The Little Mermaid is a 1989 animated film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation. It was first released on November 17, 1989 and later re-released on November 14, 1997 by Walt Disney Pictures. The 28th animated feature in the Disney Animated Canon, the film is loosely based upon the Hans Christian Andersen short story "The Little Mermaid". The film grossed over $111 million in the U.S. and an additional $99 million worldwide from both theatrical and re-release runs, and is mostly given credit for creating the Disney Renaissance, an era that had breathed life back into the animated feature film genre after a string of competent, but only moderately successful animated films such as The Aristocats and The Great Mouse Detective, and the single major commercial flop The Black Cauldron. The film was re-released on September 13, 2013 exclusively at El Capitan Theatre.
The film begins on a foggy morning out on the open sea. A ship then comes from the fog, filled with sailors singing stories of the legendary merfolk. ("Fathoms Below") Aboard that ship is a young prince, named Eric, his dog Max, and his advisor Grimsby. Grimsby denounces the merfolk as, "nautical nonsense", but one sailor insists them to be real. While distracted by Grimsby, a fish the sailor was holding slips from him and falls into the ocean.