The Little Mermaid Facts

With childhood movie remakes and merchandise experiencing a surge this year, one that’s been on everyone’s lips has been The Little Mermaid live-action movie. As a fan of the original animated classic, my inner child was extra stoked to see Atlantica come to life. 

Below are 14 interesting facts about the live action movie that will have you wishing you could be part of the mermaid world all over again.     

1. Halle Bailey, who plays Ariel, is a singer in the R&B duo, Chloe x Halle


While you might see her as the famous Ariel on the big screen, fans of R&B music will recognise Halle Bailey as a talented singer.  Alongside her sister, Chloe, they went viral back in 2010 for their cover of Beyoncé’s song “Pretty Hurts”. This R&B duo even got signed to Queen Bey’s label too ― a huge win. 

You might also be familiar with their catchy song “Do It” during the COVID-19 lockdown phase on TikTok. It’s clear that this pair of sisters are destined for the spotlight. 

2. Harry Styles was almost cast as Prince Eric

Source, source

We do love a familiar face, especially when it’s the one and only Harry Styles’. Before Jonah Hauer-King was cast as our liveaction Prince Eric, the role was offered to the chart-topping singer, according to Variety. NGL, the visual of Harry Styles playing Prince Eric would have the whole internet in a chokehold. 

However, the “As It Was” vocalist turned down the opportunity as he set his sights on movies with darker themes. Most recently, he acted in psychological thrillers such as “Don’t Worry Darling” and “My Policeman” ― seems like he’s taking his acting career in another direction

3. Ursula’s makeup was inspired by drag queens


FYI, Ursula’s elaborate makeup in the movie was inspired by a famous Baltimore drag queen, Divine. While the makeup artist did not want the actress to look too much of a drag queen, some audience members weren’t too happy about the execution of the look on the big screen. 

But we can all agree that Melissa McCarthy slays her role of playing the evil sea witch. 

4. Jodi Benson, the voice of cartoon Ariel, made a cameo appearance

Source, source

If you grew up with the OG movie, you probably sang along to the classic songs with Jodi Benson’s sweet vocals. The voice actress made a special appearance as a shopkeeper who hands Ariel a fork in the live action movie as a nod to OG The Little Mermaid fans.

Jodi was so dedicated to making this cameo a surprise that she went as far to disguise herself for the movie screening. 

5. Scuttle is a gannet, not a seagull

Source, source 

If you watched the live action movie or sneaked a peek at its trailer, you might have been asking yourself why Scuttle can breathe underwater. TBH, it can be confusing as the OG movie introduced him as a seagull. This time, the lovable character is a gannet, which is a seabird that catches fish by plunging into the water. 

The creators envisioned Scuttle to have more interactions with Ariel who is mainly underwater, which led to the decision of changing his breed. 

6.  The movie features three new original songs


Similar to The Lion King and Aladdin, Disney is taking a new approach by treating old and new fans of the franchises with brand new songs. Three original songs “Scuttlebutt”, “Wild Uncharted Waters” and “For the First Time” grace the new film, with the former being a juicy rap about gossip. 

7. Halle had to go through intense mermaid training for the role


It’s not easy being a mermaid as it requires a lot of core strength and stunts. Halle not only had to learn synchronised swimming to move gracefully, she also had to go through intense training which involved lifting weights with her head to strengthen her neck muscles. 

The actress also mentioned that she was in the best shape of her life while filming the movie ― we stan a hardworking and fitspo queen.

Also read:

The Disney X Tommy Hilfiger Pop-Up Has A 3D Mickey Statue, AI Photobooth & Free Tote Bags When You Shop

8. It took 20 takes to get the shot of Ariel’s iconic hair flip


While Ariel’s iconic hair flip is one of the memorable scenes from the 1989 movie, recreating the scene was no easy feat. The actress laments that her locks, when wet, felt like heavy wool. 

Ultimately, it took an entire day and 20 takes to get the beautiful shot and NGL, it’s the dedication and the commitment for me.

9. Jonah Hauer-King almost drowned on set


You might assume Prince Eric is a good swimmer, seeing how much he loves the ocean. Unlike his character, Jonah Hauer-King can’t swim as well as the charming love interest.  

Plus, he had to wear heavy boots which did not help his situation the actor joked that his drowning scene was easy to act in because of his hefty footwear. In fact, the crew had to poke holes in the boots to lessen the water load in his shoes.

10. Ariel’s copper locks cost up to $150,000


Us girls spend a lot of time on our hair, and maintaining our fresh locks does cost a lot. However, Ariel’s copper hair in the movie is a whopping USD$150,000 (SGD$201,092). 

These special locks were infused with keratin tips for that healthy hair look. Not to mention, the stylists had to hand-weave the custom-coloured 30 inch locks into the actress’s real hair, which took about 12 to 14 hours.

11. Jacob Tremblay, who voices Flounder, had a huge vocal change

Source, source

There is a lot of work put into a widely-loved movie and that includes casting their characters super early. Since casting started back in 2019 and the movie was just released this year, one particular actor was not confident in revisiting the movie again. 

Jacob Tremblay, who voices Flounder, mentioned that his voice changed a lot over the years. Compared to his 13-year-old self, he can’t hit the high notes like he did when he first recorded his parts. 

12. The famous “Kiss The Girl” song includes new lyrics related to consent


It’s not a Little Mermaid movie without its popular “Kiss The Girl” song. However, you might notice the lyrics being slightly different from the original version. To refresh the song with modern times, it was updated so that the scene is consensual for both characters. 

Plus, the film’s composer commented that the song was outdated in this age when consent is super important. The next time you find yourself singing along to the classic tune, keep an eye, or ear, for the changed lines. 

13. Prince Eric has a more in-depth backstory


The 1989 movie did introduce us to a handsome sea-loving prince but it was mostly focused on Ariel’s journey to becoming human. This year’s film started off differently by giving us a more in-depth background story for Prince Eric. 

It was revealed that he wasn’t born a prince, but rather an orphan who was rescued from a shipwreck and adopted by the island’s queen. As this lovely prince has a special place in our hearts, his sad backstory will definitely get you in your feels. 

14. There is potential for a spin-off or sequel


As the live-action movie has already made $414 million at the box office globally, a few castmates pitched their ideas on how the well-loved franchise can be expanded. Similar to how Disney created Maleficent’s backstory, it would be interesting to see Ursula and King Triton have their own journey on-screen. 

These Facts About The Little Mermaid Live Action Movie Show Us How Magical It Can Be Under The Sea

Whether you’re watching The Little Mermaid live action movie for fun or to reminisce about your childhood days, this dreamy film brings the underwater world to life ― with a touch of magic. Plus, you will have plenty of time to rewatch the movie once it premieres on Disney+ eventually, because I know I will.

Cover: Source, source, source

Also read:

Netflix’s New Korean Dating Show Features Teens In A School Setting, From The Producer Of Single’s Inferno