For any kid who’s ever wanted to be a part of the Little Mermaid’s world – it’s OK to admit that you’ve belted out "wish I could be part of that world!" – the Castro Theatre‘s Sing Along "The Little Mermaid," which starts this Sunday, is the perfect opportunity to exercise that siren voice.
The animated Disney film "The Little Mermaid" became an instant classic back in 1989 when it introduced the flame-haired mermaid Princess Ariel, who falls in love with a human prince. With the help of a cast of boisterous underwater pals, it went on to spawn a TV series, film sequels and a Broadway musical.
The film is loosely based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, "The Little Mermaid," about the headstrong teenage mermaid daughter of King Triton, who is fascinated by all things human. Ariel strikes a Faustian bargain with Ursula the Sea Witch in order to gain legs and be with the man she loves. (Of course, harrowing undersea and overland adventures ensue before the "happily ever after.")
Beyond the enormous popularity of the Ariel character, the charming songs, from the Oscar-winning "Under the Sea" to the Oscar-nominated "Kiss the Girl," have become a part of the soundtrack for a generation.
At the Castro, all the songs are subtitled, so don’t worry if you’ve forgotten the lyrics since the last time you saw the movie. As an added bonus, all patrons will get a goody bag of Little Mermaid treats.
"The event is hosted by wonderful emcees who encourage audience participation," says Keith Arnold, the Castro Theatre’s general director. "There is a costume parade for children and all are given a candy treat. There is also an adult costume contest with prizes such as free passes."
The kids’ costume parade, where they can dress up as anyone from Flounder to Sebastian or Ariel to Ursula, will take place at the family matinees in the afternoons. And as longtime Castro Theatre patrons know, you want to get there early to enjoy a spirited pre-show concert of music – Disney favorites of course – on the Mighty Wurlitzer, played by David Hegarty.
If you go
Sing Along ‘The Little Mermaid’: 2:30 and 7 p.m. Sunday. Through Jan. 10; check website for schedule. $10-$16. Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., S.F. (415) 621-6120. www.castrotheatre.com.