The Good: Decent sculpted details, Affordable, Neat coloring accents
The Bad: Slight tight bias, Some of the basic coloring detailing
The Basics: The 2016 "Under The Sea" ornament from The Little Mermaid is one of Hallmark's nicest Disney-based ornaments released this year!
One of the staple Disney ornaments each year from Hallmark seems to come from The Little Mermaid. What is interesting to me about this is that the film has been around long enough that I would assume all of the characters have been produced to death in ornament form. And yet, every year, Hallmark finds a new ornament to make. As near as I can tell, there are no King Triton or Ursula ornaments from Hallmark Keepsake, but there are many ornaments of Ariel. This year is, oddly enough, no exception and the Under The Sea ornament is Ariel with seahorses. In addition to having several ornaments of Ariel, there are several The Little Mermaid ornaments called Under The Sea, which is equally unimaginative as another Ariel ornament.
For those unfamiliar with The Little Mermaid (reviewed here!), Ariel is a mermaid who lived in peace and harmony with other undersea life, including seahorses. It is Ariel maintaining her position, with three seahorses rising out of her left hand that is the subject of the 2016 Under The Sea ornament.
The "Under The Sea" ornament recreates Ariel and seahorses on their own. The ornament, released in 2016, is an incredible sculpt of the mermaid Ariel, including seahorses, and is instantly recognizable to anyone who loves The Little Mermaid.
Measuring three and three-quarter inches tall by one and three-quarter inches wide by one and a half inches deep, the "Under The Sea" ornament is in scale with most of the Disney ornaments. At $15.95, the Under The Sea ornament feels a little expensive, though it gets far more right than not.
The Hallmark The Little Mermaid "Under The Sea" ornament is made of durable plastic and has Ariel, swimming upward, essentially hovering (I'd say she looks like she is treading water, but she has no legs!) while holding the seahorses in her left hand. The sculpt is accurate enough to make the mermaid look perfectly recognizable. And the seahorses look like seahorses, so the sculpt is decent all the way around!
The painted accents on the "Under The Sea" ornament are a mixed bag. Ariel has a blush to her cheeks and the character's eyes are well-detailed and colored, as are the colors on the seahorses. The tail is pearlescent and the base of the tail is translucent, which looks impressive. Ariel's hair, however, is monotonally colored in a way that contrasts the sophisticated coloring of the rest of the ornament.
As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, The Little Mermaid "Under The Sea" could have a sound or light function, but Hallmark opted to make a less-expensive ornament option for fans of The Little Mermaid instead of augmenting it with a feature.
As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake The Little Mermaid "Under The Sea" ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Disney movie Christmas Tree, the "Under The Sea" ornament is a great addition, despite there being so many Ariel ornaments and the minor balance issue for the ornament. The ornament has the standard brass hook loop embedded into the top center of the back of Ariel's hair. From that point the ornament is slightly heavier on the right side. As a result, Ariel does not quite hang level and she looks like she is swimming slightly lopsidedly up.
Hallmark Keepsake began delving into the collectibles market in 1991 with Star Trek when it introduced the exceptionally limited edition original U.S.S. Enterprise ornament (reviewed here!). Within a few years, every major franchise from Star Wars to A Nightmare Before Christmas to Indiana Jones started making Hallmark ornaments. "Under The Sea" is one of many The Little Mermaid ornaments the company has released and one of several Disney ornaments on the market for 2016. This ornament appears to be resonating with fans and has sold out at several of the Hallmark shops I have gone to! But given how many ornaments there are of Ariel, basic ornaments like the 2016 Under The Sea ornament seem not to appreciate much in value after the season is over. I would not expect it to go above its initial release price for some time given how the starting price for the ornament is more than in previous years.
Fans of The Little Mermaid, Disney, Ariel, and Hallmark ornaments are likely to like the The Little Mermaid Under The Sea ornament, but those who are looking for an ornament to cut from their want list - who have other Ariel ornaments - will likely make this one the one that does not make the cut.
For other Disney's The Little Mermaid Hallmark ornaments, please check out my reviews of:
2015 Ariel's Thingamabobs
2014 The Little Mermaid 25th Anniversary ornament
2013 Under The Sea The Little Mermaid
2013 Ariel's Big Dream The Little Mermaid ornament
For other ornament reviews, please visit my Ornament Review Index Page for an organized listing!
© 2016 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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