Talking The Little Mermaid With Mark Henn

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While others fangirl over big movie stars, I fangirl over Mark Henn. Don’t get me wrong, I do love meeting some of the best actors on the planet, but I feel like my Mark Henn stan status is something that you may not see elsewhere. 

Mark Henn is a legendary Disney Animator, who has drawn some of our favorite princesses of all time. From Jasmine, Belle, Ariel, Mulan, and Tiana, Mark Henn has been part of them all. 

Legendary Disney Animator Mark Henn

He’s also the lead director for the Disney animated short John Henry, which is our family’s favorite Disney short. A few years ago during D23, I was able thank him for creating it, and recently I was able to watch him draw Ariel while sharing his thoughts on the 30th anniversary of The Little Mermaid.

Taking a selfie with Mark Henn in 2015

Mark was the supervising editor of The Little Mermaid, which means he’s drawn and seen the characters repeatedly over the past 30 years. When we sat down to draw with Mark, here are a few things he had to say about The Little Mermaid, other characters he’s drawn, and the Disney animation process.

Fun Facts from Mark Henn

  • Visual Development Artists start the creation of characters. They put up tons of art, so supervising animators like Mark are able to add their ideas and test different versions of the characters.
  • Mark is passing on what he learned from Walt Disney’s original animators, and sharing it with the younger Disney Animators on staff now. Knowing that maybe he contributed or helped with an idea for current and future animated films gives him a deep satisfaction.
  • Ariel was the first princess Mark animated. He then animated Belle and Jasmine. Jasmine was the first Disney princess where he had an animator’s block. A picture of his own sister helped him develop Jasmine’s look.
  • Ariel’s seashells were a big deal. They had to go through quite few versions of her shells to make sure they were modest enough, but still made her look like a mermaid.

Check out our full interview with Mark Henn on The Geekly Show YouTube channel:

The Little Mermaid Is Now On Digital!

In honor of its 30th anniversary, two-time Academy Award®-winner (Best Original Score and Best Original Song “Under the Sea,” 1989) “The Little Mermaid,” dives into the highly celebrated Walt Disney Signature Collection with all-new bonus features and a sing-along mode.

The Signature Edition of “The Little Mermaid” showcases its award-winning musical score and iconic songs such as “Under the Sea” and “Part of Your World” with a sing-along mode allowing you to accompany this beloved cast of characters on their journey.

Never-before-seen bonus features bring legendary composer Alan Menken and some of Disney’s most recognizable leading ladies together around a piano to reminisce, sing and celebrate “The Little Mermaid.”

The latest installment of “Stories from Walt’s Office” compares Walt and Ariel’s love of collecting treasures. Viewers will also receive an inside look at the “The Little Mermaid” cast in their original recording sessions, explore hidden treasures and fun facts from the film, and enjoy a special performance of “Part of Your World” by a cappella singing sensation DCapella.

Plus, fans will have access to hours of additional classic bonus features!

All-new The Little Mermaid Bonus Features*


Sing-Along Mode – Sing along to the movie in this sing-along version of the film.

Alan Menken & the Leading Ladies Song – From the voice of a mermaid to the tunes of a muse, the music of Alan Menken has scored the soundtrack for some of Disney’s most iconic leading ladies. Join Alan, Jodi Benson (Ariel), Paige O’Hara (Belle), Judy Kuhn (Pocahontas Singing Voice), Lillias White (Calliope) and Donna Murphy (Mother Gothel)as we celebrate the music of their films in honor of the one that started it all … “The Little Mermaid.”  In this discussion, the ladies will share their memories of musically creating their characters with Alan, discuss what it means to be part of the Disney Princess/leading lady legacy and create new memories as they sing with Alan around a baby grand piano.

“What I Want From You…Is YOUR VOICE” – Enter the recording studio and get an inside look at the cast of “The Little Mermaid” in their original recording sessions.

Stories From Walt’s Office – Gadgets & Gizmos – Like Ariel, Walt Disney was a collector of many different things from miniatures to early mechanical characters that inspired the invention of audio-animatronics. We take a look at some the collections that Walt kept in his office in the third episode of this series.

#TreasuresUntold – Join Ruby Rose Turner and Olivia Sanabia from the Disney Channel Original Series “Coop and Cami Ask the World” as they take a deep dive to explore some hidden treasures and fun facts about Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.”

DCapella “Part of Your World” Music Video

Classic Bonus Features – revisit four exciting bonus features from previous releases including:

Deleted Character: Harold The Merman

Under The Scene: The Art Of Live Action Reference

Howard’s Lecture

Audio Commentary With Ron Clements, John Musker and Alan Menken

The Little Mermaid Digital Exclusives

“Part of Your World” – A 30-Year Retrospective – Songwriter Alan Menken and Jodi Benson, the acting and singing voice of Ariel, sing the epitome of Disney “I Want” songs “Part of Your World” and discuss its impact since it was first heard 30 years ago.

Classic Bonus Features – Over 3 additional hours of previously released classic bonus features including Deleted Scenes, Easter Eggs, Music Videos and more!

*Bonus features may vary by retailer

Are you a big Mark Henn or The Little Mermaid Fan?

About Amiyrah

My name is Amiyrah and I'm an an African American fashion & lifestyle blogger based in Ohio.

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