Q&A with “The Little Mermaid” Writers/Directors, John Musker & Ron Clements

By Shannon Gurnee
In Blogging Events
September 12, 2013

Disney Trip Disclosure

Little Mermaid 1

A little over a month ago, I was invited to a fun event hosted by Walt Disney Studios.  During that event, I attended a Dinner featuring the new “Little Mermaid” Available at the Disney Store, as well as a brief introduction to the Writers and Directors of the movie – John Musker and Ron Clements.  What a team!  They were sweet, funny and I’m sure work amazingly well together on the Disney movies they create and direct.

Little Mermaid 4

The next day, we had an opportunity to meet with John and Ron in a more intimate setting – a round table discussion with other bloggers.  They talked to us about their initial feelings when working on “The Little Mermaid,” how the production process went, and then how they felt when they learned their movie was a success.

Ron said, “No…we didn’t.  I mean we…felt it had potential to be a really good film, I think, from, from fairly early on and we were intimidated because it was the first fairy tale.  I mean, we were…the baby boomer generation.  We both aspired to work at Disney and, and…had been there for quite awhile, but [The Little] Mermaid felt like it was kind of special [because] it was the first film that was a fairy tale and it…harkened back to…Snow White and Cinderella.  So we felt a certain amount of pressure with that.  But, um…no we didn’t.”

John said, “When we’re working on it, the public doesn’t see it very much.  Not even our own families for the most part.  So it wasn’t until we started to have public previews and we saw the reaction…And just as this movie was about to be released I think somehow Spielberg, I don’t know if he had even seen it, but Peter Schneider, who was an executive at the time, we were in this room for something else, he said, ‘Steven Spielberg says it’s gonna make a hundred million dollars.’  And so we were like, ‘Really?  Spielberg thinks it’s gonna make a hundred million dollars?’  And so…there was excitement building…We were the audience for the movie, really.  You’re just trying to make a movie that you think — that we would like to see…and you hope somebody else will like to see it to.”


Then Ron began to talk about the process of making “The Little Mermaid” and said, “It seems like…if you spend four years to make a movie, that seems like an eternity…When you really get into the making the movie…it’s a fairly intense period…and the release date is set and the toys are being made and you’re behind schedule.  Almost every film to some degree or another I think is behind schedule…at some point or another.”

Then John said, “The other…[time] when I really felt like I realized that we had made an impact [was] the following October, after the movie had come out [KNOCKING] on the door [and then] ‘Trick or Treat!’ and there’s a little girl dressed as Ariel.  I thought, ‘We made it into the popular culture!  We crossed over!  This is not even one of my own children!  This is a stranger!’

I never would have thought there was any doubt that “The Little Mermaid” wouldn’t be a hit!  I absolutely loved that movie growing up and still do now that I’m an adult with my own kids.  I love these interviews with the Writers and Directors because it gives me a greater understanding of how much hard work and effort really goes into making animated films!  A big thanks to John Musker and Ron Clements for taking time out of their busy lives and talking with us about “The Little Mermaid.”

Little Mermaid Logo

Remember, you can purchase your copy of “The Little Mermaid” on Blu-ray and DVD, starting on October 1st, 2013!

Who is your favorite character or what is your favorite scene in “The Little Mermaid?”

About Has 2149 Posts

Shannon Gurnee is the author of Redhead Mom formerly "The Mommy-Files", a national blog with a loyal following. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Marriage, Family, and Human Development with a Minor in Business Management. Shannon and her husband, Frank, have a large family with 6 awesome kids and love living on the Central Coast near San Luis Obispo, California, as well as traveling around the world. A full-time Social Media and Professional Blogger, Shannon also serves as a National Brand Ambassador for many well-known companies. Her blog focuses on motherhood, family fun activities, traveling, fashion, beauty, technology, wedding ideas and recipes while providing professional opinions on products, performances, restaurants, and a variety of businesses.

11 Responses to “Q&A with “The Little Mermaid” Writers/Directors, John Musker & Ron Clements”

  1. What a great experience. I love receiving information directly from the people who have participated in the making of a film. It’s amazing to see how long the animated movies take to make.

  2. Susan says:

    wow what a great event it must have been so cool to chat with them. The little mermaid was always one of my favorites.

  3. Maria says:

    Little Mermaid is one of my favorite cartoons! What a fantastic opportunity!!

  4. Kristen says:

    I actually saw this in the theaters. LOL! Makes me feel old! Still a great movie!

  5. Grace Hodgin says:

    My daughter loved the Littlest Mermaid and what a great experience for you.

  6. Tasha says:

    Ah! That is so cool that you got to meet with the Directors! I love the Little Mermaid! It’s been on of my favourite movies since I was little πŸ˜‰

  7. Lisa says:

    That is so awesome that you got to interview him!

  8. Julie Wood says:

    I have always loved the story of the Little Mermaid because of the adventures the best part is when Ariel falls in love with Prince Eric and there is a storm and Prince Eric is knocked unconsious, and Ariel sings to him and he wakes up, Ariel wants to be something she is not, a human.

  9. Mary Happymommy says:

    My daughter is crazy about Ariel. I’m looking forward to the new Diamond Edition Blu Ray combo pack.

  10. My daughter love this movie when she was little. I would love to watch it again as I haven’t seen it in years. I must have been fun to interact with the directors.

  11. […] into the underwater world of The Little Mermaid.  We had the opportunity to interview Directors John Musker and Ron Clements, as well as the voice of Ariel, Jodi Benson.  We also had the opportunity to check out the […]

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