The Little Mermaid (1989) Poster

Parents Guide

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Sex & Nudity

  • When she is a mermaid, Ariel wears nothing but a seashell bra, which shows off a bit of her cleavage. This is the case for all mermaids featured in the film.
  • There is a scene where Ariel is given a bath. While no private parts are seen, it is clear she is fully nude.
  • In the "Part of Your World" scene, when Ariel sings "she's got everything," there is a close up of her belly button, played for attractiveness.
  • When Ariel is first given legs, she is clearly nude from the waist down. Her buttocks appear on camera for a split second but it's very hard to notice since she swims away super quickly.
  • After Flounder and Sebastian get the now-human Ariel to the surface, her buttocks are briefly visible again when she takes her first breath. Also later when Ariel tries to stand up in the shallow water, there's a brief view of the side of her buttocks.
  • Ursula's breasts often bounce. In one shot, she shakes them and the camera zooms in on them.
  • Ursula tells Ariel to use body language to attract her man, and dances sensually, by moving her hips. Before, she was using a sensual dance move when a woman moves their shoulders to move her breasts.
  • Ariel begins to transform into a sea polyp and her shell bra disappears. In one brief shot, her breasts are bare, with her arm covering her nipples. Her bra reappears once she transforms back into a human.
  • When Ursula turns into a human to seduce Prince Eric in one shot she rubs one of her breasts against his arm while cuddling him.
  • At Ursula and Eric's wedding birds fly under Ursula's dress making it fly up giving a split second view of her panties.

Violence & Gore

  • Blood is briefly present during the song "Les Poissons".
  • After being turned into a human, Ariel begins to drown.
  • A shark snaps and chomps as it chases Ariel and her fish-friend Flounder.
  • A storm throws a ship onto rocks and the ship catches fire and later explodes. A dog onboard is endangered briefly.
  • The prince nearly drowns.
  • The sea king destroys Ariel's treasures in a fit of rage.
  • The sea witch transforms mer-people into anthropomorphic sea polyps.
  • Ursula momentarily grabs a detached human tongue and throws it into her cauldron.


Alcohol, Drugs & Smoking

  • Grimsby lights a pipe. Ariel thinks it's a musical instrument and blows soot all over his face.

Frightening & Intense Scenes

  • The shipwreck sequence can be frightening.
  • A shark attacks without injury to any characters.
  • The scene in which the sea king destroys Ariel's treasures can be frightening.
  • Ariel's transformation into a human can be disturbing. Ghostly hands enter her mouth and take her voice. The sea witch laughs maniacally. In a rapidly cut scene, her tail fin is split and turned into legs. She is then left to drown before being saved by her friends.
  • The cursed creatures (sea polyps) might be frightening.


The Parents Guide items below may give away important plot points.

Sex & Nudity

  • Vanessa is wearing a topless dress and her cleavages are shown in some scenes

Violence & Gore

  • Ariel tries to strangle Ursula, after turning Triton into a worm, but Ursula throws her down and points the lighted trident at her. Then Eric throws something sharp at Ursula by her arm, causing it to ooze purple blood.
  • A dog is kicked in the face by the sea witch in human form.
  • Animals attack the sea witch once she is in human form. Played mainly for laughs.
  • A French chef is shown graphically slicing up fish, with some blood, and then tries to kill a crab repeatedly in a particular scene that is played for laughs. Later, his teeth are comically knocked out by a ship's mast.
  • The sea witch, Ursula attempts to kill the prince, but when Ariel pulls her hair, she instead kills her two eels making them explode into little bits - a detached eye is briefly visible.
  • The sea witch grows to monstrous size and towers over Ariel and the Prince threatening them.
  • The sea witch's violent death is of particular note. In her gigantic form, she is impaled by a ship's bowsprit (some blood is shown). She is then struck by lightning and we clearly see her body get electrocuted.

Frightening & Intense Scenes

  • The final battle with Ursula can be frightening. Right after Ursula accidentally kills her pet eels, as Ariel and Eric are rushing to the surface, a cloud of smoke starts forming beneath Ursula and the enraged look on her face combined with how she is breathing can be unsettling to young viewers; The next one is when Ursula rises from the water as a giant. Her skin is darker and her voice changes to a male-like roar. Plus, the consistent maniacal look on her face when she is a giant is quite unsettling. This quite darkish scene ends with her death, as she is impaled from the sharp tip of the wrecked ship.

See also

Taglines | Plot Summary | Synopsis | Plot Keywords

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