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'The Little Mermaid' makes its TV premiere with a Disney splash


Romance, danger, sacrifice, adventure, singing fish . . . "The Little Mermaid" has it all. Disney's 1989 instant classic, making its world television premiere this week on the Disney Channel, is based on the Hans Christian Andersen tale of a mermaid who falls for a human prince and goes to risky ends to meet him.

Its pre-feminist happily-ever-after moral might offend some, but it has Oscar-winning music, memorable characters and animation that took a team of more than 400 artists and technicians almost three years to perfect. A word to the wise: Parts of this movie might frighten young children.

"The Little Mermaid," Sunday 7-8:30 p.m. early Monday 4-5:30 a.m., Tuesday 10-11:30 a.m. and Friday 7-8:30 p.m. the Disney Channel. For all ages, with parental supervision recommended for very young children.


Kids nationwide pay their respects to the mother of all life in A Mother's Day Greeting to Mother Earth (today noon-1 p.m.; Saturday 4-5 p.m. Nickelodeon). For all ages.

Consumer Reports Television produced Buy Me That! (A Kids' Survival Guide to TV Advertising) (Monday 4-4:30 p.m. HBO), which looks at the gimmicks advertisers use and helps kids look at commercials with a more critical eye. For 6- to 12-year-olds.

A timely drama, in light of the country's current censorship climate, HBO Family Playhouse: Words to Live By (Monday 6:45-7:30 a.m., 4:30-5:15 p.m. and Saturday 6:45-7:30 a.m. HBO; Friday 3:15-4 p.m. Showtime) concerns a pair of high-school seniors who take action after being suspended from school for publishing an "obscene" underground paper. For 12- to 17-year-olds.

In the special New Kids on the Block at Disney/MGM Studios (Tuesday 7-8 p.m. and early Wednesday 4:30-5:30 a.m. the Disney Channel), the Kids act out their fantasies music-video style: Jordan Knight shoots hoops with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar; Johnathan Knight acts with Khrystyne Haje; Danny Wood pumps iron with Mr. Olympia; Joe McIntyre stars in a 1940s-style production number and Donnie Wahlberg stars in the "Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular." For all ages.

Sigourney Weaver narrates the Japanese legend "The Peachboy" (Tuesday 7-8 p.m. Showtime), the latest in Showtime's We All Have Tales series, about a young boy found inside a peach by a peasant couple. For 6- to 12-year-olds.

A two-hour special Frontline, "Innocence Lost" (Tuesday 9-11 p.m. KCET, KPBS; 10 p.m.-midnight KOCE), investigates allegations of child abuse at a day care center in Edenton, N.C. The half-hour special When Children Testify: A Frontline Special Edition, airing immediately after the program, explores the psychological and legal issues that arise from putting children on the witness stand. For parents.

In the 1984 drama The Karate Kid (Wednesday 8-10 p.m. KTTV), a picked-on teen-ager learns how to stand up for himself after a Japanese handyman teaches him karate and confidence. For all ages.

The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie (Saturday 7-8:35 p.m. the Disney Channel), hosted by the wascally wabbit himself, is a compilation of some of the best Looney Tunes. For all ages.

Launch Box--Your TV Connection to Outer Space, designed for use in the classroom, is an upcoming series about space travel and technology that will run throughout the school year beginning in September. But its first segment, "The Spectacular Spacesuit" (Premiere: Thursday 6:30-7 a.m.; repeats Fridays in May, 6:30-7 a.m., Nickelodeon), coincides with the dedication of the Astronauts Memorial at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It will be rebroadcast in September to kick off the series, which will feature a new episode every month. For upper-elementary and middle-school students.

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