist in Time. The studios were forced to make only Tinkerbell l films, so the company can build the Disney Fairies franchise.
The film starts with a prologue scene of King Triton (Jim Cummings) and Queen Athena (Lorelei Hill Butters) celebrating their life with their kingdom and 7 daughters. He gave her a gift, which is a music box of the two of them dancing to music. Things take a turn for the worst when they are all hanging out above the sea, and sailors appear, as they are trying to grab fish, and end up crashing into Athena, who was about to fetch for the gift.
We are soon introduced to the daughters, and the governess Marina (Sally Field) was them up. I instantly hate Marina, and it is clear that she is a shell of Ursula, and even Morgana, but cornier, and more pathetic. It is soon found out that she hates Sebastian (Samuel E. Wright) for being better at her in their jobs, and sees them as competition. Triton takes them all on a walk, and Ariel (Jodi Benson) tickles her sister Adella (Tara Strong), which disturbs their pattern, and causes Triton to punish Ariel.
Sally sings about her hatred for the girls and Sebastian, also wanting more power. YAWN. You are not funny. Give it up. Ariel ends up meeting Flounder (Parker Goris) who was playing music, which has him scared. She likes it, but they are caught by Sebastian, who attempts to take him to the cells, but he soon changes his mind
because he is full of crap. Triton visits the girls to say goodnight, but Ariel has an attitude. After he leaves, Attina (Kari Walhgren) attempts to talk some sense into Ariel, which is impossible, since the latter has none.
Her sisters call her out about humming, and finding a maraca under her bed. She tells them the truth, and that it was amazing, since it reminded them about when their mother was around. She takes all of her sisters to the underground club, and they end up having fun, though some are a bit scared. In order to have conflict, Marina oversees them, and reports it to Triton, who shows up at the club. He locks them all up (including Sebastian), and Marina is given the crab’s job. Ariel confronts Triton about how her mother would not approve of this, and decides to run away. Attina tells her that she does not know when to quit, which is true, but the movie is going to make sure that Ariel is always right, even when she blatantly is not.
While Triton is sombering over his late wife, and what she would want, Ariel breaks out the others from jail, and they all run away. This gives them an excuse to sing a bunch of unfunny and terrible songs. Triton gives not give a crap about anything Marina is saying, because he is thinking, and when Attina mentions that Ariel ran away he blows Marina off, and demands everyone to look for her.
Ariel soon finds the music box that Triton threw away, and Sebastian narrates the story behind it. She is determined to bring it back to him, but Marina conveniently shows up, to send the eels to kill them. How did she get there before Triton, when him and the guards left before she did? They all conveniently defeat the eels, and Ariel saves Sebastian from being killed by Marina. Triton joins them as soon as Ariel is injured, and sees the music box roll from her possession. She of course recovers, and he restores music. Marina is also put to jail.
The new characters are crap, and while I like that they put a bit of focus on the sisters, there is still a lot to fulfill there. Otherwise, the characters are pretty decent though.
The animation is pretty nice. I have to note that the characters are a bit rounder, but something tells me that it has more to do with the lining they use in the film more than anything else. The colors are bold and bright, backgrounds are pretty decent to look at, and the characters are consistently designed.
I hate the music in this film. The song that Ariel sings is decent, but the rest just piss me off, since most of them involve Marina. The lyrics did not pull me in, but often turn me off, and felt very gimmicky. Regarding the score, it was pretty nice. Still a lot to be desired in this aspect.
Reception at Release
When the film was released on August 26th, 2008, it sold almost a million copies within a week. It received mixed reviews, since many felt like it a creative improvement over the films in this canon, but others criticized the villain and the songs.
A lot of people see this as the last true DisneyToons film, since the films after this generally have a better quality than the typical Disney sequel.
24.5/40 = 61%