With the first pictures from the upcoming live action adaptation of The Little Mermaid starting to surface, I became curious about the history of the Hans Christian Andersen tale and how it was first recreated for film. I was quite pleased to discover that in fact a Disney Legend first put voice to the Little Mermaid: Hayley Mills! I felt it my duty as a diligent Mousetalgia follower to share with others that Hayley Mills predates Jodi Benson as the voice of the redheaded, human loving, petite mermaid.
What movie is this you ask? It’s a Rankin Bass (of Rudolph fame) production originally released in 1966. Here is a review that appeared in the Radford News Journal preceding the release of the movie.
This film features many other popular and talented voice actors, several of which would be recognized by any Disney fan. Ray Bolger (from Babes in Toyland), Ed Wynn (from Mary Poppins), and Burl Ives (from Summer Magic) to name a few.
If you are already a fan of Rankin Bass pictures, Hans Christian Andersen, and wholesome family entertainment you should make the effort to see The Daydreamer. Speaking of Hayley Mills, she has a book called Forever Young coming out this September. Unfortunately, the signed edition from Barnes and Noble is sold out online, but copies of her book are still available to preorder from any of the usual places – I’m sure you’re not going to want to miss this one.