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Franchise / The Little Mermaid

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The Little Mermaid is a Disney media franchise that began in 1989 with the Disney Animated Canon film The Little Mermaid, which itself is based off a story of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen.

The series tells the various adventures of a teenage mermaid named Ariel. The youngest of seven daughters by King Triton and his deceased wife Queen Athena, Ariel is enamored with the human world. Ariel's closest friends are a nervous young fish named Flounder, a clownish seagull named Scuttle, and her father's crustacean adviser Sebastian.

Ariel wants to learn everything she can about life on land and the human world, but her father forbids it. Despite this, Ariel sneaks behind his back to visit the surface. One night, Ariel sees a young prince named Eric and it's Love at First Sight.

The original film is one of Disney's most iconic and successful films to date. It single-handedly booted Disney Animation out of its post-Walt slump and into the Disney Renaissance. This popularity led to several comics and licensed books. By 1992, the first of Disney's animated series based off of their film properties, The Little Mermaid, was released. It continued to air in syndication for about two decades. Over the years the franchise has spawned many derivative works such as a Spin-Offspring sequel, a prequel, a Broadway musical, and several video games. There is also a live-action remake, which was released on May 26, 2023.

For adaptations and derivative works of the story not produced by Disney, see its Derivative Works page.

Works in the franchise include:

Feature films

Television series

  • Little Mermaid's Island (1990), a failed live-action spin-off series that was cancelled during development
  • The Little Mermaid (1992-1994), an animated prequel series that is directly based on the 1989 film
  • Once Upon a Time (2011-2018), in which Ariel and Ursula separately appear as recurring characters.
  • Ariel (2024-), Disney Junior's pre-school age series.

Video games




Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Little Mermaid


Under the Sea

Sebastian tries to convince Ariel that the wonders that surround her under the sea are better than anything they got up there.

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