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    14 Easter Eggs From The Animated "Little Mermaid" That You Almost Certainly Missed

    Turns out, both Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty characters make an appearance in The Little Mermaid.

    Amid the release of the live-action Little Mermaid movie, we've decided to take a trip down memory lane and remember some of the Easter eggs and small details that dazzled us in the animated classic.

    Screenshot from "The Little Mermaid"

    1. First, one of the opening shots is of Triton riding past the crowds before the concert. If you look closely, you can see Mickey and Goofy in the crowd.

    Mickey and Mouse in the crowd in "The Little Mermaid"

    2. But it's not just Disney characters in the scene: Kermit also makes an appearance. "The animator who animated the crowd in that scene did that himself as a little inside joke," co-director Ron Clements told Insider, noting that the movie's then-unexpected (and relatively quick) transition to home video made catching the Easter egg easier than may have been intended.

    Kermit the Frog also in the crowd

    3. Ariel famously has a lot of stuff, so it should be no surprise that there are plenty of Easter eggs in "Part of Your World." The Magdalene with the Smoking Flame by Georges de la Tour is next to her here. The painting is of Mary Magdalene and is said to be a contemplation of life (that's a skull on her lap).

    Screenshot from "The Little Mermaid"

    4. It's not the only piece of artwork in the cave — there's also a bust of Abraham Lincoln. It's safe to assume that The Little Mermaid, therefore, takes place in or after the 1860s.

    Screenshot from "The Little Mermaid"

    5. It's fairly well-known at this point that legendary drag queen Divine inspired the design of Ursula. Rejected versions of Ursula include a Joan Collins-inspired manta ray.

    6. While we're at it, the reason why Ursula has six tentacles instead of eight (you know, like an octopus) is because it was cheaper and faster to animate. As such, voice actor Pat Carroll argued that Ursula was a squid — though some have argued that Ursula's arms make up the eight "tentacles." It's probably most accurate to call her a cecaelia.

    Screenshot from "The Little Mermaid"

    7. Meanwhile, photos of a young Alyssa Milano on the show Who's The Boss? were used as a model for Ariel's face (although Alyssa didn't know it at the time). Another actor, Sherri Stoner, was brought in for references for Ariel's body.

    8. Some more cameos include a fish with glasses in the corner of "Under the Sea." This is an homage to the 1964 Warner Bros. movie The Incredible Mr. Limpet, which is about a man who turns into a fish.

    Screenshot from "The Little Mermaid"

    9. If you ever paused on the contract that Ariel signs, you've likely noticed that it's largely gibberish. There's also a hidden Mickey amid the text, which doesn't seem terribly legally binding.

    Closeup of Ariel's contract with Ursula

    10. On the note of hidden Mickeys, there are plenty in this movie — especially as all of the bubbles were individually hand painted. You can also spot a Mickey in the background after "Les Poissons."

    Arrow pointing to a hidden Mickey Mouse

    11. If you zoom in on the middle painting in Eric's dining room, you'll notice that it appears to be a painting of Prince Phillip and Aurora from Sleeping Beauty.

    Screenshot from "The Little Mermaid"

    12. There are also two connections to Cinderella: Prince Eric's maid Carlotta wears the same dress as Cinderella, and the Duke and the King appear in the background of the first wedding scene.

    13. If Scuttle's screeching before "Kiss the Girl" sounds familiar, it's because he's singing the love theme from Tchaikovsky’s "Romeo and Juliet."

    Closeup of Scuttle

    14. Finally, you might recognize the shot where Ariel is sat on a rock at the end of the movie as an homage to a statue in Copenhagen, which was made in honor of the author of The Little Mermaid, Hans Christian Andersen.

    The Little Mermaid (2023) hits theaters May 26, 2023.

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