Melissa Joan Hart-fest
Sabrina Down Under, This is, indeed, a fluffy TV movie, and I’m not sure I would recommend it to anyone who isn’t desperate for something to keep the (very small) kids quiet for a couple of hours. For Melissa Joan Hart fans, however, it’s a must-see. Since all of the action revolves around the sea and a nearby beach resort, we get to see Melissa in a series of bikinis and wet suits. And in a move which contributes to the mounting evidence that Disney is cooler than they seem, we get to see Melissa’s navel ring.
It was also nice to see Tara Charendoff reprise her role as Sabrina’s witch friend from “Sabrina Goes to Rome”. (I smiled when she said “Frizzle!”) It was also kind of weird seeing Lindsay Sloane as a mermaid, although it wasn’t until later that I remembered that she played Valerie in the first season of the show.
Fluffy TV movie
The plot is an imaginative way to present an ecology theme. Sabrina meets a merman who is suffering from the effects of pollution. She must help save him, his mermaid sister, their mer-colony, and the Great Barrier Reef of Australia.
A typical TV movie stuff aimed at kids, we are offered merfolk who talk as if they are ordinary humans that just happen to have tails, and two talking cats that are quite obviously puppets. The FX are brief and incidental.
The film is well-meaning and has a good message. Too bad that the myth and mystery of merfolk and the sea weren’t given more story time here. As it is, it is an amusing, fluffy, typical TV movie.