Home Trailers All of the Film Incarnations of The Little Mermaid, Ranked

All of the Film Incarnations of The Little Mermaid, Ranked

All of the Film Incarnations of The Little Mermaid, Ranked


Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales are one of the vital well-known tales instructed on the planet. These timeless whimsical and sometimes darkish tales have been tailored by many alternative mediums and even cited as a supply of inspiration for others’ works with The Little Mermaid being the most important instance. Some is perhaps accustomed to The Little Mermaid by Disney’s animated and 2023 live-action retelling of the story, nonetheless, the unique story was a lot darker. In Andersen’s model, the Little Mermaid provides up her voice, so she will be able to go on land to fulfill a human prince that she saved just for her like to go unrequited, inflicting her to show into sea foam.



Whereas Disney’s variations have been essentially the most extensively recognized retelling of Andersen’s fairytale, they aren’t the one ones. There have been many film incarnations of The Little Mermaid that’s been instructed through the years, every taking a crack at bringing the fairy story to life. Listed here are all 12 film incarnations, each shorts and full-length options, about The Little Mermaid, ranked.

Associated: The Finest Films About Mermaids, Ranked

12 The Asylum’s The Little Mermaid (2023)

asylum mermaid
The Asylum

The Asylum is understood for being a mockbuster, usually releasing low-budget motion pictures across the similar time as different blockbusters and standard exhibits in hopes of gaining new viewers. When Disney launched their remake of The Little Mermaid in Might 2023, it wasn’t lengthy till The Asylum launched their very own take of the fairy story that following month.

For essentially the most half, The Ayslum’s The Little Mermaid follows the core premise of the unique Andersen story with the little mermaid, named Princess Sereia on this model, making a cope with the ocean witch, so she will be able to go up on land. The film does play out sure components of the story otherwise, particularly ultimately. As a substitute of the mermaid succumbing to a tragic destiny, the Prince turns into a merman permitting the 2 to stay and discover collectively. Whereas The Asylum adaptation did attempt to differentiate itself from the Disney model by its story beats and artwork model the film didn’t go with out controversy; in keeping with The Chainsaw, the artwork on their official poster was criticized for allegedly utilizing A.I.

11 Burbank Animation’s The Little Mermaid (1998)

Burbank Animation The Little Mermaid 1998
Burbank Animation Studio

Burbank Animation has achieved their very own takes on many traditional fairy tales and youngsters’s literature earlier than, and The Little Mermaid is not any exception. The angle of Burbank Animation’s The Little Mermaid has an environmental lens because the close by kingdom is proven to have been dumping trash into the ocean affecting the aquatic life down there. The youngest of the mermaid princesses, Miranda needs to place a cease to this by going up and giving the folks on land a chunk of her thoughts. As such, this additionally serves as an extra motivation for Miranda to go up on the floor moreover falling in love with Prince William.

Not like the unique fairy story, the deal Miranda makes with the Sea Witch is sort of lax because the potion takes her voice away just for a full yr until she will get the prince to kiss her. There’s additionally a subplot throughout the movie of Prince William being in an organized marriage with the wife-to-be and her father planning to homicide him, to allow them to take over the dominion. Each the homicide conspiracy and environmental messaging add some further drama to the story, but manages to maintain a lighthearted tone making it a stark distinction to Andersen’s unique story.

10 Roxie Blum and Matt Martin’s Little Mermaid (2016)

Roxie Blum and Matt Martin's Little Mermaid 2016
Roxie Blum and Matt Martin Manufacturing/Indie Rights Films

Directed by Roxie Blum and Matt Martin, Little Mermaid takes a extra fashionable and mature telling of Andersen’s unique story. The gritty tone of Little Mermaid bares some resemblance to The Lure, a movie primarily based on the identical fairy story instructed by a horror lens. As soon as this model of the Little Mermaid comes onto land, she finally ends up having extra mishaps with people than she hoped for. The Little Mermaid finds her unique suitor to be not as sort as she thought, virtually will get robbed, and whereas she does get some luck getting employed at a strip membership — one thing a fan web site of The Little Mermaid identified as a callback to the unique of how she entranced others along with her dancing — she quickly realizes the pressures of what comes with being a performer.

An enormous distinction between Andersen’s unique story and the indie film is that of the position of the Sea Witch as she is much less of a impartial get together and extra of a villain, going as far as to sabotage the Little Mermaid. Nonetheless, the movie does give the Little Mermaid a considerably pleased ending as when she steps off of Jax’s condo balcony, she floats up and turns into a daughter of the air, finally doing good deeds to in 300 years go to Heaven along with her stating “not due to a person, however due to me.” Whereas the reception of the movie is combined, some have criticized the ending with critic Genna Rivieccio from Culled Tradition notably saying the way it places a feminist spin too late within the film, given the Little Mermaid’s meekness all through.

Associated: 20 Finest Indie Films from The Final 10 Years

9 GoodTimes Leisure’s The Little Mermaid (1992)

GoodTimes Entertainment The Little Mermaid
GoodTimes Leisure/Golden Movies

GoodTimes Leisure, very like Disney, usually makes motion pictures primarily based on fairy tales from the Grimm Brothers and Andersen similar to Cinderella, Snow White, and Thumbelina. They’re usually in comparison with Disney particularly because the firm launched motion pictures inside an identical time span of the latter for a interval. GoodTimes Leisure’s The Little Mermaid adopted in step with this pattern, coming a number of years after Disney’s model with some key variations.

The youngest of the royal mermaids, Lena, is described as curious, matching her unique story’s counterpart. Not like her, nonetheless, Lena is first dropped at the floor by Cassandra, the ocean witch, moderately than her personal discovery. The top aim of Cassandra’s plan is not actually addressed once more within the movie, however regardless the beats of the story just about play out equally to the unique story besides Lena finally ends up marrying her prince and the prince’s wife-to-be falls for another person. The movie actually closes on a joyful be aware, giving everybody a contented ending which cannot be the identical stated for Andersen’s model.

Conglomerate Media /Kingsway Productions’ The Little Mermaid 2018
Conglomerate Media/Kingsway Productions’ 

Upon administrators Blake Harris and Chris Bouchard’s announcement of their movie in 2017, there was some confusion between the indie movie and Disney’s then upcoming 2023 live-action remake as a consequence of having the identical title. However make no mistake, they aren’t the identical as there are a number of components with the indie movie that differ from Disney’s as identified by Mic. The 2018 movie adaptation can be a totally totally different story to Andersen’s story. The one outright reference to the fairy story comes at the start of the movie when the grandmother tells her grandchildren a couple of mermaid who provides up her soul to a sea wizard, so she will be able to go on land to be with a prince, just for him to finish up falling in love with another person.

The remainder of the movie takes place someday within the early Nineteen Forties and focuses on Cam Harrison, a journalist, and Elle, his younger niece who has an sickness that makes it laborious for her to breathe. Cam, alongside along with his niece, goes to Mississippi to analyze a circus that’s rumored to have mermaid water that may remedy anybody. On the circus, Cam and Elle meet the primary attraction, “the little mermaid of the Mississippi” named Elizabeth and shortly find yourself making an attempt to free her soul from the ringmaster aka the evil wizard.

7 Disney’s Stay-Motion The Little Mermaid (2023)

Halle Bailey as Ariel
Walt Disney Studios Movement Footage

In 2019, Disney introduced that The Little Mermaid could be one other film of their beloved animated classics to be re-imaged in live-action. The movie was met with some controversy as RnB singer Halle Bailey obtained racist backlash as a consequence of her casting as Ariel. Regardless of this, the 2023 remake has been typically well-received, incomes on Rotten Tomatoes a 67% Tomatometer rating and a 94% viewers rating in addition to hitting the No. 1 spot on iTunes’ digital chart as of August 2023.

Identical to the animated model, there are a number of variations between the live-action adaptation and the unique fairytale, although Disney did sneak in a reference to the story. A well-known quote from Andersen’s story appeared within the opening shot of the film: “However a mermaid has no tears, and subsequently she suffers a lot extra.” This comes into play all through the film as Ariel at all times comes near crying although by no means slips any tears — a transparent nod to the fairy story. It isn’t till the very finish when Ariel will get her voice again and turns into human once more that viewers can see her visibly shed a tear.

Associated: The Little Mermaid: 10 Variations Between the Authentic Disney Basic and the New Stay-Motion Remake

6 Gorky Movie Studio and Boyana Movie’s Rusalochka (1976)

 Vladimir Bychkov's Rusalochka (1976)
Gorky Movie Studio/Boyana Movie

Rusalochka is a Soviet film retelling of Andersen’s story that manages to combine up components of the unique story whereas nonetheless conserving the whimsy aesthetic of the story by its costuming and setting. Going down within the thirteenth century, the movie exhibits how mermaids are considered as malevolent creatures moderately than lovely maidens as a consequence of them sinking ships. Regardless of this, the Little Mermaid saves the prince from one of many shipwrecks and falls in love with him.

On this model, the Little Mermaid will get some assist from an area man named Sulpitius who will get a witch to show her right into a human in change for her uniquely greenish-blue hair, letting her hold her voice. All through the film, Sculptius retains the Little Mermaid out of hazard and acts as her wingman of some kind, making an attempt to get the prince to fall in love along with her. Sculptius’s involvement within the story provides a brand new dynamic to the story as he acts kind of like a fatherly determine within the Little Mermaid. Ultimately, Sculptius makes the final word sacrifice to provide the Little Mermaid her pleased ending by giving up his life — a counter in Witch’s deal that states if the prince does find yourself with another person, the Little Mermaid can solely stay on if one other provides up their life for her. Whereas the movie closes with the Little Mermaid changing into a spirit of some types, it leaves considerably of a lingering bittersweet ending.

5 Reader’s Digest The Little Mermaid (1975)

Reader's Digest The Little Mermaid (1974)
Reader’s Digest Productions

Reader’s Digest brief animated The Little Mermaid movie tells the fairy story by whimsical, storybook imagery and a soundtrack to match. Additional setting within the temper for the movie is the narration by Richard Chamberlain, who even takes some traces from Andersen’s story as properly. Reader’s Digest’s model is a fast watch, although it manages to inform a reasonably trustworthy adaptation of Andersen’s story from starting to finish with none huge adjustments. Like within the unique story it was tailored from, the Little Mermaid finally ends up changing into a daughter of the air and has to serve 300 years caring for the youngsters of Earth to obtain a soul. This ending drives house extra of an ethical message geared toward youngsters because the Little Mermaid’s size of the time period depends upon if a baby is nice, taking a yr off her time, or dangerous, including a day onto it.

4 Ivan Aksenchuk’s Rusalochka (1968)

Ivan Aksenchuk's Rusalochka (1968)
Ivan Aksenchuk

Rusalochka, directed by Ivan Aksenchuk, is one other Soviet movie (to not be confused with the 1976 of the identical title) tells the story of The Little Mermaid by enchanting, considerably avart-grande-style animations. The brief takes an attention-grabbing opening with the fairytale, having animated vacationers wanting on the real-life Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen, Denmark introduced by their information solely the angle to alter to a fish who says that people suppose love exists and mermaids do not when it’s, the truth is, the alternative earlier than main into the story.

The brief stays fairly trustworthy to the unique fairytale with some adjustments. Much like Disney’s adaptation, the movie actually drives house the significance of the Little Mermaid singing to the Prince when she rescues him, making it all of the extra heartbreaking when he later misattribute it to the nun who he marries. The Sea Witch additionally mentions how the Little Mermaid’s great-great-great grandmother fell in love with a human and efficiently married him — including an virtually familial hyperlink between the 2 characters. And as an alternative of a dagger which the sisters give to the Little Mermaid to kill the prince with, it is a potion that’ll trigger a sea storm. This adaptation additionally has twin messages that mirror the top of Andersen’s story with the fish condemning the mermaid’s choice as silly whereas the vacationer information commends her remaining motion as brave.

3 Malá morská víla (1976)

Karel Kachyňa's Malá Morská Víla (1976)
Karel Kachyňa

In Karel Kachyňa’s Malá Morská Víla, the mermaids on this Czech adaptation are dramatically totally different from Andersen’s description as they give the impression of being extra akin to water nymphs. In a single scene, the Sea King even makes enjoyable of how people see them as folks with fishtails. The costuming of the merfolk total are ethereal-like and surreal with them carrying lengthy blue flowy clothes and having huge hair embellished with numerous objects from the various shipwrecks attributable to the Sea King.

What makes this movie additionally totally different from the unique is that the Little Mermaid is already engaged to a merman prince, although she falls for a human prince when she goes above the water for the primary time. The story remains to be tragic, all of the extra in order the Little Mermaid and the prince share an in depth bond, so shut that he admits he needs she might marry him till he goes to a different kingdom and falls for the princess there — mistaking her for being the one which saved him after the shipwreck. The Little Mermaid tries to kill the prince with a knife given to her by her father, the Sea King, however she decides towards it and accepts her destiny. The story ends on a tragic be aware as flowers bloom throughout the sea with the final shot of Sea King standing on shore, implying that he was the one which did it in her honor.

2 Disney’s The Little Mermaid (1989)

The Little Mermaid and her friends Sebastian and Flounder singing.

Some of the well-known variations of the fairy story comes from Disney’s animated model of The Little Mermaid. Whereas Disney stored the core components of Andersen’s story — a younger mermaid eager to go on land, a romance between a mermaid and a human, and the lack of the lead’s voice — they modified many points of the story. The most important and notable change from the unique story to Disney’s model is that the little mermaid, Ariel, does find yourself getting her fortunately ever after.

There are numerous components that make the movie stand out as an adaptation, from the detailed animation to the superb memorable music created by lyricist Howard Ashward and composer Alan Menken. Moreover, the variation has many excellent vocal abilities and performances with actress Jodi Benson because the beloved Ariel being essentially the most outstanding. The film obtained many accolades following its launch, together with three Oscars and a Grammy pertaining to its music and rating. The Little Mermaidis extensively credited as kickstarting the Disney Renaissance interval from the late Nineteen Eighties by the 90s which helped convey the studio again into prominence once more within the field workplace.

1 Toei Animation’s Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid (1975)

Toei Animation anime adaptation Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid (1975)
Toei Animation

Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid is an anime adaptation from Toei Animation that’s fairly trustworthy to the unique Hans Christian Andersen story all the way down to the very tragic finish. Marina, the youngest of the mermaid princesses, is curious concerning the land above, wanting nothing greater than to swim as much as the floor like her sisters. One night time, she and her dolphin buddy, Fitz, sneak out to go up above, discovering the prince celebrating his birthday along with his crew on his ship.

From there the sequence of occasions play out the identical as Andersen’s story. As soon as on land, Marina finally ends up changing into shut with the prince — so shut that the King and Queen fear he is perhaps too connected to her. Nonetheless, their worries are averted when the prince immediately falls in love with the princess from the neighboring kingdom as he errors her for saving him. When the prince tells Marina concerning the marriage it leaves her shocked and visibly shaken. What makes Toei Animation’s model so devastating is that whereas Marina is obtainable salvation and doesn’t take it identical to within the unique fairy story, her story simply ends along with her turning into sea foam and Fitz crying out her title. And is not till after, when the prince finds Marina’s hair clip, that he realizes it was her all alongside.

For the reason that film was made within the 70s, the soundtrack has many acquainted groovy-like tracks throughout the adaptation, although, being as the unique story is ready across the 1800s, it doesn’t maintain again with including some traditional music as properly. The hand-drawn animation model additionally lends itself to carry up towards the take a look at of time.



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