This gallery is dedicated to the original ending of Disney's The Little Mermaid.
Concept Design Images
Here we have three images, each depicting a different stage of the design process. The first being one of Ursula's disguise, (Vanessa) standing over a puddle in shock as her reflection reveals her true form. Being that this picture is so highly detailed, we can guess that this is a production drawing; the earliest drawings made in the design process, meant to capture the most important moments of the script. From this, we can theorize this original ending was made from the original drafts which Ron Clements and John Musker developed.
From the second concept drawing, we see Ursula in a rockfish form, about to attack an early design of Eric holding a crossbow. What's most important about this is the little Ariel to the bottom and the fact she is releasing bubbles from her mouth. In most drawings where characters would have their mouths open underwater bubbles never form from their mouths. From this, we could theorize that during this drawing, Ariel still doesn't have her voice back, which may support even further that this ending had stuck through the majority of the design process.
The third and final drawing however, supports the idea that this change of ending was a last minute decision. It is a drawing of Ursula with the trident in her possession, and the shell locket still hanging on her. Her design is the finalized version for the movie as well, supporting this theory even further.
These storyboards depict the later half of the ending, released for the DVD. Lines that were present in the script were left out during this cut, showing that this was to be the final stage of the story process, until Jeffery Katzenburg changed the story.
Coloring Book Images
These images come from the earliest known coloring book of The Little Mermaid. At the time it was a common practice to bring in artists from other fields to look at the earliest scenes of the movie so that merchandise can be put out as early as possible. Oftentimes, this ended up causing day one merchandise to have inconsistencies with the final product. In this case, this coloring book artist must have seen the original screenplay and developed the book around it.