A mother, father, and young daughter smiling while sitting on the couch together, viewing streaming options to watch a new movie.

Building on its success of live-action remakes, Walt Disney Studios is now set to release The Little Mermaid in theaters May 26, 2023.

The original animated film from 1989 helped launch the Disney Renaissance. Now, the remake will take you on a real-life adventure with Ariel, King Triton, Ursula, and more.

This new movie introduces new characters, new songs, a slightly updated storyline, and a diverse cast led by singer-songwriter and actress Halle Bailey.

Everything You Need to Know Before Watching The Little Mermaid 2023

Whether you have seen the original animated film or not, here are a few things to know before watching this highly anticipated remake:

The Little Mermaid Franchise

Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale, The Little Mermaid, the 1989 animated film was a success. In fact, it won two Oscars — Best Original Score and the Best Original Song (“Under the Sea”).

Building on the popularity of the new Disney princess, Ariel, the studio made three more movies:

  • The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea (2000) — a direct-to-video sequel that follows Ariel’s daughter, Melody.
  • The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning (2008) — a direct-to-video prequel chronicling Ariel’s early life, including her mother’s death.
  • The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live! (2019) — a feature-length, live-action television special.

This new 2023 film is based on the original 1989 animated version.

Movie Plot

While the plot of the new movie will be similar to the original, the introduction of new characters may lead to new twists and turns.

According to Disney: “Ariel longs to find out more about the world beyond the sea and, while visiting the surface, falls for the dashing Prince Eric. While mermaids are forbidden to interact with humans, Ariel must follow her heart. She makes a deal with the evil sea witch, Ursula, which gives her a chance to experience life on land but ultimately places her life — and her father’s crown — in jeopardy.”


The new live-action The Little Mermaid has a runtime of 2 hours 15 minutes. For reference, the original animated film was 1 hour 35 minutes.


The movie is rated PG due to “action/peril and some scary images.” A PG rating suggests parental guidance due to potentially unsuitable material for children.

Disney’s other live-action film remakes, including Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, and The Lion King, also share the PG rating.

Theater Release Date

The Little Mermaid will be released worldwide, in theaters only, on Friday, May 26, 2023, just in time for the long Memorial Day weekend. You can purchase tickets in advance through Fandango or your local movie theater.

Streaming Options

Disney’s live-action The Little Mermaid movie will stream on Disney+ an estimated 45-90 days after its run in theaters. That means you can watch it at home later this year.

The Little Mermaid Official Trailer

View the official trailer below to get a first look at Ariel and a quick peek at her upcoming adventure. You will also get a preview of Ariel’s beautiful voice as she performs “Part of Your World.”

You can also watch Disney’s featurette, “The Little Mermaid | A World Reimagined,” for an inside peek at the team behind the live-action reimagining of the Walt Disney Pictures’ animated musical classic.

The Little Mermaid (2023) Movie Cast and Crew

Here is a list of the cast and the characters they bring to life in The Little Mermaid 2023:

  • Halle Bailey as Ariel: The spirited mermaid princess.
  • Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric: The human prince Ariel falls in love with after saving him from drowning.
  • Melissa McCarthy as Ursula: Ariel’s aunt and the sea witch who strikes a deal with Ariel so she can join the human world.
  • Javier Bardem as King Triton: Ariel’s father and the King of Atlantica.
  • Noma Dumezweni as Queen Selina: Prince Eric’s mother (new character).
  • Kajsa Mohammar as Karina: One of Ariel’s sisters.
  • Lorena Andrea as Perla: One of Ariel’s sisters.
  • Art Malik as Grimsby: Prince Eric’s loyal butler and confidant.
  • Daveed Diggs as Sebastian (voice): King Triton’s loyal crab who watches over Ariel.
  • Jacob Tremblay as Flounder (voice): Ariel’s fish friend.
  • Awkwafina as Scuttle (voice): Ariel’s seagull friend, also known as Scuttlebutt.
  • Director: Rob Marshall
  • Producers: Rob Marshall, John DeLuca, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Marc Platt
  • Writers: David Magee, Rob Marshall, John DeLuca
  • Songs: Alan Menken
  • Lyrics: Lin-Manuel Miranda (new lyrics), Howard Ashman (lyrics)

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