The Little Mermaid (2023)

Film and Plot Synopsis

The Little Mermaid is visionary filmmaker Rob Marshall’s live-action reimagining of Disney’s beloved animated musical classic, the story of Ariel, a beautiful and spirited young mermaid with a thirst for adventure. The youngest of King Triton’s daughters and the most defiant, 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. (Courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures)

‘The Little Mermaid’ Movie Summary

The summary below contains spoilers.
The Little Mermaid (2023)Ariel (Halle Bailey) is a 16-year-old mermaid princess who lives in the Kingdom of Atlantica under the Atlantic Ocean. She is the youngest daughter of King Triton (Javier Bardem), the ruler of the merpeople of Atlantica. Despite being a princess, Ariel is unsatisfied with her life as a mermaid and dreams of being part of the human world above the sea despite never seeing it. Triton has forbidden all merfolk from surfacing after Ariel’s mother was killed by a human years before. Nevertheless, Ariel collects human artifacts that have fallen into the ocean and wonders what each of the items does.

Ariel and her best friend Sergeant Major Flounder (Jacob Tremblay) often visit their friend Scuttle (Awkwafina), a seagull who often gives Ariel inaccurate information about her treasures and life above the sea. Ariel frequently travels on the surface of the ocean so that she can observe the humans and their ships. King Triton does not approve of her obsession with the surface world.

One night, Ariel, Flounder, and Sebastian (Daveed Diggs), Triton’s crab advisor and the court composer, travel to the ocean surface to observe some fireworks that are being shot off from a ship. Once there, they see a birthday celebration for the young, handsome Prince Eric (Jonah Hauer-King). Eric’s family wishes for him to marry and settle down, but the prince has not met the woman of his dreams yet. Ariel immediately falls in love with the prince. Unfortunately, a sudden violent storm rolls in and causes havoc on the ship. Eric is thrown overboard, and Ariel rescues him and takes him back to the shore. While Eric is unconscious, Ariel sings to him. Her song concludes just as he regains consciousness, forcing Ariel to hide rather than revealing her existence as a mermaid. Eric is transfixed by the memory of the voice of the woman who saved him. Eric becomes obsessed with finding the girl.

Ariel too becomes obsessed with joining Eric in his world. Triton notices his daughter’s change in behavior and confronts Sebastian about what he knows. Loyal Sebastian tells his king the truth about Ariel saving a human and falling in love with the surface dweller. Triton travels to Ariel’s grotto where she stores her surface artifacts. In a rage, Triton demands that Ariel swear that she will never return to the surface world. When Ariel refuses, King Triton destroys her treasures believing that he is protecting her from harm. Immediately after, Triton feels remorseful for what he has done, but he does not make amends with Ariel. Two green moray eels, Flotsam and Jetsam, encourage Ariel to visit the sea witch Ursula (Melissa McCarthy), Triton’s estranged sister and Ariel’s aunt, who was banished from Atlantica 15 years earlier.

You’re welcome for the Scuttlebutt! Scuttle (Awkwafina)

At the sea witch’s lair, Ursula presents Ariel with a deal: Ursula will transform Ariel into human form for three days in exchange for Ariel’s voice. Within the three days, Ariel must receive true love’s kiss from Eric to make the change permanent. Otherwise, she will transform back into a mermaid, and she will belong to Ursula. Ariel accepts and is immediately transformed into human form. Flounder and Sebastian rush her to the surface before she drowns. Ursula places Ariel’s voice into a nautilus shell. Secretly, Ursula plans on using Ariel as ransom to obtain Triton’s powerful, magical trident.

Once on shore, Ariel is rescued and taken to Eric’s castle. Eric, who has been desperately searching for the woman that saved him, rushes to meet Ariel. However, Ariel’s muteness causes Eric to turn away although he allows her to stay in the castle for a few days. Over the next couple of days, Ariel spends most of her time with Eric. Sebastian, who continually follows Ariel, realizes that Ursula has put a cheat in the spell that causes Ariel to forget that she needs to kiss Eric. At the end of the second day, Eric almost kisses Ariel, due to Sebastian setting a romantic mood, but the kiss is interrupted by Flotsam and Jetsam who are spying on Ariel to ensure that she fails. Ursula is furious at Ariel’s near success and decides to become personally involved. She transforms herself into a human woman named Vanessa (Jessica Alexander) but uses Ariel’s voice to woo Eric. She also casts a hypnotic enchantment on Eric to make him forget about Ariel. Back in Atlantica, Triton has the kingdom search for Ariel and begins to regret the way he treated her.

The next day, Ariel is informed that Eric is announcing his engagement to Vanessa. Scuttle accidentally discovers Vanessa’s true identity and tells Ariel. Ariel rushes to the engagement party, confronts the disguised Ursula, and breaks the nautilus shell. Ariel regains her voice, and the enchantment on Eric is broken. Eric rushes to kiss Ariel, but the sun sets, and Ariel transforms back into a mermaid and is imprisoned by Ursula. Ursula transforms into her original form and drags Ariel back into the ocean.

Triton arrives and confronts Ursula, demanding the release of his daughter. Ursula offers for Triton to take Ariel’s place and surrender his trident to the sea witch. Triton agrees and is immediately turned into dust by the eels. Ursula takes possession of the trident just as Eric arrives. Bursting with new power, Ursula declares herself Queen of the Seven Seas. Ursula turns her attention to the surface dweller. Before Ursula can kill Eric, Ariel becomes involved, distracting the sea witch. Ursula uses her new power to try to kill Ariel and Eric, but accidentally kills Flotsam and Jetsam instead. An angered Ursula uses the trident to grow to an enormous size. Ursula gains control of the entire ocean and creates a vicious storm. Sunken ships rise to the surface and Ariel commandeers one. Eric works to distract Ursula while Ariel maneuvers the ship into position to impale Ursula with the bow of the ship. Ursula dies and Triton comes back to life. He and Ariel recognize the other’s sacrifice for each other.

In the aftermath, Ariel returns home to Atlantica, but she is unhappy without Eric. Sebastian convinces Triton to transform Ariel into a human permanently. She and Eric marry and decide to travel the world together with the blessing and support of their parents and the people from both of their worlds.

Rate the Film!

Our Rating

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures released The Little Mermaid on May 26, 2023. Rob Marshall directed the film starring Halle Bailey, Jonah Hauer-King, and Melissa McCarthy.

User Rating: 1.8 ( 2 votes)
Show More
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Back to top button
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x