“The Little Mermaid” Movies in Order (1989 – 2023)

From 1989 to 2023, this post details how to watch “The Little Mermaid” movies in order, and how many “Little Mermaid” movies are there.

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"The Little Mermaid" movies in order

How many “Little Mermaid” movies are there?

In case you must know, there are currently four official “The Little Mermaid” movies produced by the Walt Disney Studios from 1989 to 2023, and multiple spin-offs or remakes of the movie from various producers and studios who are trying to replicate the movie.

“The Little Mermaid” movies in order

Here’s how to watch “The Little Mermaid” movies in order.

MOVIESRELEASEDRUNTIME
The Little Mermaid19891h 23m
The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea20001h 15m
The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning20081h 17m
The Little Mermaid20232h 15m

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The Little Mermaid (1989)

In the first installment of the film franchise, the story is set under the sea in the magical kingdom of Atlantica and follows the life of Ariel, a young and curious mermaid princess who is fascinated by the world above the ocean’s surface. However, her fascination with the human world and her desire to explore it are forbidden by her father, King Triton, who is protective of her.

Ariel’s closest friends are a fish named Flounder and a crab named Sebastian. She often seeks advice from her free-spirited and wise seagull friend, Scuttle.

One day, Ariel rescues a handsome human prince named Eric from a shipwreck, and she instantly falls in love with him. She becomes determined to be with Eric and is willing to give up her voice, the thing she believes will allow her to become human.

Ariel makes a secret pact with Ursula, a sea witch with nefarious intentions, who agrees to transform her into a human for three days in exchange for her voice. Ariel is given the condition that she must receive the “kiss of true love” from Eric within those three days; otherwise, she will belong to Ursula forever.

The film follows Ariel’s adventures as she navigates the human world with the help of her friends. She faces various challenges, including competing with Ursula’s cunning schemes and the fact that she can no longer speak. Ariel’s determination to win Eric’s heart becomes a central theme as the story unfolds.

The movie is known for its beautiful animation, memorable songs, and engaging characters. Some of the classic songs from the film include “Part of Your World,” “Under the Sea,” and “Kiss the Girl.”

“The Little Mermaid” is ultimately a tale of love, self-discovery, and the pursuit of one’s dreams. The film is a beloved classic in the Disney animated canon and played a crucial role in reinvigorating Disney’s animated films, leading to a series of successful releases in the 1990s and beyond. It remains a favorite among audiences of all ages.

The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea (2000)

"The Little Mermaid" movies in order

Several years after the events of the original film. Ariel is now happily married to Prince Eric, and they have a daughter named Melody. Despite Ariel’s best efforts to protect Melody from the dangers of the sea and Ursula’s dark legacy, Melody’s curiosity about her mother’s past and the ocean is insatiable.

When Melody discovers her mermaid heritage and the sea, she is drawn to it, much to her mother’s concern. In a twist reminiscent of the original story, a sea witch named Morgana aims to take revenge on Ariel and her family. Morgana, who is Ursula’s sister, has plans to gain control over the oceans and dethrone King Triton.

In an effort to protect her daughter, Ariel agrees to an arrangement with Morgana that puts her back in the ocean, but without her voice. Melody, now a mermaid, embarks on a quest to find her true identity and break the barriers between land and sea.

Ariel and Eric, along with their friends Sebastian and Flounder, join Melody in her adventure. The film explores themes of identity, the importance of communication, and the bond between parents and children.

The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning (2008)

Though it is the third film in “The Little Mermaid” franchise, this film actually serves as a prequel to the original 1989 film, “The Little Mermaid” as it takes us through a journey of the early life of Ariel, the little mermaid.

The film begins by exploring the idyllic underwater kingdom of Atlantica, where music and dance are integral to mermaid life. King Triton and his wife, Queen Athena, are deeply in love and rule the kingdom harmoniously. Music is celebrated throughout Atlantica, and the royal family’s court composer, Sebastian the Crab, plays a significant role in this.

However, a tragic accident during a musical event leads to the queen’s untimely death. King Triton, heartbroken and unable to bear the sound of music, bans music from the kingdom. He outlaws singing and dancing, which causes a decline in the happiness and spirit of Atlantica. The palace is locked down, and everyone, including Sebastian, becomes somber and reclusive.

Ariel, who was a young princess at the time, is deeply affected by her mother’s death and the loss of music in her life. As the years go by, she becomes more and more rebellious, leading her to a secret chamber where she discovers her mother’s cherished collection of music and instruments.

Ariel decides to pursue her love for music and is determined to restore it to Atlantica. She embarks on a quest to find her mother’s favorite instrument, a music box, and learns of an underground music club. Ariel meets new friends who share her passion for music, including a manta ray named Marina Del Rey and a playful, fun-loving sea turtle named Benjamin.

As Ariel and her friends work to bring music back to Atlantica, they face challenges and obstacles, including King Triton’s strict orders and the conniving schemes of Marina Del Rey, who has her sights set on becoming the new palace manager.

“The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning” explores themes of loss, grief, the healing power of music, and the importance of pursuing one’s passions. It also provides insight into the early life of Ariel and the events that led to her fascination with the human world. The film maintains the charm and beloved characters of the original “Little Mermaid” while offering a fresh and heartwarming story.

The Little Mermaid (2023)

"The Little Mermaid" movies in order

“The Little Mermaid” 2023, is actually a non-animated version remake of the original film that was released in 1989, and as expected, the storyline is exactly the same as the original movie.

So, the movie begins with Ariel, a mermaid princess who is fascinated with the human world. She dreams of becoming human and living among them, and she makes a deal with the sea witch Ursula to make her dream come true.

In exchange for her voice, Ursula gives Ariel a pair of legs and three days to win the heart of Prince Eric, a human prince whom Ariel has fallen in love with. If Ariel fails to do so, she will become Ursula’s slave forever.

Ariel ventures to the surface world with her best friend, Flounder, and Sebastian, the king’s crab advisor. She meets Eric and they fall in love, but Ursula is determined to sabotage Ariel’s plans. She casts a spell on Eric to make him think that Ursula’s daughter, Vanessa, is Ariel.

However, Ariel’s friends expose Ursula’s plot, and Prince Eric is able to break the spell. He realizes that Ariel is his true love. In the end, Ariel’s voice is restored, and she and Prince Eric are married.

And there you have it, folks, a guide on how to watch “Little Mermaid” movies in order, and how many “Little Mermaid” movies are there.

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