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The Little Mermaid (1975)

Anderusen dôwa ningyo-hime (original title)
Not Rated | | Animation, Adventure, Family | 4 February 1978 (USA)
A mermaid falls in love with a human prince, which leads to tragedy.


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Credited cast:
Fumie Kashiyama Fumie Kashiyama ... Marina (voice)
Mariko Miyagi Mariko Miyagi ... Fritz (voice)
Tarô Shigaki Tarô Shigaki ... Prince (voice)
Hideki Shibata Hideki Shibata ... Mermaid King (voice)
Kôsei Tomita Kôsei Tomita ... Duke the Whale (voice)
Kaneta Kimotsuki Kaneta Kimotsuki ... Crab / Conch (voice)
Ichirô Nagai ... Whistler (voice)
Ken'ichi Ogata Ken'ichi Ogata ... Oval Shark (voice)
Haruko Kitahama Haruko Kitahama ... Witch (voice)
Miyoko Azabu Miyoko Azabu ... Mermaid Crone (voice)
Kazuko Sugiyama ... Marina's Sister (voice)
Kazuko Sawada Kazuko Sawada ... Jemmy the Cat (voice)
Nana Yamaguchi Nana Yamaguchi ... Prince's Mother (voice)
Rihoko Yokoda Rihoko Yokoda ... Suomi Princess (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kirsten Bishop ... Marina (voice) (as Kirsten Bishopric)


A mermaid falls in love with a human prince, which leads to tragedy.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The story of a beautiful mermaid who gave up a kingdom for her beloved prince.


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



Japanese | English

Release Date:

4 February 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Will be released by Discotek Media uncut for the first time on DVD in 2015 in North America. See more »


Witch: It is true that love makes us blind.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original Video Gems and Children's Video Library videos removed the opening Toei Animation logo which was featured over crashing waves. The 1989 Starmaker release restored the original opening. The American DVD release restores the opening, but cuts approx. 2 minutes of footage from the rest of the film. See more »


Version of The Little Mermaid (1992) See more »


Matteita Hito (The One I've Waited For)
Performed by Kumiko Osugi, Lyrics by Tokiko Iwatani, Music and Arrangement by Takekuni Hirayoshi.
See more »

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User Reviews

A faithful adaptation of the original tale
8 September 2003 | by MotsaSee all my reviews

If you grew up on bouncy, sanitized Disney videos and slick animation and not written fairy tales, this film may not be your cup of tea. Unlike Disney's happily-ever-after version, this one fairly faithfully recreates the fairy tale written by Hans Christian Anderson. Yes, inevitably, a little of the 70s creep into the artwork but that's not necessarily a bad thing since it gives this film a unique look and feel (which wasn't meant to be anime as we know it now). Like most fairy tales, it can be dark and sad and violent. It's the nature of the genre. But we still read them to our children and our children are still thrilled by them, as we were and as our parents were.

This adaptation is starkly beautiful and tragic. In the early to mid 70s, it aired on TV every Christmas along with other animated shorts like The Selfish Giant and The Happy Prince (two more tearjerkers). Even now, 30 years after I first saw it, it can reduce me to tears...but that doesn't stop me watching it.

In short, if you adore Disney's take on this story, then you'll probably be disappointed by this one. On the other hand, if you loved the fairy tale (or if you enjoyed The Selfish Giant or The Happy Prince animated shorts) then give this a try.

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