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The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning

The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning

The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning (also known as the working title, The Little Mermaid III) is a 2008 American animated direct-to-video fantasy film produced by DisneyToon Studios, and a prequel to Disney's 1989 animated film The Little Mermaid and the third and final installment in The Little Mermaid trilogy and the first in the chronology of the story running through the series. Directed by Peggy Holmes, the film's story is set before the events of the original film, when Ariel is still young, and where all music has been banned from the underwater kingdom of Atlantica by King Triton after being heartbroken at his wife's death, and Ariel attempts to challenge this law. Jodi Benson and Samuel E. Wright reprise their roles as Ariel and Sebastian respectively, while Sally Field voices the film's new villainess, Marina Del Rey, and Jim Cummings replaces Kenneth Mars as King Triton, as the latter had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and was unable to reprise the role. The film was released by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment on August 26, 2008. The film received negative reviews with criticism aimed at the script and the music score, but the animation quality and voice performances were praised.

Plot

King Triton and his wife, Queen Athena, rule over the underwater kingdom of Atlantica, filled with music and laughter. They have seven young daughters: Attina, Alana, Adella, Aquata, Arista, Andrina and the youngest of whom is Ariel. One day, while the merpeople relax in a lagoon above water, Triton gives Athena a music box. However, a pirate ship approaches. Everyone escapes except Athena, who is killed by the ship when she tries to recover the music box. Triton becomes devastated by his wife's death and throws the music box away, permanently banning music from Atlantica.