The Little Mermaid Remake Is A Little More Intense Than The Original

Here’s what parents need to know before heading to the theater.

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We’ve been waiting years for the latest live-action remake from Disney. After all, Millennials grew up on the animated Little Mermaid, and it’s exciting to be able to share that “seeing it in the theater” feeling with the kids in their life. But what changes were made to The Little Mermaid? And are those changes something we should be worried about? What age is Disney’s remake of The Little Mermaid appropriate for? Here’s what we know...

The Little Mermaid is rated PG.

But, also, everything seems to be PG these days. Encanto was PG and we can’t personally figure out what pushed that out of “G” territory, so what does that mean for The Little Mermaid? According to Common Sense Media, the movie is full of positive messages, role models, and diverse representation. But there’s also some mild violence and scariness that might be a problem for young viewers. (We’ll get to specifics in a minute.) Common Sense Media suggests that kids 8 and older should be fine with this content. As a basis of comparison, the original film is recommended for children ages 6 and older. Honestly, both of those recommendations feel a little high to us, generally speaking, but it’s never a bad idea to double check a movie’s specific scaries before heading to the theater...

If your child is scared of the ocean, proceed with caution.

Ursula believes in ABC: Always. Be. Conjuring.Disney

One thing that might be especially creepy for young viewers is the depictions of the ocean, specifically sharks with pointy teeth, Ursula’s electric eels (and her underwater realm), and a big storm at see (complete with thunder and lightening, which might be a particular issue for kids who are prone to sensory overload). So, if you’re planning to head to the beach any time soon... maybe hold off until afterward? (Or at least be ready with information on the fact that sharks really don’t want to hurt humans... or, as far as we know, merfolk.) But if your child doesn’t have particular anxieties about these things, they’re not actually terribly scary.

The new Little Mermaid is a little more intense than the original.

While the content is more or less exactly the same, the fact that it’s live-action and not a cartoon might mean it’s a bit scarier for little kids. While a storm at sea, Max (Prince Eric’s dog) getting trapped, or Ursuala’s demise might be no big deal in a cartoon, seeing these things happen to “real” people and animals might make a bigger impression. That said, it’s a movie made with little ones in mind and, as such, is quite tame.

The live-action Little Mermaid has a star-studded cast

So there’s something for adults, too! Besides: what’s a Disney remake without more celebs than you can shake a stick at?

Halle Bailey plays Ariel with Jonah Hauer-King, who looks like the cartoon Prince Eric come to life, will play Prince Eric (convenient). Ariel’s pals Sebastian, Flounder, and Scuttle will be voiced by Daveed Diggs, Jacob Tremblay, and Awkwafina, respectively. Ariel’s antagonists, King Triton and Ursula the sea witch will be played by Javier Bardem and Melissa McCarthy. Lin-Manuel Miranda provided new and updated songs.

The TL;DR on the new Little Mermaid.

If your child loves the original, they’re probably going to be just fine with this remake. If they’re under 8, or especially sensitive, you might want to check Common Sense Media to see if it might touch on any particular fears or triggers they might have but, overall, this is a family-friendly movie.

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