Disney / The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea


Ten years ago, a mermaid dreamed of life on the land. Now, her daughter dreams of the sea.

A 2000 Direct-to-Video sequel to the Disney Animated Canon hit The Little Mermaid, this film is about Ariel and Eric's daughter and her wish to become a mermaid.

The film begins with a newborn Melody being presented to her grandfather, King Triton. "Ursula's crazy sister", Morgana, shows up, trying to take Melody and use her as a hostage to gain Triton's power. Ariel decides to hide Melody from her mermaid past to prevent her making the same mistake she did.

Melody soon finds evidence of her seaborne ancestry, and decides to go find out about it, thus playing into Morgana's plans, and forcing Ariel to become a mermaid again to save her daughter.

(To see the character page go here).

Provides Examples Of:

  • Action Girl: Ariel shows a bit more of it than in the first film. Melody also.
  • Adult Fear: Ariel and Eric get this when Melody runs away and they are scared for her safety.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: "Someone" by Eiko Matsumoto is the theme song for the Japanese version.
  • Agony of the Feet: Err...tentacle in this case. At the climax, Melody pricks Morgana in the tentacle with the trident! Cue Morgana holding her tentacle in pain.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Morgana.
  • An Aesop:
    • Hiding the truth from your loved ones will just make things worse.
    • Be Yourself. Don't change yourself to gain acceptance.
  • And I Must Scream: This seems to be Morgana's fate, as she is trapped in a block of ice. Her eyes can move, but her body can't. She also is last seen with the line "Mommy?" spoken.
  • Badass Grandpa: Triton, oh so very much.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Melody in to a lesser extent than her mother. Her full clothes do cover her midriff, but after she becomes a mermaid her shirt turns out to be too short to conceal it without her pants.
  • Berserk Button: An implied one — when Melody is being reprimanded by her mother for going out into the sea, against her orders, Melody doesn't bother to get angry and defend herself...until Ariel accuses the sea of being "dangerous".
  • Big Damn Kiss: Ariel and Eric at the end.
  • Bowties Are Cool: The snooty girl with the orange dress wore an orange bow.
  • Breakout Character: Melody. Fans may have not like the sequel, but they absolutely loved her.
  • Call Back: When Ariel's looking for Melody, she briefly encounters the very same spot where her grotto (very likely rebuilt by Triton) used to be and the very same places where the "Under the Sea" and "Part of Your World" songs took place, as well as the sunken ship where she and Flounder got chased by Glut.
  • The Cameo: Many background characters of the first movie show up here too.
  • Chromatic Arrangement:
    • The 3 snooty kids had their own, signature colors: The skinny boy (green), the fat boy (blue), and the blonde girl (orange).
    • The 3 merteens each have different colored fins: The blonde (green), the brunette girl (pink), and the brunet, Asian boy (purple).
  • Could Have Avoided This Plot: The whole plot could have been avoided if Ariel just simply told Melody that Morgana would kill her if she were to explore the sea. Or if they were to just move inland, away from the ocean. Ariel does lampshade that she should have told Melody the truth.
  • Counterpoint Duet: Melody and Ariel sing such a song, "For a Moment".
  • Damsel in Distress:
    • The baby penguin who Tip and Dash try to save.
    • Lampshaded by Dash in regards to Melody.
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: The handsome merboy that Melody meets in Atlantica and immediately falls for.
  • Dartboard of Hate: Morgana does this with a picture of Ursula using starfish instead of darts.
  • Does Not Like Shoes:
    • Melody strongly prefers going barefoot, only wearing shoes during one scene (where she's pretty much forced to).
    • More subtly, Ariel herself shows signs of this. When no one is looking, she slips off her shoes and dips her feet into a pond. Later she goes barefoot in the final scene even though the plot doesn't require it. Melody inherited yet another trait from her mother, it seems.
  • Easily Forgiven: Melody forgives the three kids who not only called her strange, but viciously laughed at her at her birthday party.
  • Excessive Evil Eyeshadow: Morgana.
  • Expy:
  • Fade Around the Eyes: Morgana does this when Melody starts her quest for Atlantica. Maybe being dramatic runs in the family.
  • Fat and Skinny:
    • Dash and Tip, respectively.
    • The two snooty boys at Melody's birthday party.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: Justified. When Melody meets her grandfather (Triton) after twelve years, she doesn't remember him, because she was only a baby when he had to leave. She did, however, get a feeling that he didn't seem like a bad guy.
  • Good Parents: Despite how they handled keeping Melody's true heritage, both there is no doubt that Eric and Ariel deeply love Melody, and raised her right.
  • Graceful Ladies Like Purple: Ariel's dress for Melody's party.
  • Happily Married: Ariel and Eric.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Implied with the blond merboy Melody meets. See the Nice Guy section.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: One of Melody's biggest personal flaws. She is completely naive enough to trust in the Obviously Evil Sea Witch Morgana and do her bidding. And only after she gives Morgana the trident, does she realize her horrible mistake.
  • Identical Stranger: Melody dances with a young man at the ball, who is creeped out by her when he sees her talking to Sebastian. Later she meets a merboy who looks just like him at Atlantica, and runs off just after meeting him. It's never made clear if they just happen to look the same, or if he's also a merman and was just pretending to not recognize her.
  • I Knew There Was Something About You: Ariel's daughter tells her new fish friends that she's really a human. One of them responds with: "I knew there was something un-fishy about you!"
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Melody has close friendships with her mother's friends: Scuttle, Sebastian, and Flounder.
  • Interspecies Romance: It's pretty clear that Melody and the blond merboy have feelings for each other.
    • The failed one she was developing with the blond human prince.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Taken Up to Eleven at Melody's 12th birthday party.
  • Kill It with Ice: Once King Triton regains his trident Morgana is frozen in ice and sunk to the depths of the ocean.
  • Like Parent, Like Child: After a near-death experience out in the open sea, Ariel decided to keep her daughter locked away and hide the knowledge of the mermaid world, like Triton did with her except from the human world.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: Morgana's entire ice fortress shatters and collapses upon her defeat.
  • Loophole Abuse: In their argument, Ariel finds out that Melody went over the wall. Melody retorts she went under it.
  • Magic Pants: Melody's pants disappear when her legs are replaced with a tail, but reappear when she regains legs. Perhaps it could justified by magic, but one wonders then why Ariel emerged half-naked during her leg-gaining.
  • Mama Bear: Ariel.
  • A Minor Kidroduction: We first see The Protagonist Melody as an infant.
  • Misplaced Vegetation: The film features a massive tropical coral reef beneath friggin polar ice sheet.note  Actual polar marine ecosystems can sometimes appear quite lush, but definitely not tropical coral reefs with colorful fish. That's a pinch from the movie's big geography mess-up. Wait... complete with ice-hating giant clams.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: There aren't any polar bears in this movie, but the map Morgana gives Melody clearly shows that Morgana's hideout is north of Atlantica, so it must be in the Arctic. However, there are penguins living in the area; penguins are only found in the southern hemisphere of the world.
    • There's also the Hammerhead Shark and the Barracuda in polar waters.
  • Missed Him by That Much: During the search for Melody, this happens at least twice.
  • Missing Mom: The wife of Flounder and mother of their guppies doesn't make an appearance.
  • Mum Looks Like A Sister: Ariel looks almost identical to how she looked in the first film —barely a bit older, at most— and could be mistaken as the older sister of her daughter Melody.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Melody after Morgana, holding the trident, reveals her true evil nature and takes her mother hostage, and imprisons her in an ice cave.
    Melody (sobbing): Oh, Flounder. I've ruined everything!
  • Never Say "Die": Keeping in tone with the usual Lighter and Softer treatment of Disney sequels, though it was done in a fairly decent way.
    Morgana: Ursula would've loved to have come, but something came up.. now what was it.. oh yes, you all SHISH KEBABBED HER!
  • Never Trust a Trailer: In the original trailer, the scene of Melody becoming a mermaid actually consisted of reversed animation of her changing back into a human.
  • Nice Guy: The blonde merboy Melody meet in Atlantica. When Melody accidentally bumps into him, he (at the same time as Melody), apologizes. He then greets her, politely asks her name, and even (along with his friends) invited her to hang out. He's too sweet.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • Melody giving the trident to Morgana got the whole kingdom in deep trouble.
    • Ariel not telling Melody why she couldn't explore the sea is what sets the whole plot in motion.
  • No Name Given: We don't know the names of few (arguably) vital characters in the sequel:
    • Tip's main family, who are implied to also be Dash's adopted family.
    • The three snooty kids at Melody's birthday party.
    • Flounder's children.
    • The three merteens that Melody befriends.
  • Off Model: Ariel doesn't look the same in some scenes. The updated re-release solved this though. In the scene where Melody and Flounder are trapped beneath Morgana's ice trap, Flounder briefly looks exactly like he was in the first movie, whereas all the other scenes show him as bigger and fatter because he's an adult now. Several background characters from the first film appear here but with the wrong colors; for example,the snails that sing in the "Under the Sea" music number, and the tuba-playing fish (the one which says "yeah") appears too in the final song,but its colors are all mismatched.
  • Overprotective Dad: And mom, as Eric and Ariel don't tell Melody of Ariel's family, and forbid her to go into the sea.
  • Papa Wolf:
    • Eric was ready and willing to take on Morgana with a sword when he learned she had something to do with Melody's disappearance.
    • Want to make Triton angry? If so, hurt Ariel. Then, he'll utterly own you. If you want to really piss him off, hurt his granddaughter. Then, he will utterly own you and make you pay for all eternity in a MAHOOSIVE block of ice.
  • Parental Favoritism: Morgana is dismayed that Ursula got this. After she almost takes over, she exclaims:
    Morgana: See that ma? WHO'S YOUR FAVORITE NOW!?
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Ariel has a white and gold dress at the beginning of the film. She and Melody wear similar dresses for Melody's birthday, just Ariel's is purple and Melody's is pink.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Melody is never told why she's not to go beyond the seawall. This becomes extremely problematic once Melody finds her grandfather's gift to her.
  • Princesses Prefer Pink: Melody's party dress is pink.
  • Redhead In Green: One of the teens at Melody's birthday party is a redheaded girl wearing a green dress.
  • Remember the New Guy: "Ursula's crazy sister" Morgana is introduced as the Big Bad. Of course, she was never shown in the first movie, there wasn't even a clue to Ursula having a sister, and the old characters already know her.
  • Strong Family Resemblance:
    • Melody combines her parents features, such as having her mother's face and hair shape, but her father's eyebrows and hair color. She and her mom also have the same nose and similar ears, as well as the same mouth and the same eyes.
    • One of the sons of Flounder looks exactly like the younger Flounder. In fact, the boy looked so much like Flounder, that Ariel initially mistook him for Flounder.
  • Terrible Trio: Morgana's henchmen: Undertow, Cloak, and Dagger.
  • Those Two Guys: Tip and Dash, a walrus and a penguin.
  • Those Two Bad Guys: Cloak and Dagger the Manta rays.
  • Take a Third Option: At the end of the film, King Trident offers Melody a choice to either live with him and Atlantica as a mermaid, or stay human and live with her family. She chooses neither: instead using his trident to dissolve the castle's seawall so both humans and merfolk can live together.
  • Tentacle Rope: Morgana grabs and holds Ariel using her tentacles.
  • Threatening Shark: Undertow, Morgana's sidekick. However, thanks to King Trident's spell, he spends most of the movie as a near-harmless piranha.
  • Time Skip: The film opens with Melody's birth and then skips ahead 12 years.
  • Token Trio: The merteens Melody meets in Atlantica: The blonde merboy is Ambiguously Brown, the brown-haired brunette mergirl is white, and the black-haired brunette merboy is Asian.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: A mother/daughter example with Ariel (girly girl) and Melody (tomboy).
  • Took a Level in Badass: Flounder. In the first film, he was terrified of everything, but in this film he refuses, point blank to leave Ariel and tells her that "wild seahorses couldn't keep [him] away" when she asks for his help.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: The snooty kids who thought of Melody as very strange-the same trio who laughed viciously at her birthday party! They end up playing with Melody in the water at the end. Implying that Melody had forgiven them and the trio had made amends.
  • Two Guys and a Girl:
    • An interspecies example: Melody (mer-human), Tip (penguin), and Dash (walrus).
    • The snooty kids at Melody's birthday party.
    • The merteens that Melody befriended.
  • Updated Re-release: The Special Edition DVD tweaks a few scenes to make Ariel look less Off Model.
  • Villain Song: There is a Deleted Scene with this, "Gonna Get My Wish".
  • The Voiceless:
    • Morgana's henchmen, Cloak and Dagger, don't speak. But they cackle.
    • The short, fat snooty kid at Melody's birthday party also has no lines.
  • Warm-Hearted Walrus: Dash the walrus is a kind-hearted simpleton, pretty much the sea mammal version of Pumbaa.
  • Water Is Air: It appears that Tip and Dash can breathe underwater... though they often do spend a great deal of time underwater, penguins and walruses cannot breathe in it and need to surface regularly to do so.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • What became of Undertow, Cloak, and Dagger?
    • On a more important note: Where are Ariel's six older sisters? They have a very brief cameo in the very first scene of the movie, but are never seen or mentioned again afterwards. Do they get married? Have children like Ariel did?
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Just like her father, Ariel's motives were to protect her daughter.
  • You! Exclamation: Chef Louis to Sebastian, who follows up with a squeak of "You!" when Chef Louis recognizes him.
  • Youthful Freckles:
    • One of Flounder's kids could be seen with freckles.
    • The fat, short kid of the snooty kid trio was the only one with freckles.

Alternative Title(s): The Little Mermaid II