Wondering if Disney’s live-action The Little Mermaid (2023) is ok for kids? Some scenes may be more intense for little ones, but overall The Little Mermaid is a beautiful film for the whole family. Some may be tired from live-action remake fatigue, but Halle Bailey does such an incredible job, it feels fresh and new. Here’s what parents need to know in this parents guide to The Little Mermaid.
The Little Mermaid Parents Guide: Is it OK for Kids?
Just like in the animated The Little Mermaid, the youngest of King Triton’s (Javier Bardem) daughters, Ariel (Halle Bailey), longs to find out more about the human world beyond the sea. While visiting the surface, she falls for the handsome and kind Prince Eric (Jonah Hauer-King). King Triton forbids Ariel to interact with humans, but Ariel decides to follow her heart.
She makes a deal with the evil sea witch, Ursula (Melissa McCarthy), which gives her a chance to experience life on land with legs, but she is risking everything, including her family.
Parents need to know that the live-action The Little Mermaid is more mature and more intense than the animated version.
Age Rating: Why is The Little Mermaid Rated PG?
The Little Mermaid is rated PG for action, peril, and scary images which means some content may not be suitable for all kids.
Language in The Little Mermaid
There is no profanity in The Little Mermaid, but words like stupid, idiot, and fool are used.
Action: Is The Little Mermaid Too Scary for Kids?
There are a couple of jump scare scenes in The Little Mermaid 2023 which may be too scary for kids, including a scene with a shark and scenes with Ursula. One is where she takes Ariel’s voice and another is the last battle scene.
Violence is moderate for a Disney movie, but with CGI, the scenes in the animated film are more intense and can seem more realistic in the live-action version if watching on the big screen. Some young ones may want to hide their eyes during certain parts.
The last battle scene with Ursula can get intense as she grows in size and tries to kill Ariel and Eric.
One character is electrocuted and shrivels to nothing.
Mature Content: Is The Little Mermaid Kid Friendly?
With a runtime of 2 hours and 15 minutes, The Little Mermaid is a little long for younger kids, and it may be hard to keep their attention. Kids younger than 5 may have some trouble sitting still.
There is some romance and flirting and characters kiss.
In one scene Ariel is naked when she gets feet, but sensitive body parts are covered up with hair and nets.
Ariel and King Triton have daddy/daughter issues and themes of death, independence, trust, and family are prevalent.
Is The Little Mermaid Appropriate for Kids Under 8?
In The Little Mermaid you can expect to see some scary scenes, characters that act defiant to a parent, and mild bad language used by some characters. To sum it up, The Little Mermaid is kid friendly for kids ages 8 and up. While the live-action version is more mature and longer, kids younger than that can be fine watching as long as parents are ok with the content.
Why is The Little Mermaid 2023 rated PG? Mostly for some scary images and violence.
After seeing some previews and looking at what they did to poor Flounder with the CGI, I wasn’t terribly excited to watch but was still cautiously optimistic. Hearing Halle Bailey’s voice and watching her embrace the innocent yet strong-willed Ariel changed my mind.
Whenever a live-action remake comes out, some people complain that not enough of the story was changed or too much was changed. In The Little Mermaid, I thought it was just the right amount.
Kids will adore seeing The Little Mermaid and Ursula back on their screens. The film is fresh, delivers emotion, and is a definite top 3 Disney live-action remake.
The songs and music hit the right notes mixing classics with new additions while also sticking to the themes of the film. The Scuttlebutt may not have been a personal favorite, but it was one of my younger daughter’s. Different notes for different folks.
The CGI can be distracting. It was too much of a cross between trying to be realistic and animation, never finding the right balance. I didn’t necessarily believe I was under the sea, but also it’s a story about mermaid, so…
Some may and will not agree, but The Little Mermaid is wonderful, and I’m so glad they made it. Will it be enough to get people to the theater without a white Ariel with red flowing hair? I sure hope so. But their loss if they don’t.
With the longer runtime, they were able to develop Ariel and Eric’s relationship more, and base it more off a friendship, which adds to the authenticity.
Daveed Diggs as Sebastian is hilarious with some great quotes and is a scene-stealer. Jonah Hauer-King is adorable and charming as Prince Eric, and Melissa McCarthy kills it as Ursula. I had no complaints with any of the casting. I rather enjoyed watching a prince pining for a mermaid. But I am still salty about Flounder’s appearance.
Halle. Halle is Ariel, totally and completely. Her voice and performance gave me chills. Watch and you’ll see, she’ll be part of your world.