7 differences between The Little Mermaid (2023) and the original (SPOILERS)

7 differences between The Little Mermaid (2023) and the original (SPOILERS)


The new version of The Little Mermaid is now in theaters and comes with some major changes from the 1989 animated classic.

In recent years, Disney has transformed its beloved animated movies into live-action versions. For example, Cinderella (2015), Beauty and the Beast (2017), Maleficent (2014, 2019), Aladdin (2019), The Lion King (2019) and now it is the turn of The Little Mermaid (2023). Although the stories are similar, they often make some major changes, either to the plot or to beloved disappearing characters like Mushu from Mulan (2020).

Differences between The Little Mermaid from 2023 and the 1989 animated classic.

Flounder in The Little Mermaid
Flounder in The Little Mermaid

Attention from here there are SPOILERS.

The soundtrack.

It must be remembered that the original film won 2 Oscars for Best Soundtrack and Best Original Song. However, for the new version of The Little Mermaid they have made changes, since 3 songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda have been added. But they have also eliminated two others, one is the one sung by the palace chef and the other is Vanessa’s, where Úrsula reveals that things are going according to plan.

In addition, the mythical songs Poor Unfortunate Souls and Kiss the Girl have been slightly changed to adapt them to modern times. But without a doubt, what stands out the most is that Under the Sea is now performed by Sebastian and Ariel, while in the original only the crab sang.

Triton’s daughters.

The new Little Mermaid movie gives a much larger role to the daughters of Triton, plus Disney released a guide, titled The Little Mermaid: Guide to Merfolk, which showed that each of the seven mermaids reside in different oceans and have different roles. For example, one of Ariel’s sisters, Mala, loves protecting coral and doesn’t like shipwrecks. This feeling is seen in the film when the mermaids are clearing away debris from the coral belonging to Prince Eric’s ship that has been destroyed by the storm.

Ariel’s motivation.

Throughout the movie, Ariel tries to convince her father that not all humans are bad and that some of them are good. In fact, she sacrifices being a mermaid to prove to her father that she is right. This causes King Triton to begin to believe that not all humans will hurt his people.

Prince Eric.

2023’s The Little Mermaid gives Prince Eric a lot more depth, as we find out he was adopted into the royal family after being seen alone and abandoned 21 years ago. In addition, they reveal to us that he is a great adventurer and loves to sail. Since he has a room full of items that he has found during his travels, including maps, shells, and coral.

The great villain Ursula.

In the animated Little Mermaid, the evil Ursula is just a sea witch, however, she is now related to King Triton as she is his younger sister and therefore Ariel’s aunt. She was exiled because she wanted to create a big conflict between the mermaids and the humans.

The spell is different, as it originally turned Ariel into a human and she only has three days until Prince Eric kisses her. But in the new version, Ursula makes some adjustments to the spell to make sure nothing happens between the mermaid princess and the prince. Since she gives the girl amnesia and so when her animal friends want to help her, she simply ignores them.

Your time on land.

When the original The Little Mermaid makes the deal, it is limited to three days per palace, while the new version explores more of the world. Since she has some scenes in a market where she experiences dance and music together with Eric.

There is no wedding.

Although it has a happy ending, the live-action Little Mermaid movie doesn’t end with Ariel and Eric’s wedding. Since, this time they simply go on adventures. At least their father and sisters can say goodbye to them.

The Little Mermaid - trailer
The little Mermaid

what version do you like more? Leave us your comments below in the opinion section. The animated classic can be seen on the Disney Plus streaming platform with this link.