‘Mermaid’ turns 20 swimmingly


It’s hard to believe that Disney’s animated blockbuster “The Little Mermaid” is turning 20 this year. Thankfully, the story of Ariel has great legs, or in this case -- great fins.

Tonight, a reunion featuring film clips and several of the animators, including Andreas Deja and directors Ron Clements and John Musker, will be held at the Fletcher Jones Foundation Auditorium at Burbank’s Woodbury University.

Cinematheque fare

The birthday festivities continue Friday at the American Cinematheque’s Aero Theatre with the 25th-anniversary screening of the delightful horror comedy “Gremlins” and its 1990 sequel, “Gremlins 2: The New Batch.” Director Joe Dante and “Gremlins” star Glynn Turman will be on hand to wax nostalgic.


Meanwhile, the Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theatre is offering a mini-retrospective of Dalton Trumbo’s work. The noted screenwriter and novelist was blacklisted in 1947 as a member of the “Hollywood Ten” and imprisoned in 1950. But Trumbo prevailed and helped end the blacklist with his scripts to two 1960 epics -- “Spartacus” and “Exodus.”

The series begins tonight with the U.S. premiere of the digitally remastered version of 1971’s “Johnny Got His Gun.” The antiwar drama was based on his 1939 novel and is the only film Trumbo directed. Guests include two of Trumbo’s three children -- Christopher, who was associate producer, and Mitzi, the film’s unit photographer. Also screening tonight is 1962’s “Lonely Are the Brave” with Kirk Douglas.

Christopher Trumbo will also discuss his father Friday at the screening of “Spartacus” -- when star and producer Douglas insisted that Trumbo get credit for his screenplay, it was a death knell for the blacklist -- and at Saturday’s presentation of “Exodus,” starring Paul Newman and directed by Otto Preminger.

Leisen duo

The UCLA Film & Television Archive’s “Archive Treasures” series is presenting two fab films from director Mitchell Leisen at the Billy Wilder Theater on Friday: the 1951 comedy “The Mating Season,” for which Thelma Ritter earned a supporting actress Oscar nomination, and 1946’s four-hankie weepie “To Each His Own,” starring Olivia de Havilland in her Oscar-winning turn as an unwed mother.