(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from The Thirteenth Year)
Doug (vo): The Thirteenth Year. I guess Disney really had a thing about turning kids into mer-people, didn't they? (The DVD cover of The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea is shown) Well, kind of like Little Mermaid II, this one is kind of as...least interesting as that one was. Not to say it's awful, it's just not really...anything, which is a shame, because, again, I don't think this is that bad a premise.
Doug (vo): A mermaid is swimming with her young baby, but a man sees her in a boat. Afraid of her son's safety, she drops him off and tries to distract the man in the boat, only to have a couple, one of them played by Dave Coulier, pick him up, take him to the police, and when nobody claims him, they decide to adopt him. The mermaid mother...surprisingly just kind of stays away for 13 years, until suddenly, the boy, named Cody, starts to notice certain changes. He's swimming faster, he's growing gills, he has...electricity. (A scene showing Cody touching an alarm clock and ends up causing it to spark out with electricity is shown) Oh, and he can stick to walls. Um...yeah. Vampire Sparkle. His parents don't know what to make of it, the doctor just says it's puberty...uh, yeah, second opinion much? Only his nerdy best friend can figure out what it is. He's turning into a merman. How does he know? Because his father is the one that saw his mother years ago. Oh, small world. The rest of this story is just him coming to grips with his powers, trying to find his real mother, while also keeping his girlfriend, while not embarrassing himself, while also trying to make the swim team and the championships, blah-blah-blah-blah-blah. It's about as generic as it gets.
Doug (vo): There's a ton of things that don't make sense in this movie. Like I said before, the mother staying away for 13 years. Come on! She couldn't flop onto the beach and get someone's attention or something? Just destroy the mystery, it's your friggin' kid! Hell, she distracts the man in the boat by showing off what she is, and he's, like, "Oh, my God! I gotta prove mermaids are real and everything!" What...she showed off to that guy! Why couldn't she show off to other people? Keep it a secret. Why is it even a secret? Why don't you use your...electric powers that you suddenly have? Yeah, I guess they kind of make a connection to electric eels, but that doesn't explain why they can stick to walls.
(Several supporting characters are shown)
Doug (vo): Everyone is just a little off, too, like the swim team makes fun of him because he always comes in second. (Stammers) What the hell's wrong with you?! He always comes in second! That's impressive! Even the girlfriend, for his birthday, just gives a picture of herself. That's...strangely narcissistic. And then she just closes her eyes, waiting for a kiss. Everything in this movie is just a little off.
(One scene about to be described is shown)
Doug (vo): There's another scene where his hands are sticky and he's shaking them off, and then the mother just starts doing it, too, and then the father comes in and starts doing it...what? What's even going on here? This isn't quirky-strange, this is just...strange-strange.
(The main character, Cody Griffin, is shown in several clips)
Doug (vo): Even Cody's performance is a little strange. I mean, it's not laughably bad. I mean, he's not over-the-top or too goofy. But...maybe that's kind of the problem, too. He doesn't really stand out. He's just kind of boring, he's the every kid, to a fault. You can't really imagine yourself in his shoes because he doesn't have much of a reaction. I don't know if he was written that way or directed that way, but it just doesn't come across as anything.
(One of the supporting characters, Big John Wheatley (Brent Briscoe), is shown)
Doug (vo): The only thing I really took out of this movie, strangely enough, is the guy that sees the mermaid originally. You may recognize him from a few Sam Raimi movies like A Simple Plan, and even though he always kind of plays this Southern redneck bumpkin, he always does this part really well, to a point where it's actually legitimately dramatic. The part where he's talking to his son about what he believes and he can't help it and is he crazy, looking for other people crazier than him, it's actually kind of touching. I always kind of perk up every time he's in a movie, it's always interesting.
Final thought Edit
Doug (vo): But aside from that, when Dave Coulier is your next most credible actor, you kind of know you're not in a good spot. Like I said, I can't say this movie is terrible, it wasn't awful watching it, it's just kind of like watching nothing. It's really a shame. Not only is this an interesting idea, I mean, the ocean, underwater, fish life, I mean, it's interesting. But it's also unique that it took an idea that's usually meant for girls, you know, mermaids are usually girls, and gave it a little bit of a spin by making it a boy. You think these little touches would help it stand out, but it just kind of gets lost in the mix. I don't know if it was just an uninteresting script or if there wasn't time to direct it in an interesting way or shoot it in an interesting way, but it's mostly just forgettable. Aside from a few dedicated fans, it's unlikely this one's gonna stay afloat for very long.
(The final scene, showing Cody, now a full merman, swimming away with his mermaid mother, is shown)