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The Little Mermaid (1989)

G  |   |  Animation, Family, Fantasy  |  17 November 1989 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 152,017 users  
Reviews: 223 user | 113 critic

A mermaid princess makes a Faustian bargain with an unscrupulous sea-witch in order to meet a human prince on land.

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Won 2 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Louis (voice) (as René Auberjonois)
Eric (voice)
Ariel (voice)
Ursula (voice)
Scuttle (voice)
Jason Marin ...
Flounder (voice)
Triton (voice)
Carlotta (voice)
Seahorse (voice)
Ben Wright ...
Grimsby (voice)
Sebastian (voice)
Hamilton Camp ...
Additional Voices (voice)
Debbie Shapiro Gravitte ...
Additional Voices (voice) (as Debbie Shapiro)
Robert Weil ...
Additional Voices (voice)


Loosely based upon the story by Hans Christian Andersen. Ariel, youngest daughter of King Triton, is dissatisfied with life in the sea. She longs to be with the humans above the surface, and is often caught in arguments with her father over those "barbaric fish-eaters". She goes to meet Ursula, the Sea Witch, to strike a deal, but Ursula has bigger plans for this mermaid and her father. Written by Tim Pickett <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Love has no boundaries. See more »


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:





Release Date:

17 November 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Little Mermaid 3D  »

Box Office


$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$9,814,520 (USA) (14 November 1997)


£1,703,401 (UK) (28 August 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(L-R)| (DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1)| (70 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Scheduling conflicts with Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) forced Patrick Stewart to turn down the role of King Triton. See more »


When Eric is telling Grimsby that he wants to marry Vanessa, her hair is brown. When Vanessa is singing to herself in her cabin before the wedding and climbs onto the dresser, her hair turns black. Then at the wedding, it is brown again. See more »


[first lines]
Prince Eric: Isn't this great? The salty sea air, the wind blowing in your face. Aaah, the perfect day to be at sea!
Grimsby: [leaning over rail] Oh, yes urp delightful.
See more »


Referenced in Epic Mickey (2010) See more »


Poor Unfortunate Souls
(1989) (uncredited)
Music by Alan Menken
Lyrics by Howard Ashman
Performed by Pat Carroll (Ursula)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Wait a minute - there are actually people who HATE this?
6 October 2002 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

I was definitely no kid when I saw "The Little Mermaid"; in fact, I was 20. I was thoroughly captivated by this movie - one of the last real delights from Disney's regular animation crews (before they had to get help from Pixar and Tim Burton) - and the Mouse couldn't have wished for a better movie to get them back on the proper road, animation-wise. (Of course, after this, "Aladdin" and "Beauty and the Beast" they've slipped a bit - though they're still better than DreamWorks.)

Though not exactly loyal to the original story - Hans Christian Andersen was much more keen on unhappy endings - it's doubtful it would have worked as well if it had. The movie has just about everything going for it... lush animation, spirited musical numbers (this started Alan Menken's run of success for Disney, and he's surely had enough time to refresh himself by now, and for us all to forget "Pocahontas"), wonderfully evil villain, likeable supporting players, and my all-time favourite Disney heroine, the endearing and lovely Ariel (remember the episode of "Cheers" when Norm said he fancied her? She got a lot of real life guys' hearts - beat that, Princess Fiona from "Shrek").

And as a plus, the subsequent TV series (set before the movie) even managed to capture some of the spirit of the movie. But go for the original... a classic.

46 of 55 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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