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