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The Thirteenth Year (1999)

A teen learns that his birth mother is a mermaid after he begins to grow fins and slimy scales on his thirteenth birthday.



(story), (teleplay) | 2 more credits »
4,016 ( 410)

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1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Cody Griffin
Justin Jon Ross ...
Jess Wheatley
Big John Wheatley
Tim Redwine ...
Sean Marshall
Whit Griffin
Sharon Griffin (as Lisa Stahl Sullivan)
Mrs. Nelson
Doctor Schwartz
Cameron Curtis ...
Craig Hauer ...
Sarah Elizabeth Combs ...


When Cody Griffin turns 13, things are going good. He is a star swimmer, he is getting interest from a girl named Sam, and he has a supportive family. Then he discovers that he may be turning into a fish. He also discovers who his true friends are. Written by Critic3

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Cody's Not Just Growing Up... He's Growing Fins!


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Release Date:

15 May 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The 13th Year  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Coach and Jess both starred in Little Giants, though they did not have any lines together. See more »


Electricity won't "jumpstart" a heart but rather stop it. It will do absolutely nothing for someone without a pulse. See more »


Jess Wheatley: Nerds don't have really friends; we just have hobbies.
See more »


References Star Trek (1966) See more »

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User Reviews

A Troubling Puberty
12 December 2008 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Young Chez Starbuck is going through one interesting puberty, in his 13th year he's starting to grow fish scales and fins, especially when he's in the water. Which being a junior high school swimming champion he's in the water a lot.

It turns out that he was adopted, a baby left on his parent's boat, they run water tours from their sleepy Pacific coast village. The only one who young Chez can confide in is his friend Justin Jon Ross whose dad is the local eccentric and runs a salvage business. The dad is played by Brent Briscoe and he's seen mermaids in the harbor and has even done research on the subject, though where he would have got it, God only knows.

Disney channel features aren't any competition for Gone With The Wind or The Godfather, but The Thirteenth Year is definitely one of the silliest on record. There are so many holes in the plot on this one, I gave up counting. But I doubt this is the typical experience for MerMen in any case. Just why the infant that grew up to be Chez Starbuck was left on the boat was left unexplained.

I'm not sure I want to find out.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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